Canon G7 X, Canon's first camera with a 1-inch sensor

on Thursday, October 9, 2014

This is where things get interesting! It's over two years since Sony shook up the compact camera market by putting a 1"-type sensor into a genuinely pocketable compact. The RX100 looked a lot like one of Canon's S-series of high-end compacts but used a sensor 2.8 times larger to offer a substantial increase in image quality.
Amazingly, Sony has remained unchallenged in this field for over two years, in which time it's managed to introduce two more generations of RX100. The RX100 III brought an electronic viewfinder and a more consistently bright (albeit shorter) zoom, helping it climb even further beyond the competition. That essentially unchallenged supremacy ends with the arrival of Canon's G7 X.

Like the RX100 III, the G7 X offers a 1"-type, 20MP BSI sensor mated to an F1.8-2.8 zoom starting at 24mm equivalent. The two cameras are also similar in size and offer broadly similar feature sets. Which is great for photographers, because it means the Sony finally has some proper competition.

PowerShot G7 X key features

  • 20MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm)
  • 24-100mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens
  • Clicking control dial around lens
  • Flip-up rear touchscreen
  • Dedicated exposure compensation dial
  • 3.0" 1.04m dot LCD (720 x 480 pixels)
  • Built-in ND filter
  • Wi-Fi with NFC
Canon is one of the only manufacturers to have consistently offered a dedicated enthusiast compact camera in its lineup, and the arrival of the G7 X means it now offers four: the S120, G16, G7 X and G1 X Mark II, each offering a different balance of size, price and capability. The styling and size of the G7 X make it look like an S-series, but the degree of direct control justifies its G-series moniker.
The camera's combination of touch screen, dedicated exposure compensation dial and clicking control dial around the lens give a high degree of direct control for such a small camera and Canon's iterative, evolutionary approach to camera interfaces, along with a little time spend playing with the camera suggests it should work pretty well.
Meanwhile, the details of the sensor strongly suggest it uses Sony's IMX183CQJ sensor, so could well be able to match the latest RX100 series in terms of image quality. That alone would make it a significant addition to the market. The G7 X is just as small as the Sony but offers much more in terns of direct control.


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