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Canon Powershot G9 X Review

The new Canon Powershot G9 X is Canon's most compact camera with a 1inch CMOS sensor for improved image quality.

|  Canon PowerShot G9 X in Compact Cameras
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Canon Powershot G9X (3)

The Canon Powershot G9 X features a 20 megapixel 1inch CMOS sensor, Wi-Fi and NFC, a compact metal body available in silver (and tan) or black, plus a 3x optical zoom lens. The camera is stylish with a leather-effect grip, manual controls, a 3inch touch-screen, and a control wheel around the lens.

Canon Powershot G9 X Features

Canon Powershot G9X (7)

The 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to 28mm to 84mm, and relatively bright at the wide-angle end with an f/2.0 aperture, which goes does to f/4.9 when using the full zoom. Optical image stabilisation is built into the lens, to help keep images steady in low-light. 

The Canon Powershot G9 X is perhaps the most similar to the Canon Powershot S120, although now has a 3x optical zoom lens instead of the 5x optical zoom lens on the S120. For more zoom, and the same 1inch sensor as the G9 X, there is the G7 X and G5 X, both with 4.2x optical zoom lens. Here we give a quick overview of the differences between the new cameras, plus the S120.

S120 G9 X G7 X G5 X
12mp 1/1.7inch BSI 20mp 1inch BSI 20mp 1inch BSI  20mp 1inch BSI
5x zoom 3x zoom 4.2x zoom 4.2x zoom
f/1.8-5.7 f/2.0-4.9 f/1.8-2.8 f/1.8-2.8
3inch screen 3inch screen 3inch tilting screen 3inch vari-angle 
460k dots 1040k dots 1040k dots 1040k dots
- - - EVF
98.8x59x27mm 98x58x31mm 103x60x40mm 112x76x44mm
198g 209g 304g 377g


The Canon Powershot G9 X is one of the smallest cameras available with a 1inch BSI CMOS sensor (excluding the Panasonic Lumix CM1), and only slightly larger and heavier than the S120 with a smaller sensor, and will easily fit into trouser pockets.

The camera has full manual controls as well as numerous scene modes (including HDR mode), creative effects, and auto modes to make it easy for beginners as well as more advanced photographers to get the best from the camera. Raw shooting is included as well, and the camera will shoot at up to 6fps when shooting JPEGs. 

Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity is built in, letting you control the camera from your smartphone or tablet, with the Canon Camera Connect app. You can also transfer images, and add GPS location information to photos.  

FullHD video recording is possible at 50/25fps (60/30fps NTSC), with stereo sound, optical zoom, and manual controls. You can also use the touch screen to set the focus position whilst recording. 

Canon Powershot G9X (1)

Key Features

  • 20 megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor
  • 3x optical zoom lens, f/2.0-4.9, 28-84mm equivalent
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • 3inch touch-screen, 1040k dots
  • Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity
  • FullHD video at 50/25fps with stereo sound
  • ISO125 to ISO12800
  • 5cm close focus
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • Available in black or silver and tan

Canon Powershot G9 X Handling

Canon Powershot G9X (10)

Build quality is excellent with the camera featuring a metal body, as well as metal dials, and the leather effect grips on the camera help improve the handling adding grippy surfaces for your hands to use. Unfortunately they are very noticeable in their feel, with a plastic hardness to them, and it would have been nice if they felt like leather. Due to the small size of the camera, we'd recommend using the provided wrist strap to help you avoid dropping it. 

Sony Cyber Shot Rx100 Ii Canon Powershot G9x Silver
Sony Cyber Shot RX100 II - Canon Powershot G9 X

There aren't very many buttons on the back of the camera, with just four, including a video button, a Q / set button, a Menu button and an Info button. This means you have to use the touch-screen to change settings, although you can also use the front control wheel that surrounds the lens. Using the Q button to bring up the Quick settings on screen makes it easy to change common settings, and to get to further, more advanced settings, you simply press the menu button and use the touch-screen to make changes. The touch-screen is very clear and bright, as well as being very responsive to touch making it quick and easy to make changes. The layout of the menus and options available will be familiar to anyone who's used other Canon cameras recently, whether you're used to Canon's compact cameras or DSLRs.

Canon Powershot G9X (8)

Wi-Fi features - with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity you can quickly and easily setup a connection to a compatible smartphone, with iOS and Android apps available. On the left of the camera is a Wi-Fi / smartphone connect button which activates the Wi-Fi mode. Using Canon's Camera Connect app you can browse photos, shoot remotely, as well as add GPS location information to photos from the smartphone's GPS data. You can also use the Wi-Fi connectivity to backup photos from the camera wirelessly.

Canon Powershot G9X (9)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 220 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results, which can be extended to approximately 335 shots with ECO mode switched on. 

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Photographs taken using the Canon PowerShot G9 X

CR McIntosh inspirationBuzzBordalo's Bunnies!Closing for the nightCatchin' some raysCaffHenrhyd WaterfallFlooded OakDryslwyn

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