Canon G9X Performance


Timing and Performance

Mediocre performance for its class.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.3 seconds

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

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.9 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

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

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Wide Angle

0.289 second

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

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Telephoto

0.289 second

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

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Flash enabled

0.724 second

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

Manual Focus

0.374 second

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

Prefocused

0.066 second

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

The Canon G9X's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was a bit slower than average for a fixed-lens enthusiast camera. The G9X's full AF shutter lag clocked in at about 0.29 second at wide angle and full telephoto using center (1-point) AF, which is decent speed for a pocket camera, however most competitors are faster these days. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to 0.72 seconds, to account for the metering preflash. Manual focus shutter lag was oddly a little slower than with autofocus at 0.37 second. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped to 66 milliseconds which while quick, is also a bit slower than average.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Super Fine JPEG

0.88 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

1.63 seconds

Average time per shot.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

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

0.15 second (6.52 frames per second);
10 frames total;
3 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 10 frames, then slows to 0.35 second or 2.83 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
RAW

1.31 second (0.76 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
2 seconds to clear

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

Continuous mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

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

6.7 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 in single shot mode, ranging from about 0.9 second for Large/Super Fine JPEGs to about 1.6 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 G9X's fastest full-res continuous shooting mode rate was below average these days at 6.5 frames per second for Large/Super Fine JPEGs, however that's a bit faster than Canon's 6 fps spec. Be aware that focus and exposure are locked at the first frame of a burst in this mode. Like we've seen with other Canon compacts, the G9X slows to a crawl when shooting RAW files in burst mode, at only 0.76 frames per second for just RAW files, and 0.61 frames per second for RAW+LSF JPEG files.

In Continuous AF mode, Canon says the frame rate drops to about 4.3 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 fair at 10 frames when shooting best quality JPEGs in the fastest continuous mode, but the G9X continued shooting at about 2.8 fps when the buffer was full. Buffer depths with RAW files in the fastest burst mode were limited only by the speed and capacity of the memory card, but keep in mind the frame rate is under one frame per second.

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 6.7 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is very slow.

 

Bottom line, the Canon PowerShot G9X's timing performance is mediocre for an enthusiast compact, though certainly still serviceable especially if you don't shoot RAW files.

Battery

Battery Life
Poor battery life.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
LCD Monitor
(CIPA standard)
220

The Canon PowerShot G9X 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 220 shots per charge, though there is an Eco mode which improves battery life to a more competitive 335 shots by dimming and then shutting off the LCD 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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