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A more-power compact for Canon fans The PowerShot G5 X adds the features that enthusiasts miss in the G7 X.

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It's not the prettiest camera we've seen. Canon

Bringing its enthusiast compact G series of cameras up to five models, Canon adds the G5 X and G9 X to the G1 X Mark II , G3 X and G7 X . With the same 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor and 24-100mm f1.8-2.8 lens as the G7 X, the G5 X targets basically the same enthusiast photographers, but with a geekier design that includes a high-resolution built-in OLED electronic viewfinder, hot shoe and a flip-and-twist articulated touchscreen instead of the selfier flip-up screen.

Canon's latest trio of consumer compacts (pictures)

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The design is completely different from the G7 X, and let's just say Canon didn't prioritize form over function. It's got a front adjustment dial, a new lift-up flash and -- wait for it -- a built-in grip. And while the movie record button looks like one of those flat, hard-to-press models, at least it's in an easy-to-reach spot on the thumb grip. It incorporates Canon's version of features for improving photos for astrophotographers.

The camera is slated to ship in November for $800 (directly converted, £521, AU$1,090), about $100 more than the G7 X (which currently goes for $700, £400, AU$780).

My take

I really like the photo quality and feature set of the G7 X and the G5 X adds back the exact features that are important for enthusiasts, including the hot shoe, grip and EVF, plus a wired remote release jack. However, it doesn't sound like Canon addressed the biggest issue with the G7 X's insides: poor performance. At its price, it goes up against the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III , though that model's design is more consumer focused. In spirit it matches the Fujifilm X30 , which is about a year old and much less expensive, though. It sounds like it's going to be a decent, if somewhat homely, camera.

Comparative specs

Editors' note: Canon provided few specifications prior to announcement, but in some cases I've made assumptions where they're likely the same as the G7 X specs.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Fujifilm X30 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III
Sensor effective resolution 20.2MP HS CMOS 12MP X-Trans CMOS II 20.2MP Exmor R CMOS
Sensor size 1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8 mm)
2/3-inch
(8.8 x 6.6 mm)
1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
Focal-length multiplier 2.7x 3.9x 2.7x
OLPF Yes No Yes
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 12800 ISO 100 - ISO 12800 ISO 80 (exp)/ISO 125 - ISO 12800
Lens (35mm equivalent) 24-100mm
f1.8-2.8
4.2x
28 - 112mm
f2-2.8
4x
24 - 70mm
f1.8-2.8
2.9x
Closest focus 2.0 in/5 cm 3.9 in/10 cm 1.9 in/5 cm
Burst shooting n/a 12fps
11 JPEG/n/a raw
2.5fps
(10fps with fixed focus and exposure)
n/a
Viewfinder
(mag/ effective mag)
OLED EVF
2.4m dots
100 percent coverage
OLED EVF
0.4-inch/10.2mm
2.36m dots
100 percent coverage
OLED EVF
0.4-inch/10.2mm
1.44m dots
100 percent coverage
Hot shoe Yes Yes No
Autofocus 31-area
Contrast AF
Hybrid AF 25-area
Contrast AF
Shutter speed 250 - 1/2,000 sec 30 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/2,000 sec; bulb
Metering n/a 256 zones n/a
Best video H.264 QuickTime MOV
1080/60p
H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p XAVC S
1080/60p, 30p, 25p, 24p @ 60Mbps; 720/120p
Audio Stereo Stereo, mic input Stereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes No Yes
Maximum best-quality recording time 4GB/29:59 minutes n/a 29 minutes
Optical zoom while recording Yes Yes Yes
IS Optical Optical Optical
LCD 3 in/7.5 cm
Articulated touchscreen
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5cm
Tilting
920,000 dots
3 in/7.5cm
Tilting
921,600 dots
(plus another set of white dots for brightness)
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-Fi, NFC None Wi-Fi, NFC
Flash Yes Yes Yes
Wireless flash n/a Yes No
Battery life (CIPA rating) n/a 470 shots 320 shots (LCD);
230 shots (Viewfinder)
Size (WHD) n/a 4.7 x 2.8 x 2.4 in
118.7 x 71.6 x 60.3 mm
4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 inches
101.6 x 58.1 x 41 mm
Body operating weight 13.3 oz (est.)
377 g (est.)
14.9 oz (est)
423 g (est)
10.2 oz
289.2 g
Mfr. price $800 $500 (est.)
£480
AU$650 (est.)
$800
£730
AU$1,100
Release date (US) November 2015 September 2014 June 2014