Canon G9 X: First Impressions

Canon G9x
Canon G9x

My first digital camera was a Canon and since then I’ve been wedded to the brand. It was a Canon Digital ELPH S110, I believe, a compact 2.1 megapixel shooter that I paid close to $400 in 2001. Back then, anything digital was impressive. But I also really liked the design – square and metal, it had a heft and solidity that soon disappeared in digital point-and-shoots .

I moved on to DSLRs, getting a new Canon Rebel every few years. And the iPhone got better and better, largely eliminating the need for a point-and-shoot camera. And almost eliminating the need for a DSLR.

I tried different point-and-shoots but was unimpressed, finding them slow and disliking their cheap plastic bodies.

With one exception: the Canon G series. This was a camera that I could love, being fast, good in low light and with a metal body that seemed substantial in one’s hand. It seemed solid, reliable and made by people who recognized its value. This was not a camera destined for the electronics aisle at Target but a well-constructed tool to be used by professionals.

So when the Canon G9 X went on sale at B&H, I jumped at the opportunity to get a decent point-and-shoot. B&H is awesome – I received the camera the next day. While it was billed as an “open box” special, it looked brand new to me.

Think I’m going to like this camera. While smaller than in the pictures (think smaller than an iPhone), it has the heft that I want, as well as capable of producing some awesome images. It’s fast and fun.

And beautiful, a trait that should not be underestimated when marketing electronics. Devices are more than just functions, they need to be aesthetically appealing, like the iPhone.

u street metro
U Street Metro
Bikeshare on 14th St
Bikeshare on 14th St

My only complaint: wish it had a longer zoom. This is an area where Canon has fallen behind Sony and Nikon.

Still, the Canon G9 X is perfect for my needs. I wanted a camera to take on my bike, something light and yet capable of producing better images than a mobile phone. The Canon G9X easily fits into a bike seat bag, with room for a wallet, iPhone and Clif bar.

Ben's Chili Bowl
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Dacha Houe
Dacha House
Liz Taylor mural
Liz Taylor mural

And when I carry it in my messenger bag, I don’t even notice that it’s there. I put it in an interior pocket because it got lost among my books and papers. It starts up quickly so you can grab a quick shot on the go.

One other slight complaint: a viewfinder would be nice but I recognize it’s 2016 and the kids don’t use them. We’ve all gotten used to looking at screens.

I think this will be a fun little camera, rekindling my my love for point-and-shoots, and ideal for my biking and wandering around the streets of Washington, DC.


Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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