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⇡#Main Features and Specifications

The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is a reimagining of the Canon G5 X, which was released in 2015, as the name suggests. The reimagining is so powerful that you can’t immediately notice the relationship between the cameras: even outwardly, the G5 X Mark II is very different from its predecessor and rather resembles the compacts of the G7 X series. Canon has done everything to make the camera as light and miniature as possible: for example, the protrusion for gripping with the right hand has disappeared, and the viewfinder is hidden in the camera body and removed only when necessary. The “stuffing” of the camera, of course, has also been updated. Let’s take a look at its main features:

  • The camera uses a 1-inch 20-megapixel 1.0-type CMOS sensor, similar to the one found in the G7 X Mark III. The crop factor is 2.7.
  • The equivalent focal lengths of the built-in lens are 24-120 mm, aperture ratio is 1.8-2.8.
  • The camera uses the new Digic 8 image processor.
  • The shooting speed in RAW format is 30 frames per second with focusing on the first frame and 8 frames per second with tracking autofocus.
  • The 3-inch camera screen has a resolution of approx.
  • The OLED viewfinder is «hidden» in the camera body and is removed with a special button. Its resolution is approximately 2,360,000 dots.
  • The camera features a 31-point AF system, face detection, and touch autofocus with subject or face selection and tracking.
  • Intelligent IS is available with advanced 5-axis dynamic image stabilization.
Canon G5X II Canon G7X III Canon G1XIII Sony RX100 VII Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
Image sensor 13.2 x 8.8 mm (1”) CMOS 13.2 x 8.8 mm (1”) CMOS 22.3×14.9mm (APS-C), CMOS 13.2 x 8.8 mm (1”) CMOS 17.3×13mm (Micro 4/3) Live MOS
Effective number of points 20 megapixels 20 megapixels 24 megapixels 20 megapixels 17 megapixels
Stabilizer Built in lens Built in lens Built in lens Built in lens Built in lens
Lens 24-120mm (equivalent), f/1.8-2.8 24-100mm (equivalent), f/1.8-2.8 24-72mm (equivalent), f/2.8-5.6 24-200mm (equivalent), f/2.8-4.5 24-75mm (equivalent), f/1.7-2.8
Video Format MOV (MPEG4/H.264) MOV (MPEG4/H.264) MOV (MPEG4/H.264) XAVC S, AVCHD, MP4 AVCHD,MP4
Bayonet Not Not Not Not Not
Frame size (in pixels) Up to 5472×3684 Up to 5472×3684 Up to 6000×4000 Up to 5472×3684 Up to 4736×3552
Video resolution (pixels) Up to 3840 × 2160 (30fps) Up to 3840 × 2160 (30fps) Up to 1920×1080 (60fps) Up to 3840 × 2160 (30 fps) Up to 3840 × 2160 (30fps)
Sensitivity ISO 125-12800, expandable to ISO 25600 ISO 125-12800, expandable to ISO 25600 ISO 100-25600 ISO 125-12800, expandable to ISO 80 and ISO 25600 ISO 200-25600, expandable to ISO 100
Gate Mechanical shutter: 1/2000-1 s;
electronic shutter: 1/25000-30s;
long (Bulb);
silent mode
Mechanical shutter: 1/2000-1 s;
electronic shutter: 1/25000-30s;
long (Bulb);
silent mode
Mechanical shutter: 1/2000-30s;
long (Bulb)
Mechanical shutter: 1/2000-30s;
electronic shutter: 1/32000-1s;
long (Bulb);
silent mode
Mechanical shutter: 1/4000-60s;
electronic shutter: 1/16000-1s;
long (Bulb);
silent mode
Burst speed Up to 30 frames per second with focus on the first frame; up to 8 fps with tracking autofocus Up to 30 frames per second with focus on the first frame; up to 8 fps with tracking autofocus Up to 9 fps with mechanical shutter Up to 90 frames per second with electronic shutter and focusing on the first frame; 20 fps with autofocus and no blackout Up to 11 frames per second; in 4K photo mode up to 30 fps with electronic shutter
autofocus Contrast, 31 dots, face detection Contrast, 31 dots, face detection Hybrid (phase sensors + contrast system), 49 points, face detection Hybrid (phase sensors + contrast system), 315 points, eye detection Contrast, 49 dots, eye detection
Metering, modes of operation Multi-point/center-weighted/spot Multi-point/center-weighted/spot Multi-point/center-weighted/spot Multi-point/Center-weighted/Highlight priority/Average/Spot Multi-point/center-weighted/spot
exposure compensation ±3 EV in 1/3-stop increments ±3 EV in 1/3-stop increments ±3 EV in 1/3-stop increments ±3 EV in 1/3-stop increments ±5 EV in 1/3-stop increments
Built-in flash Yes, guide number 7.5 Yes, guide number 7 Yes, guide number 9 Yes, guide number 5.9 Not
Self-timer 2/10 s 2/10 s 2/10 s 2/10 s 2/10 s
Memory card SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I) SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo; SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I)
Display LCD, 3-inch, 1040k dots, touch LCD, 3-inch, 921k dots, touch, tilting LCD, 3-inch, 1040k dots, touch, tilting LCD, 3-inch, 921k dots, touch, tilting LCD, 3″, 1240k dots, touch
Viewfinder Electronic (OLED with 2,760k dots) Electronic (OLED with 2,360k dots) Electronic (OLED with 2,360k dots) Electronic (OLED with 2,359k dots) Electronic (OLED with 2,760k dots)
Interfaces HDMI, USB HDMI, USB HDMI, USB HDMI, USB, microphone HDMI, USB
Wireless modules WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 (LE) Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 (LE) WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 (LE)
Nutrition Li-ion battery NB-13L with a capacity of 4.5 Wh (1240 mAh, 3.6V) Li-ion battery NB-13L with a capacity of 4.5 Wh (1240 mAh, 3.6V) Li-ion battery NB-13L with a capacity of 4.5 Wh (1240 mAh, 3.6V) Li-ion battery NP-BX1, 4.5 Wh (1240 mAh, 3.6 V) Li-ion battery DMW-BLG10E 7.4 Wh (1025 mAh, 7.2V)
Dimensions 111×61×46mm 105×61×41mm 115×78×51mm 102×58×43mm 115 x 66 x 64 mm
Weight 340 grams (with battery and memory card) 304 grams (with battery and memory card) 399 grams (with battery and memory card) 302 grams (with battery and memory card) 392 grams (with battery and memory card)
Current price 720$ 620$ 720$ Approximately $820 620$

⇡#Ddesign and ergonomics

The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II, thanks to its “smoothed” design, turned out to be really very compact, and if you wish, you can even put it in a spacious pocket, and even in any handbag — and even more so. Camera dimensions — 110.9 × 60.9 × 46 mm, weight — 340 grams (including battery and memory card). The device, as it should be, received a metal frame, front and rear on the right (where the hand touches the camera) the body is covered with anti-slip material. The same purpose is served by a protrusion on the rear panel under the thumb and a miniature, but still useful protrusion in front. In the first minutes, the camera seemed unusually fragile to me compared to more “serious” devices that usually get tested: thinner case material, and in particular the mechanism of the rotary LCD display, miniature controls. But this feeling quickly dissipated as I worked, and the G5 X II was quite comfortable to work with.

Let’s see how the camera controls are organized. The only control on the left edge is a lever that lifts the viewfinder up from the camera body. The viewfinder is “thrown out” with a sharp movement, and in order to sink it back into the body, you need to press it from above.

On the right edge there are compartments for miniUSB and microHDMI ports, and a little lower there is a Wi-Fi activation button.

Below is the battery compartment, combined with a compartment for a memory card. The camera accepts SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS Speed ​​Class I compliant cards). The tripod socket is located close to this compartment, so changing the memory card and battery while shooting from a tripod will not work — access to them will be blocked. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but you can forgive such a compact device.

From top, from left to right, there are: a pop-up viewfinder, a pop-up built-in flash, a flash pop-up button, a camera on/off button, a shutter button combined with a zoom lever, combined exposure compensation and shooting mode dials.

Most of the rear panel is occupied by the display, to the right of it there are buttons for marking pictures, starting movie shooting, playing pictures and calling the menu. In the center is a selector dial, with which it is convenient to navigate through the menu, between frames and change settings. It is combined with five more buttons: in the centercall the quick menu, on the top is the button for selecting the drive mode and quick deletion of images, on the right is the flash settings, on the left is the selection of the autofocus mode, and on the bottom is the button that changes the type of display of information about the shooting parameters.

On the front is an autofocus assist lamp and a built-in lens. Let me remind you the characteristics of the lens: equivalent focal length 24-120 mm and aperture f/1.8-2.8. The lens has a ring that performs the zoom function in auto modes. Thus, the user can choose a more comfortable way for him to change the focal length — using the lever on top or using this ring. At the same time, using the zoom ring on the lens, we immediately see on the screen the display of the current focal length. This does not happen when using the lever, but the current minimum focusing distance is displayed. In semi-automatic and manual modes, using the ring on the lens, the aperture / shutter speed is changed.

⇡#Display and viewfinder

Camera screen size — 3 inches, aspect ratio 3:2, resolution — approximately 1,040,000 dots, matrix — liquid crystal. The screen is equipped with a touch surface and a tilting mechanism. You can fix it horizontally on top for shooting from awkward positions (such as ground level), you can turn it towards you for self-portraits, or tilt it to the angle you want. It is difficult to judge how reliable the inclined mechanism is. I repeat that tactilely and visually it seemed to me somewhat fragile, but at the same time it did not cause any complaints in the work.

The screen itself made a good impression: the image looks natural, detailed and contrasty. I photographed with the help of the screen even in sunny weather, although, of course, when the bright sun hits, it is already more difficult to see the details of the image. In this case, it is more convenient to switch to shooting through the OLED electronic viewfinder. It is activated by the lever on the left, then you need to slightly pull the viewfinder towards you. At the top you will see a small diopter adjustment lever. Viewfinder resolution — 2,360,000 dots, frame coverage — 100%. It is, of course, very small, to match the camera, but it is quite possible to use it.

General impressions of the ergonomics of the G5 X Mark II are positive — the camera is arranged quite logically and conveniently. Obviously, compactness was put at the forefront, but no serious sacrifices had to be made — everything you need is at the user’s fingertips. The controls are, of course, miniature, which may not be too convenient for people with large hands, but I got the hang of it quickly. I have never had a situation where you accidentally touch something that is not right. The wheels for entering exposure compensation and selecting the shooting mode are quite tight — they can hardly scroll by themselves somewhere in the bag. The camera responds to commands somewhat slowly — you need to get used to the built-in zoom lens, on which focal lengths change smoothly and gradually, unlike interchangeable lenses, where one quick turn of the ring is enough. Zooming is also accompanied by a not too pleasant (but not too loud) sound, but I think that this is a trifle.


The menu in the camera is horizontally oriented and contains four main sections, each of which has several pages. The organization is very simple and convenient, even a novice user is unlikely to get confused. The menu is not as cumbersome as in professional cameras, so remembering where the necessary parameters are located will not be difficult. The interface is completely Russified. In addition to the main one, the camera has a quick menu called by the «Q» button — the most popular functions are collected there. The quick menu grid is displayed directly on top of the image on the screen.

⇡#Wireless capabilities

Like most modern cameras, the G5 X Mark II has the ability to connect to a computer or mobile device via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Using the Canon Camera Connect app, it’s very easy and convenient to upload pictures to your smartphone for later sharing on social networks — the process is a little more cumbersome than if you take a picture directly on your phone, but it opens up more creative possibilities. You can set up automatic transfer of captured frames to a computer. It is also possible to print images directly from the camera using Canon printers.

⇡#The camera is at work. Shooting in JPEG, auto mode, special features

Given that the potential audience for Canon compacts is auto shooters, I also referred to it frequently during my test of the G5 X Mark II. In general, the impression of the work of automation was quite pleasant — there were no critical mistakes with exposure or strongly distorted colors. Photos are well balanced in contrast and saturation. When shooting overcast or in shade, the colors are a bit chilly for my taste, but this is largely a matter of personal preference. When shooting in JPEG, the user can influence the color temperature by adjusting the white balance. Also, in some portrait shots, I didn’t really like the transfer of skin tones — leaving in the red-yellow range. However, in other photos, the skin looks more natural. Below you can see some examples of shooting in auto mode.

I want to note the pleasure of working with the camera lens. Still, a large range of focal lengths and the ability to get natural blur in the frame come at a cost, and this is an area in which smartphones are still noticeably lagging behind. Despite the not the largest size of the matrix, the lens aperture helps to get beautiful bokeh, thanks to which the pictures look voluminous and “professional”.

In addition to the full auto mode, a novice user will be interested in the SCN mode, where you can manually select the type of scene being shot and thereby “tell” the camera which settings are best to set. A total of 13 scene types are available: self-portrait, portrait, skin smoothing, panorama shot, panning shot, food, star portrait, starry sky, star trail, star time-lapse movie, handheld night shot, HDR backlight, shooting fireworks with bright flowers. When you select a mode, a tooltip appears at the bottom with a more detailed explanation.

The first shot of the cake was taken in the Food scene mode, the second shot was taken in the Easy Auto mode.

The difference in colors is obvious, the first frame really looks better. Therefore, if you are a novice user, try not to be limited only to the «auto» mode: even without understanding the manual settings, you can improve the result.

This pair of images showcase the HDR backlight scene mode in action.

In the photo on the left, the “HDR backlight” mode was applied — the camera took 3 photos and combined them into one. Thanks to this, we can clearly see the details in the shadows. However, please note that when shooting people in motion in this mode, you can get artifacts in the form of “translucent” limbs or double faces. This mode is best for still scenes. The second shot was taken in fully automatic mode — it turned out to be too dark and uninformative.

The first shot shows the skin smoothing mode in action. In my opinion, the picture after applying the effect looks unnatural, the face looks “flat”. But, perhaps, someone will find this option useful. On the right is a similar portrait taken in auto mode.

The «Portrait against the stars» mode does not have to be used for its intended purpose (that is, shooting stars). It is perfect for a photo shoot in the night city. The essence of the mode is the combination of the built-in flash and slow shutter speed, which allows you to work out the background while maintaining sharpness on the model. You can experiment with visual effects by moving the camera while shooting and get original shots.

In addition, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II has a set of art filters. On the shooting mode selection wheel, it is indicated by two intersecting circles. I think that the effects are not enough for an amateur-level camera — it might be interesting for an inexperienced user to experiment with filters and thereby make their shots more diverse. A total of eleven filters are available: Grainy B/W, Blurred Background, Soft Focus, Fisheye Effect, Watercolor, Toy Camera Effect, Miniature Effect, and four types of HDR.

Some effects are not implemented very well, for example, watercolor imitation does not look like watercolor at all, and it’s hard for me to think of a situation in which such an effect would be appropriate:

But I just fell in love with the “grainy b/w” filter. Many modern cameras have an imitation of old black and white film, but I especially liked Canon’s implementation. The pictures are really very contrasting and very grainy, such an effect (albeit, no doubt, for an amateur) is great for shooting contrasting graphic scenes and genre shots. A life hack for novice photographers who dream of the laurels of the masters of the last century: you can simply turn on this mode and go for a walk in search of interesting scenes and characters — you are guaranteed +100 points to the concept of shooting.

I also quite liked a couple of artistic filters from the HDR series: in the conditions of shooting contrasting scenes, they can help out quite well, preserving the details in the photo both in the shadows and in the highlights:

The photo on the left was taken using the HDR artistic standard filter, on the right — in auto mode

Also noteworthy is the built-in neutral density (ND) filter, which can help in scenes with a large difference in brightness and when shooting video. Such an option, by the way, is deprived of the main competitor of the PowerShot G5 X Mark II — Sony RX100 VII.

Be prepared for the fact that the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is a rather slow camera, including the speed of applying effects. You will have to wait a few seconds to see the result and continue shooting. Smartphones in this regard, as a rule, are “faster”, professional cameras are even more so.

⇡#Shooting in RAW image processing

RAW format may seem too complicated for some users of the G5 X Mark II, but in fact, you can master it very quickly. The beauty of the format is that you can influence the basic image settings — exposure, white balance, and others — after the fact. More options for image correction give a better result at the output. You can process the image at a basic level in the camera itself by selecting the «RAW Image Processing» option from the menu. This is a handy option if you want to send a photo directly to your smartphone and share it, but first you need to fix some kind of flaw — for example, make the colors warmer. Processing on a computer in a special program (I use Adobe Camera Raw) gives more room for correction and creativity. Let’s take a look at a few shots that don’t look the best in the original version and try to add some appeal to them.

The first picture was taken in the evening, when it is already getting dark, but the sky is still quite bright. Because of this, a large difference in brightness formed in the frame. The lower part is a bit dark, and the sky came out almost white, overexposed. Thanks to the processing, it was possible to restore the balance: to my pleasant surprise, the G5 X Mark II had a very good amount of information in the highlights! The color in all parts of the sky was saved. Information in the shadows also appeared. Lightening the shadows contributed to the appearance of a small noise, but it is noticeable only if you look closely.

On the left — in-camera JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with settings to taste

The next plot is more complicated, since the brightness difference here is even greater. There is one light source in the frame — a window, but most of the room is in deep shadow, which makes the atmosphere hard to read. Here, the shadows had to be drastically lightened and the overall exposure raised to bring out the details, which resulted in a lot of noise. It must be admitted that for this plot it is not so critical, since in some way it even emphasizes the texture of the old painting. But in another situation, such noise can ruin the frame. However, the main task was completed — the dynamic range of the image was expanded without serious damage to its quality.

On the left — in-camera JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with settings to taste

The plot, which was heavily overexposed due to shooting in the daytime at a long exposure, was also saved by returning the texture and original color to where they were not:

On the left — in-camera JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with settings to taste

Below are some more examples of processing RAW files. On the left — in-camera JPEGs, on the right — RAW, converted with settings to taste:

The RAW format capabilities of the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II are quite impressive. The main problem is the noise when brightening the shadows, but to one degree or another it is typical for all cameras. The nature of the noise itself is relatively pleasant, monochrome and sometimes reminiscent of film grain. If you lighten the shadows not too radically, it does not catch your eye. Dynamic range is surprisingly good for a compact camera. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II allows you to effectively «pull out» overexposed areas.

Download RAW files (143 MB)

⇡#Focus, continuous shooting

A large number of focus points, the fastest and most accurate autofocus is, of course, the prerogative of older cameras. The Canon compact is not positioned as a camera for reportage shooting, but it is still important to evaluate the autofocus capabilities. The PowerShot G5 X Mark II uses a fairly simple 31-point contrast system. There is an autofocus backlight system, if desired, you can activate manual focus with illumination of the sharpness zone.

In the quick menu, the user can select the autofocus method in a couple of touches, in particular, there is a face recognition mode with subsequent tracking of it. You can tell the camera which face to focus on by touching the face on the touch screen. Focusing is fast enough. Without a hint, the result is sometimes unpredictable: the camera focuses on something completely different from what it was intended to. Complicated light or multi-dimensional composition confuse the G5 X Mark II. Especially great difficulties arise when shooting in backlight — the camera simply cannot find the object.

An example of what difficulties a camera with focusing can have if you completely trust the machine

When shooting small objects, it makes sense to switch to macro mode (left side of the rear control wheel), then the camera easily finds the desired object. Of course, a “real” macro, such as detailed portraits of insects, cannot be done with such a camera, but just beautiful close-up shots are quite:

In difficult situations, you can switch to manual focus mode. In this case, an enlarged fragment of the scene will be shown on the screen or in the viewfinder, and focusing is carried out by pressing the «up» and «down» buttons.» on the rear steering wheel. It doesn’t come out super fast, but it’s accurate and simple.

Shooting on the move is no easy task. As a test, I shot a person running towards the camera in the tracking focus mode. We must pay tribute to the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II — the result came out very worthy. On a number of frames, the focus went astray, but the camera did not “lose” the model completely, but literally found it again on the next frame. On most shots in the series, the sharpness is in place, and for this class of cameras this is a good indicator.

  Tracking example.  In some frames, the model is out of focus, but the camera quickly “catches” her again

Tracking example. In some frames, the model is out of focus, but the camera quickly “catches” her again

In burst mode in RAW+JPEG format (maximum size), I was able to take 50 to 60 frames in different conditions before the camera “freezes”. According to the manufacturer, the camera is capable of shooting at approximately 20 frames per second for a burst of up to 89 frames in C-RAW, 55 frames in RAW, 118 frames in JPEG, with autofocus — approximately 8 frames per second for a burst of up to 320 frames in JPEG format. Continuous shooting in RAW format: Approximately 30 frames per second for a burst of up to approximately 70 frames.

Image stabilization

The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is equipped with a intelligent image stabilization with advanced dynamic stabilization (Dynamic IS mode) in 5 axes and auto level. In practice, this means you can shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds, getting sharper shots without having to increase the ISO value. According to my observations, consistently sharp pictures when shooting at a minimum focal length are obtained at a shutter speed of 1/20. In order to get good quality at slower shutter speeds, you need to take a closer look at the shooting process, holding the camera firmly in both hands. The shot below, for example, was taken at a shutter speed of 1/13, which allowed dynamically oiled cars to be added to the composition. The sharpness is perhaps a little worse than when shooting from a tripod, but this is definitely not striking:

At an equivalent focal length of approximately 35 mm at a shutter speed of 1/4 second, blurring in static areas is already clearly visible, but let’s not forget that a lot depends on the hands of the photographer:

In general, the presence of a stabilizer gives some gain, and, having got the hang of it, it is quite possible to shoot at shutter speeds of the order of 1/10 sec without noticeable blur. To work at slower shutter speeds, it is still better to use a camera support.

⇡#Shooting at high ISO

The ability to produce a high-quality image in low light conditions is an important parameter for many photographers who are not limited to shooting only in the studio or from a tripod. And if professional cameras have long crossed the line of 100,000 ISO units, then compacts are much more modest. The sensitivity range of the G5 X Mark II is ISO 125–12 800, expandable to ISO 25 600. But, as practice shows, the upper values ​​of sensitivity in most cases are no longer “working”, that is, they are not suitable for any serious shooting from -for too much noise. Let’s see what value can be called acceptable for our test apparatus.

The picture below was taken at 800 ISO. The photo looks quite good, there are no noises visible to the naked eye, and the detailing is at a decent level:

At 1000 ISO, the situation is about the same, you can shoot with this sensitivity quite:

At 1600 ISO, when shooting in JPEG, you can notice a slight “blurring” of textures (for example, in grass), but in general, the photo quality is also good:

The next shot was taken at ISO 2500, there are not so many details here, most of the picture is out of focus, so some “smoothness” is not terrible for the plot:

But when shooting a night view at ISO 3200, the noise in the sky is already clearly visible, and the in-camera noise reduction greatly reduced detail. In a small format, such a picture still looks acceptable, but when viewed on a monitor, artifacts are striking:

A portrait shot at ISO 6400 in a complex light is also acceptable, say, for an Instagram format, but in general it lacks detail:

And the upper value is ISO 12 800. We see problems with color reproduction — the colors are very dull and inexpressive, as well as strong noise, the suppression of which significantly reduces the quality of the photo. You can use this value only if you need to fix the moment at any cost, it will not work for artistic shooting:

Below you can see an example of a test scene shot at different ISO values:

Download RAW-files (235 MB)

In total, ISO values ​​​​up to 3200 can be called acceptable for artistic shooting. By modern standards, this is not much, but is it any wonder that compacts still lag behind professional cameras in this parameter?

⇡#Offline work

The G5 X Mark II uses a 4.5 Wh (1240 mAh, 3.6 V) lithium-ion battery NB-13L. Charging is available via a separate charger or via USB. The latter is especially convenient for fans of long walks: the camera can be recharged on the go using an external drive.

The manufacturer claims the duration of the camera on a single charge is approximately 230 frames (180 frames when shooting with an electronic viewfinder). According to subjective impressions, the camera does not discharge too quickly. There was always enough battery for a standard photo walk, but if you plan to shoot for the whole day, of course, you should stock up on an extra battery or take time to recharge.

⇡#Video filming

Like most modern cameras, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II has the ability to shoot 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. Today, however, even most smartphones can offer this — high resolution itself will not surprise anyone. I note the ability to shoot Full HD video at up to 120 frames per second. Videos are up to 9 minutes 59 seconds long for 4K and up to 29 minutes 59 seconds (or up to 4 GB) for Full HD.

An example of outdoor daytime video

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An example of an evening video

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For video shooting, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is actually poorly adapted. It has no headphone or even microphone jacks, autofocus works quite well with static objects, but gets lost when you need to track and switch. The advantage of the camera is the ability to save separate exposure settings for video and photography, which allows you to quickly switch between functions.

Indoor video example

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At the same time, the shooting quality is not very high — both in terms of detail, and in terms of noise, and in terms of working with dynamics, this is a purely amateur level, quite comparable to what smartphones give out today. The G5 X Mark II, however, has an advantage — the ability to use a fairly wide zoom.


To be honest, I would buy the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II just for its black and white mode, which mimics old film footage. I fell in love with him, I want to be able to indulge in creative work with him in the style of “pointed and photographed”. About the same delight I once had from the Holga film soap dish, with the only difference being that buying and developing a film is not a cheap pleasure. It is difficult to explain it logically, but artificial limitations (the inability to influence the camera settings, a meager set of artistic filters) can really encourage creativity: when little depends on you technically, you squeeze the maximum out of yourself artistically. But let’s leave the lyrics and take a more sober look at Canon’s miniature novelty.

Answering the question posed in the title, why you might need a “soap box” in the boom of mobile photography, I can put forward the following arguments.

Zoom. Yes, many modern smartphones already have a powerful zoom. But, firstly, not everyone, and not every user is ready to change his smartphone, which suits him as a whole, for an expensive model just for the sake of shooting quality. Secondly, in no smartphone at the moment we will see the same photo quality over the entire formally available zoom range. As a rule, top-end smartphones are equipped with two to four cameras that produce fairly good image quality at their focal length, but there is one main module with maximum shooting quality and secondary ones. Plus, all intermediate values ​​are digital zoom, and, consequently, significant losses in image quality. In the case of the Canon compact, we have consistent quality over the entire range of focal lengths. At the same time, the range is very wide and covers most of the popular subjects.

Variable, but consistently large aperture over the entire range of focal lengths, it opens up good opportunities for creativity — for example, you can take a portrait without optical distortion and with a beautifully blurred background. The “portrait” mode on a smartphone is not capable of giving such an effect, because in this case the background is blurred programmatically, and often it does not look quite natural: the superfluous is blurred, like broken strands of hair; the person looks «pasted» into the background.

More convenient features for comfortable work. A swivel screen that allows you to shoot from uncomfortable positions, a tripod socket that allows you to fix the camera when shooting at night (in principle, you can just put it on a hard surface, which you can’t do with a smartphone), the ability to use really slow shutter speeds, more flexible settings — all these charms of a compact camera can be overlooked immediately. When shooting daytime landscapes, for example, you can not feel the advantages of a compact over a mobile camera, because you will get good results there and there. But when you are faced with less trivial tasks, the capabilities of a smartphone will no longer be enough.

Matrix size. Although the shooting quality of top-end smartphones is enough to fill your social networks with beautiful shots, the range of tasks is sometimes wider. On closer examination, mobile images still do not differ in the degree of detail, textures and halftones that smartphone sensors with sizes from 1 / 1.7 to 1 / 2.3 inches can provide.

Another question — if the capabilities of the smartphone’s camera are no longer enough, is it not worth it to immediately take a «more serious» camera? For me, this question is more complex and ambiguous. I would like to say that it is worth it, but at the same time I can fantasize about the target audience of the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II.

There is a category of people who are simply afraid of «serious» photographic equipment. It seems to them that they can’t cope with it, that everything will be difficult, they haven’t matured, etc. And although any camera has an auto mode, and the G5 X Mark II has all the manual settings, purely psychologically, the “soap box” format will comfortable for these people. Such a camera, for example, would be great to give to your parents, whose “soap box” was outdated 15 years ago. This will help bring the pictures to a whole new level extremely «painlessly». Also, such a camera can be given to “play” with children who are interested in photography: buying a top-end smartphone for a schoolchild is a reckless business, but you want to accustom a child to good quality pictures and give them the opportunity to fall in love with creativity.

Sometimes compactness and low weight are above all. Even the smallest mirrorless cameras with a lens close in focal length to the G5 X Mark II will be much larger and heavier. The «pancake» fix is ​​not at all as versatile as Canon’s built-in lens, so we will not consider it. There are not so few situations when every gram counts. Agree, it is convenient to keep a small camera ready in a waist bag: for example, on a hike, at a music festival, and so on — when it is important to free your hands and walk lightly.

Does Canon’s new product live up to its title of «professional» compact? It seems to me that the world of photography has become less and less “snobby” in recent years and the size (meaning the camera and lens) no longer has the same significance in the eyes of the public as it used to. In the era of the winning Instagram, artistic intent, harmony, style of the shot come to the fore — and all this is not so much dependent on technology. Moreover, in favorable conditions and in the absence of a hurry, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is able to provide very decent image quality. So in theory, I wouldn’t even be surprised if some brave newbie goes with this camera to his first earnings. In terms of a set of functions and control, the camera has all the minimum necessary by modern standards.

Download RAW files (784 MB)


  • compactness;
  • good range of focal lengths and lens aperture;
  • intuitive controls and menus;
  • touch control;
  • fast single-frame autofocus;
  • good dynamic range when shooting in RAW.


  • slow work;
  • poor tracking autofocus;
  • not a very good selection of artistic filters;
  • mediocre video capabilities.


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