Canon G7X lays claim to Sony RX100-series turf with longer lens, faster autofocus and touch-screen


posted Monday, September 15, 2014 at 8:04 AM EDT


Back in the spring of 2012, Canon's PowerShot G1 X large-sensor, fixed-zoom camera got us incredibly excited. Six months later, Sony stole its thunder with the RX100, which shrank the formula to pocket-size, yet still offered clear advantages over existing enthusiast compacts -- not to mention the ever-present smartphone.

Now, Canon once more lays claim once more to the category it created with the brand-new Canon G7X, and Sony has a battle on its hands. It's perhaps a rather different battle than Canon was anticipating, however, as Panasonic has simultaneously launched its own contender, making it a three-way fight for the crown! (You'll find our coverage of the Panasonic LX100 in a separate story.)


Of these two new RX100-series competitors, it is Canon's which is closest to the Sony formula, although it bests all three RX100 cameras in a number of ways, on paper at least. Indeed, the Canon G7X's body is nearly indistinguishable from that the Sony RX100 III in terms of its dimensions, and only slightly heavier. It's based around a very familiar-looking 20.2-megapixel image sensor -- or could it perhaps be the same one as in Sony's RX100 II and III? -- and yields the same maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800. Yet despite having near-identical dimensions, Canon packs in almost 50% more zoom reach than in the RX100 III. Even more incredibly, it retains the same maximum aperture range from wide to tele.


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. And it shoots significantly faster than Sony's rivals with autofocus enabled, too. It even has a touch screen for quick and easy focus-point selection.

Available from October 2014 in the US market, the Canon PowerShot G7X is priced at around US$700, noticeably more affordable than the Sony RX100 III that represents its nearest rival. For more on Canon's first large-sensor enthusiast compact camera that can actually slip inside a pants pocket, read our hands-on Canon G7X preview!