The Canon PowerShot G5X Mark II is a high-end compact with a 1in sensor, 5x / 24-120mm zoom, popup viewfinder, tilting touchscreen, fast bursts and 4k video. Announced in July 2019, it replaces the three year old PowerShot G5X and adapts its design to become closer to Sony’s popular RX100 series.
The original PowerShot G5X took the G7X’s 4.2x zoom and sensor, but housed them in a chunkier mini DSLR-styled body with a more substantial grip, a viewfinder head and fully-articulated screen. With the G5X Mark II though, Canon’s completely redesigned the body, making it much closer to the G7X, and even closer still to Sony’s RX100 series. As such the viewfinder – a key benefit over the G7X – is now housed within the body and popped-up for use, while the fully-articulated screen has been swapped for one that now only tilts vertically, although it can still face the subject. These modifications allow the G5X II to become more pocketable than before, indeed only slightly thicker than the G7X III, while additionally sporting a new slightly longer lens with a 5x / 24-120mm f1.8-2.8 range.
After several generations of PowerShot G’s using the same 1in sensor, Canon’s equipped the G5X II (as well as the G7X III launched alongside it) with a stacked CMOS version – capturing the same 20 Megapixel resolution as before, but considerably quicker, allowing uncropped 4k video at 25 or 30p, 1080 video up to 120p and fast bursts including a RAW mode at 30fps. I’m guessing it’s the same sensor Sony used in the RX100 IV which means it sadly lacks the phase-detect autofocus of the later Mark V, but at least you’re getting the video and burst upgrades. I had a chance to try out the G5X Mark II for my preview video below, and ahead of my final review I’ve posted a selection of photos and videos from a final production model below and on my samples page!
Canon PowerShot G5X II verdict so far
The Canon PowerShot G5X Mark II is a powerful compact camera with a 20 Megapixel 1in sensor, 5x / 24-120mm zoom, popup viewfinder, tilting touchscreen, fast bursts and 4k video. Canon’s made a U-turn on design, swapping the chunkier DSLR-styling of its predecessor for something more pocketable and more akin to Sony’s RX100 series. So it’s out with the fixed viewfinder hump and side-hinged screen for a popup viewfinder and vertically-tilting display. The grip has shrunk and the front dial lost, but there’s still more to hold onto than the RX100 and the changes have allowed the G5X to become much more pocketable than before.
This does however bring it closer to the G7X III with Canon essentially asking you to choose between the popup viewfinder and slightly longer 5x zoom of the G5X versus the mic input and Live Streaming of the G7X III. Couldn’t we just have it all in one body instead, or perhaps do identical versions, with and without viewfinders to meet different price points? There’s also tough competition from the Sony RX100 VA which gives you the popup viewfinder, tilting screen, 4k video and fast bursts, but with the benefit of more confident phase-detect autofocus, although in its favour the G5X II zooms almost twice as long while also sporting a touchscreen and better grip.
Overall the G5X II loses much of what made its predecessor unique in the 1in market, and leaves anyone desiring a mini DSLR-styled compact to aim for the G1X Mark III instead. But by aligning it more closely to its best-selling rival, the G5X II becomes more attractive to a bigger audience. Imagine how much more popular it could have been merged with the G7X III’s connectivity though.Check prices on the Canon PowerShot G5X II at B&H, Adorama or WEX. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!