We keep hearing that compact camera sales are on the slide, but it seems that there are still a few models that are popular enough to make new versions worthwhile. According to Canon UK’s David Parry, the Canon PowerShot G5 X has been very popular with Canon DSLR users looking for a smaller camera. The new Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II fits the bill even better as it loses the lump on the top where the original camera has its electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Instead, it has a pop-up EVF. This is the same 0.39 type, 2,360,000-dot OLED EVF as is in the PowerShot G5 X, however, it sits within the body. You just pop it up and pull back the rear element when you want to use it.

In another key change, the PowerShot G5 X II has an 8.8-44mm f/1.8-2.8 lens. That’s equivalent to 24-120mm on a full-frame camera. The extra 20mm reach at the telephoto end gives a little more scope for framing subjects tightly. It could be a popular choice for portraits, especially given the f/2.8 maximum aperture at the longest focal length. That enables the background-blur.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II Review

Helpfully, the lens is also stabilised and gives up to 4stops of shutter speed compensation.

Sensor

Canon has given the PowerShot G5 X II the same 1-inch type stacked CMOS sensor with 20.1million effective pixels as the PowerShot GX7 Mark III launched at the same time. It’s the first time that Canon has used a stacked sensor design and paired with the Canon Digic 8 processing engine, it enables impressively fast shooting rates.

Consequently, the PowerShot G5 X II is able to shoot at up to 30fps (frames per second) in RAW Burst Mode for up to 70 images. Alternatively, it can shoot at 20fps for up to 89 C-RAW images, 55 RAW images or 118 frames in Jpegs.

In addition, the camera can shoot 4K video without cropping.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II Review

Build and Handling

The loss of the SLR-style viewfinder bump makes the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II  look less Soviet-block than the original model. And at 110.9 x 60.9 x 46mm instead of 112.4 x 76.4 x 44.2mm, it’s smaller. It’s more pocket-friendly.

A rubberised grip on the front of the camera and a thumb-ridge on the back make the camera feel pretty safe in your hand. And, solid too.

On the top, there’s a mode dial with a few automatic settings as well as the PASM options favoured by the enthusiast target market.

Beneath this dial, there’s the exposure compensation dial so you have quick control over the appearance of the image.

In addition, there’s a control ring around the lens for adjusting key settings.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II Review

The controls on the back of the camera are fairly standard. There are the usual shortcuts plus buttons to give direct access to the main and quick menus.

Canon also makes good use of the touch-control afforded by the 3-inch 1,040,000-dot screen. It means you can navigate quickly through settings and make the selections you want with ease.

The screen can also be tilted up through 180-degrees. That’s good news for selfie-shooters or anyone who likes to shoot from above or below head-height.

This and the viewfinder both show a nice level of detail. At 0.39-inches the viewfinder screen isn’t the largest, but it’s a good size for a small compact camera. It seems a little unsophisticated that you have to pull out the rear element and then push it back in before popping the EVF back down, but I’ll take it over having a larger camera.

Performance

I’ve been able to shoot briefly with the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II before its announcement. I found the autofocus to be fast, even in quite gloomy conditions. 

I’m pretty impressed with the amount of detail in my shots from the camera. I can’t process the raw files yet, but the Jpegs have some nice fine detail.

Noise is also controlled well. Even the results at ISO 12,800 are reasonably good. However, on the basis of what I’ve seen so far, I’d probably try to stick ISO 3,200 as the maximum. That seems to deliver the best compromise between noise, noise reduction and detail. The results look nice and natural.

Sample Images

Early Verdict

Canon has made some interesting upgrades with the PowerShot G5 X II. The pop-up EVF is a great improvement, while the step-up to 4K video recording is overdue.

I need to test it in a wider range of conditions, but the PowerShot G5 X II seems like a nice, dependable camera for enthusiast photographers.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II