Steve's Conclusion

Steve's SnapShot

  • 20.0-Megapixel CMOS Imaging Sensor
  • 3.0-Inch Tilting Touch LCD Screen
  • 1.04-Million dot LCD
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • 4.2x Optical zoom lens: 24-100mm (35mm equivalent)
  • f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Dedicated Video Record Button
  • Scene Recognition Auto mode
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • Lens Ring control
  • Built-in WiFi with NFC
  • Pop-up Flash
  • Built-in Neutral Density filter
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card compatible
  • Scene Recognition shooting mode is accurate and easy to use without worry
  • Canon's HS system led by the 4.2x optical f/1.8-2.8 lens is awesome in low-light situations
  • Large, 1-inch CMOS image sensor provides excellent overall image quality
  • Beautiful bokeh from a compact camera
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • Lens ring offers easy on-camera control and an old-school feel
  • Optical image stabilization helps to steady the camera when shooting handheld or on the move
  • 3.0-inch touch tiliting LCD works well in tough shooting situations and touch to focus and capture are fun and easy
  • Powerful DIGIC 7 processor provides outstanding shooting performance
  • Great Battery Life and ECO mode option
  • Competitively priced in the upper level compact camera market
  • HDMI output
  • Lack of 4K video recording mode
  • No audio input
  • 4.2x zoom is a little limited, doesn't have the range of most compact cameras
  • No EVF or OVF (usually found on many of the higher level compacts)
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 1.7 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused = less than 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = approx. 1/10 to 7/10 of a second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 0.5 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay w/flash = 1.9 seconds
  • Sequential burst = 4.55fps
  • High Speed Burst = 9.1fps slowing after 25 images
  • All of our tests were completed using a Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC memory card, Aperture Priority mode at f/1.8-2.8, ISO Auto, Flash Off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise.
Bottom Line
The Canon PowerShot G7Xii is compact, powerful, and ready for any shooting situation. The HS system provides outstanding image quality and performance for a compact camera.
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for a compact camera that offers total control, outstanding performance, and excellent image quality. The G7Xii offers total shooting control while still fitting in your pocket.
Canon's new PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a very capable and powerful, ultra-compact digicam. Sporting the new DIGIC 7 imaging processor, 20.2-Megapixel CMOS imaging sensor, and 4.2x optical zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.8-2.8; this combination of Canon's "HS" system is sure to impress. To match the HS system, Canon has included just about everything you could want in a camera; including great on-camera controls, built-in WiFi, a 3.0-inch tilting Touch LCD screen, Full HD video capture, as well as a fully automatic shooting mode with auto scene detection. This all comes together in compact and comfortable body that is easy to carry and shoot with just about anywhere.

Handling the G7XII is a pleasure no matter which shooting mode you are using. This camera has been carefully engineered to make shooting fun and easy for all users, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned photographer. Auto allows for easy point-n-shoot photography without you having to worry about any of the controls. The front lens dial is programmable and offers the ability to use it as a zoom control, as well as several other settings if that is what you desire. Setting it to aperture control in manual shooting gives you full control over the exposure settings without having to use any of the camera's menu systems, as the back command dial will control the shutter speed.

The 3.0-inch, 1.04-million dot tilting Touch LCD screen offers you some other great shooting options as well. A very high resolution screen, it shows a ton of detail and has excellent color reproduction; making it a pleasure to view your images and recorded videos. The tilting screen flips up a full 180°, allowing you to view and compose your "selfies" without just holding the camera up and taking a chance. Touching the LCD screen allows you to focus on a specific point, or even capture an image with just one touch.

Performance from the G7XII is excellent once the camera is on. It does take almost 2 seconds to start up and capture its first image, but once it is running it is very fast. Shutter lag is almost non-existent when the camera is focused and ranges from 1/10 to 7/10 of a second depending on the zoom and available light. Most of our tests were closer to the 1/10 end. The camera's shot-to-shot delay comes in at ½ second, and adding the flash brings it up to a pokey 1.9 seconds as the flash has to charge for each shot. Two continuous shooting modes provide 4.55fps and 9.1fps, with the high speed slowing due to a full buffer after about 25 shots. All of our tests were completed using a Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC memory card, Aperture Priority mode at f/1.8-2.8, ISO Auto, Flash Off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise.

Our outdoor images show excellent exposure, sharpness and color; creating the beautiful images that we have come to expect from a Canon G-series camera. A few of samples show some slight aberrations in high contrast areas, but overall there were very few flaws. Our samples were shot in both Auto and Program, showing incredibly similar images all around.

Composing your images is accomplished with the 4.2x optical zoom lens with image stabilization. With a 35mm equivalent of 24-100mm, this camera does not have the biggest zoom range you will find on a compact camera, but the f/1.8-2.8 lens provides you with amazing low-light performance, beautiful bokeh, and an overall better quality image than you will find on most other compact cameras. Helping you to slow down the shutter speeds in bright shooting situations, the built-in Neutral Density filter slows everything down for you. Unfortunately it does not have any settings except for on and off. In our samples you can see the difference that it makes with some running water, slowing the shutter and smoothing it out.

Looking closely at our indoor sample images, we see a very sharp image that is full of fine detail, and vivid, accurate colors. Noise is controlled incredibly well at the lower ISO settings. Even as you get up to ISO 800, noise levels are incredibly low even as the finer details start to fade away. ISO 1600 is where the noise starts to appear, but the levels stay acceptable up through ISO 3200, letting you shoot comfortably in low-light situations with the assistance of the image stabilization. Further assisting you with your low-light images is the compact pop-up flash unit. With a range of up to 23ft (ISO Auto), it can be very useful when shooting close to your subjects in either low-light or bright situations as a fill.

Thanks to the Face Detection and Recognition software, portrait photography with the PowerShot G7Xii is a pleasure. Once the software detects a face within the frame, it follows it, keeping the focus and exposure settings adjusted for that face. Specific faces can even be programmed into the camera, so when the camera detects one among a group of faces, the camera will automatically set it as the priority in the image. Our sample portraits look fantastic with an incredibly sharp and well exposed subject with very soft backgrounds; something that you do not see very often from a compact camera. The built-in flash did not show any redness in the eyes of our subjects, giving them a very natural look.

With the dedicated video recording button on the back of the camera; it is always ready to record, no matter what shooting mode the camera is in. The camera also features a dedicated video recording mode, giving you access to a wide variety of recording settings that are not otherwise offered. We were a little disappointed that Canon does not offer a 4K video capture mode, but the Full 1080p HD video is outstanding. Capturing at 24fps, 30fps and 60fps - all in full HD - you have plenty of options to get the look you want from your home movies. Our sample videos were taken in Full HD at 30fps, providing sharp video with great color in all lighting conditions. The continuous AF worked very well with our moving subjects, keeping your subject as the focal point of the video. Sound is recorded on small internal stereo microphones, which are very sensitive and will pick up the noises/sounds that are loudest and closest to the camera. It will also pick up any background noises around you. This mic actually worked very well with our concert video, as the music was loud enough to drown out anything else.

Powering the PowerShot G7XII is a 3.6V, 1250mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery provided us with over 250 shots and a few short videos on a single charge while completing our tests. Eco mode is a great way to greatly increase the number of shots that the camera is capable of, allowing you to squeeze every last shot out of the battery when you need to. Also included with the camera is a portable charger, allowing you keep your battery, and a spare, charged and ready to go all the time.

Bottom Line - The Canon PowerShot G7Xii is a very compact and versatile digicam. It uses Canon's HS system to deliver very high-quality 20.2-Megapixel images in all lighting conditions. Its maximum aperture of f/1.8-2.8 assists with its low-light performance as well as producing beautiful bokeh that is not normally possible with a compact camera. Full manual control and a great body design make it a pleasure to shoot with, no matter how experienced you are. With a MSRP of US $699.99, this is not the compact camera for everyone, but anyone looking for a higher level of image quality in a compact camera will want to take a close look at the G7Xii.

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