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Canon Powershot G7 X Full Review

Canon Powershot G7 X Full Review - Read our full review of the Canon Powershot G7 X, the serious compact camera from Canon, with a wide-angle 4.2x optical zoom lens and Wi-Fi.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Canon Powershot G7 X
Price : BUY NOW£900
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Canon Powershot G7X (3)
The Canon Powershot G7 X is Canon's first compact camera with a 20.2 megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor. It has an ISO range of ISO125 to ISO12,800, allowing for excellent low light shots. The camera also has a newly developed 4.2x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24 to 100mm in 35mm terms, with a maximum aperture range of f/1.8 to f/2.8. The PowerShot G7 X digital camera is available for £579.99.

Canon Powershot G7 X Features

Canon Powershot G7X (4)

The Canon Powershot G7 X features a 4.2x optical zoom, f/1.8-2.8 lens, equivalent to 24-100mm in 35mm terms. Intelligent optical image stabilisation (IS) with 5-axis Enhanced Dynamic IS helps keen images sharp at slower shutter speeds. A control ring surrounds the lens to make changing settings easy as well as a scroll wheel on the back, and an exposure compensation dial on top. The lens has been designed to give beautiful bokeh, with smoothly blurred backgrounds. 

The camera uses a larger than normal 1inch 20.2 megapixel BSI (Back side illuminated) CMOS sensor with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Image processing is taken care of by a Digic 6 image processor and the camera features Canon's HS (High Speed) system offering up to 6.5fps continuous shooting and 4.4fps using continuous autofocus tracking. The ISO range goes from ISO125 to ISO12800.

Stylish design touches include a red ring under the mode dial, as well as under the shutter release button. On the back is a 3inch tilting touch screen with 1040k dot resolution, that tilts forward for "selfies" or group shots. The camera records Full HD video at 60fps, with aperture, shutter and ISO control available in manual movie mode, and you can also use the touch screen to set the focus position while recording videos. Wi-Fi and NFC are built in, and the camera has a dedicated Wi-Fi button on the side of the camera to make transferring images easy and quick.

Canon Powershot G7X (5)
Key Features

  • 20.2 megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor (3:2 aspect ratio)
  • 4.2x optical zoom lens, f/1.8-2.8, 24-100mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation (5-axis)
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 1040k dots
  • 6.5fps continuous shooting
  • FullHD 1080p, 60fps
  • HDR mode, RAW shooting
  • 31 AF points
  • ND filter (3 stop)
  • Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity
  • Lens control ring
  • 5cm macro mode
  • 210 / 310 (Eco mode) battery life 

Canon Powershot G7 X Handling

Canon Powershot G7X (6)
The Canon Powershot G7 X feels very well built with a reassuringly solid metal body, and a decent weight to it, making it feel heavier than it looks. The model dial and exposure compensation dials are quite stiff, which should mean that you don't end up accidentally turning them. The tilting screen is held firmly in place when you set it at an angle making low-level shots easy, although at the screen only tilts one way, it is not as versatile as screens that tilt down as well as up, such as the screen found on the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II/III.

Canon Powershot G7X Sony Cyber Shot RX100 II (4)
Canon Powershot G7 X vs Sony Cyber Shot RX100 II 

There is little grip on the front of the camera, however there is a good but small thumb grip on the back, and if you use the lens ring as a grip for your left hand then it is quite easy to hold the camera steady. Use of the provided wrist strap is recommended. When using the camera in manual mode, you can use the front dial and rear scroll wheel to set the aperture and shutter making it easy to change manual settings. 

Canon Powershot G7X (9)
You can set the focus position using the touch screen, and the camera features focus peaking to aid manual focus, however the only zoom options are 2x and 4x when using manual focus, and it would have been nice to have further zoom options available. The screen is bright and clear, with a good resolution and viewing angles, and being able to tilt the screen can help with visibility outdoors in bright light. 

Pressing the function button on the back of the camera brings up all of the most commonly altered photo settings on screen. You can also use the touch-screen to set these options as well as the main menu options. 

Canon Camera Window Main Menu Canon Camera Window Photo View Remote Control
Main Menu Photo View Remote Control

 

A dedicated Wi-Fi button on the side of the camera activates Wi-Fi connectivity and using the Canon Camera Window app on an Android or iOS device makes it easy to view photos on the camera, setup remote shooting, or add GPS locations to images on the camera. Zoom and focus can be controlled remotely, as can other options, like the flash mode for example. This can be especially useful for those who are partial to taking the odd 'selfie' or group photograph, as the image can be composed easily using your phone's display.

Canon Powershot G7X (1)
Battery life - Battery life is rated at 210 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results, or 310 shots in Eco mode. 210 shots is quite a low number, therefore we'd recommend using the Eco mode or investing in a spare battery.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.7secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.1secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.6secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
6.5fps (11 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 2.5secs
Continuous Shooting - RAW 1.2fps 


Focus and shutter response are both very good. We were able to take 11 shots in 6.5fps continuous shooting mode, before shooting slowed using JPEG (Fine), using class 10 memory cards. Raw continuous shooting is much slower at 1.2fps. 

Canon Powershot G7X (8)
Canon Powershot G7 X Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Canon Powershot G7 X Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images have good colour and detail. Photos taken with flash are free of red-eye, with images showing good levels of detail and good skin tones. Exposure is also reliable. You can improve the dynamic range recorded by the camera using the DR (Dynamic Range) correction option, or shadow correction option, although these options are greyed out when shooting raw. 

Canon Powershot G7 X Lens test images

Lens Performance - There is good detail in the centre of the frame when shooting at the wide-angle end of the lens, although in the far corners detail becomes softer. Detail is good when shooting at the telephoto end of the lens. Purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are well controlled, and can only be seen when viewing images at 100%. Macro focus lets you focus on objects 5cm away from the front of the lens. You can also use some zoom to get a little bit closer, and the camera will let you know what the closest focus distance is as you zoom. Better macro images are possible when stopping the lens down, as they are overly soft when shooting at the brightest aperture of f/1.8. Barrel and pincushion distortion are low with the camera producing automatically corrected JPEG images. For the most part, the lens is quite resistant to lens flare, unless a bright light source, such as the sun, is in the frame. 

Canon Powershot G7 X ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO125 to ISO400, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. There is a very slight drop in detail at ISO800, although noise is well controlled. For lower light situations ISO1600 to ISO3200 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO6400 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO12800 is best avoided as noise is extremely high, and detail is low.

Canon Powershot G7 X White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm colour cast under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a more accurate result, although there is still a warm yellow colour cast. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta colour cast.

Canon Powershot G7 X Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of effects available, including several HDR options as shown above. Creative shot automatically creates five artistic photos seemingly randomly through cropping, rotating, or adjusting color, tone and more, as well as keeping the original image. The camera does not have a panoramic shooting mode. There are a number of scene modes to help take night and star photographs including: Star nightscape, Star portrait, Star trails, and Star time-lapse movie.

Video - Video quality is good with the camera recording 1080p at 60fps, and optical zoom is available. ISO3200 is the highest ISO setting available when shooting video, and you can also use the touch screen to set the focus point while recording, with an example of this on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel

Value For Money

The Canon Powershot G7 X is available for £579 which makes it more expensive than some of its nearest competitors, although with time this price may drop. The following cameras are some alternative options, with a larger than normal size sensor:

Fujifilm X30, f/2.0-2.8, 4x optical zoom lens (28-112mm), with EVF, 1/2inch sensor, £479
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II, f/1.8-4.9, 3.6x optical zoom lens (28-100mm), 1inch sensor, £479
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III , f/1.8-2.8, 2.9x optical zoom lens (24-70mm), with EVF, 1inch sensor, £695
Panasonic Lumix LX100,  f/1.7-f/2.8, 3.1x optical zoom lens (24-75mm), with EVF, 1.33inch sensor, £699
Canon Powershot G1 X MK II, f/2.0-3.9, 5x optical zoom lens (24-120mm), 1.5inch sensor, £649

You could also have a look at a compact mirrorless camera such as the Panasonic Lumix GM1 (£499) or Panasonic Lumix GM5 (with EVF, £699), which give the benefit of interchangeable lenses. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon Powershot G7 X Verdict

The Canon Powershot G7 X has a useful 4.2x optical zoom lens, with a wide-angle equivalent of 24mm zooming to 100mm at the telephoto end, with a bright f/1.8 to f/2.8 aperture. The camera takes pleasing images with bright saturated colours and good levels of detail which will keep even the most fussy photographer happy, considering the compact nature of the camera. However, it's unfortunate that some of the options available are greyed out when shooting in raw mode, as you may wish to use the colour options, as well as the dynamic range options. The battery life is also short, unless you switch on the Eco mode. Wi-Fi and NFC are built in, which is quickly becoming a must-have feature, letting you quickly share photos, as well as remotely control the camera, or add GPS information to your photos. Offering a wider than most lens, as well as a good telephoto reach of 100mm equivalent, along with good noise performance the Canon Powershot G7 X is highly recommended. 

Canon Powershot G7 X Pros

Good dynamic range and HDR options
Very good image quality
Good noise performance
1inch BSI CMOS sensor
310 shots possible with Eco mode
4.2x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24-100mm
Bright f/1.8-2.8 lens
Dual axis electronic level
Solid metal body
Very good 3inch touch screen

Canon Powershot G7 X Cons

Loud click from front lens ring
My Colors / Dynamic range options not available when shooting raw
Lacks panoramic shooting mode
Macro images soft at f/1.8

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Canon Powershot G7 X is a compact camera with a large sensor and a wide-angle 4.2x optical lens that delivers great images.

 

Canon Powershot G7 X Specifications

ManufacturerCanon
Lens
Max Aperturef/1.8 - f/2.8
35mm equivalent24mm - 100mm
Optical Zoom4.2x
Image Sensor
Pixels20.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5472
Pixels (H)3648
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
  • 4:5
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution1040k
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Manual
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest250sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting6.5fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS60p, 30p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
CIPA Rating210
Box Contents
Box ContentsDigital camera, Wrist strap, Battery charger, Battery pack, Getting Started Manual
Dimensions
Weight304g
Width103mm
Height60.4mm
Depth40.4mm

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Comments


8 Oct 2014 5:36PM
I sure would like GPS location buit in.

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Just Jas Plus
14 26.0k 1 England
4 Mar 2015 3:16PM
No EVF Sad
6 Jan 2016 10:23PM
How do advanced amateurs like using the camera and the results? Shortcomings other than the Evf in everyday always have a camera with me results? Comparable to the Sony RX100?
7 Jan 2016 2:10AM
Sorry, RX100 III?
I do not agree on the part about competitors. Canon G7X apparently competes in a very exclusive section that has been monopolised by Sony RX100 series for several years. So far there are Sony RX100 series, Canon G7X, G9X and Panasonic TZ100 as the only available 7 cameras in this "pocketable large sensor compact" market. Among which, G7X actually has a very competitive price that is only higer than the very basic G9X model. All other cameras on the list are not truely poketable.

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