Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Review

Canon’s update of their popular G7 X camera

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4.2

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

 Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo

What We Like

  • Touchscreen

  • f/1.8 fast aperture lens

  • Wi-Fi capabilities

  • Focus tracking

  • DIGIC 7 image processor

  • In-camera neutral density filter

What We Don't Like

  • No 4K video capabilities

  • No microphone input

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a compact digital camera with outstanding video recording capabilities and a tiltable LCD screen that makes self-recording easy.

4.2

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

 Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo

One of the most important tools for successful content creators is a camera. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is one of the most versatile cameras on the market, producing excellent video quality and amazing photographs in a compact design. 

We got our hands on the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II to see why this little camera has become one of the most popular tools content creators and social media influencers have in their arsenal. 

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
 Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo

Design: Small design with user-friendly controls

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is beautifully crafted, measuring 4.15 inches wide, 2.4 inches tall, and 1.6 thick. Built out of metal, the device weighs about 11 ounces and feels substantial sitting in the palm of your hand. Its rubberized grip adds to its comfortable ergonomics, and the dials are stiff and create a strong click when adjusted. 

The front of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II houses a retractable lens surrounded by a large control ring. The control ring allows users to adjust camera menus and settings. When testing the camera, we were able to fine-tune aperture or shutter speed by using the control ring, which somewhat mimics the feeling of using a manual lens. Creatives that are used to working with professional DSLRs will find this feature handy because it makes the camera more familiar to use. 

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo 

Setup: Take your time to know the camera

The setup can be difficult for those that have never used a digital camera before—getting to know the menu items is key to fully unlocking the potential of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. 

Pressing the Menu button presents you with three options: Shoot, Setup, and My Menu. In the Shoot menu there are eight pages to cycle through to customize the shooting experience. Everything from image quality, to auto focus, to ISO Speed and movie recording size are available for fine-tuning. (Some of these settings can also be adjusted through the Quick Menu button.) 

The Setup menu contains features that are normally set up once and left alone, including wireless settings, language, date, and time. 

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo 

Display: Adjustable and perfect for self-recording

One of the key design elements of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II has to be its three-inch adjustable LCD display, which can be flipped 45 degrees down or 180 degrees up to face its user. 

When we took this camera out to test, the adjustable LCD display made self-recording easy and efficient. The display is very bright, boasting a resolution of 1.04 million dots under an anti-glare glass screen. The LCD also shows important information like ISO settings, flash, white balance, picture style, exposure compensation, battery life, and storage space. 

The adjustable LCD display makes self-recording easy and efficient.

The display on the Canon PowerShot G7 x Mark II is large and bright. The touch screen made is easier for us to navigate through a “quick” menu, where we could adjust our shooting style and experience. The touch screen is very sensitive as well as accurate. 

Focus adjustments have never been easier—just tap the selected area on the LCD screen. The Canon PowerShot G7 x Mark II lacks the optical viewfinder that traditional cameras have, making the LCD its primary source for framing shots and videos. 

For more cameras with this kind of display, check out our picks for the best articulated LCD cameras and the best touchscreen cameras.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
 Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo

Sensor: Outstanding image quality 

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a step up from the majority of point-and-shoot cameras on the market today thanks to its one-inch, 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor. This sensor, combined with the Digic 7 image processor, makes up the Canon HS System.

This camera has an ISO rating up to 12800, allowing this camera to shoot in low-light conditions and still render great photos and videos. The camera’s RAW file output contains a large amount of data that’s perfect for post-production and editing. 

The new Digic 7 image processor is another major update on the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. The processor provides amazing image tracking and detection, and allows this camera to capture sharp images of fast-moving subjects such as athletes, dancers, and young children at play. The result beautiful photos with great color and reduced grain. 

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo

Lens: Fast and versatile

Considering that this camera is small and compact, it has a fast and powerful lens. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II has a 4.2x optical zoom which is comparable to a 24-100mm lens in terms of range. Its widest aperture at f/1.8 and through the rest of the zoom range it is rated at f/2.8.  The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II can also shoot as close as two inches for macro shots.

The lens on the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II boasts a nine-blade iris diaphragm that allows for beautifully out-of-focus backgrounds and isolated subjects that are typically seen with higher-end DSLR lenses. When shooting portraits, we noticed this helped the subject pop from the soft background. The in-camera neutral density filter creates more cinematic photographs by reducing the amount of light entering the lens. This is very useful if you’re shooting in bright daylight and want to use slower shutter speeds and wider apertures.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo 

Photo Quality: Sharp with great colors

To take full advantage of the image quality on the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II, we had to shoot in RAW format. The 20.1-megapixel sensor renders color beautifully and the images are sharp and crisp. The RAW files also gave us much more control over highlights, shadow details, and grain. 

The in-camera stabilization paired with the fast nine-blade iris diaphragm of the zoom lens allows users to create sharp, usable images with this surprisingly compact device. 

The 20.1-megapixel sensor renders color beautifully and the images are sharp and crisp.

Video Quality: Good but not the best

When we were testing the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II, we felt that one of the downsides to this camera was the lack of 4K recording. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II can only record video at 1080p, but fortunately the video still looks sharp and clear. It can also record at 120 frames-per-section, which means there is a slow motion feature for additional versatility (there are a lot of cameras with this feature, though, so it isn’t quite as impressive).

The in-camera stabilization and focus tracking makes the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II a delight to use. When reviewing the video files, we noticed that the video did not have much hand shake. It can also create nice timelapses with the ability to fine-tune the interval, exposure, and number of shots to determine the final length of the video.

The HDMI output port on the body of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II means it can be used with an external monitor or external recorder. Note that using the HDMI port will cause the LCD display to go black and will remove the ability to use the touchscreen feature.

One of the downsides to this camera is the lack of 4K recording.

As for the audio recording quality, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is not bad when recording close to the subject. The sound files are usable but not perfect, and the microphone definitely has its limits—when we took the camera out to shoot some video on a windy day, the microphone on this camera could not handle it and the voices in the footage were inaudible.  

A major drawback to this camera is the lack of an audio input jack. Various creators often use better microphones and sound recorders to improve sound quality. If audio is a major component to your content creation, the lack of audio input can be a deal breaker. 

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo

Wi-Fi: Review and share your photos from your phone

The Canon PowerShot G7 X mark II generates a custom Wi-Fi network that allows the camera to connect to a smartphone via the Canon Camera Connect app. After we connected to the app, we were able to wirelessly control the camera and use a feature called “Live View” to compose shots using our smartphone. 

Another big benefit to the Canon Camera Connect app is the ability to review and instantly transfer images from the camera to your device. If you snap a picture and want to text it to your friends, it’s easy to send it to your phone without having to use any cables or take out the memory card. 

If you want to read reviews of other cameras with this kind of Wi-Fi technology, check out our picks of the best Wi-Fi cameras.

Battery Life: Carry an extra battery for extensive use

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II’s battery life is rated at 265 shots per charge. After shooting with the camera for a couple of hours, we noticed that the battery was almost depleted. For long periods of shooting, it would be wise to have a few battery back ups since the pack takes about five hours to recharge after it’s empty. 

Price: Great price for the features

Coming in around $600, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is relatively expensive for a compact point-and-shoot but still priced competitively for what it offers, including the Wi-Fi capabilities, 180-degree articulating LCD screen, wide aperture lens, in-camera stabilization, focus tracking, and touchscreen. 

The camera does lack a few major features like 4K recording capabilities and higher frame rates. If those features were included, we imagine it would triple the price.

Competition: Some less-expensive alternatives, each with a catch

GoPro HERO7 Black: The GoPro HERO7 Black is an action camera popular with adventure vloggers that retails for $400. If video is a priority, then it’s worth noting that this tiny device can record 4K video at 60fps, as well as an amazing 1080p video at 240fps (this high frame rate can be used to produce ultra-slow-motion video). It also has the ability to live stream to social platforms and can be controlled via voice commands when your hands are full. 

Missing from this powerful device is an articulating LCD screen, which is essential for self-recording. It’s still photographs also aren’t as good as the G7 X Mark II, so it isn’t quite as versatile if you want something for both photos and videos.  

Canon PowerShot SX740 HS: Like the GoPro, the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS retails for $400, so it’s definitely a money-saving alternative to the G7 X Mark II. And even at this cheaper price, the SX740 HS can shoot 4K video and has almost the same features as the G7 X Mark II.

The drawback: it only has a 1/ 2.3 inch CMOS sensor, which is a major reduction in image and video quality compared to the G7 X Mark II. If you want 4K video and need to save some money, the SX740 HS has the same kind of versatility as the G7 X Mark II but with lower image quality. The SX740 HS is a good candidate for a first camera if you want to try content creation but don’t want to spend as much.

Final Verdict

A great little camera for vlogging and snapping high-quality photos. 

It’s a little on the pricier side, but the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II delivers as a powerful compact camera that can create great-looking content on the go. Even though it lacks 4K recording, its video and audio quality (in the right conditions) make it more than suitable for vloggers and those who want to document their travels.

Specs

  • Product Name PowerShot G7 X Mark II
  • Product Brand Canon
  • MPN 1066C001AA
  • Price $649.00
  • Product Dimensions 4.15 x 2.4 x 1.65 in.
  • Type 20.1 MP, 1.0-inch CMOS
  • Focal Length 8.8 (W) - 36.8 (T) mm
  • Maximum Aperture f/1.8 (W), f/2.8 (T)
  • Sensitivity Max. ISO 12800
  • Zoom 4.2x optical, 4x digital
  • LCD Monitor 3-inch tilt-type TFT color LCD
  • Wireless Control Wi-Fi, NFC
  • Storage Media SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-I Memory Cards
  • Shooting Capacity Approx. 265 shots with Screen, 355 shots in ECO Mode
  • Battery Rechargeable NB-13L battery pack
  • Charging Time Approx. 5 hours
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