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Canon PowerShot G7 X review

Andrew Williams

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Reviewed:

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Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Premium design with good physical controls
  • Versatile 24-100mm lens

Cons

  • No hotshoe
  • Dated AF system

Key Features

  • 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor
  • 24-100mm (equiv.) f/1.8-2.8 lens
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Manufacturer: Canon
  • Review Price: £579.99

What is the Canon PowerShot G7 X?

The G7 X is Canon’s answer to the Sony RX100 III, which recently became our favourite compact camera of the moment. It adopts the same core ideal: pack a larger-than-average sensor into a small camera and you have a very convenient compact that offers image quality your Galaxy S5 could only dream of.

If compact cameras are going to survive, it’ll be in the form of models like the Canon G7 X. We’re seeing a whole brace of them appear at present, too.

You don’t just have the Canon G7 X to consider, but the aforementioned Sony RX100 and the Panasonic LX100, too. Sony was the first to embrace this new sort of advanced compact, and its experience shows. But if you want great manual control and fancy saving some money, the £579 G7 X is actually one of the cheaper models on offer.

Canon PowerShot G7 X: Design and Handling

While the large 20.2-megapixel 1-inch sensor of the Canon G7 X rightly gets a lot of attention, the compact-style dimensions are also incredibly important. Without it being as small as it is, you might as well go and buy a mid-range compact system camera such as the Sony Alpha a6000.

The Canon G7 X is even smaller than the PowerShot G16, Canon’s top smaller-sensor advanced compact. At 103mm x 60.4mm x 40.4mm it’s an extremely handy size. Are there times when you leave the DSLR at home because you simply can’t be bothered to deal with its sheer bulk? This is where the PowerShot G7 X could step in.

Canon G7 X

It’s slightly chunkier than the 102 x 58 x 41mm Sony RX100 III, but they’re fundamentally in the same size class. Getting this right was important.

As you’d hope of a £579 compact, the Canon G7 X is very well made. Like other Canon advanced compacts, its body is speckled metal, giving a cool, hard feel and an impression of ruggedness that’s slightly greater than the smooth Sony rival. Of course, impressions of ruggedness and being able to actually take punishment are two different things. The two cameras are fairly evenly matched on that front.

What we’d pick out as one of the main benefits of the Canon PowerShot G7 X is its manual control. Much like the PowerShot G16, it’s top of its class.

There’s a great click-feedback control wheel around the lens, an exposure dial under the mode dial, as well as the usual control wheel on the backplate. This is a step above the manual control you get in the Sony RX100 III, making it fairly easy to control shutter speed, exposure and aperture independently.

Of course, this still isn’t DSLR-grade control. An additional front dial (as seen in the G16) would give you more comfortable control, and we did find that the exposure dial was a little bit too close to the mode dial, meaning you need to be quite careful when operating it to avoid flicking both controls.

You can’t expect everything in a camera this size, though, and there are enough manual controls to make using aperture/shutter priority modes a doddle. It’s one of the more compelling reasons to pick the G7 X over the Sony model, which relies a little more on using the on-screen interface when going manual.

alex

September 15, 2014, 6:00 pm

Those PowerShot sure changed since the S1 IS

Paul Blaccard

September 15, 2014, 9:15 pm

The Battery life on the S120 was a horror when using video. The reviewer here mentions "There’s just one obvious issue: battery life is not great" that when shooting stills! Conveniently they mention nothing about battery life in video mode. Wait for actual hands on reviews before purchasing.

iFrank

September 16, 2014, 5:23 am

"What's not to like?".

No viewfinder.
Something Sony realised, which is why they intergrated one with the m3.
Their camera is really popular, Jessops have some stock but John Lewis still can't supply yet.
I bet they have 1V3 stock on which Nikon dropped the viewfinder and it's also more expensive than this Canon and the Sony.
'Somebody from Nikon' told me, last week, that they were about to announce a new compact with a 1" sensor to replace the P7800.
I've not seen or heard anything yet though.

I'm delighted we now have another choice of a truly compact camera with a 1" sensor.
Look forward to the review.

Brian O'Neill

October 28, 2014, 4:57 pm

You can get an rx100 from amazon for 299, plus sony are giving you a £40 rebate bring it down to £260. I have the rx100 original and the v3, save your cash and buy the original, the differences are marginal.

Ralph

October 22, 2015, 4:17 pm

I wish you guys would give the optical zoom equivalent: I'm not a camera nerd, but still want to buy a really powerful zoom with the best possible sensor: got fed up with Panasonic TZ range as the low light performance seems to get worse and worse, but love the zoom.
How does this camera compare to the TZ70......?

Theo Scheepers

November 5, 2015, 2:57 pm

I suspect that some of the comments here are by people who don't quite understand how to use this camera.

I sold my DSLR and got the G7X mainly for the sake of portability. Suffice to say, I am very impressed with this camera. Sure, it doesn't have quite the fast burst rate as I'd like, nor does it have an EVF...but those are features that you can do without if you know how to use it properly. The image quality is great, not quite the same level as a DSLR, but so close in fact that the images are of good enough quality to be used in print publication (which mine are). Remember, there was a time when photographers still got stunning images with far less tech at their disposal.

A little tip to add further versatility to this great little cam, get yourself a 52mm MagFilter, which will allow you to attach 52mm filters. It's great to have such a small camera and still be able to get creative with VND, CPL and Grad filters.

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