Canon G7X Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops comparing the Canon G7X 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.

NOTE: 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: Canon G7X, Canon G1X II, Canon S120, Fuji X30, Panasonic LX100, and Sony RX100 III -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Canon G7X to any camera we've ever tested.

Canon G7X vs Canon G1X II at Base ISO

Canon G7X at ISO 125
Canon G1X II at ISO 100

Here, we compare the G7X to its larger sibling, the Canon G1X II. The 20-megapixel G7X offers significantly more resolution than the 13-megapixel G1X II and thus is able to resolve fine detail better here at base ISO, however it is also a little noisier when viewed at 100% like this. Default noise reduction also blurs the red-leaf fabric more than the G1X II. (Note that although the exposures look different, middle gray levels are closely matched between the two, so the apparent exposure difference is due to slightly different tone curves and color mapping.)

Canon G7X vs Canon S120 at Base ISO

Canon G7X at ISO 125
Canon S120 at ISO 80

Above, we decided to compare the G7X to its little brother, the Canon PowerShot S120 which features a much smaller 12-megapixel 1/1.7"-type sensor, to see if the G7X is worth the $200-300 premium. Again, the resolution advantage the G7X has is obvious, but the S120 otherwise holds its own at base ISO, and even does a little better in the red-leaf fabric. We'll see how this changes at higher ISOs below.

Canon G7X vs Fuji X30 at Base ISO

Canon G7X at ISO 125
Fuji X30 at ISO 100

As expected, we see the 20-megapixel G7X easily out-resolve the 12-megapixel Fuji X30 with its 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor, though the X30 otherwise does quite well for its class with clean, refined-looking images at base ISO, though sharpening is a bit high.

Canon G7X vs Panasonic LX100 at Base ISO

Canon G7X at ISO 125
Panasonic LX100 at ISO 200

Above, we compare the 20-megapixel 1"-type sensored Canon G7X to the 12.7-megapixel "4/3" sensored Panasonic LX100. The resolution difference is apparent here in both the relative element sizes and the higher detail from the G7X in all three crops at base ISO. But while the Canon's resolution is higher, noise is also a little higher, as you can see in the background of the bottle shoulder crop. The G7X applies slighter stronger sharpening, though, which tends to exacerbate noise. Still, the Panasonic's larger pixels pay off in terms of slightly lower noise already at base ISO when compared at 100% like this, but the G7X still wins with better detail.

Canon G7X vs Sony RX100 III at Base ISO

Canon G7X at ISO 125
Sony RX100 III at ISO 125

Here's a comparison to another 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor, this time from the company that started the category. Here we see both cameras do very well at base ISO, but while the Sony RX100 III's image looks a little cleaner and more vibrant, it also looks somewhat more "processed", with some minor artifacts visible from its area-specific noise reduction.

Canon G7X vs Canon G1X II at ISO 1600

Canon G7X at ISO 1600
Canon G1X II at ISO 1600

At ISO 1600, we see the G1X II start to pull ahead of the G7X with better detail all around despite the lower resolution, as well as lower noise.

Canon G7X vs Canon S120 at ISO 1600

Canon G7X at ISO 1600
Canon S120 at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600, we see the G7X easily best the S120, with much better detail and somewhat lower noise, however both struggle with the red-leaf fabric.

Canon G7X vs Fuji X30 at ISO 1600

Canon G7X at ISO 1600
Fuji X30 at ISO 1600

Again, the Canon G7X comes out ahead in this battle, with better detail and lower noise, but colors are a little better from the Fuji. At this ISO, the X30 renders almost no detail in the red-leaf fabric, though the G7X's rendering is only a rough facsimile at this sensitivity.

Canon G7X vs Panasonic LX100 at ISO 1600

Canon G7X at ISO 1600
Panasonic LX100 at ISO 1600

At ISO 1600, we see the LX100 start to pull ahead of the G7X with better detail despite the lower resolution, as well as lower luma noise. The Canon does a little better with controlling chroma noise, though. Both struggle with the red-leaf fabric.

Canon G7X vs Sony RX100 III at ISO 1600

Canon G7X at ISO 1600
Sony RX100 III at ISO 1600

Similar to base ISO, both the Canon and Sony 1" sensored cameras do fairly well at ISO 1600 considering their size, but again Canon's processing looks more natural with fewer artifacts and slightly better detail while the Sony displays higher contrast and saturation, producing an image with more "pop".

Canon G7X vs Canon G1X II at ISO 3200

Canon G7X at ISO 3200
Canon G1X II at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the G7X's resolution advantage starts to give way to the G1X II's pixel size advantage, with the latter producing comparable detail with less noise.

Canon G7X vs Canon S120 at ISO 3200

Canon G7X at ISO 3200
Canon S120 at ISO 3200

Once again, the G7X easily comes out on top in this contest, with much better detail and lower noise, but both struggle to reproduce any fine detail in our troublesome red-leaf fabric.

Canon G7X vs Fuji X30 at ISO 3200

Canon G7X at ISO 3200
Fuji X30 at ISO 3200

While the X30 does fairly well for such a high ISO in a compact, the G7X comes out ahead in terms of detail and noise, though color is still better from the Fuji.

Canon G7X vs Panasonic LX100 at ISO 3200

Canon G7X at ISO 3200
Panasonic LX100 at ISO 3200

Once again, the LX100 comes out on top in this contest, with better detail, lower noise, and better color, but both struggle to reproduce any fine detail in our difficult red-leaf fabric.

Canon G7X vs Sony RX100 III at ISO 3200

Canon G7X at ISO 3200
Sony RX100 III at ISO 3200

Here again the Canon comes out on top overall, with a more natural rendering and slightly better detail. The Sony's image is a little cleaner and more saturated, but noise reduction artifacts distort fine detail, while noise grain from the Canon is more consistent and less obtrusive.

Canon G7X vs. Canon G1X II, Canon G7X, Fuji X30, Panasonic LX100, Sony RX100 III

Canon
G7X
ISO 125
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Canon
G1X II

ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Canon
S120
ISO 80
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fuji
X30
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
LX100
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
RX100 III
ISO 125
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing cameras in different ways, so we like to look at it too. At base ISO, the two 20-megapixel cameras come out ahead, easily resolving the fine lines inside the lettering as well as producing very good contrast, though sharpening is a little more obvious from the G7X versus the RX100 III. The G1X II produces excellent contrast as well, but its 13-megapixel resolution struggles to fully resolve the fine lines. This is also true of the 12.7-megapixel LX100, though contrast isn't quite as good. The S120 and X30 both struggle to fully resolve the lines even at base ISO, but offer good contrast. At ISO 3200, the G7X pulls ahead of the Sony, resolving more detail, but contrast isn't as good and there's also some discoloration. The G1X II and LX100 continue to do well, but their contrast has dropped as well. The S120 and X30 fail to resolve any fine detail within the lettering at this sensitivity, and the Fuji's saturation has dropped so much that the small red lettering is monochrome. At ISO 6400, the two larger sensors in the G1X II and LX100 are clearly on top. The G7X does a bit better than the Sony in terms of detail, but the Sony has better contrast and color. And once again, the S120 and X30 trail the pack with mushy detail and funky color.

 

Canon G7X Print Quality

High-resolution prints up to 20 x 30 inches at ISO 125-200; Good 11 x 14 inch prints at ISO 1600; and acceptable 4 x 6 inch prints are possible up to ISO 6400.

ISO 125 images are able to produce pleasing, vibrant prints up to 20 x 30 inches. There's lots of fine detail upon close inspection at this print size and any larger would be pushing the limits of the sensor's resolution, but we'd certainly be happy to take it up a notch for 24 x 36 inch prints for wall display in this case.

ISO 200 prints look extremely similar to base ISO prints, and we're calling it here at 20 x 30 inches as well. Examining the prints very closely, there's ever-so-slightly less very fine detail in some areas compared to ISO 125, but not nearly enough to cause a drop in print size.

ISO 400 images print up to 16 x 20 inches with no problem. There's a slight reduction in fine detail compared to a similar-sized print at the previous ISO level, but visible noise is very well controlled and colors also remain vibrant.

ISO 800 prints look great up to 13 x 19 inches. We see a subtle increase in visible noise at this ISO and a further reduction in very fine detail, but contrast, colors and overall detail still look very nice and pleasing. Troublesome areas, such as many of our fabric swatches, begin to display a notable decline in detail, though.

ISO 1600 images have become noticeably softer overall, though prints still look good up to 11 x 14 inches.

ISO 3200 shots still display enough detail and low enough noise for pleasing 8 x 10 inch prints.

ISO 6400 images have become quite soft and lacking in fine detail, though there's enough detail as well as pleasing colors and contrast for a usable 4 x 6 inch print. A 5 x 7 inch print may be usable, though, for less critical applications.

ISO 12,800 is overall too soft and lacking in detail for us to comfortably consider any size a usable print. However, for less critical applications, we'd be okay with a 4 x 6 inch print.

With a larger 1-inch-type sensor, the Canon G7X does a solid job in the print quality department, especially a lower ISOs, with nice, large 20 x 30 inch prints at both base ISO and 200. In the middle ISO range, images become softer in detail, though visible noise is still well-controlled. Prints as large as 13 x 19 and 11 x 14 are acceptable at ISO 800 and 1600, respectively. At the extreme end of the ISO scale, prints become very soft due to noise and NR processing, with 4 x 6 inch prints topping out at ISO 6400.

About our print-quality testing: Our "Reference Printer"

Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer, which we named our "Printer of the Year" in our 2015 COTY awards.

The Canon PRO-1000 has a lot of characteristics that make it a natural to use for our "reference printer." When it comes to judging how well a camera's photos print, resolution and precise rendering are paramount. The PRO-1000's more than 18,000 individual nozzles combine with an air feeding system that provides exceptional droplet-placement accuracy. Its 11-color LUCIA PRO ink system delivers a wide color gamut and dense blacks, giving us a true sense of the cameras' image quality. To best see fine details, we've always printed on glossy paper, so the PRO-1000's "Chroma Optimizer" overcoat that minimizes "bronzing" or gloss differential is important to us. (Prior to the PRO-1000, we've always used dye-based printers, in part to avoid the bronzing problems with pigment-based inks.) Finally, we just don't have time to deal with clogged inkjet heads, and the PRO-1000 does better in that respect than any printer we've ever used. If you don't run them every day or two, inkjet printers tend to clog. Canon's thermal-inkjet technology is inherently less clog-prone than other approaches, but the PRO-1000 takes this a step further, with sensors that monitor every inkjet nozzle. If one clogs, it will assign another to take over its duties. In exchange for a tiny amount of print speed, this lets you defer cleaning cycles, which translates into significant ink savings. In our normal workflow, we'll often crank out a hundred or more letter-size prints in a session, but then leave the printer to sit for anywhere from days to weeks before the next camera comes along. In over a year of use, we've never had to run a nozzle-cleaning cycle on our PRO-1000.

See our Canon PRO-1000 review for a full overview of the printer from the viewpoint of a fine-art photographer.

*Disclosure: Canon provided us with the PRO-1000 and a supply of ink to use in our testing, and we receive advertising consideration for including this mention when we talk about camera print quality. Our decision to use the PRO-1000 was driven by the printer itself, though, prior to any discussion with Canon on the topic. (We'd actually been using an old Pixma PRO 9500II dye-based printer for years previously, and paying for our own ink, until we decided that the PRO-1000 was the next-generation printer we'd been waiting for.)

 



Enter this month to win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate