The G7 X has an impressive CMOS image sensor for a compact camera, measuring 1 inch and offering a maximum of 20.2 megapixels of resolution. The sensor's natural aspect ratio is 3:2, so you'll receive your maximum resolution when shooting at that aspect ratio. This model offers the ability to shoot in JPEG format, RAW format, or both.
Canon has included a DIGIC 6 image processor with the PowerShot G7 X, which aims to increase the performance speeds of the camera versus previous image processor versions. The G7 X uses Canon's High Sensitivity (HS) system and Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) to improve image quality in low light situations.
You'll find a small 4.2x optical zoom lens with this model, offering a 35mm film equivalent of 24 - 100 mm. It requires a little less than 2 seconds to run through the full zoom range. The camera measures about 1.5 inches in thickness when powered down, but it expands to 2.75 inches when you press the power button and the lens extends to its wide angle position. With the zoom lens fully extended to its maximum telephoto setting, the G7 measures a little more than 3 inches in thickness.
The lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 at the wide angle setting and f/2.8 at the telephoto setting. The G7 X's autofocus range is:
You also have a manual focus mode with this model, but it can be a little awkward to use. Most people will chose to use the fast and accurate autofocus system the majority of the time and only use manual focus in especially tricky shooting situations.
- Normal: 2.0 in. (5 cm) - infinity (W); 1.3 ft. (40 cm) - infinity (T)
- Auto: 2.0 in. (5 cm) - infinity (W); 1.3 ft. (40 cm) - infinity (T)
- Macro: 2.0 in. - 1.6 ft. (5 - 50 cm) (W)
The flash toggle switch on the left side of the camera is visible in this photo, and it causes the popup flash to extend from the top panel of the camera. By extending above the camera body, the flash has a good angle to the scene to avoid vignetting from the lens.
Once the flash unit is opened, you'll be able to see the flash modes that are available by pressing the flash button on the right side of the four-way button on the back of the camera. The options available in the Program shooting mode are: On, Off, Auto, and Slow Synchro.
The flash range for this model is:
- Wide: 1.6 - 23 ft. (50 - 700 cm)
- Tele: 1.3 - 13 ft. (40 - 400 cm)
This model's primary control buttons are on the far right side of the top panel. The large dial on the far right is the EV dial, allowing you to adjust the exposure valuation in 1/3 increments between +3 and -3. It's handy to have such a dial available on this camera for making quick changes to the EV setting. As you twist the dial, a graph appears on the LCD screen, ensuring that you make the right choice and alerting you if you inadvertently bump this dial out of place while using the camera.
The mode dial is the smaller dial that sits atop the EV dial on the far right. This dual-dial configuration makes it a little awkward to use the mode dial. The small white mark to the left of the dials indicates the current setting for both dials. The 11 mode dial options include:
- Auto - Fully automatic shooting
- Hybrid Auto - (camera and filmstrip icon) Automatic shooting with short clips recorded before the image is recorded to create a still image/video hybrid
- P - Program Auto
- Tv - Shutter Priority
- Av - Aperture Priority
- M - Manual
- C - Custom
- Movie - (movie camera icon) Video recording mode
- Creative Filters - (interlocking rings) Special effects shooting modes
- SCN - Scene modes
- Creative Shot - (multiple rectangles) Shoot multiple still images with special effects the camera selects automatically
To the left of the mode dial is the shutter button, which is surrounded by the zoom ring. A little farther to the left is the power button.
You can see the hinge on the flip LCD just to the lower left of the mode dial/EV dial.
The PowerShot G7 X offers a top-end LCD screen, which offers touch capabilities. It measures 3.0 inches diagonally, and it offers 1.04 million pixels of resolution.
Just like the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II that was released earlier this year, the G7 X also includes a tiltable LCD that can swivel upward to 180 degrees, as shown here. You can shoot self-portraits with this camera by tilting the LCD in this manner.
You can flip the LCD screen to any angle up to 180 degrees as well, such as at 90 degrees for use with a tripod.
Most of the G7's other control buttons are on the right side of the back panel. A thumbpad near the top makes it easy to pinch the camera while using it.
Just below the thumbpad is the Ring Func button, which allows you to set the function associated with the twistable ring around the lens housing. To the right is the movie recording button (marked with a red dot). Use this button to start and stop recording.
In the middle is the four-way button, which consists of a ring that you can spin to move through menu options or stored images more quickly. Press an edge of the four-way button to open a submenu, which includes:
- Top - Drive settings (or Wi-Fi settings in Playback mode)
- Right - Flash settings
- Bottom - Display settings
- Right - Focus settings
In the middle is the Func/Set button through which you can open the popup menu icons along the left side of the screen. You also can use the Func/Set button to make menu selections.
Along the bottom of the control button panel are the Playback button (on the left) and the Menu button (on the right).
The right side of the camera has a compartment containing the HDMI and USB ports. The ports are behind a hard plastic door with a flexible hinge. The door clicks in place when closed.
At the top of this photo you also can see the rough edges of the EV dial on the bottom and mode dial on top.
The PowerShot G7 X's battery and memory card compartment is on the bottom of the camera body, behind a hinged door that latches in place. My tests showed this model's battery has an average lifespan of about 200 shots per charge, which isn't as good as many cameras of this size. Canon estimates the G7 X can record 210 photos per charge. Canon included a separate battery charger with this camera kit, which is handy, but the kit does not include a USB cable, which is disappointing.