Canon PowerShot G7 review:

Canon PowerShot G7

It helps that the camera is pretty fast. Time to first shot is a brisk 1.5 seconds, and in bright light, a relatively quick focus helps keep the shutter lag to a manageable 0.5 second. In dim light, that increases to just under a second. Two shots in a row has a decent 1.7-second gap between, though taking flash recycle time into account bumps that up to a more modest 2.3 seconds. Continuous shooting seems fixed at 36 frames, regardless of resolution, and we couldn't push the burst rate beyond 1.1 frames per second (fps), far less than the 2fps that Canon claims.

Shooting speed
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Time to first shot  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Casio Exilim EX-Z1000
Canon PowerShot G7
Note: Seconds

Typical continuous-shooting speed
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Note: Frames per second

I was really surprised by the mixed image quality, though. There were cases when my photos looked better than expected, predominantly thanks to the image stabilization. But there were also cases where artifacts I didn't expect popped up. The automatic white balance and various metering modes worked reasonably well, but I missed being able to tweak them during raw processing. (See more details and image samples here.) The movies were quite good, and if there isn't too much movement, the XGA-resolution option makes them significantly sharper.

Though the reasons for buying the PowerShot G7 have dwindled, they haven't disappeared entirely. It's an optimal choice as a second camera, when you can't or won't schlep a dSLR with you, if you're not quite ready to take the leap from a point-and-shoot to a full-fledged interchangeable lens system, or if you need the flexibility of a movie-capture mode.

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