Photography News issue 28

Photography News Issue 28 absolutephoto.com

Camera test 42

Canon PowerShot G5 X This compact has a larger than average one-inch sensor and a wealth of manual inputs designed to appeal to creative photographers

Specs

Price

£579

Sensor 20.2-megapixel CMOS (3:2 aspect) Sensor format 13.2x8.8mm (1in), 5472x3648 pixels Lens 8.8-36.8mm (24-100mm equivalent), 4.2x optical zoom (f/1.8-2.8) IS Minimumfocusing 5-40cm (Wide/Tele) Viewfinder EVF, 2360k dot ISO range 125-12,800 Shutter range 30-1/2000sec and Bulb (accessed via manual exposure mode) Drivemodes 5.9fps (in One-shot AF mode), 4.4fps (in Tracking AF) Metering system Evaluative, centre-weighted average, spot Exposuremodes PASM, plus Auto/Hybrid Auto, Creative Shot and Custom Exposure compensation +/-3EV in 0.3EV steps Monitor 3in, 1040k dot, adjustable-angle touch-sensitive LCD Focusing Contrast-detection AF with multi- area, centre, selective single-point, tracking, single, continuous, touch, face detection Video AVC/H.264; format 1920x1080 (at 59.94fps) and lower Connectivity USB (Micro-B), HDMI (Type D), NTSC/PAL and wireless Storagemedia SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-I Dimensions (wxhxd) 112.4x76.4x44.2mm Weight 377g (including battery and memory card) Contact canon.co.uk

Right There are numerousmanual inputs on theG5 X, andwhile there’s a pop-up flash the hotshoe allows accessory flashguns to be used.

the body is primarily plastic, it feels solid, andwhile by nomeans heavy, at 377g, it’s got a reassuring chunkiness. The styling, including the pseudo- pentaprism, is pleasingly brutal, and with the screen able to flip right over against the body there’s a measure of protection there. Is it pocket-sized? That really depends on the size of the pocket you’re using; at 44.2mm thick, it’s never going to slip into anything but the most voluminous of trousers, and the pentaprism, hotshoe and projecting rubber eyecup cause further obstruction, but it’s certainly more portable than even the smallest DSLRs and CSCs. Handling wise, the G5 X mostly performs well, and there were no problems with extended use; it’s comfortable, with your middle finger sitting in the groove of the front grip and thumb on the generous pad at the rear. But it is hamstrung in places by including so many manual inputs on such a small body. There are four input dials (plus the main mode dial), three of which can be customised, which is helpful. The large ring around the lens is excellent; made of knurled metal, it’s well weighted and turns with a click, falling naturally under the fingertips

when cradling the camera, just like a traditional aperture ring. The front dial, which sits nicely under the index finder is just as positive, but the rear dial, which surrounds a four-way controller is, for me, too small and light, and while it’s got a grippy feel, it’stooplastickytofitwiththerest.The back of the camera, dominated by the three-inch screen, feels at once sparse and cramped; consumers expect large screens, but it seems that dropping the size here would have improved handling, here, giving more space to the rear controls. With the movie-rec button sunk into the rest itself, it’s too easy to trigger a recording (unless you’re always making video, in which case, it’s probably a benefit as it can be used just by tightening your grip). In shooting, despite all the manual inputs, it’s common to need the screen, but fortunately, the G5 X’s Quick Menu is very simple and easy to navigate. The options here are blessedly streamlined and because the LCD is touch-sensitive you can get to settings faster than using the four-way controller. The performance of the EVF is also good, and certainly among the best I’ve used. Its high resolution (2.36 million dot) brings lots of detail and the eye sensor that switches it on/off works quickly. It’s also smooth, thanks to a maximum 120fps refresh rate, giving quite a natural view and this only starts to stagger invery lowlight,which is tobe expected. That comes at a cost though; I was using the more power-hungry Smooth viewfinder mode, and only managed between 160 and 180 shots (specifications state 210) on a full charge. That’s not great, although several of these were long exposures and I was shooting in cold conditions, both of which sap performance; there is anEcomodewhichdrops theEVF’s frame rate and screen brightness to

extend shooting time and that boosted performance to over 300 captures. Zoom speed is a bit laid-back though not unusually slow for a compact, but as there’s no physical connection it moves in jumps, so isn’t as precise as a manual ring. As you’d expect from a compact, there’s no manual focusing ring on the lens either, so MF is handled via the touchscreen. This works well, and when you switch to MF, it defaults to a zoomed-in view where critical sharpness is easy to achieve; great for still-life and macro shots. There’s also focus-bracketing option– a neat touch that shoots three pictures at slightly different focuspoints, useful for either moving subjects, to guard against errors, or for short focus stacking. AF performance is solid but getting to the various options is more complex that it needs to be. While the main focus options (MF/AF/Macro) are found by hitting Left on the four- way controller, the AF Mode (One- shot or Servo) is grouped with the Drive modes via Up. The AF Area, which is split into Face Recognition/ Tracking and 1-Point, is accessed via the touchscreen’s Quick Menu. Given the range of input options, you feel all could have been grouped in one area. Speed isn’t the fastest, but it’s sure and Face Detectionmodewas keen. Image quality wise, the G5 X’s sensor performs pretty much as expected. Its greaterphysical size than typical compacts’ 1/1.8in or 1/2.3in adds resolving power, but if you’re thinking of the G5 X as a backup to a DSLR or instead of a CSC, results will look a little muddy in comparison. Comparing unprocessed Raws and JPEGs, there’s obvious sharpening and defringing applied, and the 24- 100mm lens’s best performance was found towards its long end; shooting widewas a little softer.

Review by Kingsley Singleton

The G5 X sits within Canon’s line- up of premium compacts, its main sells being a one-inch sensor and a plethora of manual inputs, neither of which you’ll find onmost compacts. The 20.2-megapixel sensor is twinned with a DIGIC 6 processor and it uses a retractable 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent zoom, giving it lots of versatility. Unlike many compacts, the lens also has optical image stabilisation for improved sharpness at slower shutter speeds. The fifth in the current range, the G5 X brings two new features, an integrated EVF and a tilting and rotating LCD screen (not seen since the original G1 X). The one-inch sensor is of the backside-illuminated type, and the same as in the G3 X, G7 X and G9 X, but is smaller than the flagship G1 X Mark II’s). As always when looking at a new camera, you’re forced to think: ‘who is it for?’ and the G5 X lends itself to DSLR users who want a small, light backup camera. The manual controls suggest it could be tempting for upgraders, too. I was immediately impressed by the G5 X’s build quality. Although

The G5 X lends itself to DSLR users wanting a small, light backup…

Right The G5 X is the only model in the current lineup with a fully articulating screen, which helps with high and low compositions.

www.photographynews.co.uk

Powered by