Andy Westlake tries out Canon’s slim, stylish compact with a 1in sensor - the G9 X.
Canon PowerShot G9 X review – Image quality
The G9 X gets about as much out of its 20MP sensor as possible, recording over 3500 l/ph at ISO 125 before succumbing to aliasing artefects. But you’ll only get this in raw; noise reduction smoothing limits it to 3000 l/ph in JPEG. Resolution holds up well to ISO 800 (3200 l/ph), but falls more rapidly at higher settings, giving just 2400 l/ph as ISO 12500.
The G9 X’s 20MP sensor delivers good results at low ISOs in our Applied Imaging tests, with over 12EV of dynamic range at ISO 125. In practice, this means that it doesn’t clip highlights as abruptly as cameras with smaller sensors tend to, while also retaining a bit more useful shadow detail. But at ISO 800 and above it falls off quite quickly, reflecting increasing noise levels particularly in the shadows. The top three ISO settings give particularly low readings.
Noise and detail
As expected with this sensor, the G9 X gives clean, highly detailed images at low ISOs. At ISO 800, noise begins to swamp fine detail, but the camera continues to give good results up to ISO 1600. However at ISO 3200 image quality becomes marginal, and the two highest settings give results that are really only adequate for casual use.