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Product Listing

Canon PowerShot G7 X: Can it dethrone the Sony RX100 III?

By Hafeez Sim - 6 Oct 2014
Launch SRP: S$799

Introduction, Design and Handling

Introduction

As the entry-level point-and-shoot compacts slowly fade into obsolescence, camera manufacturers have been scrambling to explore the enthusiast/prosumer segments of the market. Initially a niche segment occupied by Canon’s G-series cameras, the segment has seen a flurry of entries as manufacturers realize that there are consumers who are still willing to pay for a good digital compact since not everyone is keen to lug around an interchangeable lens capable camera for the best in the digital photography.

Even as manufacturers churn out their own takes on the prosumer compact, Sony has been dominating the segment for the last two years with its Cyber-shot RX100 series, which feature a 1-inch sensor inside a compact body for unrivaled image quality in this segment. However, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III isn’t the only kid on the block with a 1-inch sensor now. Just weeks ago, Canon launched their PowerShot G7 X that can boast the same and then some more.

A quick look at the specs sheets for both cameras reveal that they are closely matched, with the new Canon PowerShot G7 X pulling slightly ahead in some areas and falling behind in some. So what are the main differences between the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III and the Canon PowerShot G7 X? We'll discuss the technical aspects right after the specs break:-

  Canon PowerShot G7 X Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
  Canon PowerShot G7 X Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
Launch SRP
  • From S$799
  • From S$1199
Effective pixels
  • 20.2
  • 20.9MP
Sensor
  • 1-inch BSI-CMOS
  • 1" Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor
Lens
  • 24-100mm (35mm equivalent)
  • 24–70 mm (35mm equivalent)
ISO rating
  • 125 - 12800
  • Auto, 125 - 12,800
Zoom ratio
  • 4.2x optical
  • 2.9x optical
Image Stabilization
  • Lens-shift type
  • Still image: Optical
  • Movie: Active Mode, optical type with electronic compensation (Anti-rolling)
Aperture range
  • f/1.8 - f/11 (W)
  • f/2.8 - f/11 (T)
  • F1.8 - 11 (W)
  • F2.8 - 11 (T)
Shutter speed
  • 1 - 1/2000sec.
  • 15 - 1/2000sec. (in Tv Mode)
  • 250 - 1/2000sec. (in M Mode)
  • 1/2000 sec - 30 sec
Auto Focus
  • Continuous
  • Servo AF
  • Manual Focus
  • Focus System: Contrast-detect AF
  • Focus Area: Multi point AF (25 points) / Continuous AF / Single Shot AF / Flexible spot (S/M/L) / Lock on AF (Wide/Center/Flexible Spot (S/M/L))
Exposure Compensation
  • ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
  • ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Metering
  • Evaluative
  • Center-weighted average
  • Spot
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Flash Modes
  • Auto
  • On
  • Slow Synchro
  • Off
  • Auto / Fill-flash / Slow Sync / Rear Sync / Off
Recording Formats
  • JPEG
  • RAW
  • MPEG-4,
  • H.264
  • Still: JPEG, RAW
  • Video: MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Display
  • 3-inch 1.04 million dots color LCD
  • 3-inch 1,229,000 dots TFT LCD
  • Tiltable (Up by approx. 180 degrees, down by approx. 45degrees)
Storage type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
  • USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi
  • micro-HDMI
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi
  • NFC
  • USB
  • HDMI (Type D micro)
Battery
  • Battery Pack NB-13L
  • NP-BX1 lithium-ion battery; approx. 320 images with LCD monitor (CIPA standard)
Dimensions
  • 103.0 x 60.4 x 40.4mm
  • 102 x 58 x 41mm
Weight
  • Approx. 304g (including the battery and memory card)
  • 290g (with battery and card)

Both cameras have 20-megapixel sensors, with a maximum wide aperture of F1.8, but the biggest difference is that you get more reach with the PowerShot G7 X. It has a focal length of 24 - 100mm (35mm equivalent), giving it a zoom range of 4.2x. In contrast, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III has a focal length of 24 – 70mm, giving it a zoom range of 2.9x. The Canon PowerShot G7 X also comes with a touchscreen, though it lacks the electronic viewfinder (EVF) found on the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III.

These differences aside, can the Canon PowerShot G7 X stand against the camera that made digital compacts interesting again as well as one of the best in its class? That's what we intend to find out.

 

Design and Handling

The PowerShot G7 X actually bears a strong resemblance to its sibling, the PowerShot S120 but Canon has added two red accents to the G7 X’s design, which makes for a nice, understated look to signify the more professional counterpart. Similar to the PowerShot S120, the PowerShot G7 X has a matte black finish but the G7 X’s robust build makes it feel more solid in the hands. They are pretty much the same size, except that the newcomer is a bit thicker as it accommodates a larger sensor and its related lens mechanism. In that sense, the G7 X is reasonably compact like the Sony. As such, the PowerShot G7 X is still smaller than the chunky PowerShot G1 X Mark II, which currently sits at the top of the PowerShot line with its 1.5-inch sensor.

Size and design comparisons aside, the PowerShot G7 X has a substantial thumb rest on its rear that helped somewhat to maintain a grip on the camera though it still feels slippery in the hand since as it lacks a front finger grip. Oddly, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III shares the same concern too.

The PowerShot G7 X has two red accents to liven up an otherwise plain black exterior. Given its similar design to the S120, the red accents also help to differentiate which is the more superior counterpart at a glance.

On the top of the camera there’s the usual Power button, zoom lever and mode dial. What’s different about the PowerShot G7 X’s mode dial is that it sits on top of an exposure compensation dial, which makes it easier to adjust exposure since you won’t have to do it via the user interface. There’s no hot shoe on the G7 X, so it won’t be possible to hook up an external flash or any form of EVF.

The PowerShot G7 X comes with a dedicated exposure compensation dial so youcan tweak exposure without having to access the menu system

The PowerShot G7 X comes with a 3-inch touchscreen display, which can also be flipped up 180 degrees so you can take selfies. Unfortunately it doesn’t flip downwards, so you can’t really shoot high-angled shots unless you flip the camera upside-down.

The touchscreen makes it easy to set the focus point, and while it may still seem like a gimmick to some, it’s very useful when dealing with a subject that does not stay still like a child or a pet. There’s no ghosting or lag with the display and it’s quite sharp, with 1,040,000-dot resolution.

The display can be flipped up, but unfortunately cannot be tilted down for high-angled shots.

There’s also a control ring on the PowerShot G7 X’s lens, which you can assign functions to it such as adjusting aperture or shutter speed. The control ring provides tactile feedback when you’re using it since it will "click" whenever you turn it, unlike the one found on the Sony CyberShot RX100 III, which was a smooth-turning ring. There are benefits to both approaches, since the smooth-turning ring on the RX100 III won’t be adding any sounds to the movie you’re recording, while the ring on the PowerShot G7 X provides tactile feedback when shooting stills. In this regard, the Sony CyberShot RX100 III control ring is more suitable when recording video, while the Canon PowerShot G7 X’s control ring excels at shooting stills due to the tactile feedback.

The PowerShot G7 X has a "clicky" control wheel, which provides excellent tactile feedback.
 

9.0
  • Performance 9
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Value 9
The Good
Large sensor results in good image quality
Built-in ND Filter
Good focal range
Bright lens
User-friendly design and interface
Reasonable price
The Bad
Display only flips upwards
Limited battery life
Basic Wi-Fi implementation
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