With a wealth of physical controls, the Canon PowerShot G5 X is aimed squarely at the enthusiast photographer. Callum McInerney-Riley tests it out

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Canon PowerShot G5 X

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:
test:

Pros:

  • - Large sensor compared to camera size
  • - Fast zoom lens
  • - Great colour rendition in JPEG
  • - Excellent electronic viewfinder

Cons:

  • - Relatively slow autofocus
  • - Slow to write raw files
  • - Not truly a pocketable camera

Product:

Canon PowerShot G5 X review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£585.00

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ISO sensitivity and Noise

The G5 X gives perfectly acceptable image quality at sensitivities as high as ISO 3200

The G5 X gives perfectly acceptable image quality at sensitivities as high as ISO 3200

At low ISO settings, the Canon PowerShot G5 X gives excellent images with plenty of detail and little noise. Increase the sensitivity to ISO 400 and a some noise starts to appear in the darker tones of the image, but you’re unlikely to see it appearing in prints. Indeed, files are still very usable at ISO 800, particularly if you’re prepared to shoot and process raw files. In comparison, Canon’s standard JPEG processing tends to blur away fine details, while struggling to suppress low-frequency  green and purple colour blotching in the shadows. Stick with raw, though, and it’s only at ISO 1,600 that noise starts to have a significant impact on fine detail. At ISO 3,200 there’s a stronger drop in image quality, with shadow detail noticeably deteriorating, but it’s still fine for non-critical uses. However, the two highest settings give high noise levels and should be used only when there’s no other choice.

ISO sensitivity and noise – JPEG

The 100% crops below show the Canon PowerShot G5 X’s JPEG output at each ISO sensitivity setting

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 125, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 125, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 200, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 200, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 400, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 400, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 800, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 800, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 1600, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 1600, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 3200, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 3200, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 6400, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 6400, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 12800, default JPEG

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 12800, default JPEG

ISO sensitivity and noise – raw

The 100% crops below show the Canon PowerShot G5 X’s output using raw and Adobe Camera Raw at each ISO sensitivity setting

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 125, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 125, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 200, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 200, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 400, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 400, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 800, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 800, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 1600, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 1600, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 3200, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 3200, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 6400, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 6400, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 12800, raw + ACR defaults

Canon PowerShot G5 X, ISO 12800, raw + ACR defaults

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot G5 X Review - Introduction
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. LCD and viewfinder
  4. 4. Autofocus
  5. 5. Image quality
  6. 6. ISO sensitivity and Noise
  7. 7. Canon PowerShot G5 X review - Conclusion
  8. 8. Page 8
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  • Amateur One

    Many thanks for a really useful review.

    I’ve seen one report that the lens is soft at wide apertures throughout the zoom range. It would be good if Callum could say if this was a feature in any of the shooting he did with the camera, or in the lab tests. At this price level, it would be disappointing to feel that IQ was (significantly) compromised by lens performance.

    There’s more than one way of defining ‘soft’, of course, (assuming it’s not to a disastrous degree, which seems unlikely to have escaped attention either during the development or the review period).