Canon PowerShot G7 X / SHOOTING REPORT
The PowerShot G7X features 20.2-effective-megapixel CMOS 1-inch sensor, the latest processor DIGIC 6, and the ISO range from 125 to 12800, and the high-speed 24-100mm (in 35mm format) F1.8-2.8 zoom lens. And, it's capable of shooting full HD movie at 60fps (60 frames per second). Plus, the rear LCD tilts up by 180 degree, so you can shoot selfies, too. I shoot neither movies nor selfies, but these days I see many people shooting selfies with the "selfie stick." I guess this tilting LCD reflects such needs.
I was looking forward to testing this camera because I own the SONY DSC-RX100M3. I had an interview with Canon at Photokina 2014 and I may have talked too much about the RX100M3 because these two cameras are fighting with real swords. So, I was so interested in this camera and actually wondering if I should buy it. As it turns out, these two cameras were made with different notions and philosophy and they are both great cameras. I didn't mean to sound like predetermined harmony. This is exactly how I feel. And, because this camera was released after the RX100M3, it has good features that the RX100M3 doesn't have.
( Photography & Text : K )
First thing I noticed was the longer telephoto-end (compared to the RX100M3). It zooms to 100mm while the RX100M3 zooms to 70mm (both in 35mm format). This makes a big difference in snapshooting because it lets me pull more remote subjects. I used to take so many shots with a film SLR camera with a F2.8 28-70mm zoom lens and a slower 28-105mm zoom lens. And, this camera reminds me of my preference for the latter lens. The maximum F value of a lens depends on the assignment, but for everyday shooting, longer telephoto-end helps despite the slower speed. The image was shot at the tele-end. I stopped down to F5.6, but I still appreciate the bright F2.8 max aperture.
The lens has a great resolving power. And, it's not just sharp but also draws with a natural line, although there're other elements that determine image quality. Plus, image separation is great. 1-inch sensor is never big enough for a sensor, but it reproduces distance feeling and 3D quality.
The drawing line is truly natural. I feel the range for highlight is a bit narrow, but it's reasonable for the sensor size. The RAW images are great base materials to be adjusted with software and it's more than good as long as you lower the highlight output. Just like other Canon cameras, the way they control highlight is very smart and the tonal graduation to the highest light is very smooth.
With the 24mm wide-end, it was easy to capture the densely built areas in Hong Kong. ISO640 was a dream for compact digital cameras, but now it's a reality and I have no complaints.
These days, I shoot with ISO AUTO mode more often because of the improved high sensitivity performance. But, it's also because I want to know the highest ISO setting that manufactures accept as a practical limit. And, by knowing it, I can learn their philosophy, too. I feel the PowerShot G7X easily raises ISO setting. It has some noise even at the lowest ISO and I think they control noises while leaving some of them. This balance is just perfect and I feel it has a good film taste.
Shot with ISO3200. The brightness noise increases, but the color noise is lowered significantly. It looks like an ISO400 color slide film push-processed by two steps. And, I love it. I knew it was defocused, but I pressed the shutter because I liked her femininity and the good front bokeh. The reason why it's out of focus is simple. I basically turn off the AF assist lamp. Yet, the AF worked briskly enough even under low-light conditions.
Shot at the wide-end. The actual focal length is 8.8mm, so the depth of field is great even at F1.8. The focus peak is around the shutter on the right side. The background is out of the depth of field, but this level of depth of field is great for snapshooting. Anyway, the brighter is better. And, Canon's cameras have excellent white balancing. With the auto setting, it would be corrected more. But, with the daylight setting, it's just about right and it never become orange unnaturally.
The low level of distortion is impressive. Even if the good lighting is considered, the 3D quality is fantastic.
I went to Hong Kong on a private trip with a discount ticket I got 2 months ago. My main camera was a film camera with a single focal lens and it was loaded with a roll of monochrome film. But, the PowerShot G7 X played a main role in important scenes. The image quality was so high that I wonder which one was the main camera. It must be fun to travel with this camera only. The luminance difference was great on this image, and it was a difficult scene for films. But, the PowerShot G7 X captured it without a difficulty. I asked myself, "Did I have to bring the film camera?" Of course, I use films because I love the unique image quality...
I shot this image to test how well it depicts texture. Now, who says 1-inch sensor is too small?
Tonal gradation is beautiful. Even though the shadow looks dark, but it still has tonal gradation. I took the same shot with a film, but the shadow was completely blackened. (laughs)
Detailed rendering and artistic expression - guaranteed by the Canon quality
Finally, I bought this camera because of the high lens performance, smart and film-like noise handling, and the 100mm tele-end. I know I should avoid saying that I bought the equipment I tested on a website of a camera dealer. But, my purchase means that I was impressed even though I had experienced the RX100M3. And, the solid feel of the body is just amazing. It feels very condensed and very camera-like. No wonder Canon has made so many hits in the compact digital market. Honestly, I was disappointed with the absence of built-in and optional EVF. Many compact digital cameras require composing with the rear LCD. Because it separates the camera form the body, it becomes difficult to compose the scene instantly after viewing it. In other words, the camera can't become the part of your body. Even so, the PowerShot G7 X gave me an inspiration for my future shooting. I may have a hard time picking one between the G7X and the RX100M3. Maybe, I choose considering the match between the total image production capability including developing software and my assignment. And, you'll consider the same thing. The two cameras look and perform alike. But, as an owner of the two cameras, I'd say the PowerShot G 7X is more broad-minded, while the RX100M3 is highly tuned. Or, the G7X gives you a piece of mind while the RX100M3 surprises you when it hits the bull's eye. Anyway, this is a competition between the very advanced players and they are equally excellent cameras. Now, people in my office call me "1-inch maniac."
The double-deck dial for mode and exposure compensation! Instead, the exposure compensation setting for the control ring has been omitted. The two dials have nice click feel and they never turn together. My hands are exceptionally big, so I turn the dials together. But, if the size of your hands is normal, you're fine. :)
Very handsome looking.
The bokeh is sweet. This is a great lens. * Click to enlarge.
Great 3D quality and they even look coquettish. * Click to enlarge.
The emotional rendering is almost at the level of the 35mm full frame sensor. * Click to enlarge.
The minimum focus distance is as short as 5cm and it requires no macro mode switching. But, just like other cameras in the same category, image quality is degraded in the corners. So, I advise you to stop down. The top and bottom images were shot at F1.8 and F3.5 respectively. * Click to enlarge.
( 05.02.2015 )