I’ve been using the Canon G7X Mark II for a couple of months now and I feel confident sharing a review and my thoughts on what I hoped would be my “be-all-and-end-all” of compact cameras, so…
Did it live up to or exceed expectations? Was it a total waste of money?
Keep reading to find out!
Before we jump into things, I bought the Canon with my own money so I’m giving you my complete and honest opinion. I’m, also, by no means a camera expert so I’ll try to avoid throwing lots of technical specifications and jargon at you where possible. What I want to address with this blog post is…
How I really feel about the Canon G7X Mark II as a fellow Traveler and Content Provider.
Also, what you should know about this camera before you spend your hard-earned cash on one, like I did, so are you ready? Let’s go!
The Problem with DSLRs
It took a trip to Asia to realize my DSLR was Too Much of a Beast to carry around (heavy, large and inconvenient) and while I only intended to use it for a few “special moments” I found myself relying on my phone instead. Some of my reasoning is covered in, Why I bought the Canon G7X Mark II.
I soon realized what I really needed was something as light and portable as my phone but with the features of a DSLR:
- Swappable batteries
- Solid build quality
- Excellent image quality
- Good low-light performance
- Optical Zoom
My phone, for example, couldn’t record more than 10 minutes of video before it needed a recharge. This meant carrying a bag with a power-bank (portable battery charger for mobile devices), a computer to recharge both my phone and power-bank and lots of cables. So here I was with all this extra stuff just to squeeze a little more life out of my phone when a swappable battery would’ve sufficed.
Also, my DSLR is MASSIVE and some people act strange when they see it. Their expressions scream, “Don’t point that thing at me” or “Don’t film me”, whereas no one cares when you’re recording with a handheld device which is what I wanted for my content.
Then there’s the issue with some venues (sports arenas, galleries, etc) banning bigger cameras all-together whereas handhelds are generally okay.
Canon G7X Mark II – Build Quality and Weight
The Canon G7X Mark II feels really good in the hand, it’s solid and has a bit of weight to it which makes me believe this thing can take a pounding (don’t try this). My DSLR with a lens and tripod can weigh up to 3 kg (6 lbs) which is a workout in itself for all-day activities like to theme parks and walking trails.
And considering airlines have baggage allowances (maximum weight for your luggage) you’ll want to keep your travel kit as light as possible for, well… everything else.
This was definitely a priority for me as I’d be swapping my DSLR for a Compact and I’m pleased with how the Canon G7X Mark II performs. For me, the image quality (photo and video) sits between a smartphone and DSLR. It’s not perfect but will get the job done in the small form factor I want.
I’m confident using it as my premium “snap-and-go” camera for every occasion.
The lens on the Canon performs really well in low-light conditions beating what my DSLR and phone can do at the moment which is impressive.
The (4.2 x) optical zoom allows me to get really close to a subject without any loss in quality. It has a digital zoom which I recommend turning off otherwise you could end up with some very undesirable, jittery and pixelated images.
And then there’s the built-in electronic leveling meter which I absolutely love. This allows me to adjust the shot so I can get the camera leveled without a tripod.
Why it’s Better than a Smart phone
I mentioned the limited battery life of a smart phone and how you can get an extra battery or two for the Canon. There’s also the low-light performance and optical zoom. The Canon allows you to switch into Manual Mode so you can fine-tune your settings. And some high-end smart phones have an absolutely terrible front-facing “selfie” camera whereas the Canon uses the same lens for everything. You just flick up the screen into “selfie” mode, point the camera to yourself and you’re good to go.
What could be Improved
There’s no microphone jack on the Canon. The built-in one does a good enough job but it’s a magnet for wind noise. I recommend buying a muffler of some sort. It’s a small gripe and not a deal breaker for me.
My only other concern is the connection process over WiFi to an iPhone. For example, transferring a photo directly from the Canon into Instagram on your phone requires several button clicks. It’s a process that should take 1 or 2 steps (Press the connect button. Done). Hopefully, this will be improved with a software update.
Why I chose the Canon over another Compact
It took me months of research before I decided on the Canon. I spent this time looking at comparable devices like the Sony RX 100 Mark V. And from what I could tell it all came down to the focusing speed of the Sony over the Canon. Considering the Sony’s hundreds of dollars more than the Canon I couldn’t justify the extra cost. Having used the Canon for months now the focusing speed hasn’t been an issue for me.
Also, customer reviews were just as high, if not higher for the Canon which helped to seal the deal for me and that’s Why I bought the Canon G7X Mark II and Why I’m still happy with it now.
How much is it and Where can you get it from?
The Canon G7X Mark II is currently retailing for around $679 in the US. In New Zealand (where I’m from) it’s about $1000.
I love this camera. It does everything I want a travel camera to do. I’m still undecided if it’s my “be-all-and-end-all” of compact cameras but for me, right now, it’s almost perfect.
If you have any questions about the camera let me know in the comments section below.
Take care, Cliff