Canon PowerShot G5 X Review – Real-World Video & Impressions

It’s not that I like banging my head against the wall—quite the contrary. I would like to consider myself as a person who has done one or two things during my professional life and live at peace with myself.  Nevertheless, I managed to surprise myself when the idea of testing the relatively new Canon PowerShot G5 X crossed my mind. Why did I want to do it? After all, aren’t there enough proper cameras to test out there?

Canon PowerShot G5 X

Well, the reason is simple. I regard any camera having a chip size of 1” and above as a legitimate candidate for testing. After all, the latest offering from Sony, the Sony RX100 IV and the Sony RX10 II are both doing very well in the wild mostly because of offering unique selling points like high frame rate recording, fast lens, additional professional video features like Zebra, peaking, built-in ND filter, S-Log2/S-Gamut, 100 Mbps 4K recording (3840×2160) and 50 Mbps during full HD (see my Sony RX100 IV here).  That’s where the Canon PowerShot G5 X comes into the picture. It is the latest 1” sensor camera offering from Canon and I thought it would be nice to get hands on with it, doing a bit of experimental shooting.

I made the above test at the end of December 2015 and in order to jog my memory, I had to open my notebook and dig for some of the information. One thing I don’t have to dig for is the general impression this camera left on me while shooting with it—for video purposes, it was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. I also tried it as a simple “home video device” and still wasn’t impressed.

Canon PowerShot G5 X body

Where should I start? From the beginning, I guess!

The colors are a bit off, especially in mixed lighting conditions. The ergonomics are completely ruined by the front dial, making holding the camera properly nigh impossible. In fact, before getting carried away, here is a short list of the positive and negatives you’ll find while operating the Canon PowerShot G5 X.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Pros:

  • Fully articulated LCD screen
  • Nice EVF
  • Touch screen (for the one who likes this feature)
  • Auto focus via touch screen
  • Charging the camera via USB is possible
  • Internal ND filter
  • Manual exposure modes
  • Focus peaking
  • World camera

Canon PowerShot G5 X Cons:

  • Soft look on the open aperture side of the lens
  • No 4K recording
  • No hi frame rate recording
  • Short battery life
  • Manual focusing is almost impossible
  • No headphones or mic jacks

Canon PowerShot G5 X in action

Conclusion:

If you make the direct comparison between this camera and the Sony RX100 IV for video usage, then the latter will beat the Canon PowerShot G5 X hands down. This is by no mean a primary working tool, yet I truly hope that Canon will make an internal decision to match if not exceed the specifications and features given to us by other manufacturers and implement those in their next generation pocket cameras.

Camera picture profile used in this video: Neutral, sharpness dialed to the minimum. Edited on Adobe Premiere CC latest edition.

Music by musicbed. Title used: Working Man Is Always Poor

Thanks to Teddy Pardo for participating in this video. Discover more about his audiophile world.

 
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Chris Gibbs Reply
Chris Gibbs February 6, 2016

When are you going to start-up that workshop, “making great mini-docs with just a crappy camera.” Sign me up! Another nice business promo BTW.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 7, 2016

Hi Chris!

Interesting business model you are talking here.. :).

Anyway, thank you for taking the time watching the video and commenting.

Johnnie

Anthony browning Reply
Anthony browning February 6, 2016

Thanks for this test! Also just wanted to say Thank you for also constantly putting up new articles daily. That is the reason I check with you guys everyday.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 7, 2016

Hi Anthony.

Happy to see that our effort to come up with multiple daily articles is being noticed.

Appreciated!.

Johnnie

Reply
Gerben Schmidt February 7, 2016

The camera might not be so good, but your work always is! Thanks Johnnie, another interesting portrait.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 7, 2016

Hi Gerben.

This review is good for what it is. Teddy is a great guy who has an interesting business story behind him. I wish I could achieved a nicer look and better picture quality but I guess there is a limit to what I could ask for when working with this particular camera.

I can promise that the up coming review will be done with a far more engaging camera.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
Anonymous February 7, 2016

B and H says it does NOT have a built in ND filter

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 7, 2016

http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/3/0300020273/01/psg5x-cu-en.pdf

Page 81.

Yes, there is an ND filter.

Thanks!

Johnnie

 Alvaro Pacitti Reply
Alvaro Pacitti February 17, 2016

Hi Johnnie (hello from Rome Italy😉), thanks for this professional and useful review.. I agree with you BUT, IMHO, you cannot compare two cameras that are at so different price level.. you can buy Sony RX100 IV for 1.039,00 euro (today Amazon price) while Canon G5x has a price of 745,00 euro..
For a price level between 600,00 and 800,00 euro what is the right choice for you? I’m searching for a decent vlog camera but I don’t want to spend 1.100,00 euro for the best (Canon 70D) 😃
Thanks in advance!

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 18, 2016

Hi Alvaro.

Although there is certainly a price difference between the cameras, it legit in my opinion to compare the 2 as the specifications (mostly on the photographic side), physical and sensor size are the same/very similar.

Regarding pricing. CVP, our European sponsor is selling the Canon for €673 and the Sony for €908 before tax. If you ask me if this €235 price difference is justified, I will certainly say yes. The Sony RX100 IV is a much better camera for video applications.

In the price range you are looking for, the Canon EOS M3 is a valid option. I haven’t touched that camera (only the less capable EOS M10, see my review here: https://www.cinema5d.com/canon-eos-m10-review-real-world-video-impressions/), but for €544.50 you will get a mirrorless camera with an ordinary (slow) kit lens, APS-C sensor size and a mic input. The EOS M3 lacks an electronic or optical viewfinder, but if you really like the camera, you can always add the EVF-DC1 electronic viewfinder.

For a little bit more money you can get the Sony a6000 (you can choose purchasing the body only or with a kit lens). Mind you that this camera has no mic input and you will have to relay on their “hot shoe” connection for audio connectivity. On the plus side, that camera has an EVF build in.

Hope that helps.

Thank you.

Johnnie

 Alvaro Pacitti Reply
Alvaro Pacitti February 18, 2016

Thanks for reply John :-)

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 19, 2016

Avaro,

You are welcome and please also consider the Panasonic LX100. Its about €645.

Hope this old review I made can be beneficial for you: https://www.cinema5d.com/panasonic-lx-100/

Thanks!

Johnnie

 Alvaro Pacitti Reply
Alvaro Pacitti February 19, 2016

Thanks again John :-)))
BUT.. no tilt display.. no PARTY :-)))
I need a camera for vlog (in selfie mode too) and for self commented videotutorial (software reviews, etc.).. so the best choice for me would be a camera with these features:
– easy setup (expecially when vlogging while travelling on car)
– mic input (not so necessary but appreciated)
– touch screen (fast) autofocus
– great f/ aperture for bright videos even with poor light
– compact camera (ideal for pockets)
– not so expensive (range 500-700 euro)

Do you think I ask for an impossible gadget? :-)))
Thanks again!!!

Reply
Vadim Berestetsky May 4, 2016

Alvaro,
may be you can try Fujifilm X70?
It is very compact.
Have a selfie mode touch screen (3.0″ 1.04m-Dot ),
18.5mm f/2.8 Lens (28mm Equiv.),
77-Point AF System,
wifi…
No mic input :-(
It’s price is 600 euro.

 Alvaro Pacitti Reply
Alvaro Pacitti May 4, 2016

Hi Vadim.. thanks for suggestion but, at the end.. I bought a Canon EOS 70D (another story :-))))

Reply
Vadim Berestetsky May 4, 2016

Enjoy!