With the PowerShot G7 X Mark II, Canon appears to have resolved the main issues of the model’s predecessor. Matt Golowczynski takes a closer look
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II review – Features
Despite a handful of significant improvements, much of what the G7 X Mark II offers at its core is essentially the same as the camera it updates – and the sensor falls into this camp. Once again we see a 1in CMOS sensor with a backlit architecture, and an effective pixel count of 20.1MP, which provides a native sensitivity span of ISO 125-12,800. However, image quality between the two models looks set to be slightly different, partly because the newcomer is capable of capturing 14-bit raw files (rather than the G7 X’s 12-bit ones), but also because it’s the first PowerShot to employ the DIGIC 7 processor.
Key claims made by Canon for its new engine include enhanced detail rendition and better noise reduction across the sensitivity range, as well as diffraction correction to help boost definition when using smaller apertures. Further promises include improved shot-to-shot times and a handful of focusing-based improvements.
The processor is also responsible for increasing burst shooting speed from 6.5fps to 8fps, with autofocus set at the first frame. What’s more significant is that this rate is maintained when capturing raw files for up to 19 frames – a massive improvement on the G7 X’s underwhelming 1.2fps. Those capturing JPEGs can capture up to 30 frames at this speed, and should you wish to maintain autofocus between frames, the rate drops to a still respectable 5.4fps for up to 46 JPEGs.
The camera’s 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent lens appears unchanged from the G7 X, and image stabilisation has once again been included to counter camera shake, although one advantage of the DIGIC 7 processor is the new Dual Sensing IS technology. This uses newly developed algorithms to analyse information from the sensor to help further minimise blur, and results in a maximum compensatory effect of 4 stops (compared with 3 on the G7 X).
In contrast to some of its peers, the G7 X Mark II doesn’t support 4K video recording – instead, it opts for full HD shooting at a choice of frame rates from 24fps to 50fps (or 60fps in NTSC). This makes use of the H.264 codec for compression and wraps footage in the MP4 format, with footage recorded at a maximum bit rate of 35mbps. Videos benefit from a five-axis dynamic image stabiliser, which is said to be particularly beneficial when walking with the camera. It’s also now possible to create time-lapse footage.
Canon has ditched its My Colors image settings in favour of the Picture Styles that grace its EOS DSLRs and CSCs. The options include standard, portrait, neutral, faithful, fine detail, monochrome and landscape, as well as an auto mode, and three that can be created and tailored to your exact specifications. A long-standing criticism of previous PowerShot models was that it was not possible to adjust these when capturing raw images, but on the G7 X Mark II this is now permitted.
Alongside support of SD, SDHC and SDXC media, the camera bears the usual assortment of connectivity options, with micro HDMI and USB ports in addition to Wi-Fi and NFC. A button on the side of the body brings up the camera’s various wireless options, allowing images to be sent to printers, computers and even to other PowerShot cameras if desired.
The top-plate conceals a small flash that’s released with a catch on the camera’s side, although there’s no hotshoe to accept an external flashgun. Battery life is quoted at 265 frames, which is a useful improvement on the 210 offered by the G7 X, and you can boost this to 355 when using the Eco setting.