My First Impression of the Canon G7X

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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley
Zabriskie Point at dawn, Death Valley. Sony RX100, ISO80, f/4.0, 1/80″, 0.3ND Graduated Filter

In my previous post I mentioned that I was going to buy a Canon G7X given how impressed I was with the G16 compact camera I had been using. Well it arrived yesterday and I have decided to do something unusual. I’m going to give a quick review of my first impressions having not yet taken a picture with the camera (I haven’t even put the battery in the camera).

I bought the camera because I thought it was the same body, or at least very similar to the G16 but this isn’t the case. I was quite surprised to find the G7X feels a fair bit smaller than the G16. The G16 has a rubber hand grip on the right which feels quite chunky and nice. The G7X by contrast feels thin, small and a little slippery. The handling reminds me of the tiny Sony RX100 I had (hence the image above).

The tilting screen on the back of the camera is nice but why has Canon not gone for a fully articulated screen. The screen is limited to tilting upwards with the hinge along the top. This is fine if you have the camera in Landscape mode but if you want to shoot with a portrait orientation it doesn’t work. Despite this, it’s an improvement on the G16 which doesn’t have any screen tilting.

The next thing I noticed is that the controls are very small and cramped, much of the space having been given over to the screen. This makes them a little tricky to use if you have anything other than small hands. The use of the dials on the top of the camera has also been changed, again making them a little tricky to use. I can foresee a problem when using this camera for Landscape Photography in cold weather.

Despite the limitations of the size of the buttons and dials the layout of these is very well thought out which does make them very usable. This also makes the G7X a true pocket compact. The G16 may feel nicer in the hands but you need a big pocket to carry it around.

The camera came with a strap, but this was only a wrist strap which may trouble some people. My automatic reaction was to want a neck strap but then I have a habit of wrapping this around my wrist a number of times to carry cameras in my hand. Perhaps the wrist strap with this camera will be helpful and again make it easier to fit in a pocket.

The final point I notice is that there is no way to attach filters to the camera. On the G16 there is a removable ring around the lens which then accepts an accessory tube to which filters can be attached. With the G7X the ring doesn’t detach but instead has a number of functions that can be assigned to it. As filters are essential to my work I have ordered a stick on adapter from the US. This again is similar to what I had to do with the Sony RX100.

One minor lucky point is that the screen protectors from my EM5 fit the G7X screen so I don’t need to buy any of these and can put the money towards some spare batteries. The battery for this camera is tiny and I can’t imagine it will last all that long, although we shall see.

In summary the G7X is a very well designed and well-built camera but it feels as though Canon have tried to copy Sony (even down to the 1”, 20Mpixel sensor) and in the process thrown out some of the better points from their G range.

I will share further thoughts as I begin to use the camera.

6 thoughts on “My First Impression of the Canon G7X

    lasousa2015 said:
    August 12, 2015 at 3:22 am

    Good honest review. I have the RX 100 IV and larger hands. I have made it somewhat better to grip with a Gariz half case. I too use the stick on filter attachment and it has worked well but seems a bit fragile. Time will tell. As for the Sony I am still warming to it. I also have a Fuji X 100T and it is ergonomically worlds better. It feels so solid. I fear dropping the Sony, it would surely be curtains especially if the lens is extended I could pound the Fuji with an M16 and it would survive. The nice thing is that both cameras fit into a small Tenba bag with cleaning kit, filters, spare batteries. All I need. Thanks for your dedication to us all. Lou.

    lasousa2015 said:
    August 12, 2015 at 3:23 am

    By the way the image is superb!

    Cicalo Patrick said:
    August 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Could it be it was the G3X that was similar in size to the G16 that you wee considering?

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      August 12, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      The G3X certainly has all the features and designs I would like but the price is still too steep. Perhaps when I can pick one up for £350 I will consider it. I’m sure it will come in time.

    Matt Thom said:
    October 10, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Can I ask which site you got your filter adapter from in the USA? The lensmate site shows them as discontinued and as you states, you can’t mount a lens barrel like the panasonics.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      October 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Matt, thats a surprise. Yes its the Lensmate adapter. I would contact them if I were you to find out if they have any plans to release an alternative.

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