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[Part 1] Appealing Features of the PowerShot G9 X  - the Slimmest G-series Camera to Date

A compact camera equipped with a 1.0-inch type image sensor, the PowerShot G9 X is Canon's new PowerShot G model and the lightest and most compact to date. In this article, I will talk about its most appealing characteristics with the use of example shots. (Reported by: Kazuo Nakahara)

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Business card-sized with a 1.0-inch Type Sensor and f/2.0 3x zoom lens

When I first held the PowerShot G9 X in my hand, I was impressed at how slim the 30.8mm body of the camera was despite its large 1.0-inch type 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. Many manufacturers have adopted the large 1.0-inch type image sensor for their premium compact digital cameras, which are slightly larger in size. It is therefore revolutionary to introduce it on the very slim PowerShot G9 X, which is only a little bigger than a business card and far smaller than a palm.

The newly launched PowerShot G9 X is truly pocket-sized. The model is available in two colours, black and silver.
Click here for the full specifications.

Though with an extremely slim body, the PowerShot G9 X is equipped with a 3x (equivalent to 28-84mm in 35mm format) optical zoom lens while the maximum aperture at the wide-angle end is f/2.0. The lens protrusion, which tends to come with a compact camera that has a large image sensor, is also kept to a minimum. Weighing approximately 209g, it is about 95g lighter than the PowerShot G7 X.

PowerShot G9 X

PowerShot G7 X

PowerShot G9 X A: 98mm / B: 57.9mm
PowerShot G7 X C: 103mm / D: 60.4mm
Compared with the PowerShot G7 X, the PowerShot G9 X is about 5mm smaller in width, and its CIPA-standard weight is about 95g lighter than that of the PowerShot G7 X.

Touch screen and UI same as the EOS series cameras for reliable operation

After trying out the camera, I found that the 3x optical zoom lens, which almost covers the entire focal range from wide angle to standard, was easy to handle. At the same time, AF focusing is also sufficiently fast and pleasant. Like the PowerShot G7 X, the latest model supports a full range of shooting modes from "Aperture-priority AE" to "Shutter-priority AE", "Manual" and "BULB". Also, many scene modes are available, including highly practical ones such as "Star" and "Handheld Night Scene". I am glad that the Creative Shot mode, which is my personal favourite, has also been included. I believe this camera, though with a compact body, is capable of handling most shooting situations.

To make operation easy, this model is equipped with a 3.0-inch LCD touch screen on the rear side, as with its higher-end cousins and despite its slim body. The number of buttons has been reduced instead, and I was concerned about the impact on the operability before I used the camera. After trying it out, however, I found that the touch screen was highly responsive and I got used to operating it after a while. The menu structure adopts the same UI as that of the EOS series, so you can operate the PowerShot G9 X without difficulty as a sub camera to your EOS DSLR. Though it seems that the menu items available are a little insufficient for me to produce the images I have in mind using the camera alone, this model supports the RAW format, so more thorough image processing can be done later on.

The extremely easy-to-operate, 3.0-inch touch screen-type LCD monitor on the rear of the camera.

Another point worth mentioning is that, for the first time in the G series, the PowerShot G9 X supports USB cable battery charging. With a (micro USB-type) mobile battery charger that also can be used for a smartphone, you can charge the camera battery anywhere and thus concentrate better on your shoot.

It is simply a delight that we now have a slim camera equipped with a large image sensor and a 3x optical zoom lens. This is a model you would want to have in your pocket all the time.

Point 1: 3x (28-84mm) Zoom for Every Subject Type

Wide-angle end, f/2

PowerShot G9 X/ FL:10.2mm (equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format)/ Manual exposure (f/2, 1/1,000 sec.)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto
The bright lens with an aperture of f/2.0 at the wide-angle end allows you to get as close as 5cm to the subject. Thanks to its large image sensor, you can enjoy creating large bokeh effects with the PowerShot G9 X, something that is very uncharacteristic of a compact camera.


PowerShot G9 X/ 10.2mm (equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format)/ Program AE (f/7.1, 1/1,250 sec., EV ±0)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto


PowerShot G9 X/ 30.6mm (equivalent to 84mm in 35mm format)/ Program AE (f/7.1, 1/1,250 sec., EV ±0)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto

I zoomed in on a chimney which I found in the far distance. The close-up effect at 84mm is simply excellent. The PowerShot G9 X broadens the horizon of snap photography.

At telephoto end

With lens retracted

Even at the telephoto end, the lens protrusion is kept to a minimum. The 3x zoom lens has eight elements in six groups.

The PowerShot G9 X is equipped with a 3x zoom lens (equivalent to 28-84mm in the 35mm format). The angle of view it offers is almost the same to that of a DSLR camera's standard zoom kit lens. The model is capable enough of handling a wide range of subjects. At a wide angle, you can produce shots that bring out the vast openness, while zooming in allows you to capture subjects you are unable to get close to. Also, the digital zoom function enables the camera to expand its zooming capability to 12x (252mm in 35mm film-equivalent terms).

Point 2: Stylish body that inherits the strengths of PowerShot G7 X

The width and thickness of the PowerShot G9X are, respectively, 5mm and 9.6mm slimmer than those of the PowerShot G7 X.

The menu is structured in the same manner as that for the EOS series. You can swipe the touch screen to go to a different menu tab.

The flash range of the built-in flash is 50cm to 6m at 28mm and 50cm to 2.4m at 84mm.

The PowerShot G9 X uses the same proprietary NB-13L lithium-ion rechargeable battery as the PowerShot G7 X.

Point 3: Equipped with Auto ND filter for versatile shutter speed control

Auto ND filter enabled

PowerShot G9 X/ FL:10.2mm (equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format)/ Manual exposure (f/2, 1/800 sec.)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto

Auto ND filter disabled

PowerShot G9 X/ FL:10.2mm (equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format)/ Manual exposure (f/2, 1/2,000 sec.)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto

With Auto ND Filter disabled and at the maximum aperture, the flowers appear blown out. With the Auto ND Filter enabled, the shutter speed slows down, thus preventing blowout from occurring.

The PowerShot G9 X has a built-in three-stop ND filter, which is automatically adjusted according to the brightness of the subject. With Auto ND filter enabled, you can take shots with optimal brightness at the maximum aperture even under strong sunlight, a condition in which blowout tends to occur. Auto ND filter is also effective when a slow shutter speed is required. This function helps to widen the range of photographic expression to an extent that is comparable to that of a DSLR camera.

Point 4: Remote bulb exposure for adjusting light trail shots

PowerShot G9 X/ FL:11.2mm (equivalent to 31mm in 35mm format)/ Manual exposure (f/11, 63 sec.)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto
Trails of the headlights and taillights of vehicles on a four-lane road. The shooting timing was set with a smartphone to express the different variety of trail lines.

A new "BULB" shooting mode not available on the PowerShot G7 X has been added on the PowerShot G9 X. In this mode, images are exposed only while the shutter is pressed down. Bulb exposure can also be remotely controlled when the Canon Camera Connect smartphone application is used, which makes bulb-exposure shooting easier as there is no need to operate the camera directly. It comes in handy for photographing light trails of vehicles at night, as well as fireworks for which the timing for pressing the shutter button is hard to determine.

During bulb-exposure shooting, the Canon Camera Connect smartphone application allows exposure only while the shutter button is pressed down. This is a convenient tool for shooting light trails as you can check the timing of the trails.

Kazuo Nakahara

Born in Hokkaido in 1982, Nakahara turned to photography after working at a chemical manufacturing company. He majored in photography at the Vantan Design Institute and is a lecturer for photography workshops and seminars, in addition to working in commercial photography. He is also a representative of the photography information website studio9.

Digital Camera Magazine

A monthly magazine that believes that enjoyment of photography will increase the more one learns about camera functions. It delivers news on the latest cameras and features and regularly introduces various photography techniques.

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