Canon delivers much-needed changes for G7 X Mark II


Two much-needed design changes include the addition of a grip and a switch to silence the front control ring.


Some Mark II upgrades are significant; some, not so much. Canon's update to its PowerShot G7 X enthusiast compact somehow falls in the middle. The G7 X Mark II doesn't have a ton of new features or major-sounding enhancements, but it looks like Canon addressed a lot of the issues I had with the G7 X, which could make a big difference in how it fares compared with competitors.

Canon plans to ship the G7 X Mark II in May, at least in the US, for $700. That's about £490 and AU$975 at current exchange rates.

What's new

  • Design. There's only a few changes to the body, but they're important. First, Canon has added a much-needed grip. Also, there's now a switch on the front to silence the otherwise clicky control ring (for operation while shooting video) and the display not only flips up for selfies, but can also tilt down. The changes have made the camera slightly larger and heavier than before, but not by much.
  • Features. Upgrading to a new Digic 7 image processor confers some capabilities, including in-camera raw-to-JPEG conversion, Canon's Picture Styles (formerly only available in the dSLRs), time-lapse movie and an image-stabilization mode for panning shots (so it only stabilizes vertical movement). Canon also adds wireless connection support with Wi-Fi and NFC.
  • Image quality. The Digic 7 processor also allows the old sensor to eke out one stop of improvement in noise reduction; in other words, noise in JPEGs at ISO 1600 in the Mark II will look like the noise at ISO 800 in the original. Since raw images don't have noise reduction applied, they won't be affected, but I found the raws significantly better than the JPEGs in the G7 X, anyway.
  • Performance. The processor update brings with it faster startup and an increased continuous shooting speed of 5.4 frames per second with autofocus and autoexposure, faster than the recent G5 X, as well as improvements in tracking autofocus; it has old Sony-like object tracking based on your touchscreen selection, plus less-distractable people tracking from face-detection. Canon says it's also improved autofocus in low-contrast scenes, such as those with a lot of similar colors or low saturation.

My take

I had a lot of trouble with the autofocus system on the G7 X, so I'm hoping the updates have fixed both the accuracy and speed. But it also needs a processing speedup, which the more recent G5 X failed to deliver. Otherwise, Canon seems to have addressed most of the issues with its predecessor, which should bring it in line with similarly priced enthusiast compacts. Fingers crossed.

Comparative specs

Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III
Sensor effective resolution 20.2MP HS CMOS 20.2MP HS CMOS 12.8MP MOS 20.2MP Exmor R CMOS
Sensor size 1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8 mm)
(13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Four Thirds
(17.3 x 13mm)
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
Focal-length multiplier 2.7x 2.7x 2.0x 2.7x
OLPF Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 12800/25600 (exp) ISO 100 - ISO 12800/25600 (exp) ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 - ISO 25600 ISO 80 (exp)/ISO 125 - ISO 12800
Lens (35mm equivalent) 24-100mm
24 - 75mm
24 - 70mm
Closest focus 2.0 in/5 cm 2.0 in/5 cm 2 in/5 cm 1.9 in/5 cm
Burst shooting 4.4fps
31 JPEG/n/a raw
(6.5fps with focus and exposure fixed on first frame)
46 JPEG/n/a raw
(8 shots with focus and exposure fixed on first frame)
(40fps with electronic shutter and fixed AF/AE)
(10fps with fixed focus and exposure)
(mag/ effective mag)
None None EVF
0.4 in/10.2 mm
2.764m dots
100% coverage
0.4 in/10.2mm
1.44m dots
100% coverage
Hot shoe No No Yes No
Autofocus 31-area
Contrast AF
Contrast AF
Contrast AF
Contrast AF
AF sensitivity n/a n/a n/a n/a
Shutter speed 250 - 1/2,000 sec 250 - 1/2,000 sec; bulb 60 - 1/4,000 sec (1/16,000 electronic shutter); bulb to 2 minutes 30 - 1/2,000 sec; bulb
Metering n/a n/a 1,728 zones n/a
Metering sensitivity n/a n/a n/a n/a
Best video H.264 QuickTime MOV
H.264 QuickTime MOV
MP4 UHD/30p, 25p, 24p @ 100Mbps; 1080/60p, 50p XAVC S
1080/60p, 30p, 25p, 24p @ 60Mbps; 720/120p
Audio Stereo Stereo Stereo Stereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum best-quality recording time 4GB/29:59 minutes 4GB/29:59 minutes 15 minutes 29 minutes
Optical zoom while recording Yes Yes Yes Yes
IS Optical Optical Optical Optical
LCD 3 in/7.5 cm
Flip-up touchscreen
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5 cm
Flip-up, tilting touchscreen
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5 cm
921,000 dots
3 in/7.5cm
921,600 dots
(plus another set of white dots for brightness)
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC
Flash Yes Yes Bundled optional Yes
Wireless flash No No No No
Battery life (CIPA rating) 210 shots
(1,250 mAh)
265 shots
(1,250 mAh)
300 shots
(1,025 mAh)
320 shots (LCD);
230 shots (Viewfinder)
(1,240 mAh)
Size (WHD) 4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 in
103 x 60.4 x 40.4 mm
4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in
106 x 61 x 42 mm
4.5 x 2.6 x 2.2 in
114.8 x 66.2 x 55.0 mm
4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 inches
101.6 x 58.1 x 41 mm
Body operating weight 10.7 oz
302 g
11.3 oz (est.)
319 g (est.)
13.9 oz
394 g
10.2 oz
289.2 g
Mfr. price
not listed = manufacturer does not offer this camera in that region
n/a = the price is not available or we don't know if the camera will be offered in that region
$700 $700
£520 (est.)
Release date (US) October 2014 May 2016 November 2014 June 2014

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Features AF illuminator
    flash +/- compensation
  • Weight 10.37 oz
  • Red Eye Reduction Yes
  • Sensor Resolution 20.1 Megapixel
  • Optical Zoom 4.2 x
  • Lens Aperture f/1.8-2.8
  • Focus Adjustment automatic
  • Min Focus Distance 15.7 in
  • Digital Zoom 4 x
  • Optical Sensor Size 1.0"
  • Optical Sensor Type BSI-CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 20.1 pixels