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Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II review: The G7 X Mark II is a good choice when you're ready to step up to better photos

Canon's changes to the G7 X make its successor a much better camera.

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Lori Grunin
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Lori Grunin

Senior Editor / Reviews

I've been writing about and reviewing consumer technology since before the turn of the century. I'm also a photographer and cat herder, frequently at the same time.

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5 min read

I like the Canon G7 X, one of the company's 1-inch sensor enthusiast compacts -- the one without the viewfinder -- but that model just can't keep up when it comes to speed. Given that its successor, the G7 X Mark II, is fundamentally the same camera (albeit with some important enhancements), it's not surprising that I like the Mark II as well. But while the $700 (£570, AU$950) camera improves on the earlier model in some respects, the admittedly better performance still lags in places.

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8.0

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

The Good

The Canon PowerShot G7 X II is nicely designed with good photo quality for its class, and improves noticeably over the earlier model.

The Bad

Still lags behind the competition with respect to features and some aspects of performance.

The Bottom Line

Performance improvements raise the G7 X Mark II's grade to excellent, as long as you're not looking for a lot of frills.

Good where it counts

The Mark II's photo quality is a definite improvement over the original, and it does have improved noise at higher ISO sensitivities. Since raw images don't have noise reduction applied, they aren't affected, but I think the JPEG processing is generally better in the newer model. The video looks good too, with less jumping in the continuous autofocus.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II full-resolution photo samples

See all photos

Analysis samples

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JPEGs shot with the Auto Picture Style look pretty clean through ISO 800, though you can see the sharpness drop slightly at ISO 400.

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Details in JPEGs start to smear noticeably at ISO 1600.

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The new Fine Detail Picture Style doesn't improve JPEG results significantly at all sensitivity levels, but it makes a difference at ISO 800, and helps preserve sharpness a little at higher ISO sensitivities.

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Though the white balance is a little better in the G7 X, you can see the quality improvement from the G7 X Mark II at ISO 1600.

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Canon's Auto setting produces pleasing colors, but does shift some hues, most notably reds, by boosting saturation.

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You can bring out quite a bit of shadow detail by shooting raw (as well as get rid of fringing), but as with similar cameras, blown-out highlights are pretty much gone.

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A processor update brings with it faster startup and an increased continuous shooting speed we clocked at 5.6 frames per second with autofocus and autoexposure. And it's also faster to focus in low-contrast conditions, as Canon claims. Its biggest holdup is when it needs to process images, such as taking a couple of consecutive nonburst shots or doing HDR. However it does start up a little faster than big-name competitors. And it's fast enough for slowish action, such as the occasional kid, pet or jumpshot.

Shooting speed

Canon PowerShot G7 X 0.5 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.5Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II 0.2 0.4 1.2 1.2 1.4Panasonic Lumix LX100 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.5 2.5Sony RX100 IV 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 2.1
  • Shutter lag (typical)
  • Shutter lag (dim)
  • Typical shot-to-shot time
  • Raw shot-to-shot time
  • Time to first shot
Note: Seconds (smaller bars are better)

Continuous-shooting speed

Panasonic Lumix LX100 4.1Canon PowerShot G7 X 4.6Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II 5.6Sony RX100 IV 5.7
Note: Frames per second (longer bars are better)

Better design

Canon has added a much-needed grip, which makes single-handed shooting more comfortable, and a flip-up/tilt-down touchscreen display that adds a lot more flexibility. Also, there's now a switch on the front to silence the otherwise clicky control ring (for operation while shooting video) and the display not only flips up for selfies, but can also tilt down. The changes have made the camera slightly larger and heavier than before, but not by much.

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Grip!

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It incorporates a few more features, including in-camera raw-to-JPEG conversion, time-lapse movie and an image stabilization mode for panning shots (so it only stabilizes vertical movement). It also adds Picture Styles, the image-control presets formerly only available in the dSLRs. That's important given Canon's tendency to apply too much saturation in reds and high contrast by default; these give you an easier way to render more neutral photos and videos. That said, there's less leeway in the images produced with the small sensor than with the dSLRs -- for instance, when it comes to sharpening or dynamic range.

And of course, Canon brings it up to date with Wi-Fi and NFC; and the Canon Connect app works pretty well and offers a reasonable set of remote shooting and downloading controls.

Despite the added features, though, it still trails behind competitors for video capabilities, breadth and depth of filters, a hot shoe and other frills.

Conclusion

A big improvement in all respects over the original G7 X, the Mark II doesn't quite catch up to competitors when it comes to features or speed, but it's fast and feature-filled enough that it's a good choice if you're looking to step up from a phone or older compact.

Comparative specifications

Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Fujifilm X70 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV
Sensor effective resolution 20.2MP HS CMOS 20.2MP HS CMOS 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II 12.8MP MOS 20.2MP Exmor RS CMOS
Sensor size 1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
APS-C
(23.6 x 15.6mm)
Four Thirds
(17.3 x 13mm)
1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
Focal-length multiplier 2.7x 2.7x 1.5x 2.0x 2.7x
OLPF Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 12800/25600 (exp) ISO 125 - ISO 12800 ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 -ISO 6400/ISO 51200 (exp) ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 - ISO 25600 ISO 80 (exp)/ISO 125 - ISO 12800
Lens (35mm equivalent) 24-100mm
f1.8-2.8
4.2x
24-100mm
f1.8-2.8
4.2x
28mm
f2.8
1x
24 - 75mm
f1.7-2.8
3.1x
24 - 70mm
f1.8-2.8
2.9x
Closest focus 2.0 in/5 cm 2.0 in/5 cm 3.9 in/10 cm 2 in/5 cm 1.9 in/5 cm
Burst shooting 4.4 fps
31 JPEG/n/a raw
(6.5fps with focus and exposure fixed on first frame)
5.4 fps
46 JPEG/n/a raw
(8fps with focus and exposure fixed on first frame)
3 fps
unlimited JPEG/n/a
(8fps for 10 frames JPEG)
6.5 fps
n/a
(40 fps with electronic shutter and fixed AF/AE)
5.5 fps
(with electronic shutter; 16 fps with fixed focus and exposure)
n/a
Viewfinder
(mag/ effective mag)
None None None EVF
0.4 in/10.2mm
2.764m dots
100% coverage
1.39x/0.7x
OLED EVF
0.4-inch/10.2mm
1.44m dots
100% coverage
Hot shoe No No Yes Yes Yes
Autofocus 31-area
Contrast AF
31-area
Contrast AF
77-point phase-detection AF
49-area Contrast AF
49-area
Contrast AF
25-area
Contrast AF
AF sensitivity n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Shutter speed 250 - 1/2,000 sec 250 - 1/2,000 sec; bulb 30 - 1/4,000 sec (1/32,000 electronic shutter); bulb to 60 minutes 60 - 1/4,000 sec (1/16,000 electronic shutter); bulb to 2 minutes 30 - 1/2,000 sec (1/32,000 electronic shutter); bulb
Metering n/a n/a 256 zones 1,728 zones n/a
Metering sensitivity n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Best video H.264 QuickTime MOV
1080/60p
H.264 QuickTime MOV
1080/60p
H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p @ 36 Mbps MP4 UHD/30p, 25p, 24p @ 100Mbps; 1080/60p, 50p XAVC S 4K 2160/30p, 25p, 24p @ 100Mbps
Audio Stereo Stereo Stereo Stereo Stereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes Yes n/a Yes Yes
Maximum best-quality recording time 4GB/29:59 minutes 4GB/29:59 minutes 14 minutes 15 minutes 5 minutes
Optical zoom while recording Yes Yes n/a Yes Yes
IS Optical Optical None Optical Optical
LCD 3 in/7.5 cm
Flip-up touchscreen
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5 cm
Flip-up, tilting touchscreen
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5 cm
Tilting touchscreen
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5 cm
Fixed
921,000 dots
3 in/7.5cm
Tilting
921,600 dots
(plus another set of white dots for brightness)
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC
Flash Yes Yes Yes Bundled optional Yes
Wireless flash No No n/a No No
Battery life
(CIPA rating)
210 shots
(1,250 mAh)
265 shots
(1,250 mAh)
330 shots
(1,800 mAh)
300 shots
(1,025 mAh)
280 shots (LCD);
230 shots (Viewfinder)
(1,240 mAh)
Size (WHD) 4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 in
103 x 60.4 x 40.4mm
4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in
106 x 61 x 42mm
4.4 x 2.5 x 1.8 in
113 x 64 x 44mm
4.5 x 2.6 x 2.2 in
114.8 x 66.2 x 55mm
4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 inches
101.6 x 58.1 x 41mm
Body operating weight 10.7 oz
302 g
11.3 oz (est.)
319 g (est.)
12.4 oz
350 g
13.9 oz
394 g
10.4 oz
294 g
Mfr. price

$650
£390 (est.)
$700
£570
AU$950
$700 (est.)
£540 (est.)
AU$1,000 (est.)
$700
£520 (est.)
AU$1,000
$950
£850
AU$1,400

Release date October 2014 May 2016 February 2016 November 2014 July 2015
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8.0

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8Image quality 8
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