With a smartphone in your pocket, the category of point-and-shoot digital cameras is virtually nonexistent. Luckily, there are still some compact cameras out there – like the 20-megapixel Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II ($430) – that are small enough to take anywhere but also have plenty of bells and whistles for higher quality images. compared to mobile devices.
A modest update to its predecessor, the G9 X Mark II utilizes Canon’s DIGIC 7 Image processor for faster performance (up to 8 fps in continuous shooting) and improved low light / high ISO capabilities. The new feature also has built-in Bluetooth for more remote shooting options, complementing the camera’s Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. Feature-rich yet easy to use, the G9 X Mark II meets the needs of photographers who want an everyday camera with manual control, RAW image capture and full-HD video, as well as those Snapshot likes to take pictures automatically. However, it doesn’t offer as many features as the competition.
Design: Compact and pocketable
At 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches, the G9 X Mark II is only superior to a smartphone by its thickness. While it won’t slip into a tight pair of jeans, the G9 X Mark II slips easily into a roomier garment pocket. And, at 7.3 ounces – with battery and SD/SDHC/SDXC card – you’ll barely know you’re carrying a camera.
However, there’s no real handgrip on this petite camera, so try it on for size before you buy if you have larger hands.
The 3x optical zoom lens with a focal length range of 28-84mm (35mm equivalent) works well for basic everyday photography. It’s wide enough to fit a group of friends in a single frame, and you can zoom in a bit to capture subjects that aren’t too far away. Macro photographers will love this camera that can focus as close as 2 inches on a subject.
At the wide angle, the lens’ f/2.0 aperture helps to capture more light in darker conditions. Zoom in and the aperture closes down to f/4.9 – not particularly fast (doesn’t let in much light) but it’s fine for brighter conditions.
In lieu of a viewfinder, the camera’s rear real estate is occupied by a large, 3-inch touchscreen LCD. Complementing the touchscreen gestures and actions (tap focus, tap shutter, scroll menus and playback, gestures to zoom in on images, etc.) is a customizable control ring. Surrounding the lens, this very handy feature can be set up to adjust a variety of settings, such as aperture, shutter speed or exposure compensation. You can also turn off the control ring, but it is very convenient so I recommend leaving it on the default “on” mode.
The G9 X Mark II’s external controls are minimal with a mode dial, power/zoom and playback buttons, along with a manual flash pop-up switch on the top edge. Since the power and playback buttons are horizontal to the top surface of the camera, they are difficult to locate by touch. But the four buttons on the rear of the camera are easier to see and feel and are all you need for everyday shooting: movie recording, Quick Control, Menu and Info.
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The small built-in flash pops up from the top edge; it won’t brighten a room, but it’s powerful enough to provide a bit of fill light when your subject is in the dark or backlit, like this portrait taken in front of a window.
Image quality: Sharp and bright
Aside from its compact size, one of the reasons I love shooting with the G9 X Mark II is that it’s almost impossible to get a bad photo – even when using Program AE (auto exposure) and Auto modes Picture Style, where the camera chooses what it thinks is the best combination of sharpness, tone, etc. for the scene.
But the G9 X Mark II packs a lot of punch with advanced features like Auto Lighting Optimizer, which automatically adjusts brightness and contrast, and Highlight Tone Priority, which preserves detail. in bright subjects. Be sure to explore the manual and settings menu to get the most out of your camera’s functions.
The camera did a great job of balancing the bright sky and ocean at the beach, as seen in the perfectly exposed image below. If conditions are too bright for the camera’s range of apertures and shutter speeds, the G9X Mark II has a built-in Neutral Density filter that cuts down on brightness.
Colors are also accurate and well saturated. The bright blue color of this beach chair, even under intense sunlight, is reproduced perfectly.
Although you may sometimes notice some blurring in the corners, this lens produces extremely sharp and detailed images. The texture of the lighthouse is easily seen in the photo below and the close-up and personal shot with a bee or two in the second photo below, also produces great results. In the third image, I was also able to capture these clearly detailed city buildings.
Overall, the G9 X Mark II does a good job of maintaining details at higher ISOs. The settings range from ISO 125 to 12800. Of course, it’s always best to keep the ISO setting as low as possible, and with the G9 X Mark II, I recommend not going beyond ISO 1600 for the photos you want to print. . On the other hand, ISO 6400 is reasonable for sharing online, as shown in the moonlight shot below. Optical image stabilization helps keep the camera steady at 1/13 of a second, but it’s also important to note that clouds and water are moving, contributing to slightly blurry images up close.
VIDEO: Solid picture quality
If you’re looking to shoot 4K video, look elsewhere. The G9 X Mark II can record full HD (1920 x 1080) video at 30 and 24 fps, along with standard HD (1280 x 720) at 30 fps and VGA (640 x 480) at 30. fps. Among several other special options, this small camera offers Time-Lapse movie modes, including a special Star Time-Lapse mode for combining images of the night sky into one set. film. More importantly, though, you can shoot movies in manual mode so you can control exposure.
I stuck with full HD at 30fps and am generally happy with the results. The colors are accurate, the exposure is almost always well lit, and the recording isn’t bad. However, the continuous and single autofocus did a bit of “seeking” too much. It’s not too terrible, but lens movement is noticeable in some cases. But focus seems to be less sought when capturing the movement of bees as the milkweed moves in the wind.
Camera Connect: Easy transfer and remote control
Canon has added Bluetooth low energy connectivity to the G9 X Mark II, but it has limited value as it only functions as a remote control. However, using Wi-Fi, remote control is available as well as image viewing and image transfer. I didn’t notice any battery drain one way or another. and while it’s a bit complicated to enter a password every time you connect via Wi-Fi, this setting offers the all-important image transfer option.
Free Canon Camera Connect App (opens in a new tab)available for iOS (opens in a new tab)and Android, very easy to install and use. There’s even a built-in camera connection guide to help you through the process.
Another plus is that, using Canon Utilities software, you can download images over Wi-Fi to your computer. For more information and free software downloads, visit www.canon.com/icpd.
Performance and Battery Life: A mixed bag
Overall, the performance on the G9 X Mark II from start to finish is pretty good and is a step up from its predecessor. The new camera model can shoot up to 8.1 fps for about 38 shots, but uses the focus and exposure set at the first shot (switch to low and you’ll get a faster shutter speed). capture about 4 fps until the memory card is full). Add Servo AF (continuous AF) and the speed drops to a still respectable 5.3 fps for around 102 consecutive shots.
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On the other hand, battery life is quite modest at 235 shots per charge. But switch to ECO mode, and you can get around 315 shots per charge. This is based on CIPA specifications including flash photography and other functions, so you can expect to get extra battery life if you use available light and don’t lose much. time to review photos or transmit them over Wi-Fi.
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II has a lot to offer with its depth of features, many of which have fallen from DSLRs like the Canon EOS T7i. It’s a fast compact camera with excellent image quality that will delight even photographers, and thanks to manual controls and advanced features, more experienced photographers are looking for. a camera to carry.
But the G9 X Mark II is not without competition, especially for photographers who want a viewfinder and 4K video. For example, the $450 Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K is equipped with a 4K viewfinder, a 180-degree tilt-up touchscreen, and a 30x zoom lens (24-720mm). It’s also heavier, at 11.4 ounces, compared to the Canon’s 7.3 ounces. But if you’re used to smartphone photography and want good photos, give the G9 X Mark II serious attention.
Credit: Theano Nikitas