Canon PowerShot G9 X Review

November 12, 2015 | Amy Davies | |
thumbnail

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

With the same sensor as the GX7, we had fairly high hopes for the Canon PowerShot G9 X, and happily once again the camera doesn't disappoint.

Images directly from the camera are characterised with the same warm tones that we have come to expect from Canon cameras. At the moment, it's not possible to open raw format files in Adobe Camera Raw, but you can download Digital Photo Professional for free from Canon's website if you want to work those files.

Colours in the raw files are slightly more muted, which gives you good scope for working with them in post production.

Noise is apparent from around ISO 400, where you can see noise appearing in some parts of the image if you look at 100% on screen. The overall impression of detail is good right the way up to around ISO 6400, whereupon images start to have a painterly, smudgy effect.

Automatic white balance copes well the majority of the time to produce accurately coloured shots, even when faced with artificial lighting conditions. Similarly, general-purpose metering copes well with all but extremely high contrast scenes to produce well exposed images most of the time.

With a relatively limited focal length range, you don't have too much scope for zooming. Images taken at the 3x optical zoom display a good level of detail, while if you push it to the digital zoom, you'll see a noticeable drop in image quality, but images are still usable at small sizes - so it's handy to have available if you really need it. There is a second digital zoom available, but this is only really recommended for use if you're particularly desperate to zoom further.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Canon PowerShot G9 X. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW formats.

JPEG RAW

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

iso125.jpg iso125raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Canon PowerShot G9 X's 3x zoom lens offers a focal range of 28-84mm, as illustrated by these examples:

28mm

84mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot G9 X handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with fairly limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Canon PowerShot G9 X has a good macro mode that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon Powershot G9 X are Auto, On, Auto Red-eye Reduction, Slow Synchro and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (100mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (100mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots.

Flash Off

Flash Off (100% Crop)
flash_off.jpg flash_off1.jpg
   

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Night

The Canon Powershot G9 X's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode too, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 125.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg