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Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II: Same, yet different from the original

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II's touchscreen display can now be tilted down to 45 degrees and flipped up 180 degrees.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II's touchscreen display can now be tilted down to 45 degrees and flipped up 180 degrees.PHOTOS: CANON

From the outside, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II prosumer compact camera looks no different from its predecessor that was launched in October 2014.

But under the hood, the Mark II has the new and faster Digic 7 image processor, which shows its mettle through faster autofocusing (AF) in low-light conditions, and a continuous shooting rate of eight frames per second (fps) - up from 6.5fps in the first version.

Battery life is a major bugbear in the original, and G7 X Mark II is supposed to last longer.

But it can shoot only 265 still images on a full charge. While this is around 45 shots more than the original, it is on the low side, compared with most prosumer compact cameras which average 300 shots per charge.

There are slight upgrades in Mark II's exterior too. The most welcome one is the addition of a contoured rubber grip in front, which was sorely lacking in the original. This gives you a better and more comfortable grasp of the camera.

Another change is in the touchscreen display, which can now be tilted down to 45 degrees and flipped up 180 degrees.

The original's display cannot be tilted down.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $799

    IMAGE SENSOR: 20.1-megapixel 1-inch CMOS

    DISPLAY: Tiltable 3-inch touchscreen with 1,040,000 dots

    SENSITIVITY: ISO 125-12,800

    SHOOTING SPEED: Up to 8 frames per second

    LENS: 24-100mm f/1.8-f/2.8

    CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication

    WEIGHT: 319g (with battery and memory card)


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The G7 X Mark II retains the control ring around the lens that lets you adjust aperture. But it gains a lever on the four o'clock position of the lens. Moving this lever toggles the option between smooth and stepped rotation of the control ring.

A dedicated Ring Function button at the camera's rear lets you change the control ring's function, such as ISO, white balance and manual focus, other than aperture.

Like its predecessor, the G7 X Mark II's button layout is very well thought out. At the top right sits a Mode dial and an Exposure Compensation dial, both within easy reach of your thumb and index finger.

On the back is a clickable dial that allows quick access to Drive, Flash, Macro and Display settings; and a dedicated video recording button just below the thumb rest. Camera handling is great.

Operation is slightly faster than that of most of its peers. Start-up is a quick 1.2sec, while shutdown takes 1.8sec. Those numbers are a tad faster - by 0.1sec each - than its predecessor's.

Using an SD card with a writing speed rated at 90MB per second, the camera captured 21 RAW images in 2.5sec before the buffer ran out. This is way better than the Mark I's meagre two RAW images in 0.9sec.

But its AF performance is on a par with Mark I's. It is almost instantaneous in bright sunlight. In dim conditions, it takes only around 1sec to secure a focus, with the aid of the AF assist light.

Image quality is not too shabby, with neutral rendition of colours and crisp details across the entire focal range. Auto white balance is accurate in most circumstances, though images do appear a tad warm under artificial lighting.

Image noise performance is much better than that of its predecessor. Only some luminance noise is visible at ISO 800. With the original, a similar level of noise could be seen at ISO 400. At ISO 1,600, noise artefacts become more visible, but the loss of details is not apparent. But avoid using ISO 3,200 or higher, as the detail loss is too evident.

The G7 X Mark II can shoot only full high-definition videos when many competitors have already moved on to 4K video recording.

• Verdict: Other than some physical and performance upgrades, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II does not differ much from its predecessor.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2016, with the headline 'Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II: Same, yet different from the original'. Print Edition | Subscribe