Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon PowerShot G7 X
Resolution: 20.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1 inch
(13.2mm x 8.8mm)
Lens: 4.20x zoom
(24-100mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 125 - 12,800
Extended ISO: 125 - 12,800
Shutter: 1/2000 - 250 seconds
Max Aperture: 1.8
Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 in.
(103 x 60 x 40 mm)
Weight: 10.7 oz (302 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 10/2014
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon G7X specifications
20.20
Megapixels
4.20x zoom 1 inch
size sensor
image of Canon PowerShot G7 X
Front side of Canon G7X digital camera Front side of Canon G7X digital camera Front side of Canon G7X digital camera Front side of Canon G7X digital camera Front side of Canon G7X digital camera

G7X Summary

With the 20.2-megapixel Canon G7X, Sony finally has a fight on its hands in the enthusiast compact camera market. The Canon G7X takes on its rival's popular RX100-series cameras with much the same body and sensor sizes, and yet somehow Canon has managed to pack in not only more zoom reach, but also a brighter maximum aperture as well! But does the Canon G7X have what it takes to finally slay the RX100, or will it have an Achilles heel of its own? Find out now in our in-depth Canon G7X review!

Pros

Very compact body fits in a pants pocket; Zoom lens is both brighter and further-reaching than anything offered by its enthusiast compact rivals; Selfie-friendly tilting LCD monitor; Intuitive touch-screen interface; Very good image quality for its class; Wi-Fi connectivity gets photos on your phone

Cons

No electronic viewfinder; Soft corners at wide-angle; Flare issues and fringing shooting wide-open; Weak performance when shooting raw files; Tendency to underexpose in low light; Limited battery life

Price and availability

Available since October 2014 in the US market, the Canon PowerShot G7X is priced at around US$700. That's a significantly lower pricetag than Sony's RX100 IV, and even a little less than the RX100 III. In fact, it puts the G7X right in between the entry-level RX100 and the subsequent RX100 II in terms of list pricing.

Imaging Resource rating

3.5 out of 5.0

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Canon G7X Review

by
Preview posted 09/15/2014

Updates:
12/18/2014:
Field Test Part I: The contender for Sony's throne goes toe-to-toe in the real world!
05/06/2015: Field Test Part II: After sunset, the enthusiast compact head-to-head continues!
07/01/2015: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality posted!

: Sample video added to Field Test Part II; Conclusion posted!

Back in the spring of 2012, Canon launched a camera which got us incredibly excited. The industry's first large-sensor, fixed-lens zoom digital camera, the Canon G1X was something we'd been requesting for years, and while it was larger than we'd hoped, we were thrilled. Until, that is, the Sony RX100 stole Canon's thunder. That camera compromised on sensor size, but it still provided a significant advantage over existing camera phones and compacts -- even enthusiast models -- and yet was small enough to fit in a pants pocket.

Canon G7 X Review -- Beauty shot

We weren't alone. Despite a relatively high pricetag for a compact camera, the RX100 and its subsequent siblings have sold in droves, and until now, Sony has had the market pretty much to itself.

And yet suddenly, with the Canon G7X and the near-simultaneously launched Panasonic LX100, Sony has a battle on its hands. These two cameras each have some fairly important differences from the RX100-series cameras, but they also share much of what made Sony's cameras so popular: the advantages of a fairly large sensor, a fairly compact body and an optical zoom lens that helps get the framing you're after.

Of the two new models, it is Canon's which is closest to the Sony formula in size. In fact, the Canon G7X is nearly indistinguishable from the Sony RX100 III in terms of its dimensions, and only slightly heavier. It looks to have a very similar 20.2-megapixel image sensor, if not perhaps even the same one, and yields the same maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800.

Canon G7 X Review -- 3/4 right view with flash up

Yet despite having near-identical dimensions, Canon packs in almost 50% more zoom reach than in the RX100 III while retaining the same maximum aperture range. Essentially, the Canon G7X pairs the wide-angle possibilities of the RX100 III with the telephoto possibilities of the RX100 and RX100 II, and somehow manages to cram in the brighter aperture of the former. We're not sure how they've managed it, but in one fell swoop Canon has brought forth a convincing rival for all three cameras in a single model, at least on paper.

And the Canon G7X shoots significantly faster than Sony's rivals with autofocus enabled, too, even if it still trails them in performance with focus locked. Better still, it has a touch screen that makes it easier and quicker to focus precisely where you want, so you can really take advantage of that greater AF speed.

Let's take a closer look at Canon's first large-sensor enthusiast compact camera that can actually slip inside a pants pocket!

 

Canon G7X Walkaround

by Mike Tomkins

With dimensions of 4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 inches (103 x 60.4 x 40.4mm) the Canon G7X is near-indistinguishable in size from its nearest competitor, the Sony RX100 III. It's just fractionally taller and wider, but despite its longer-reaching lens, just microscopically slimmer than the Sony.

At a weight of 10.7 ounces (302g) loaded and ready to shoot, it's a little heavier, though. By way of comparison, the Sony RX100 III weighs about a half-ounce (15g) less, with battery and flash card loaded.

Its lightest and smallest competitor in the class is the original Sony RX100. Although that model has a shorter, less-bright lens and lacks quite a few of the G7X's features -- most notably, its tilting screen and Wi-Fi connectivity -- it's about 0.2 inches slimmer and weighs 2.2 ounces (62g) less while retaining the same 1"-type sensor size.

Canon G7 X review -- Front view

Seen from the front, the Canon G7 X cuts a clean, unassuming profile. With the exception of a ring surrounding the 4.2x optical zoom lens, there are no controls on the front deck.

Nestled above and to the right of the lens (as seen from the rear) is a small LED that serves double-duty as an autofocus illuminator and self-timer lamp. And as you can see, the lens itself includes a built-in, sliding lens barrier that negates the need for an easily-lost lens cap.

Canon G7 X review -- Top view

From above, the G7X shows its colors as an enthusiast camera with a dedicated Exposure Compensation dial, stacked wedding cake-style beneath the Mode dial at the right end of the camera body. Both dials are diamond-knurled around the outside, just as is the dial that surrounds the lens ring, providing plenty of grip.

Just a little to the left of the Exposure Compensation and Mode dials sits the Shutter button, surrounded by a Zoom rocker that functions both in Record and Playback modes. Left of and behind this is the Power button, while a popup flash strobe can be seen at the far left end of the top deck. In between are two ports for the stereo microphone, and a single three-hole port for the speaker.

Canon G7 X review -- Rear view

The rear of the PowerShot G7X is also quite clean and straightforward, although the controls are clustered very near to the edge of the camera. With no protruding front grip, a two-handed hold is required to reach and use most of these controls with your thumb. A modest thumb grip at the top right corner helps secure your purchase when shooting stills single-handed, though.

Left of the control cluster is the 3.0-inch LCD monitor, surrounded by a fairly large bezel. The monitor is mounted on a hinge that allows it to swing upwards 180 degrees for shooting selfies or from the hip, but since it's a fixed hinge, no downward tilt is possible. That means it won't help out when shooting over your head, and nor can the screen be turned to face inwards for protection, unlike side-mounted tilt/swivel types.

Canon G7 X review -- 3/4 rear view with LCD up

With that said, none of the G7 X's nearest competitors have a tilt/swivel screen either, although Sony's RX100 II, III and IV all provide for overhead or waist-level shooting, and the latter two are also selfie-friendly. At least there's nothing obscuring the bottom of the G7X's LCD when in selfie mode, unless you raise the flash.

As for the controls, there are four buttons surrounding the four-way controller, which sits at the center of the rear dial and has a central Function / Set button. Above the Four-way controller are a Ring Func. button that switches which variable will be controlled by the lens ring, as well as a Video Record button. The latter is close enough to the edge of the camera that you'll want to shoot videos two-handed to avoid shake.

Beneath the Four-way controller are Playback and Menu buttons, as well as a small card access lamp that sits just above and left of the Playback button. The four-way controller itself also offers controls for Drive mode / Wi-Fi, Focus mode, Flash and Display on its cardinal directions.

Canon G7 X review -- Right view

Switching to the right-hand side of the Canon PowerShot G7X, you can see that the lens telescopes out an inch or more from the front of the barrel when in use.

There is but one control on this side: The Mobile Device Connect Button, for quick connection to smartphones or tablets. It sits beneath a small flap that covers the connectivity compartment. Beneath are the G7X's combined standard-definition A/V output and digital USB data port, and a Micro HDMI port for connection to high-definition displays.

Canon G7 X review -- Left view

Switching to the left-hand side, there's only one control: a mechanical release for the built-in, popup flash strobe that sits above on the top deck.

Canon G7 X review -- Bottom view

And finally, we come to the base of the camera. There's not a lot to see here, but it's worth noting that the release on the card / battery compartment door and the base of the tilting LCD monitor both share the same diamond-knurling as the various control dials and lens ring.

The metal tripod mount sits off the central axis of the lens, which isn't ideal for tripod-mounted panorama shooting, but it'd be easy enough to correct for with a short bracket if you plan to shoot a lot of panos. And finally, a small logo imprinted into the bottom of the camera indicates the location of its NFC antenna. (Sadly, this remains Android-only, as Apple doesn't allow third-parties to access the NFC radios built into its latest devices.)

 

Canon G7X Field Test Part I

The pretender to Sony's throne goes toe-to-toe in the real world!

by Mike Tomkins |

Canon G7X shooter's report photoIt's no secret that Sony's RX100-series enthusiast compact cameras, with their pocket-friendly bodies and larger-than-average sensors, have been among my favorite cameras in the last couple of years. After two years with no direct competition for the RX100 series, Sony finally has a rival in the form of the Canon G7X, and you'd better believe I wanted to get my hands on one posthaste!

In part, my eagerness to review the Canon G7X comes thanks to the fact that in almost the same footprint as the flagship RX100 III, it offers a clear advantage over Sony's camera in terms of telephoto reach. (Yet at the same time, it provides the same f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture across the zoom range.) On paper at least, that's a pretty big deal, because it allows you to bring your subjects quite a bit closer -- handy when you can't frame with your feet.

But how would the Canon G7X and its impressive-sounding lens perform in the real world? To find out, I took Canon's first entry in the large sensor, pocket camera out for a side-by-side shoot with its main rival, the Sony RX100 III, as well as the even larger-sensored (but most definitely not pants-pocket friendly) Panasonic LX100.

How does the Canon G7X compare to its rivals in the real world?

Find out in Field Test Part I

Canon G7X Field Test Part II

After sunset, the enthusiast compact head-to-head continues!

by Mike Tomkins |

Canon G7X shooter's report photoIn the first part of my Canon G7X Field Test, I shot with the company's first pants pocket-friendly, large-sensor compact in a three-way head to head with its nearest rivals: The Sony RX100 III and Panasonic LX100. (Admittedly, the Panasonic is rather larger than the Canon G7X and Sony RX100-series models, but it's also quite a lot smaller than the only other offerings in the market segment -- the Canon G1 X and G1 X Mark II.)

In the course of preparing that first report, I found more than a few features I found extremely attractive, especially when compared against the similarly-sized Sony RX100 III. I liked the Canon's controls, and especially its dedicated exposure compensation dial. I was also a fan of its color rendering, and of its JPEG-mode performance, especially with continuous autofocus enabled. And its more powerful zoom lens -- which, amazingly, was also brighter across much of the zoom range than that in the Sony RX100 III -- also struck me as a very nice bonus.

How did the Canon G7X fare when the sun went down?

Find out in Field Test Part II

Canon G7X Image Quality Comparison

See how the G7X compares with other pocket enthusiast cameras

by Zig Weidelich |

Canon G7X image qualityWe've prepared crops comparing the Canon G7X's image quality with the Canon G1X II, Canon S120, Fuji X30, Panasonic LX100, and Sony RX100 III. The Canon G1X II and S120 are both siblings with larger and smaller sensors respectively, and the others are a few competitors to the G7X.

These images are best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page

Read our Image Quality Comparison!

Canon G7X Image Quality Comparison

Canon G7X Technical Insights

A look inside this far-reaching enthusiast compact camera

by Mike Tomkins |

Canon G7X tech section illustration Sensor

Canon hasn't revealed the manufacturer of the image sensor used in the PowerShot G7X digital camera, but we note with interest that its specifications look a whole lot like the Sony-manufactured silicon used in the competing RX100 II and III.

Like that chip, the Canon G7 X's imager is a 1.0"-type, backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor. (Where Sony refers to its chip as an Exmor R type, though, Canon refers to that in the G7X simply as being ""High-Sensitivity CMOS".)

And resolution, too, is essentially identical. The G7X sensor has a 3:2 aspect ratio and an effective resolution of 20.2 megapixels from a total of 20.9 megapixels. Maximum image dimensions are 5,472 x 3,648 pixels, all identical to the Sony.

What separates the Canon G7X from its rivals?

Find out in our Canon G7X technical info!

Canon G7X Conclusion

A very promising first effort from Canon

by Mike Tomkins |

Finally, there's a direct competitor for the Sony RX100-series cameras! Sure, there have been other large-sensor enthusiast compact cameras with zoom lenses -- the Panasonic LX100, for example, or Canon's own G1X-series -- but none has come quite so close to Sony's pants pocket-friendly formula as does the Canon G7X. And it doesn't just mimic the RX100-series cameras, but rather tries to better them, taking Sony on in its own turf with some notable advantages to its well-entrenched rival.

Key among these is clearly the Canon G7X's lens, which at once offers both a more powerful zoom and an equal or brighter aperture across the entire zoom range. And there are other important differences, too -- for example, a touchscreen interface that the G7X's rivals lack.

 

In the Box

The Canon PowerShot G7 X retail box includes (may vary by region):

  • Canon PowerShot G7 X digital camera
  • NB-13L Lithium-ion battery pack
  • CB-2LH battery charger
  • WS-DC12 wrist strap
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

 

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Comparison Shopping?

The premium compact camera market has heated up to the point you'll surely need our new camera comparison tool for helping keep all the specs sorted out!. Clicking on any of the following will take you there, where you can see features, specs, pros and cons listed for virtually any pair of cameras you'd like to compare. Here are a few obvious choices to compare to the Canon G7X to get you started:

Canon G7X vs Sony RX100 III

Canon G7X vs Panasonic LX100

Canon G7X vs Canon G1X II

Canon G7X vs Fuji X30

Canon G7X vs Nikon V3

 



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