Amazon Review by Naveed Ahmed
339 people found the following review helpful
An excellent camera
First of all, I would like to mention that I did not buy the camera through Amazon. I found a very good deal from another store, but I bought the Canon Deluxe Leather Case PSC-5300BK, Canon Battery Pack NB-13L, and Sandisk Extreme SDXC 64 GB memory card through Amazon to be used with this camera. In the end I spent around $750 for everything, which was a good deal.
A little background. I have been an avid user of DSLRs since the last 10 years. The main reason I started using DSLRs was not because of the choice of multiple lenses but the features, e.g. bigger sensor, less noise, bigger aperture for blurring the background (nice bokeh), aperture, shutter, iso and manual controls. I owned Canon EOS 400D or Rebel Ti for 8 years or so, but always used a general walk around Tamron 17-50 f2.8 lens with it. I believe this background information is necessary to explain why I sold my DSLR and moved to G7x.
A DSLR captures very high quality photos, but one must always consider the size. For me as the years went by, I was taking my DSLR less and less outside. It was just not convenient to carry such a big camera bag around with the huge camera hanging around your neck. In the age of mobile phone which can capture crappy photos (good enough for whatsapp) at the expense of size and weight, carrying a DSLR requires lots of motivation. Maybe it comes with age, or if you are really enthusiastic about taking photos then it might not be an issue, but for me it was a big deal. In the last couple of years, I only took my DSLR for annual holidays, otherwise didnt bother to use it. On the other hand, I was using my Lumia 920 for taking everyday photos, and was really frustrated by its image quality. At that point I started looking for a high end camera that can provide high quality images at smaller size and weight.
I looked at 4/3 and other mirror less cameras along with cameras with the 1 sensor. I quickly narrowed my selection to Sony RX 100 iii. The reviews were excellent and so was the image quality. Before, I was going to buy it, Canon announced G7x and Panasonic announced Lumix Lx100. I discarded Lx100 because it did not have a built-in flash. Even though I take more than 90% of my shots without flash, I did not want to be in a situation where you need the flash, and then you are fumbling in your pockets for one. Finally once G7x hit the market, I spent some time with both RX 100 iii and G7x.
Both cameras offer excellent image quality. I knew that with a 1 sensor, I cannot expect the image quality at the level of a DSLR but it was a trade-off that I was willing to make for the sake of comfort. Compared to my 8 years old DSLR, it seems that the sensor technology has moved forward a lot and at a lower ISO levels (800 or below) I see no difference between these cameras or EOS 400d. Both cameras offer all the manual controls that I used in a DSLR and provide a good control over the depth of field, thus one can blur the background while focusing on the subject, which was one of my main requirement for any camera. Built-in ND filter is very handy too.
Sony has a viewfinder, whereas Canon has the longer zoom and touch screen. Ultimately, the latter features (zoom and touch screen) sold me to G7x. Having the extra zoom is handy, but to select the focus point with a single touch is a revelation, especially if you love to re-compose the shots or focus on any specific part of the scene. I cannot stress how useful this feature is, especially if you want to choose a specific part of the image to be in focus and blur the rest of the image. You can see three examples in the attached images, the focus point changes from the front, middle and to the back. Having the additional zoom range also helps in this regard especially if you want to take portraits.
After using G7x, I find the focusing speed to be excellent. I didnt have any issues with a young kid. Auto-ISO is on the conservative side, which I would like to have more control over. Hopefully Canon can offer some more control in this feature with some firmware update, but I dont have much hope for it. Battery life is fine, but I always carry an extra battery, just in case. The image quality is really good. Since I am taking this camera with me, I am taking more photos, and the quality in some cases is stunning. I was surprised by the quality of sharpness in some of the images, and the overall quality is easily comparable to my old EOS 400D at the quarter of the weight and size. I always resize my photos to a smaller size, because honestly looking at a 20 MP photo in all its glory on a PC screen, or a mobile phones screen is not practical. For a person like me, who never prints a photo, a 4 MP image is equally fine. The movie mode is excellent, especially using the touch screen to move the focus point while recording the movie is a great tool for creative recordings.
Another great feature, which is a given in smartphones is WiFi transfer. Unfortunately, the camera does not support my Windows Phone, which is a shame, because I am not going to switch to Android or iOS because of it. I find Windows Phone to be much more elegant and aesthetically pleasing than other mobile OS. Heres hoping that Canon will support it with Windows 10. On the other hand, WiFi transfer to Flickr is extremely useful. One can use the Flickr app to access the photos, share them on the social media or messaging apps very quickly. I use Flickr upload for the casual viewing and sharing. Having a 64 GB memory card is very useful, as you can wait between the transfers to some permanent storage.
Overall, I find G7x to be an excellent camera. It has all the features that I need as I move down from the DSLR. The image quality is excellent. You can do flash free photography. Capture images with blurred background, and record high quality videos. To have this amount of control and quality and this size and weight from a camera is truly amazing. It would be very interesting to see how camera companies will take these pro levels point and shoots to the next level.