Camera Review: Canon Powershot G9X Mark II

Front view Canon Powershot G9X Mark II
Canon Powershot G9X Mark II

I have been looking for a new compact camera for a few months now and finally came across a fantastic deal on a Powershot G9X Mark II to replace my venerable Canon S95.

I’ve always loved compacts this size since they fit in my jacket or jeans pocket with ease and don’t weigh much at all for travel. I am truly impressed how capable the technology is in the small package of this camera. For me, this is nearly the perfect mirrorless.

Everything I’ve shot in the last 10+ years has been in RAW format. I never know when I’m going to fall in love with a photo and with RAW I can absolutely develop an image to its full potential. With advances in post-processing software, I have often reworked older RAW files into something magical that I couldn’t accomplish when I shot the photo.


The lens on the G9X Mk II is a 28-84mm (equivalent) with a variable aperture of f/2 to f4.9. Now, I love fast glass, but fast glass this is not. Zoom lenses of this “normal” focal length are slow and I’ve just learned to accept that. If I need shallow depth-of-field I’ve got enough prime lenses that I just need to pack a different kit.

Product photo of Canon Powershot G9X Mark II
Canon G9X Mark II product photo

The 3x optical zoom range is more than adequate for me to take my candids or travel snapshots with and Canon managed to put a decent compact lens and a 1″ sensor in a very small package. The camera is 20.1 megapixels which in my opinion might be a bit too many for a sensor this size, but I can make due. I guess with this many pixels I’ll have a bit more leeway that I can crop with working in post.


The first thing I did when testing the camera was to check lens sharpness and take some general snaps to get a sense of image quality. And I was not disappointed.


The camera dials all snap with a rewarding click sound as you switch through them. Build quality seems great, but as with all electronics I don’t ever recommend dropping it.


The engineers at Canon spent a lot of time miniaturizing the electronics of this sexy camera and there are a lot of gorgeous details that are easy to miss unless you look really, really closely. The leatherette grip and function dial that snaps perfectly as you turn it are a nice touch.


The weather here has not been great this week so I haven’t got to use this outdoors as much as I would have liked. My plan is to carry this around a lot when I’m outdoors running around. There’s really no excuse not to with a camera package this small and fun!

Canon Powershot G9X Mark II.
Powershot G9X Mark II top view. Note the gorgeous texture on the dial around the lens.

The camera is not without a few things that could be improved. I find the button position to be a bit unintuitive. The playback button is on the top of the camera no where near the LCD screen where most playback buttons are. Would love if the lens was a 28-105mm. If you’re using the flash, it takes longer than usual to recycle.    

Paradise Springs nature trail
Shot with Canon G9X MkII. Shot in RAW, auto white balance, ISO 125, f/5.6, 1/320 second, 10.2mm.