Canon G5X Performance

Timing and Performance

Mixed performance.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.0 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.7 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Decent startup to first shot time for its class. Switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was a bit faster.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Wide Angle

0.273 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF

0.260 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Flash enabled

0.560 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire, zoom lens at medium focal length.

Manual Focus

0.265 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".


0.022 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Canon G5X's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was a bit slower than average for a fixed-lens enthusiast camera these days. The G5X's full AF shutter lag tested at about 0.27 second at wide angle using center (1-point) AF, and about 0.26 second at full telephoto. That's fairly quick, however most competitors in this class are faster. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to 0.56 second, to account for the metering preflash. Manual focus shutter lag was not significantly faster than full autofocus at about 0.27 second. When prefocused, though, shutter lag dropped to only 22 milliseconds which is very fast.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Super Fine JPEG

0.87 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode

1.95 seconds

Average time per shot.

Early shutter


Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Super Fine JPEG

0.13 second (7.61 frames per second);
8 frames total;
3 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 8 frames, then slows to 0.35 second or 2.85 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode

1.34 second (0.75 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 20 frames with no signs of slowing.

Continuous mode

1.63 second (0.61 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 20 frames with no signs of slowing.

Flash recycling

3.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were fair to slow in single shot mode, ranging from about 0.9 second for Large/Super Fine JPEGs to about almost two seconds for RAW+LSF JPEG files. We no longer test just RAW file cycle time in single-shot mode, as it's usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.

The PowerShot G5X's fastest full-res continuous shooting mode rate tested below average these days at 7.6 frames per second for Large/Super Fine JPEGs, however that's faster than Canon's 5.9 frames per second spec. Be aware that focus and exposure are locked at the first frame of a burst in this mode, though. Like other Canon compacts, when shooting RAW files the G5X slowed down to a crawl, at only 0.75 frames per second for just RAW files, and only about 0.6 frame per second for RAW+LSF JPEG files.

In Continuous AF mode, Canon says the frame rate drops to about 4.4 fps, which is probably only for JPEGs (it is likely much slower with RAW files), however we did not test that mode in the lab.

Buffer depth was shallow at only 8 frames before the camera slowed down when shooting best quality JPEGs in the fastest continuous mode, but keep in mind our target was designed to be difficult to compress, so buffer depth is likely deeper with typical scenes. Buffer depths were essentially limited only by card capacity for RAW and RAW+JPEG files, however that's not a surprise given the slow frame rate. Buffer clearing was swift with a fast 95MB/s UHS-I card, never taking more than 3 seconds in our tests.

The built-in flash took an average of 3.1 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is pretty good.

Bottom line, the Canon PowerShot G5X's timing performance was mixed, ranging from very slow burst speeds when shooting RAW files to very fast prefocused shutter lag.


Battery Life
Poor battery life.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
LCD Monitor
(CIPA standard)
Electronic Viewfinder
(CIPA standard)

The Canon PowerShot G5X uses a custom NB-13L rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a dedicated charger. CIPA battery life is well below average for its class at only 210 shots per charge when using the LCD and 215 shots with the EVF, though there is an Eco mode which improves battery life to a more competitive 320 shots when using the LCD (there's no improvement mentioned in the user manual when using the EVF) by dimming and then shutting off the display more quickly than normal in shooting mode. Still, we strongly recommend you pick up a spare battery for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))


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