Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
Ergonomics and workmanship
At around 10.6 x 6.1 x 4.1 centimetres, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is pleasantly compact, but with a ready-to-operate weight of 303 grams, it weighs in at an impressive level. This is certainly due above all to the robust metal housing and, of course, the fast lens. Although the Canon is no thicker than a comparable RX100 III from Sony, it offers a zoom lens with a slightly longer telephoto focal length (24-100 instead of 24-70 mm 35 mm equivalent) without sacrificing speed (F1.8-2.8). An optical image stabilizer is also built in. The Mark III has a rubberized handle that makes the camera posture safer compared to Sony’s competition without making the body larger. Chapeau, Canon. Compared to the predecessor model, this rubber also wraps itself around the body on the other side of the lens, so that the Mark III looks a little higher quality and more noble.
Despite the compact housing and the resulting lack of space, the buttons on the back are surprisingly large and can therefore also be used by men’s hands. As always, the combination of a four-weigher with a rotating ring is somewhat problematic, as the motorcyclist can accidentally press a button while turning. With the G7 X, however, the problem is quite limited, you can get used to the wheel, which is quite handy. But the lens ring is much nicer. It is large, handy and rests comfortably, but quietly. If you want to adjust discrete values, such as the focal length in steps, the aperture, the ISO sensitivity or the exposure time, you can do this precisely. If, on the other hand, you want to zoom continuously, you can use the zoom rocker, which is arranged in a ring around the shutter release.
The switchable detent of the predecessor model, on the other hand, no longer exists. Especially when focusing manually this is not so pleasant and therefore a step backwards compared to the G7 X Mark II. The Mark III, however, has as standard a manual focus setting via touch elements on the screen. But that doesn’t make it any better, because it doesn’t make the camera nice to operate when focusing manually. By the way, both a focus magnifier and focus peaking are available.
The exposure correction wheel also has to put up with a bit of criticism, as it can easily be misadjusted. After all, the exposure correction wheel only has an effect in the creative programs, so that automatic snapshots can’t accidentally spoil their pictures here. Those who want to combine the automatic exposure with the exposure correction have to switch to the program automatic. New is a position on the wheel where the correction is controlled via the multifunction wheels of the camera, but the adjustment range remains at +/- 3 EV in 1/3 EV steps.
The smaller program dial is located above the exposure compensation wheel. It even provides a custom position for recalling preferred recording settings. The Quick Menu, which allows you to adjust other important recording parameters that do not have their own buttons, also contributes to fast operation. The main menu has the usual Canon structure, into which you may have to learn something. With eight shooting menu pages, four playback menu pages, one wireless menu page, and five setup menu pages, it’s just about as easy to find. Frequently used menu items can also be accessed more quickly thanks to the My menu.
The rear screen offers good space utilization in 3:2 aspect ratio, as the image sensor has the same aspect ratio. With a diagonal of 7.5 centimeters and a resolution of 1.04 million pixels, it offers the usual cornerstones and good image quality. Thanks to a maximum luminance of around 800 cd/m², it can also be read quite well in sunshine. By the way, it’s a touch screen that you can use but don’t have to use. But for some functions, such as focusing on a certain subject detail with a fingertip, this is very practical. In addition, screen selection areas are offered for some functions, which further simplifies operation. Those who like to photograph from ground level or overhead perspectives can fold the screen up or down accordingly. Even a fast selfie is easy to create thanks to the 180 degree upward folding screen.
On the other hand, the Canon does not have a viewfinder. A flash shoe is also missing, so no external viewfinder can be connected. For a pop-up flash, on the other hand, Canon has found room in the case. With a micro HDMI and a USB C socket and a stereo microphone connection, the interface equipment for this camera class is quite good. However, the USB-C socket is quite bitchy. Theoretically, not only can the battery be recharged, but the camera can also be permanently powered. But be careful: If the USB charger or the Powerbank does not meet the necessary specifications, the battery is not charged more slowly, but not at all. For example, a simple charger with two amps is not enough. The built-in WLAN and Bluetooth can also be described as interfaces, not least because there is an optional Bluetooth radio remote trigger.
With 265 shots, the battery also offers a not too lavish battery life. Together with the SD memory card, it sits in a compartment on the camera floor next to the tripod thread located outside the optical axis. This is not practical for tripod operation. The memory card slot easily swallows large SDHC or SDXC cards and supports the UHS-I standard. For 4K video recordings, the memory card should support the speed class U3 or the video speed class V30, because around 15 MByte/s are required.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III features both a fully automatic mode that automatically controls everything, including Scene Recognition, and selectable scene modes, allowing the photographer to choose which automatic mode to use. Thus it is also possible for those who do not want to deal with the “technical” side of photography to take photos. But even experienced photographers who want to take a quick snapshot will enjoy the fully automatic mode.
The HDR mode, which should be used from a tripod, is also hidden between the scene modes. It records high-contrast scenes with three different exposures and assembles them in such a way that details can still be seen in both the brightest and darkest areas. Unfortunately, the HDR mode cannot be used in the creative programs P, Av, Tv and M, so experienced photographers will have to use the exposure bracket. Here, however, a maximum of three shots with two EV exposure differences each are possible, which must be assembled on the PC using the appropriate software. The same applies to the focus bracketing function: this is especially useful for macro shots, but the images in the series must be assembled on the PC using focus stacking software.
Thanks to the two control wheels, the recording parameters can be set quickly and easily in the creative programs. In addition, a live exposure preview and a live histogram ensure that you can judge the exposure before taking the picture. Anyone who wants to work with an open aperture for a shallow depth of field in a lot of light will quickly reach the limits of the mechanical shutter with the shortest shutter speed of 1/2,000 seconds. The electronic shutter, on the other hand, works with up to 1/25,600 s short exposure times.
Canon has also provided the lens with a swing-in neutral density filter. It reduces the light by three f-stops. Flow effects, e.g. from water, can also be achieved by using the shutter that can be closed up to F11. If desired, the G7 X can also automatically retract the filter. By the way, the filter also helps to reduce diffraction blur, for example, because you can work with F4 instead of F11.
Those who like lightning, on the other hand, do not get their money’s worth so much. As already mentioned at the beginning, the G7 X Mark III doesn’t offer a flash shoe. In addition, the integrated pop-up flash with a guide number of five doesn’t have a lot of power. You don’t even have to think about a wireless flash controller. Standard costs like the flash at the end of the exposure instead of at the beginning, a long-term synchronization as well as a flash exposure correction are of course available.
There is even a manual flash output control, but only in three unspecified levels. But even here a limitation is annoying because it only works in manual as well as semi-automatic exposure mode. Theoretically it would be possible to trigger slave flash units because the measuring pre-flash does not occur. But you don’t have to take Canon’s lean flash equipment amiss, because the camera is primarily trimmed for compactness, so compromises have to be made. It also has a fast lens. If you want to try to brighten up a scene a little indirectly despite the low power, you can pull the flash back a little with your finger, so that it fires towards the ceiling.
The G7 X Mark III is equipped with the latest image processor Digic 8, which brings the autofocus and the continuous shooting function (together with the fast image sensor) up to speed. In our laboratory the Mark III showed an accelerated autofocus compared to its predecessor. Depending on the focal length, it took between 0.16 and 0.21 seconds for the camera to focus and release from infinity to two meters. The pure shutter release delay of 0.03 seconds is also very short and almost twice as fast as on the predecessor model.
With the continuous shooting function, Canon promises 20 frames per second for 118 JPEG or 55 raw shots in a row. According to our measurements, the camera is a bit slower with just over 19 frames per second, which we don’t find tragic considering the values. More serious is the fact that already after 84 JPEG or 45 raw shots, the end is reached. Also unattractive is the irregular continuous-advance function that always stops briefly, then rattles through several fast images, stops again, and so on. Uniform recordings do not exist with a full buffer. Speaking of buffers: It only takes a few seconds until the buffer is emptied again. By the way, the autofocus is only adjusted at a maximum of eight frames per second.
The raw burst mode with 30 frames per second for 70 frames in a row also fails to live up to its promises. We even got 30.5 frames per second, but only for 41 shots in a row. In any case, the mode is subject to numerous limitations, for example it only works with electronic instead of mechanical shutter, with the exception of the manual exposure mode it is taken with ISO automatic and the images end up in a large file from which they can only be extracted in the playback mode of the camera or with the Canon DPP software on the PC. Anyway, the still quite new raw format CR3 of the latest Canon models still lacks broad support on the software market. Here one should inform oneself if necessary before.
The Canon G7 X Mark III has not only opened up to competition in terms of the video function, but also offers functions that you won’t find in other models or only in higher classes. Nevertheless, there is certainly criticism or potential for improvement here. The stereo microphone connection, for example, is something to be praised, but Canon hasn’t worried about attaching the microphone, because a suitable ISO shoe (flash shoe) is missing. So you have to “break” the compactness of the camera with any cages, arms or the like, if you don’t use a clip-on microphone.
The video resolution reaches 4K with either 30 or 25 frames per second, using the full sensor width. The optical zoom and image stabilizer continue to work, while the zoom is slow and barely audible. The autofocus is also barely audible, but its work becomes clearly visible at 4K resolution, which we don’t mean positively. Although we could not understand the slow or even non-existent focus on faces criticized by some sellers, this works quite well, but the focus reacts somewhat sluggishly and only sharpens slowly. Here one clearly notices that it works purely contrast based, because sometimes the image even becomes blurred until the camera notices this and changes the focus direction.
With the firmware update 1.1.0, available since October 16, 2019, Canon solves the problem of slow video autofocus by offering two modes: Mode 1 reacts faster to changes, while mode 2 corresponds to the previous behaviour. Please see in a paragraph below our analysis about this firmware update.
Unfortunately, the clip length of the 4K video recordings is limited to a good ten minutes. Our camera did not overheat, but only became lukewarm at an ambient temperature of around 24 degrees Celsius. However, there is no harm in supplying the camera with more air at the rear by folding down the screen. In Full HD resolution, 25, 30, 50 and 60 frames per second for almost 30 minutes at a time are possible, in high-speed mode also 120 frames per second. The frame rates depend on whether the video system is set to PAL or NTSC. It’s also a bit awkward that the video recording button can be used to film in any mode, but only in Full-HD. For the full range of settings including 4K recording, HDR video and manual exposure, you need to set the video mode on the program dial. The automatic video mode with scene recognition also films in Full HD only.
Several editing options are available in playback mode. Images can not only be rotated or cropped, filters can also be superimposed. Those who have made raw shots can also convert them into a JPEG in the camera. If desired, you can make your own settings, such as brightness, white balance, noise reduction and other parameters.
Thanks to built-in WLAN and Bluetooth, recordings can be transferred to smartphones, tablets or computers. With the help of Canon’s app, the camera can also be remote controlled, including live image transmission. More details can be found in our photo tip in the further links. Thanks to Bluetooth, the GPS of a smartphone can also be used for geotagging. As a special feature, the G7 X Mark III also offers a live stream function via YouTube. The maximum stream is in Full HD resolution at 25 or 30 frames per second and with six megabits per second, parallel recording on the memory card does not take place. However, the setup is a bit complicated, as you not only have to activate the corresponding functions on YouTube, but also create and configure an account in Canon’s Image Gateway.
More than seven years ago, Sony launched a small revolution with the RX100, as we now know. Until then, the image quality of compact cameras was not considered to be particularly good and those who wanted high image quality had to choose a system camera. However, the 1″ sensor, which is relatively large for a compact camera with 13.2 x 8.8 millimeters, changed this and ensures that good profits and even growth rates are still possible for manufacturers today, especially with such compact cameras.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is also equipped with a fast lens and a 1″ sensor, and promises image quality that is just as high as that of a system camera.
The edge darkening of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is just as negligible with a maximum of 0.4 EV or less than 25 percent as the distortion, which is very low in wide-angle with less than one percent barrel shape and is no longer present at all at longer focal lengths. Even color fringes with less than half a pixel in the maximum play no practical role. The only exception are the maximum color fringes in the wide-angle at the edge of the picture, which can become slightly visible with up to just over one pixel when looking closely.
Looking at the resolution measurement of the 20-megapixel sensor at 50 percent edge contrast (MTF50), some weaknesses of the lens become apparent. In the image centre, the Canon still achieves a high resolution of 50 line pairs per millimetre (lp/mm) in 35mm equivalent and more (58 lp/mm maximum at 49 mm F2.8) at all focal lengths. At the edge of the picture the story looks quite different. In the wide angle there are just 22 lp/mm in it. This does not only mean a rather high edge drop of 65 percent at the maximum, but also that the image corners become softer for prints larger than 20 x 30 centimeters.
With a medium focal length of 50 millimeters, corresponding to 35mm, 39 lp/mm are achieved at the edge of the image, but for this you have to dim down to F4 to F8. This is also our recommendation for high-resolution, evenly sharp photos: 50 mm and F4 or 5.6. With an open aperture it is only 31 lp/mm at the edge of the picture. At telephoto focal length, a maximum of 42 lp/mm is reached at the edge of the picture, in the quite large aperture range from F4 to F8. Also here F4 and F5.6 are very well suited for even high-resolution images from the center to the edge of the image. Beyond F5,6 the diffraction becomes visible in the middle of the picture and beyond F8 also at the edge of the picture, respectively it reduces the resolution significantly. F8 and F11 should be used sparingly with the G7 X Mark III.
However, the 1″ sensor is not only “famous” for its high resolution, but also for its good noise behaviour even at higher sensitivities; at least as long as the camera manufacturer has adjusted the image processing well. Some 1″ cameras, for example, even at ISO 800 or 1,600, still offer usable image quality with acceptable resolution and low noise. To cut a long story short: The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is not one of them. The signal-to-noise ratio starts at ISO 125 with a good 43 dB, but above ISO 800 it falls below the critical 35 dB mark. While the Canon has the color noise well under control, the brightness noise above ISO 400 steadily increases and becomes slightly visible from ISO 1.600 at the latest. Much more decisive, however, is the corresponding texture sharpness with which the resolution of the finest details is measured at all sensitivities. Above ISO 200, the measured value already drops, above ISO 800 it drops more markedly. Up to ISO 800 the images are still quite good, but become visibly softer. Above ISO 1.600 there is practically only noisy mud.
This means that the Canon easily lags one f-stop behind the best 1″ sensor cameras, which can still deliver acceptable image quality up to ISO 1,600. But at least it’s a little better than its predecessor. In Raw you can get a better balance of noise and detail. You can also reduce the noise suppression in the camera in JPEG, but since the Canon has more noise than the competition at higher sensitivities despite less detail, the noise only becomes more annoying visible.
After all, the G7 X Mark III offers a very high input dynamic, which drops only slightly from almost 13 f-stops at ISO 125 to ISO 800 with eleven f-stops and thus moves at the highest level. Only above ISO 3.200 does the value drop below a still good ten f-stops. The tonal value curve is strongly divided for a crisp picture reproduction. The output tonal range drops as steeply as the texture sharpness over the sensitivities. The critical value of 160 brightness levels is undercut above ISO 800. Colours, on the other hand, are reproduced quite precisely by the Canon. Even the strongest deviations are only slightly above the tolerable value. The manual white balance is sufficiently accurate and even the color depth is pleasingly high. Up to ISO 400 over eight million colours are differentiated, up to ISO 3,200 there are still good over two million colours. The small pop-up flash leads, by the way, according to laboratory measurements, to a significant brightness loss of more than 1.7 f-stops or a good 70 percent. It is therefore recommended to rotate the zoom a little for illuminated image corners.
Externally, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is an extremely successful camera. It offers a robust and handy housing with compact dimensions and even packages a slightly larger zoom than the competition without sacrificing light intensity. The autofocus and the camera in general work quickly, the operation is catchy and really important functions are not missing, except maybe a flash shoe or a viewfinder. The picture quality is somewhat disappointing. Not only is the lens not particularly sharp in the wide angle a problem, but also the image quality is not as good as that of the competition at higher ISO sensitivities. The noise reduction manages to iron out many details at ISO 1.600, but not the noise. After all, the video function has opened up and even offers extraordinary options such as live streaming or a microphone connection, although due to the lack of a flash shoe, microphone mounting accessories are necessary, which in turn leaves the compactness of the camera on the sidelines.
|Model||PowerShot G7 X Mark III|
|Sensor||CMOS 1″ 13.2 x 8.8 mm (crop factor 2.7
)20.9 megapixels (physical)
20.1 megapixels (effective)
|Pixel pitch||2.4 µm|
|Resolution (max.)||5.472 x 3.648 (3:2)|
|Video (max.)||3.840 x 2.160 30p|
|Filter threads||No filter thread installed|
|Monitor||3.0″ (7.5 cm)|
|AV connector||HDMI Output Micro (Type D)|
|Automatic motif control||yes|
|Bulb long time exposure||yes|
|Panorama function||yes, Sweep panorama|
|Exposure metering||Multi-field, Centre-weighted Integral, Spot|
|fastest shutter speed||1/2.000 s|
|Synchronous time||1/2.000 s|
|GPS||external, permanent smartphone connection|
|Remote release||yes, Bluetooth trigger, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet|
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
|Number of measuring fields||31 Contrast sensors|
|Speed||0.16 to 0.21 s|
|AF auxiliary light||LED|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||106 x 61 x 41 mm|
|Weight (ready for operation)||303 g|
|Tripod socket||outside the optical axis|
|Zoom adjustment||Lens ring (motorized), ring rocker (motorized)|
|Battery life||265 images according to CIPA standard|
|– = “not applicable” or “not available”|
This review of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III was created using DxO Analyzer from DxO Labs.
- Despite the compactness, the housing is reasonably ergonomic
- Touch screen that can be folded up to 180 degrees
- High speed lens with more zoom range than competitor lenses
- High dynamic range
- High-resolution lens in the image center
- Low detail and still visible noise at higher ISO sensitivities
- High edge drop of the resolution
- Neither flash shoe nor viewfinder
Firmware Update 1.1.0 for Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
Firmware is permanent software that is installed on your product and with which the product functions correctly. Canon may periodically release updates to this firmware. If an update is available, it can be downloaded below in this source (1).
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Datasheet
|Sensor||CMOS sensor 1″ 13.2 x 8.8 mm (crop factor 2.7
)20.9 megapixels (physical), 20.1 megapixels (effective)
|Pixel pitch||2.4 µm|
|Picture formats||JPG, RAW|
|Colour depth||24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)|
|Metadata||Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard (version 2), IPTC|
|Focal length||24 to 100 mm (35mm equivalent
.8 to 36.8 mm (physical)
|Focus range||5 cm to infinity (wide-angle
)40 cm to infinity (telephoto)
|Apertures||F1.8 to F11 (wide-angle
)F2.8 to F11 (telephoto)
|ND filter||ND filter (3.0 EV levels)|
|Autofocus mode||Contrast autofocus with 31 measuring fields|
|Autofocus Functions||Single Auto Focus, Continuous Auto Focus, Area Auto Focus, Tracking Auto Focus, Manual, AFL Function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier (10x)|
|Focus control||Depth of field check|
|Filter threads||No filter thread|
Viewfinder and Monitor
|Monitor||3.0″ (7.5 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, viewing angle 170°, touch screen, anti-glare, brightness adjustable, tiltable 180° upwards to 45° downwards|
|Exposure metering||Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement|
|Exposure times||1/2,000 to 1 s (Auto
)1/2,000 to 30 s (Manual)
Bulb with maximum 30 s exposure time1/25
,600 to 30 s (Electronic)
|Exposure control||Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Aperture priority, Aperture priority, Manual, Scene automatic|
|Bracketing function||Bracket function with maximum 3 shots, step size from 1/3 to 2 EV, HDR function|
|Exposure compensation||-3.0 to +3.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV|
|Sensitivity to light||ISO 125 to ISO 12.800 (automatic
)ISO 125 to ISO 25.600 (manual)
|Remote access||Bluetooth trigger, remote control via smartphone/tablet
, remote control from computer: no
|Motives||Fireworks, HDR, night shot, close-up, portrait, self-portrait, food, starry sky, 5 more motif programs|
|Picture effects||brilliant, HDR effect, Neutral, Retro, Black & White, Toy camera, Soft focus, 10 more image effects|
|White balance||Auto, Cloudy, Sun, Fine tuning, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp with 1 presets, Incandescent lamp with 1 presets, From 2,500 to 10,000 K, Manual 1 memory locations|
|Continuous shooting||Continuous shooting function max. 20 fps at highest resolution and max. 118 stored photos, 20 frames per second with max 55 shots (RAW
)Raw burst mode with 30 shots per second for 70 shots in a row
|Burst function||Burst function with 70 frames in a row at 30.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Self-timer with 2 s interval, features: or 10 s|
|Shooting functions||AEL function, AFL function, live histogram|
|Flash||built-in flash (hinged)|
|Flash range||0.5 to 7.0 m at wide angle0
.4 to 4.0 m at telephoto flash range
at ISO automatic flash sync time
|Flash functions||Auto, Fill-in flash, Flash on, Flash off, High speed sync, Long time sync, Flash on second shutter curtain, Manual flash output (3 levels), Red-eye reduction by lamp, Flash exposure compensation from -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV|
|Image stabilizer||Lens-Shift (optical)|
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
|GPS function||GPS external (permanent smartphone connection)|
|Power supply||no power supply connectionUSB continuous power supplyUSB charging function|
|Power supply||1 x Canon NB-13L265
images according to CIPA standard
|Playback Functions||Red eye retouching, crop images, rotate images, protect images, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier with 10.0x magnification, image index, slide show function with fade effects, zoom out|
|Face recognition||Face recognition|
|Picture parameters||Sharpness, contrast, color saturation, noise reduction, color effects: brilliant colors, neutral colors, retro, black & white|
|Grid can be faded in during recording||yes|
|Special functions||Electronic water level, orientation sensor, Live View, user profiles with 1 user profile|
|Ports||Data interfaces: Bluetooth, USBUSB type
: USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (type: B, G, N)
NFC: availableAudio output
: noAudio input
: yes (3.5 mm stereo microphone jack)
Video output: yes (HDMI output Micro (type D))
|Supported direct printing methods||Canon Direct Print, DPOF, PictBridge|
|Tripod socket||1/4″ not in optical axis|
|Features and Miscellaneous||DIGIC8 Image Processor5-Axis Image StabilizerYoutube Streaming Function
Size and weight
|Weight||303 g (ready for operation)|
|Dimensions W x H x D||106 x 61 x 41 mm|
|included accessories||Canon CB-2LHE Charger for special batteriesCanon
NB-13L Special batteryHand strap
|optional accessory||Canon BR-E1 (Bluetooth Remote Control
)Canon HF-DC2 Small Auxiliary Flash UnitCanon
IFC-100U USB CableCanon
PD-E1 Power Supply Unit