Canon has announced the Powershot G9X Mark II, the newest addition to the camera giant’s line of premium compact cameras. It’s a small but stout camera packed with features and a 20.1 megapixel sensor. But it represents a minor upgrade to its 2015 predecessor, and on paper it falls a bit short compared to the competition in this category — one that Canon used to dominate alongside Nikon.
The biggest upgrade in the G9X Mark II will likely be the DIGIC 7 image processor. Canon first rolled out this new processor when the G7X was released in February 2016, and thanks to it the G9X Mark II should be better in low light, see less noise at higher ISOs, and be faster overall. (It can shoot just over 8 frames per second, RAW or JPG, for example.) Canon also says the G9X Mark II has better face and object tracking, can now be charged over USB, and has a new always-on Bluetooth option.
The rest of the G9X Mark II is awfully similar to the first version of the camera. It has the same f2.0-4.9 lens with an equivalent zoom range of 28-84mm. It has the same 3-inch LCD touchscreen. And it will offer similar battery performance. The G9X Mark II also still tops out at 1080p at 60 frames per second when recording video.
Sony and Panasonic have comparably-sized compacts that blow these specs out of the water, particularly with video — both of those companies offer 4K recording and have for a while. The new Canon shooter is cheaper, but Sony also sells a large chunk of its back catalog of RX100 models at prices competitive to the G9X Mark II.
Canon makes some great cameras, but the G9X II appears to be — at best — just another good camera. At worst, the G9X II is more proof of how Canon has fallen behind the competition in non-DSLR categories.