Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II — What’s Changed
July 8, 2019
The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II has been an ideal compact camera for the serious photo enthusiast since its introduction — a great companion for the EOS DSLR or EOS R-series mirrorless user who wants a compact yet powerful camera for travel and similar situations. With the introduction of the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II, a host of new developments make it even more suited for demanding users. We’ll highlight the important new features and capabilities here.
The G5 X Mark II continues to emphasize the critical still-image user, but with even more designed-in video capabilities. As a reference, Canon’s PowerShot G7 X Mark III, also introduced in the 2nd half of 2019, is more intended for the vlogger and video content creator, although of course it has powerful still-image capabilities, too.
A totally new viewfinder
- Pop-up electronic eye-level viewfinder
The PowerShot G5 X Mark II is transformed by its pop-up, 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder. Tucked away completely when not being used, the pop-up design totally changes the profile and portability of the entire camera — the G5 X Mark II is now compact enough to easily fit into a coat pocket. Push down the “Finder” switch on the side of the body, pull the eyepiece out toward the back of the camera, and the electronic viewfinder is ready to go.
The PowerShot G5 X (earlier model) has an electronic viewfinder, an important feature for many experienced still-image shooters. In this model, however, it was built into a prism-like design at the top of the camera, making the overall size of the G5 X significantly larger.
- New 20.1 million pixel, 1-inch size stacked CMOS sensor
A new CMOS sensor design, which optimizes image quality and especially sensor speed and performance. Continuous still-image shooting at up to approximately 8.0 fps with Servo AF, and shooting speeds up to 30 fps — with full-res RAW files — when AF is locked on the primary subject.
The PowerShot G5 X uses similar-size, 1-inch, 20 million pixel CMOS sensor, but its design means maximum shooting speeds of approximately 5.9 fps.
- DIGIC 8 processor
The primary image processor in the PowerShot G5 X Mark II is updated to the most recent DIGIC 8 type. This more powerful processor is not only faster, but adds features and capabilities, and is a big factor in the higher performance of the Mark II model.
The previous G5 X used Canon’s DIGIC 6 processor, which doesn’t have the same level of processing speed, and features like 4K recording and 20/30 fps still-image shooting speeds weren’t possible.
- New .CR3 Canon RAW file type
A by-product of the DIGIC 8 processor is an upgrade in the G5 X Mark II’s RAW image files to the latest .CR3 file type. This matches the most recent EOS R-series mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. In particular, .CR3 files are compatible with Canon’s mobile RAW file processing solution, the Canon DPP Express app, for compatible iOS tablets.
Noteworthy differences in the Canon .CR3 RAW file type include aforementioned compatibility with mobile RAW file processing, and option for a full-resolution, reduced-size RAW image (the “C-RAW”) file type… previous .CR2 RAW files weren’t compatible with these features.
- Mechanical and high-speed Electronic shutter options
The standard “mechanical” shutter provides a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 second — but if circumstances call for even faster still-image shutter speeds, change “Shutter Mode” in the red shooting menu to “Electronic.” Now, shutter operation will be silent, and allow fast speeds up to 1/25,600th of a second.
The PowerShot G5 X’s fastest shutter speed is 1/2000, with mechanical 2nd shutter curtain; no Electronic shutter operation possible.
- 8.0 fps maximum shooting speed, with continuous Servo AF
- Approx. 20 fps maximum shooting speed, with focus locked in One-Shot AF (using Mechanical shutter)
- Approx. 30 fps RAW Burst Mode, with focus locked and using silent, electronic shutter. These are full-res, 20 million pixel RAW image files, and the G5 X Mark II can shoot up to 70 in a single burst.
PowerShot G5 X model’s top shooting speed is approx. 4.4 fps with Servo AF, and approx. 5.9 fps with focus locked in One-Shot AF.
- 24–120mm equivalent lens
New lens design, now covering equivalent of 24–120mm (35mm film equivalent coverage), with maximum aperture of f/1.8 ~ f/2.8
The PowerShot G5 X lens is 24–100mm equivalent, with the same maximum aperture. Like the G5 X Mark II, the G5 X has a 9-blade lens aperture, contributing to soft, natural out-of-focus backgrounds.
- Focus Bracketing
Not exclusively a “lens” feature, but the PowerShot G5 X Mark II adds an advanced Focus Bracketing option, very similar to what Canon introduced in the EOS RP mirrorless camera. User can focus on nearest subject, define number of shots, and change in focus between each — images can then be processed in compatible versions of Canon’s Free Digital Photo Professional software, into one single finished image with extensive final sharpness, front-to-back.
Previous Canon PowerShot models limited available Focus Bracketing to 3 shots, and it was primarily a means to get a single sharp picture, in situations where precise focus might be hard to achieve on the first try.
EOS alignment — menus and features similar to EOS models
- Menu design and list items very similar to recent Canon EOS DSLRs, and mirrorless models — easier transition to EOS users who are adding a G-series model to their camera bag.
- Picture Style image control
PowerShot G5 X Mark II now moves to the EOS system’s primary image control method, Canon Picture Style. For video, JPEG still-image shooting, and for RAW images that will be processed in Canon’s DPP software, this is a big advantage, and brings consistency to the critical photographer and his/her image files.
Previous PowerShot models used a different image control system, based on the “My Colors” feature — different controls, applied differently than with EOS SLRs and mirrorless models.
- 4K video, at 30 fps
UHD 4K video, using the full width of the camera’s image sensor (no “cropping”), is possible with the G5 X Mark II. Four times the pixel resolution of Full HD video, with excellent potential video quality. And, the lens’s angle of view remains the same in 4K as in other video settings.
The PowerShot G5 X has a maximum video resolution of 1080p (Full HD).
- Additional 4K possibilities:
4K frame grab — shoot 4K video, play back frame-by-frame, select a frame, and create an 8.3 million pixel JPEG still image in-camera
4K time-lapse video — set interval between frames, and total number of frames… the PowerShot G5 X Mark II will record a time-lapse video, at 4K pixel resolution.
- High Frame Rate movies — 120 fps
Full HD (1080p) video can be recorded at 120 fps, for a true slow-motion experience.
The fastest PowerShot G5 X frame rate is 60p, at Full HD video resolution; no 4K recording possible.
All Canon contributors are compensated and actual users of Canon products promoted.