Review: Canon PowerShot G9 X

Canon PowerShot G9 X

My goal with this purchase was to upgrade my point-and-shoot camera. I take a lot of photos while hiking or skiing, so size and weight were important considerations. I have a Canon EOS M mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C size sensor that takes great photos, but I prefer to carry a smaller camera when I’m skiing or hiking locally. With that said, I don’t want to have to give up so much image quality when I carry a smaller camera.

The Canon PowerShot G9 X meets my most important requirements (small form factor and improved image quality). The G9 X is a bit thicker and heavier than my Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, but it’s roughly the same size in other aspects. The G9 X’s 1-inch sensor has approximately four times the surface area of the sensor in my ELPH camera, so the image quality is, indeed, much improved. Although the G9 X’s sensor is only about half as large as my EOS M’s sensor, the drop-off in image quality is much less pronounced than with the ELPH.


For the full list of the camera’s specifications, visit DP Review.

FYI: I found that the lens’ sharpest aperture (at its 10.2 mm focal length) is ƒ/4.0.


  • The 1-inch sensor (13.2 mm x 8.8 mm)
  • Small and lightweight. (It’s 37% as heavy as the EOS M with its 3x zoom lens, and only 2.5 ounces heavier than the ELPH 110 HS.)
  • Raw output (including raw+JPEG)
  • Full HD 60fps video
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Intuitive, customizable touchscreen controls. Using the touchscreen in combination with the dial, the physical buttons, and the front-mounted control ring makes adjusting settings very easy.
  • Manual photography controls (manual focus, and program, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and fully manual modes)
  • In-camera HDR processing
  • The electronic level
  • The live histogram


  • 3x zoom is limited compared to other point-and-shoot cameras
  • Lacks the Canon EOS Picture Style in-camera processing customizations. (Picture Styles can be applied to raw files in post-processing, however.)
  • Canon’s smartphone app is not very good
  • The inability to easily mount filters (polarizer, UV filter, etc.). The camera does, however, have an internal, configurable neutral density filter. The only option I know of for using filters with point-and-shoot cameras is the hokey MagFilter.
  • The camera does not include intervalometer software for time-lapse photography. It does, however, have an oddly specific “star time-lapse” feature that won’t work for most other types of time-lapses. (The CHDK third-party hack software includes intervalometer functionality, but I’m not sure if there is a CHDK version that works with this camera, yet. Use the CHDK software with this camera at your own risk!)
  • The kit did not include USB or HDMI cables, which is normal nowadays, but it was annoying for me because I needed to purchase a USB cable with a micro-B plug that would work with this camera ($16). All my other Canon USB cables have a mini-B plug.
  • Cost. I purchased this camera at a discount to its MSRP, but it still cost more than my Canon EOS M kit (with an 18–55mm lens).


Mount Olympus

  • Original format: Raw
  • Post-processing: Reduced brightness by 0.33 EV; convert from raw to JPEG
  • Post-processing software: Canon Digital Photo Professional 4
  • Note: I reduced the size of the linked file to 1920×1280 to save space. The original size was 5472×3648.

Mount Olympus

Lone Peak

  • Original format: Raw
  • Post-processing: Convert from raw to JPEG
  • Post-processing software: Canon Digital Photo Professional 4
  • Note: I reduced the size of the linked file to 1920×1280 to save space. The original size was 5472×3648.

Lone Peak Panorama

Sharpness Comparison (EOS M vs. G9 X vs. ELPH 110 HS)

The quality of the lens and the size of the sensor affect the sharpness of digital camera images. The EOS M uses high-quality, interchangeable lenses. The G9 X and the ELPH 110 HS both have smaller integrated lenses.  The EOS M has a sensor that is twice as large as the sensor in the G9 X, and the G9 X has a sensor that is four-times larger than the ELPH 110 HS’s sensor. Admittedly, this bottle of vitamins was near the edges of the respective test images (approx. 20% down from the top edge and 30% in from the left edge), which exacerbates the differences in sharpness and brings the lens quality (or lack thereof) into play more than when evaluating objects near the center of the frame.

Canon EOS M Sample
Canon PowerShot G9 X Sample
G9 X
Canon ELPH 110 HS Sample

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