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Review of the Canon Powershot G7 X

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h280G7X-fI’ll cut to the chase:  Give me a microphone port and 4k video recording, and the Canon PowerShot G7 X would be about perfect for my needs.  Even the absence of a microphone port (for using an external microphone) can be forgiven for a camera of this size, but the absence of 4k recording capability is really a shame – I would have easily paid $100.00 more for it if it would record in 4k.  But you can’t really fault Canon here because I don’t know of any cameras this size that will record in 4k (oh wait…my iPhone 6s will) or have a mic jack.  But with a device that’s otherwise so perfect, it’s hard not to lament the conspicuous absence of these features.

The key features that I do love about this camera which my old Canon Powershot S100 doesn’t have are:

  1.  1080p 60FPS video recording.  To be fair, my S100 will do 1080P – but tops out at 24FPS.  At 60FPS in the G7 x, you now have the capability to do some really nice slow motion effects in editing which is very attractive to me.
  2. WiFi Connectivity – it’s possible to connect the G7 X via WiFi to another device like a smart phone or other portable device and transfer photos using a Canon app.  In my case, I’ve had great success connecting to the G7 X with my iPad Pro and downloading image files from which I can do some minor editing before posting.  Portability is a more important factor than absolutely top shelf image quality in situations where I want to use the G7 X, so a mobile image editing solution is very much needed, and works well.
  3. Improved lens – my old S100 had a 35mm equivalent 24-120 F2.0-5.9 lens.  The G7 X has a 24-100mm equiv. f1.8-2.8 lens.  You’re giving up about a little on long end of the zoom, but gaining a lot in usability.  Zoomed all the way out, you still are at f2.8 with this lens – the same as most professional level sport zoom lenses.  With the wide end being f1.8, this camera will be very usable indoors and in low-light, which is really exciting.
  4. The “selfie” flip up screen – this is useful for far more than reasons of vanity.  The flip up screen helps you make sure your shot is in frame when you have the camera on a tripod and are operating the camera remotely via the Canon app (another great improvement over my S100).
  5. Touch Screen Interface – if you like what you can do on your smartphone with touch screen focusing, and “pinch zoom” then you’ll love the G7 X interface.

While not a specific feature per se, I find the overall image quality of the G7 X to be improved.  Photos seem to be sharper with greater detail.  Here are a couple of indoor images I took of my wife and one of our Labs – no flash used:

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There is a price to be paid for the improved image quality – size and weight.  Here’s a few quick size comparison photos (which I took with my iPhone 6s) of both the S100 and the G7 X and you can where the the G7 X is a bit chunkier:

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While the size and weight have increased, the G7 X still quite pocketable which is important.

When looking at compact cameras, the three main variables which have to be compromised (you can’t have everything – choices have to be made) are size, image quality, and price.  For my needs, the G7 X makes the right mix of compromises – it’s not much bigger, and only $10.00 more than what I paid for my S100 (though to be fair I waited a year to purchase the G7 X and enjoyed a substantial discount off the retail price as a result).

One of the main uses for the camera will be photos and videos I take while training for IPO events.  Whether I’m working alone with my dog, or at our IPO club, a pocketable “grab and go” camera that can do video is a tremendous asset.  I’ll also use it quite a bit on the gun range for photos and videos.  Here’s a few shots I took at our IPO Club this past weekend – note the “frozen action” in several of the shots which demonstrate that this is a point and shoot that can definitely do action shots:

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So far, beyond the previously mentioned missing features I’d want, the only caveat I’d offer to anyone considering this camera is make sure you buy an extra battery.  The take a few hours to charge, and will run down rather quickly – particularly if you’re doing a lot of video.  Otherwise, this is a darn impressive camera that I plan on using quite a bit.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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