Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Review

Take nice photos anywhere you go with this compact camera

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Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman

What We Like

  • Great looking compact camera body and lens

  • Remotely connect by Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth

  • Nice touch panel interface

What We Don't Like

  • Autofocus tracking doesn’t always work well

  • Touch panel hard to see in bright light and is needed to use the camera

  • 3x lens has a limited zoom range

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a sleek-looking, compact camera that takes great photos and is perfect for road trips. It’s packed with features that make it an ideal travel companion.

4

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman

The PowerShot G9X Mark II is a 1-inch sensor camera from Canon that takes high quality photos. It has a very compact form factor that definitely caught our eye right off the bat. We tested the G9X Mark II at home and also took it into the field with us, and discovered a cool little travel camera that we’d love to have kicking around in our bag.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman

Design: A cool retro look

The PowerShot G9X Mark II has a retro look...until you turn it around and realize it has a large touch panel that takes up most of the rear of the camera. The aesthetics don’t stand out as much on the black version as they do on the silver version. We loved the textured brown faux leather on each side of the silver version’s body, while the only black on black version looks a bit muted by comparison. Just from the looks alone we were eager to use the G9 X Mark II. Canon did a stellar job designing a really nice looking, eye-catching camera.

A nice LCD touch panel takes up 3 x 2 inches on the back of the camera. It’s accurate, bright, and boasts excellent resolution, though in outdoor light the touch panel can sometimes be hard to see. The touchscreen is unfortunately necessary to navigate the menu options and operate the camera, a slightly more awkward control scheme than traditional buttons given the LCD’s limited real estate.

This is a well-designed, compact camera that’s great for travel.

At 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches and 7.3 ounces this camera is very compact. It comes with a strap if you feel like you need it, but we barely used it. It’s small enough that we were able to put it in our back pocket while walking around (though it didn’t feel very comfortable in our front pocket). This is a well-designed, compact camera that’s great for travel.

Setup Process: Very simple and easy

Setup is a breeze and managed entirely through the touch screen. We quickly set the date and time, then navigated through the menu to select our shooting quality, file format, and other preferences. You can jump from the date and time settings right to shooting, but because we’ve been using Canon cameras for a while, we already have a pretty clear idea of what settings we prefer.

When the camera is powered on the touch panel lights up and you can see a preview image of what you’re shooting. There are several shooting modes to choose from ranging from fully manual to fully automatic. From there, using the camera is as simple as pressing a button. If you want to get deeper into the setup process and settings, Canon has a great manual detailing everything this little camera can do.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman

Photo Quality: Good for its class

The PowerShot G9 X Mark II is 20.2 megapixels and can shoot photos up to a 5472 x 3648 (20.0 MP, 3:2) resolution. The built-in lens is a 28-84mm equivalent with a max aperture range of f/2.0-4.9, not a very wide range when compared to the competition. The 3x zoom does work fairly well and the built-in lens offers good performance.

The G9 X Mark II offers good image quality, nice detail, high ISOs and high color accuracy. What we did notice was that autofocus tracking doesn’t always work that well and it can take a while for the camera to adjust. It also struggles with fast moving objects if you are trying to take action shots. We noticed this more with low and indoor lighting. The camera performed much better outdoors and in natural light.

Video Quality: Decent Full HD recording

Canon’s PowerShot G9 X Mark II records 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) video at up to 60 frames per second (though only when set to camera mode). The video quality is good but the camera crops what the lens sees when recording, shrinking the view of an already fairly narrow lens.

The G9 X Mark II offers good image quality, nice detail, high ISOs and high color accuracy.

This isn’t really a video camera, but for such a compact camera the video features and performance are pretty good and definitely usable. Having such a large display also makes it easy to see what’s being recorded. We did have some of the same autofocus problems when shooting video that we had shooting photos, especially under low light. When moving the camera the background didn’t stay very sharp in most indoor environments.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman 

Software: Fast and reliable

Canon generally offers good, feature-rich software on their cameras, and the PowerShot G9 X Mark II is no exception. All the menus are easy to navigate and the options are clear and legible. Touch panel tracking is very accurate, which is important because the buttons for some of the options are pretty small.

The Mark II is a marked improvement over its predecessor. A new image processor can shoot at over eight frames per second, and lag time on startup, shutter, and autofocus have all been improved. The software and hardware upgrades make this a pretty quick camera, but it can take over 20 seconds to clear the buffer when shooting RAW and JPEG at the same time.

Wireless connectivity is offered through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC. Connecting and pairing with your mobile device is easy and a nice addition to any camera. Because the G9 X Mark II doesn’t have an articulating screen, being able to control it from the Canon Camera Connect app on your mobile phone means you can setup your camera in more locations. Being able to see a preview on your phone when you wouldn’t be able to see it on the LCD display opens up a lot of possibilities. We also find it very handy for taking photos and videos of yourself because you can see where you are in the frame and trigger the camera remotely.

Price: A little expensive but very cool looking

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is on the expensive side at $429 (MSRP), though that MSRP is slightly higher than the typical street price. The Canon PowerShot G9 can often be found for under $400, and at that price it’s in the same price range as similar cameras, like the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K. It’s also a little less expensive than the Sony DSC-RX100.

Its value depends a lot on whether or not portability is a strong selling point for you. The PowerShot G9 X Mark II is meant to be a travel camera and totally nails it. The photo quality is very good and the camera looks great to boot. Canon did a great job on the design of this camera and we think it’s well worth the higher price tag.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II vs. Canon EOS Rebel T7

When it comes to digital cameras, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is another great option in a very similar price range. The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is more and easily portable, but the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a more pro-tier DSLR camera. If you’re serious about photography and want a high quality camera on a budget, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a solid competitor.

Cameras like the EOS Rebel T7 can use many different lenses and with a street price around $400, including a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, it’s a great camera for the price. A quality lens makes a huge difference in overall photo quality. The ability to change lenses on the EOS Rebel T7 also means you can use lenses that are suitable for different subjects, like a fisheye lens which is often used for shooting in tight spaces. One of our favorite lenses is Canon’s fixed 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens which is great for depth of field shots and has brilliant clarity.

When it comes to versatility and quality the Canon EOS Rebel T7 wins out, but when it comes to good quality in a super portable and nice-looking package, the PowerShot G9 X Mark II wins hands down. We often travel with a Canon EOS Rebel DSLR but when we aren’t shooting for work, sometimes we just want to throw something in our pocket to capture the memories with. It all depends on what your needs are, and we think both Canon cameras are great options for different reasons.

Final Verdict

Get one for your travel bag.

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II may seem a little expensive, but its compact design, photo quality, and top-notch performance make it stand out. Its built-in 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 zoom lens is more than enough to capture some special memories in high resolution. Alternatives like the Canon EOS Rebel T7 are a lot more versatile, but they’re much larger, while the G9 can fit in your pocket, and it’s a good buy for any casual photographer.

Specs

  • Product Name PowerShot G9 X Mark II
  • Product Brand Canon
  • MPN G9 X Mark II
  • Price $429.00
  • Weight 7.3 oz.
  • Product Dimensions 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 in.
  • Warranty 1 Year
  • Sensor Type CMOS
  • Megapixels 20.2 Megapixel
  • Sensor Size 116.16mm2 (13.20mm x 8.80mm)
  • Aspect Ratio 3:2
  • Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 (20.0 MP, 3:2), 3648 x 2432 (8.9 MP, 3:2), 2736 x 1824 (5.0 MP, 3:2), 2400 x 1600 (3.8 MP, 3:2), 5471 x 3072 (16.8 MP, 16:9), 3648 x 2048 (7.5 MP, 16:9), 2736 x 1536 (4.2 MP, 16:9), 2400 x 1344 (3.2 MP, Other), 4864 x 3648 (17.7 MP, 4:3), 3248 x 2432 (7.9 MP, Other), 2432 x 1824 (4.4 MP, 4:3), 2112 x 1600 (3.4 MP, Other), 3648 x 3648 (13.3 MP, 1:1), 2432 x 2432 (5.9 MP, 1:1), 1824 x 1824 (3.3 MP, 1:1), 1600 x 1600 (2.6 MP, 1:1)
  • Video Resolution 1920x1080 (60p/​30p/​24p), 1280x720 (30p), 640x480 (30p)
  • Media Format JPEG (EXIF 2.3), 14-bit RAW (.CR2), RAW+JPEG, MP4 (Image: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264;
  • Audio MPEG-4 AAC-LC (Stereo)) Memory Types: SD / SDHC / SDXC
  • Lens Type Canon Zoom Lens - 8 elements in 6 groups (2 double sided aspherical UA lens, 1 single sided aspherical lens)
  • Focal Length (35mm equivalent) 28 - 84mm
  • Zoom Ratio 3.00x
  • Aperture Range f/2.0 (W) / f4.9 (T) - f/11, built-in 3-stop ND filter
  • Auto Focus Contrast Detection: AiAF (31-point, Face Detection or Touch AF with Object and Face Select and Track), 1-point AF (any position is available or fixed center)
  • ISO Settings Auto, ISO 125-12800 in 1/3 EV steps
  • Shutter Speed Range 1/2000 - 30 sec
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