Canon PowerShot G5 X review

December 9, 2015

Overall Rating:


Canon PowerShot G5 X

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


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


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



Price as Reviewed:


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

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Canon PowerShot G5 X review – Conclusion

The PowerShot G5 X is Canon's latest compact camera for enthusiast photographers

The PowerShot G5 X is Canon’s latest compact camera for enthusiast photographers

Sony has led the way in the enthusiast compact market since the launch of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 several years ago. The 1in sensor was a game changer, but manufacturers such as Panasonic and Canon are snapping at the RX100’s heels. Canon’s first attempt was the PowerShot G7 X, and while it boasts a decent lens and good image quality, it’s somewhat sluggish in operation and lacking a viewfinder.

However, with the G5 X Canon has ticked all the right boxes on the enthusiast’s wish list. Its handling makes it truly feel like a serious camera that’s easily comparable to a high-end CSC or even a DSLR. This is mostly due to the 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF, which is large, positioned perfectly, and has a 120fps refresh rate with great colours and contrast.

With the rear thumb grip and rubberised grip at the front, the camera feels very comfortable to shoot with. It’s also impressive in terms of image quality, giving good, clean results right up to ISO 800. Image quality deteriorates thereafter, but usable shots can be made right up to ISO 3,200, with ISO 6,400 being a bit of a gamble. The dynamic range at low sensitivities is very impressive and at ISO 400 it’s still respectable.

The fast lens gives attractive background blur, while the hot shoe allows use of external flash

The fast lens gives attractive background blur, while the hot shoe allows use of external flash

For the most part, the Canon PowerShot G5 X is either on a par with or better than its competition, although burst speed and autofocus are its downfall. Taking more than a second to shoot, buffer and save a raw file can be frustrating, and while the autofocus is acceptable for the majority of situations, it’s not super-fast, especially in low light.

For many users, though, the continuous shooting rate and super-fast autofocusing won’t be a priority from a pocket camera such as this. The G5 X is aimed at the enthusiast photographer who doesn’t want to carry a DSLR, but still wants a camera to handle like one without comprising heavily on image quality. For a user who wants that level of handling, excellent image quality and a fast lens with a good zoom range, then the G5 X is a sound choice.

  • Sensor: 20.2MP 1in BSI CMOS
  • Output size: 5472x3548
  • Lens: 24-100mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8
  • File format: JPEG, raw (CR2), JPEG+raw
  • Shutter speeds: 30-1/2000 sec + bulb
  • ISO: 125-12,800 + auto
  • Exposure modes: PASM, smart auto, scene
  • Metering: Evaluative, centre, spot
  • Drive: 5.9 fps, 4.4fps with AF
  • Movie: Full HD, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps
  • Viewfinder: 2.36M dot OLED EVF
  • Display: 1.04M dot 3in fully articulated touchscreen
  • Autofocus: 31-point contrast detection
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Dimensions: 112.4x76.4x44.2mm
  • Weight: 377g (including battery and card)

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