Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is a pocket camera that will make enthusiasts happy, with a solid zoom range, a 1-inch sensor, and an electronic viewfinder.

Pros

  • Larger image sensor than phones.
  • 5x zoom lens.
  • Excellent ergonomics.
  • Built-in EVF and flash.
  • Selfie LCD with touch support.
  • In-lens ND filter.
  • 4K video.

Cons

  • No mic input.
  • Autofocus not as advanced as some competitors.

The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II ($899.99) follows the same idea as its predecessor, 2016's G5 X, but the execution is a bit better all around. It's a little more pocketable, thanks in part to its retractable EVF, it's more responsive, and it has a little bit more zoom power. It doesn't have quite as many of the bells and whistles as you get with Sony's most similar camera, the RX100 VA, but Canon does a better job with the fundamentals, enough to earn our Editors' Choice.

Bright Aperture, Solid Zoom

Canon went back to the drawing board with the G5 X Mark II. While the first version looked more like a sized-down mirrorless camera with a center-raised EVF and visible front control wheel, the Mark II has point-and-shoot DNA. It uses a candy bar form factor, and while its lens does just out a bit from the body, I find it to be very pocketable.

Controls and Ergonomics

The G5 X Mark II's ergonomics are well considered. The lens extends a bit from the main chassis, even when retracted. Canon took advantage of the depth and made the handgrip a little bit deeper than we're used to seeing in cameras of this type. It's a change for the better—the grip is comfortable and functional, and easily among the best we've seen in a recent point-and-shoot.

Power and Connectivity

The G5 X includes micro HDMI and USB-C data ports and works with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. It supports in-camera charging, although it's not guaranteed to work with every power pack. Canon cameras are a little finicky in this regard—officially, only Canon's adapter is guaranteed to work, but I had success using an Apple MacBook Pro charger.

Speed and Autofocus

The G5 X is very responsive. It powers on in about 1.4 seconds, and locks focus and fires in about 0.05-second in bright light. In conditions dim enough to cause the focus assist beam to fire, the focus does slow a bit, requiring about 0.3-second to lock on average.

Lens and Sensor

The G5 X Mark II uses a 1-inch-class, 20MP sensor with a stacked design. It's the same basic design as the chip Sony uses in the RX100 VA and VI, but backed by Canon's image processing and autofocus technology.

Gets Most Things Right

The Canon PowerShot G5 X isn't a camera of superlatives. It doesn't have the absolutely brightest, sharpest, or longest zoom lens, or the best autofocus or video system. But it ends up being more than the sum of its individual parts. When you put it all together, you get a pocket camera that nets excellent images in a variety of photographic scenarios.

The lens covers an ample zoom range, opening up all the way to f/1.8 for low-light capture at its wide end, and offering up aperture control so you can get sharper landscape shots when you have plenty of light.