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[Part 1] PowerShot G9 X: Secrets Behind Achieving High Operability Within a Slim Body


Secreting a large sensor within a slim build, the PowerShot G9 X is one premium compact camera that promises astounding image quality amid its handy size. Let’s hear what the developers have to say about the users they had in mind, as well as about the camera’s newly developed operational features.


(From left to right)

UI: Ryo Takahashi, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3

Image quality: Tsutomu Ogasawara, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3 Senior Engineer

Design Chief: Futoshi Kobayashi, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3 Staff Engineer

Product Planning: Masashi Matsumoto, Image Communication Products operations ICP Group 3 Associate Staff Manager

Optics: Kenji Shinohara, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 1

Design: Keita Takatani, Design Center Products Design Div. 1


Capture daily life in high image quality.
A premium camera that can be stored easily.

- The G9 X is a much more portable, slim-sized model than the G7 X. What was the objective for this?

Products Planning (P below) Matsumoto Amongst the cameras capable of shooting high image quality photos, the main idea we had when we designed it was to be the smallest camera that you could carry with you all the time. The G7 X attained a balance between both high image quality and a compact size, but with the G9 X we aimed for a camera that was even easier to carry around with you. There is no hierarchical relationship with the G7 X, rather, the idea was that we would take another approach for a camera with a different individuality.

Design Chief (C below) Kobayashi We really were able to make it a much slimmer size. I feel that at this size, and loaded with a 1.0-type sensor on top of that, we made significant technological progress as well. The optical design was also extremely difficult. We had countless discussions (laughs).

Optics (O below) Shinohara That sure is right. Usually, when the sensor increases in size, the optics also get bigger, but by taking advantage of Canon’s know-how from developing various optics, this camera is the thinnest* with a 1.0-type sensor and zoom lens, and it also has a narrow width. It is more difficult to manufacture, but through virtual prototyping simulations and close coordination with related departments, by repeatedly inspecting the mass productivity, this size was achieved.

* As of July 31, 2015. For compact cameras with a 1.0-type or larger sensor, and optical 3x or greater zoom.

Image quality (I below) Ogasawara We really did make it smaller. It’s a size that fits perfectly in a pocket, so opportunities for shooting photos while walking around will be closer at hand. I often carry a camera with me for work, and I am very happy with this size. It is also very lightweight.

P Matsumoto Even for people who usually shoot with an SLR, when using as a sub camera, rather than thinking about this and that while shooting, I believe that there are times when you just want to shoot casually. Rather than use a heavy camera today, you can go out and shoot casually with a small camera, but you can shoot images with great image quality. By going with something that is more casual, shooting will turn into something more enjoyable. With the G9 X, we are aiming for a camera that will be used in situations like that.

Efficiently use the touch panel and control ring for speedy operations with new sensations

- The controls are especially distinctive. I was surprised when I looked at the back of the camera.

UI (U below) Takahashi That’s true. There are no cross keys, and there are only four buttons. There is also the touch panel, control ring, and the mode dial.

C Kobayashi At first, didn’t you wonder if this would really be possible?

U Takahashi Yes. In all honesty, my first thought was like “Huh?” (laughs)

P Matsumoto Sorry (laughs). At Products Planning we boldly proposed this, and everyone on the UI team worked their hardest to achieve a simulation that I wondered if it was even really attainable. The objectives we wanted to achieve were simple controls and a slim size, as well as attain the operation feel of a smartphone utilizing the touch panel, we wanted something that even entry-level users could handle intuitively.

U Takahashi Yes. And in addition, the UI was designed with the idea of placing importance on manual operations as well. Parameters operated by the control ring, and the switching button were newly placed on the touch panel this time as an experiment. They are arranged within range of your thumb so they can be operated while holding the camera.


With one touch of the "Switching button" shown in red, you can toggle between different adjustment parameters.

Make comfortable setting changes with just your right hand and the control ring with the composition locked in position

U Takahashi With large format cameras such as EOS, it is necessary to press the menu button with your left hand when making setting changes for example, but on the G9 X, this can basically be achieved with just your right hand and the control ring. With your finger on the shutter button, and the composition locked in position, it is possible to change various settings, so this design means fewer missed photo opportunities. The menu screens also make use of the EOS design, so I think that EOS users will be able to use this is a sub camera without any discomfort at all.

C Kobayashi The UI really is easy to use isn’t it? Setting changes can also be made smoothly and comfortably utilizing the touch panel and control ring, making quick image creation possible. To tell the truth, I was a little worried about having just four buttons and mainly the touch panel UI, but after trying out the finished result, it was very agreeable. I want to take it out and shoot right now (laughs).

Operating an EOS camera

Comfortably operate by just touching with your right thumb, and the control ring. Camera operations are fast and convenient, just like on an EOS.