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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Canon Powershot G7 X

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Excellent image quality from this camera’s 1-inch sensor
  • - Premium design with good physical controls
  • - 24-100mm equivalent focal length is versatile enough to cover a wide range of shooting scenarios
  • - Responsive 1.04-million-dot resolution LCD touchscreen with useful 90° tilt action, ideal for low-angle shots

Cons:

  • - No hotshoe
  • - Dated AF system

Product:

Canon Powershot G7 X review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£579.00
TAGS:

Resolution, Dynamic Range and Noise

Canon PowerShot G7 X Review – Resolution, Dynamic Range and Noise

The G7 X uses a 20-million-pixel one-inch BSI-CMOS sensor – very substantial for an easily pocket-able compact. Although the ISO range doesn’t extend beyond 12800 this is compensated for by the bright zoom lens, which allows shooting at relatively lower ISO settings in low light. Dynamic range is excellent at low ISOs, you could therefore extract lots of detail from deep in the shadows in raw processing. Although the G7X wasn’t supported in Adobe Camera RAW at the time of testing, a thorough inspection in Canon’s Digital Photo Pro gave a taste of the quality achievable with noise reduction and sharpening applied. The camera’s accurate metering modes can help to get the best exposures for raw shooters, by minimising clipping in bright areas of the image.

Image quality is excellent at sensitivities up to ISO 1600, but at higher ISOs it naturally deteriorates. However ISO 3200 and 6400 are absolutely fine for less-critical purposes, especially if carefully processed from raw. At the highest ISOs JPEGs suffer from colour noise and detail loss, and while better results can be had from raw, this will usually come at the cost of colour saturation. Overall the G7 X is a delight to use with quite exceptional results for its size.

Resolution

G7X resolution

The G7 X uses a 20-million-pixel one-inch BSI-CMOS sensor – very substantial for an easily pocket-able compact. Although the ISO range doesn’t extend beyond 12800 this is compensated for by the bright zoom lens, which allows shooting at relatively lower ISO settings in low light. Dynamic range is excellent at low ISOs, you could therefore extract lots of detail from deep in the shadows in raw processing.

Although the G7X wasn’t supported in Adobe Camera RAW at the time of testing, a thorough inspection in Canon’s Digital Photo Pro gave a taste of the quality achievable with noise reduction and sharpening applied. The camera’s accurate metering modes can help to get the best exposures for raw shooters, by minimising clipping in bright areas of the image.

Image quality is excellent at sensitivities up to ISO 1600, but at higher ISOs it naturally deteriorates. However ISO 3200 and 6400 are absolutely fine for less-critical purposes, especially if carefully processed from raw. At the highest ISOs JPEGs suffer from colour noise and detail loss, and while better results can be had from raw, this will usually come at the cost of colour saturation. Overall the G7 X is a delight to use with quite exceptional results for its size.

Dynamic range

G7X dynamic range

The G7 X sensor delivers excellent results, on a par with the Sony RX100 cameras. At ISO 125, the peak dynamic range is 12.4EV, and the sensor is still performing well at ISO 1600 with a range of 9.5EV, dropping away quite significantly at its maximum ISO 12800. This is indicative of the G7X’s ability to retain good detail in the shadow areas. In practice, with the GX7’s fast lens and effective image stabilisation, the highest ISO setting would really be used as an emergency measure in very low light.

Colour

G7X colour

This 3D graph compares the colour shift from the reference colour to the photographed chart: the higher the peak, the greater the shift from the original colour. In the default JPEG colour setting, colours are well rendered across the range, with the balance seemingly adjusted towards good skin tone rendition. Test images display generally natural colour rendition in standard JPEG mode, with good saturation and contrast; the accentuated blues should be particularly good for skies in landscape photography. Colour rendition can of course be adjusted in the menu settings.

Noise

G7X noise

The images above have a resolution of 300ppi and are shown at 100% magnification, reflecting a full-resolution print size. The G7 X produces clean, detailed images at its lowest sensitivity settings of ISO 125 to ISO 400. Some luminance noise starts to become visible at ISO 800, along with visible effects of noise reduction, but images remain perfectly usable up to ISO 1600. At ISO 3200 and above, chroma noise starts to appear in the JPEGs, especially in shadow regions. However this can be removed in raw processing with little impact on detail. The penalty, however, is pronounced luminance noise coupled with a loss of colour saturation. Images are still quite useable at ISO 6400, and even at ISO 12800 with careful processing.

G7X grey card

The grey-card images above are JPEG files shot with the G7 X’s default noise reduction and colour settings applied. The 300ppi images are shown at 100% magnification to reflect the noise that would be experienced when printing an image at maximum size.

The results show the G7 X is almost noise-free up to ISO 400, and still gives fairly clean images at ISO 1600. Noise starts to become obvious at higher settings, and by ISO 6400 both colour and luminance noise are starting to kick in. The ISO 12,800 setting should really be considered as a standby for emergency use.

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot G7 X Review – Introduction
  2. 2. Build and Handling
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Resolution, Dynamic Range and Noise
  5. 5. Verdict
  6. 6. First Look
  7. 7. Canon PowerShot G7 X Review – Specification
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