Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II Review: A good all-round performer
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II Detailed Review
Compact cameras with 1-inch sensors have their own place in the imaging market. They are designed to be small enough to fit fast, sharp shooter, without the hassle of changing lenses and very easily in the pocket. While Sony has fortified this segment with its iconic RX100 lineup, the Canon is also there. Although the first generation G7 X or even G9 X were reasonably decent efforts, they had problems with core performance, lens optics and a few other areas.
PowerShot G7 X Mark II Here, Canon’s second round effort on Sony’s behemoth RX100 lineup, a pretty tough camera on paper. There are several notable upgrades and Canon wants the G7X Mark II to be a camera that everyone will find essential in their travel kits. Does it hit the right chords?
Right now the two current generation compact cameras are the Sony CyberShot RX100 V, and the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. Before we start talking about performance on offer, let’s look at what each of these offers has to offer.
While the RX100 V offers more in terms of continuous shooting, maximum video resolution and even an electronic viewfinder within a compact, pocketable frame, the Canon G7 X II pushes the competition head-on. Unlike older countrymen like the Sony RX100 IV, the inclusion of Canon’s latest generation DIGIC 7 image processor is an advantage, as it offers a good edge in terms of processing, autofocus and more.
Color, saturation, white balance
The color output of the PowerShot G7X Mark II is similar to Canon’s warm tone. The colors look sharp, although the reds seem to benefit from an unusual amount. Yellow, blues and especially greens look a little less saturated, especially in rich, vibrant compositions. However, these don’t look dark, and you can choose to shoot RAW for post-shooting correction. The new DIGIC 7 processor allows for better, faster shooting of RAW, and the G7 X II produces less noise and better dynamic range, all of which make this camera one of the most useful compacts available today.
To be clear, the colors are fairly accurate and good looking, it has lost a certain richness of tone in JPEG. Saturation layers favor high color temperatures, and white balance algorithms work fairly well. Here, too, the camera tends to adapt to warmer temperatures, which can be corrected using custom manual presets. Despite the improved dynamic range, the Canon G7 X II produces a slightly limited range of colors, but you realize this only when you shoot in a very lively environment and compare the results in parallel.
For reference, seeing that the average Indian user is leaning more towards a basic DSLR than a premium compact, our comparison between the Nikon D3400 and the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II reveals a somewhat limited range of motion.
Details, sharpness, noise and ISO
Canon has significantly improved the level of detail, sharpness, noise reduction and ISO performance compared to its previous generation compacts. There is a decent layer of coarse detail that works in wide frames, although macro shots show a lack of fine detail. Advanced sharpening here works for most objects, although it looks thicker after a closer inspection.
It lends sharp outlines in certain cases, especially in light fall. Nonetheless, the G7 X II is actually a fairly significant performer in terms of detail and sharpness of the object in most scenes. You’ll get a Dedicated Picture Style mode to adjust the sharpening power, feathers, and thresholds, allowing control over the sharpening radius.
Yet another impressive feature is the noise reduction, and the Canon G7 X II performs fairly well on low ISO shots. Noise reduction levels do not ruin photos with grain, even in low light, although soft edges are repeated, the G7 X II manages to maintain color accuracy, does not render unusable sound levels beyond ISO 3200.
ISO performance is also decent, and you can shoot comfortably up to ISO 1600 without much difficulty. Low ISO performance does not create uniform color banding in low light and the range of flash also extends up to 7.0m at ISO 100, which is fairly decent. You can adjust the angle of the pop-up flash module to bounce the flash against the wall, which is a neat addition.
As before, there are still a few weak areas in autofocus performance. For one, dropping the half-shutter-press while tracking a subject causes the camera to fail to detect the movement of the subject and takes a significantly longer time to try to focus again. Phase detection pixels struggle with macro focusing consistency and are particularly confusing if there are distinct shapes or sharp colors in the background.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X can be found on the Mark II with a full continuous autofocus 1-shot servo AF and it works fairly well. Constant subject tracking works well with fast moving objects. However, if you use it extensively, it can significantly reduce battery life. Autofocus performance is fairly decent, and if autofocus fails to work for you, the inclusion of a smooth rear ring makes it easier to manually focus.
More camera samples
Construction, Design and Ergonomics
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is slightly more compact than its predecessor. What’s an important little addition, it adds a small grip to the right of the camera body. Makes it easy to hold. The power button, zoom toggle, mode and EV compensation dials are at the top and it’s fairly easy to operate.
You will also find a small thumb grip on the back which makes shooting much easier. The front ring also has a shortcut for assigning a specific function and the video recording button is also placed here. Speaking of the ring, it now gets a lock that allows it to be switched between smooth or stuttering operations. This makes manual focusing significantly easier on the G7 X II, and you can use the stutter mode when sifting through the settings.
Canon’s other neat decision is to move the display hinge downwards, and it can now be tilted 45 degrees down instead of just tilting upwards. All of this makes the camera more ergonomic and easier to use, and its 319g weight isn’t too much in the pocket. The design has got more defined edges thanks to the added grip and slightly reduced bearings, all of which make it look, feel and handle quite well.
Connection and battery life
The Canon G7 X II gets Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. Your phone will need the Canon CameraConnect app and use it to transfer files on the go, or use your phone as a remote for the camera. For NFC-enabled Android users, selecting NFC mode and tapping the phone under the camera body transfers the photos displayed on the camera’s LCD at that moment.
The battery life of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is about 300 shots, which is somewhat longer than the company’s advertising. This translates into a three-day shoot with most casual / tourist photographers. This is fairly average, and actually higher than its main market competitor, the Sony RX100 lineup.
The last row
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a great compact shooter. It offers some Nifty features, upgraded dials and good color, detailing and overall imaging performance, including toggles and decent battery life, all at a mandatory price point. Although the Sony RX100 V has some more features in the sleeve, it retails at almost double the price, which lends a higher price for money to the G7 X II, which has an MRP of Rs. 40,995.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is highly recommended for those who do not want the bulk and interchangeable lens factor of a DSLR and need a camera capable of delivering imaging quality in a small, pocketable frame.