Canon G7x "Review" - October 18th, 2014

2:40 PM

Update: In case you're interested, here are a couple more reviews with similar cameras -

Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 MIII

And a few follow-ups to each:
Follow-up to G7x
Follow-up to FZ1000
Another RX100 post

I just got the Canon G7x from Hong Kong (through an Ebay seller).  The shipping was amazingly fast (think Amazon Prime speed).  Way faster than buying something from someone in the US!  It would've come in 2 business days, but the UPS truck it came in broke down and it took an extra day.  Still, unbelieveably quick.

Has Wifi and NFC (haven't used them yet)
Anyway, just in case you don't know about the camera, the G7x is Canon's first 1" sensor camera.  It is basically a Sony RX100 clone or rival.  It has a 24-100mm (equivalent) f1.8-2.8 lens.  Yes, that's a crazy good combination of range and speed (not to mention it has a 3-stop ND filter to compensate for the not-so-great 1/2000 max shutterspeed).  The RX100 I and II had roughly the same range, but it became super slow by the long end at f4.9.  The RX100 III has a built-in EVF and a f1.8-2.8 lens, but I believe it is only up to 70mm.  I think I prefer the extra reach than the EVF, personally.

2.7x Crop Factor for the 1" Sensor
It is a decently looking camera and seems to be all-metal made.  It has a lot of external controls, including an exposure compenstaion dial.  The Canon dials are, of course, "backwards" compared to Pentax, so when you rotate the EV dial clockwise (to the left), it increases.  Go figure.

Top Panel
Mode Dial with EV Dial Underneath
They changed the layout a little compared to the S90, and I think I prefer the battery door on the S90/S95.

Hard to use one-handed (cause of front control ring) unless you swap the main functions with the back wheel

This camera probably suits 95% of all people that need a "good" camera.  It's decently fast, when shooting in jpeg (6.5 fps), has good image quality, can "blur" things out pretty well, can do HD videos and the lens has a good enough range.  The screen can flip all the way up for people to do selfies (ugh, I hate selfies), and the touch screen interface has been tweaked enough where it is actually an asset.  The screen itself is high-res and fairly easy to see in sunlight.

Flippy Screen

Without further ado, here are some sample pics.  Most of them are just snapshots, but hopefully you'll get a sense of what kind of image quality you can expect to get from this camera while doing everyday shots (all pics are on low noise-reduction, single AF, and straight out of the camera jpegs).

A bunch of "sky" pics on the drive from the Bay Area down to LA:

ISO 125, f4.5, 1/1250

ISO 125, f4.5, 1/1600

ISO 125, f6.3, 1/250
These two pics show the range of the lens:



And this is the kind of "blur" and bokeh you can expect from the camrea:

ISO 400, f1.8, 1/60

Here are a bunch of food pics (don't pretend that's not important to a lot of people thinking about this camera):






Below are some random pics from Wilson Park and Farmer's Market.  It seemed to be consistently under-exposing.
ISO 125, f3.5, 1/800

ISO 125, f1.8, 1/320

ISO 125, f1.8, 1/1000

ISO 400, f2.8, 1/200

ISO 200, f2.8, 1/60

ISO 125, f1.8, 1/200

ISO 125, f1.8, 1/1250

ISO 125, f2.8, 1/200

ISO 250, f2.8, 1/125
ISO 125, f4.5, 1/1250

ISO 250, f1.8, 1/200

ISO 250, f1.8, 1/200

A few "high speed" action/sports shots:

ISO 125, f4.5, 1/1250 (cropped)
Above pic, uncropped
ISO 125, f4, 1/250
And here are a couple of continuous burst shots (the camera only shows one, you have to do some group play thing to see all of them in playback mode.  Maybe I can turn that off):






And here's a Google Plus Auto Awesome gif from a sequence of pics:


Finally, the best "street photography" success I've had.  I was taking pics of a couple of guys playing horseshoe.


When the older gentleman called me over.  He told me that he was in an issue of the Japanese Sports Illustrated and wanted to show me.



I asked him to pose with the magazine.


He told me that he's 87 years old!  And he only stopped pitching competively when he turned 80! Amazing man! He does not look 87 at all!

His Horseshoe Box

Oh, and one more pic.  I was trying to do fill flash, but not wanting to inconvenience him, I rushed it and missed the focus.  As you can see, you don't really have to worry about not being to able to blur things out!

Basically, the camera performed as I expected (I had the Sony RX100 before).  It is a good camera and really is enough for almost anyone.  The performance when you shoot raw is not very good, and the white balance misses sometimes (see below).  I didn't really shoot high ISO, but from what I've seen, the performance is similar to the RX100 series, which means it's really good (for this sensor size).  It is one of the best pocketable (barely) cameras, along with the Sony RX100.  Can't really go wrong with either one; it just depends on which interface and layout you prefer (already had some comments on their differences in the beginning).  If you can get it for ~$500, I would say go for it.  The MSRP of $699 is probably a little much.



Click here to see all of the pics I took so far on the G7x, in case you want to see more.

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6 comments

  1. Oh wauw from eBay? And you are sure it's not a fake one? Do you have the name of the seller? Thanks ! :-)

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    Replies
    1. My friend says www.digitalrev.com is selling it for $589 with free express shipping. I don't know if you're still looking, but might want to check it out. =)

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  2. Hi, sorry, didn't get notified for some reason. While I can't be 100% sure it's not a really really good fake one (=P), I can tell you which seller I bought it from. Just make sure to know that I am not endorsing the seller...just sharing my experience! Haha, ok, here's the link:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/161426723567?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

    Oh what! He raised the price from 586 to 640! Sorry...

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  3. sony still has better colors, better at higher iso, tilt bounce flash, and video with xavcs, evf, but the next version of canon will be better...still a great camera and 24-100mm is awesome.

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    Replies
    1. Not to mention better battery life. Doubt the next Canon will be better than the next Sony, but at least the Canon's got the "better" lens and I like its interface better than Sony's.

      Colors and low-light, I consider those a draw, if you shoot in raw. Then again, if you shoot in raw with the Canon, then the performance suffers quite a bit too.

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    2. good points...i do need an evf with my bad eyes especially on 3a bright sunny day...i live in texas too... i will likely keep my rx100 original and buy m3...but canon at least gives sony some competition which should allow for both cameras to reduce prices during the holidays which ultimately benefits consumers

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