Some thoughts on Canon G5 X

I have had Canon G5 X now for some time and I decided to share some of my initial impressions on it. I got interested on it because of its 1” sensor combined with 24-100mm equivalent lens. That should make it nice all-round camera. It also has an electronic viewfinder which was one of the decisive things too.

When you open the package you will immediately notice the very good built and finish it has. Just a wonderful thing. It feel so solid yet small. You can easily put it in your jacket pocket. It is delivered with a normal neck strap but I think it would work nicely with a wrist strap too. Would be worth of testing at least especially with some nice and small bag where you can put the camera when not in use.

The control G5 X has are nice. Big enough and responsive. It has a front dial and nice dial around the lens barrel. Exposure compensation dial is there where it should be. Dials and buttons are very much customizable too. That’s nice because everyone can tinker the camera to suit their own needs. EVF is great. Very good for a point-and-shoot camera. But I have not been using it so much because of the very nice back LCD (which is fully tiltable). The LCD is also touch-sensitive. You can set the focus point or even operate the shutter by the touch screen. I have used these features quite much actually.

I am now using the G5 X in Av (Aperture priority) mode and I have assigned aperture to the front dial and ISO to the lens barrel dial. Works very well, I think. To the back wheel I have assigned the step zoom which I like because I can change zoom quickly between 24-28-35-50-85-100mm. Very handy. The camera has also nice customizable Q (Quick) menu which you can operate easily through the touch screen. And there is in-camera ND filter for those sunny days and wide apertures too.

The only real gripe I have at the moment is that the lens is quite soft in the wide end with large apertures. This is not a problem if you shoot landscapes at 24mm with f/5.6 but if you want to use f/1.8 it can be irritating property of the lens. This is not a problem in the tele end of the lens which is of course good news.

I still have somehow mixed feelings about the G5 X and I am not sure yet if I am going to keep it. I have to shoot with it more in different situations to find out if it may be my all-round camera.

Some shots with G5 X below.

Only a hare was there before me

Framed sunshine

Very cold day

Snowcat working

Making more snow

Sunshine and snow!

Downhillers :)

Sails up

Pines in winter light


  1. Thanks for this Jonne, I was hoping you’d do a writeup like this. Your images are great.

    1. The DP Review review has a similar comment about softness in the lens at large apertures and wide angle. Were you influenced by that (I would have been) or have you seen that in images? I’m not saying you’re making it up, but I’m curious how this looks when you look at the images in Lightroom or whatever y you’re looking at them in.

    2. I’m learning that for me, a camera’s analog controls (knobs, dials, buttons) are extremely important. I need to be able to use a camera like this with thin gloves on in extreme cold. I’m pretty sure this camera, as much or even more than the Ricoh GR makes that possible. This is a huge plus for me.

    3. Canon’s Powershot cameras have traditionally blown highlights but I see none of that in your images. Did you work hard to prevent that? Have you seen it in images that you didn’t keep?

    4. This camera shares the same sensor and I think, processor as the G7X which I had and returned because of said blown highlights. I like the ergonomics and viewfinder on this camera more but I’m a bit concerned about the highlight issue.

    As you know, I had each of the first three copies of the Sony RX100 and sold them all. The reason was their ergonomics. They have everything I want but they are near impossible to use in cold weather. This camera and other Canon cameras with 1″ sensors share sensors with the Sony (earlier versions, not latest one) and it might be that Canon’s image processor is what’s driving my nuts with blown highlights and sort of a “melted” look for high ISO JPEGs.

    No doubt this camera can deliver the goods and we just have to get used to it but I understand your reservations about keeping it. Still, it intrigues me.

    All of that said, the new Fuji X70 is also interesting and less expensive. I’m pretty sure it won’t be quite as ergonomically pleasing for me but it does have a larger APS-C sensor.

    Sigh… there is no end to it!

    Thanks for the writeup.

    1. Thanks, Richard, for nice thoughts. I was influenced by DP Review about the lens softness in the way that I specifically did shoot some captures to see if I can notice it. And I can. But only when the aperture is 1.8 at 24mm or very near of that. If you close down e.g. to f/2.2 I am not to see any marked softness anymore. The softness is in the very periphery of the frame. You have to remember that there is same kind of a situation with Fuji X100 too when shooting wide open at f/2.

      What comes to blown highlights I have not got any big problem with them. Of course because I am shooting now RAWs it is not any problem. But with JPEGs the situation is much like with every camera I have own. There will be blown highlights now and then but G5 X is not the worst one in that respect.

      1. Thanks Jonne. I so rarely shoot wide open anymore that I doubt I’d notice the lens softness. I’m going to be in NY again on Wednesday and I’ll get to B&H and give the camera another inspection.

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