Canon’s 20.2-million-pixel G7 X is the firm’s first-ever compact camera with a 1-inch type sensor, marking an entirely new line in the Canon range. Jon Devo tests it out
Canon PowerShot G7 X Review – Performance
This camera is Canon’s first-ever 1-inch sensor product and its raison d’être rests almost entirely on its ability to show an improvement on the Canon PowerShot G16, while matching or surpassing the quality of the G1 X Mark II in its smaller frame. I’m pleased to say that this camera is indeed capable of capturing images that can be displayed proudly besides those from the G1 X Mark II and it’s noticeably better than the G16 in my opinion. Images captured on this camera are generally rich in colour and look good at 100%. In high-contrast scenes the camera is capable of capturing a wide range of tones, and battles overexposure well, while still maintaining detail in the shadowed areas.
I found it quite easy to further recover details from challenging areas in post-production using the raw files, but this was also possible to some extent with the compressed jpeg images. Capture and processing speed was one area where the performance wasn’t as good as I’d expected, particularly with creative options such as HDR. Additionally, its maximum burst speed of 6.5fps isn’t quite good enough when higher speeds are possible in rival devices.
Canon’s G7 X focusing system comprises 31 contrast-detection autofocusing points with Artificial intelligence Auto Focus (AiAF). In use I found the system responsive and more than adequate for typical shooting scenarios, such as pictures of inanimate objects, friends and family members or party scenes.
But relying on a contrast detection method, it can be a fraction slower than I’d like, particularly in low-light scenarios where AF-assist beam can be activated to provide some assistance. It’s also noticeably slower as you approach the telephoto end, in comparison to its focusing speed at 24mm. Those interested in shooting macro images will find the lens’ closest focusing distance of 5cm at its wideangle an attractive prospect.
Close inspection of images captured in macro focusing mode, shot at the lens’ widest aperture setting of f/1.8 reveals a decent level of detail, the colours are spot on, and the shallow depth-of-field is attractive, but the in-focus area is a touch soft, lacking the sharpness that I’d hope for when shooting macro subjects. Being able to use the screen to activate focusing at a touch is great and definitely speeds things up when trying to focus on a specific part of your composition that isn’t in the centre of the frame.
Touch focusing is also available during video recording and can be used smoothly select focusing areas when continuous AF is selected. Focus peaking during manual focusing mode is another useful feature that is available to assist focus during macro and video recording.