Canon PowerShot G5 X
A high-end compact cam with an impressive sensor and screen
£650 FROM Canon, canon.co.uk features 20.2MP, f/1.8-2.8 lens with 4.2x zoom, Wi-Fi, vari-angle flip-out touchscreen
Canon’s G5 X offers enthusiast-oriented controls in a pocketsize camera with an electronic viewfinder.
Its styling is pretty old-school and retro, with an angular design that probably won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it does mean the dials and buttons feel sensibly arranged and within easy reach.
Pushing the retro theme is a control dial around the lens. This can adjust a number of different settings, which you can customise within the main menu. There’s also a dedicated exposure compensation dial on top of the camera, within easy reach of your thumb. Just below the shutter release is another smaller dial, which can also be customised for different settings such as aperture, ISO or white balance. Once you have the controls set up, they allow quick and fluid settings changes.
The one-inch sensor, which covers 20.2 million pixels, is larger than can be found in most compact cameras, and it’s been coupled with a fast f/1.8-2.8 lens which is great for creating shallow depth of field effects with wide apertures, especially when shooting in low light. Pre-processed JPEG images directly from the camera display a lovely amount of saturation and warmth. Raw files can be opened and tweaked using Adobe Camera Raw, or you can download Canon’s free Digital Photo Professional software to open and edit raw files.
The lens offers a 4x zoom with a focal range equivalent to 24-100mm and a maximum aperture range of f/1.8-2.8, which ensures reasonable control over depth of field. Meanwhile, the OLED electronic viewfinder has a generous 2.36 million dots and shows 100% of the scene, with a 120fps refresh rate that makes it easy to follow moving subjects. The three-inch touch-sensitive screen on the rear is mounted on a vari-angle hinge too. The screen is very responsive to touch, and moving your way through menus with it feels natural, especially if you’re used to using an iPhone or iPad.
Movies, crops and filters
For those who fancy dipping into video shooting there’s a Hybrid Auto mode, which shoots two seconds of video before each shot is taken and then compiles them together as a “digest” movie. There’s also a Creative Shot mode that shoots an image and then applies a number of different crops and digital filters, although weirdly you can’t actually specify which of these you want to use.
Tiny niggles aside, the G5 X is a great package for anyone looking to make the step up to pro-level shooting. It has a fantastic sensor and the lens is extremely versatile, with a wide maximum aperture throughout its range. The camera also boasts raw format shooting and manual control, and the screen, being fully articulating and touch sensitive, is great for shooting from awkward angles.
Creative Shot mode applies different crops and filters to your image
The G5 X marries modern specs with retro charm.