When it comes to big companies that rule the camera market, Canon is one of the first names that comes to our minds. The company, which is largely known for its DSLR cameras, also has a range of point-and-shoot cameras in India going by the ‘Powershot’ moniker. And while the DSLRs are becoming more powerful than before, the point-and-shoot cameras are also getting more specs onboard. However, the question with point-and-shoot cameras have always been that how many features and tech can someone pack inside the compact form factor, making all of them work in tandem to deliver a high-quality and sharp images and videos. One of Canon’s answer to this question is the G7 X Mark III that launched recently in India at Rs 52,995.
We spent a couple of days with the G7 X Mark III, clicking photos in different light situations, testing the manual mode and shooting a lot of videos. Here’s our quick look.
Design-wise, Canon has stuck to the traditional point-and-shoot camera design. You get easy-to-use, sturdy camera that is not really heavy and can be quickly whipped out from the pockets for those quick shots. We cannot call the look of Powershot G7 X Mark III as an ‘overhauled’ version of its predecessor as the look falls in line with the natural update cycle. There are no fancy components here but a rather straight-forward use of a rugged textured material with slightly less space for grip but easily usable with one hand.
Performance, however, is what you are paying Rs 52,995 for. Powershot G7 X Mark III packs some really powerful set of specifications inside. You have Canon’s newest DIGIC 8 image processor along with a 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor. The camera can click around 20 frames in one second and has an ISO level of 12,800 when maxed out. Also, you get 4K video recording capability with FullHD 120fps, 60fps and other options as well. What’s more is that you get a 24-100mm lens with an aperture of f.18-f/2.8. There’s a 3-inch LCD display that can be flipped up to 180-degrees.
And all this not just sounds good on paper but also works like a charm in real-life usage. You get really well-shot images in bright daylight. They almost seem to have been shot using a professional DSLR. While the Digic 8 processor takes the credit for most of it, it is also responsible for some good night shots. Although one can see the blown-up highlights in the preview and the video, the resulting images are not bad at all. Even in high ISO shots the image processor is able to keep the noise levels down, giving a sharp and clean image in low- light situations. At times you will see the resulting images being over smoothened in order to hide the noise but that happens when you click images in an extremely low-light environment.
While most of us would use a point-and-shoot camera for clicking images, Canon’s focus has been on the video side of things. The highlight of the Powershot G7 X mark III is not in the image taking but in the video recording department. Canon has this time tried convincing the video bloggers it seems as it has not only used elements like a rotating screen for video makers but has also introduced the ability to live stream them directly to YouTube. You can take videos in 120fps, 60fps, 30fps in 4K, FullHD and HD resolutions to give video makes some flexibility. There is also no crop at any of the resolutions with the 1-inch sensor. However, a major downside for vloggers is that the camera has its video recording limit set to 9 minutes and 59 seconds for 4K, 7 minutes and 29 seconds for FullHD at 120fps and almost 30 minutes in FullHD (30fps) and HD (60fps).
Also, another small but nifty feature for video makers is that in the video-shooting mode when the screen is flipped to the front, you get an on-screen button automatically to start and stop the video recording. So, you don’t have to always turn the camera or look at the backside to press a physical button to stop the recording. Plus, you get the option to record videos in a vertical orientation for social media platforms like Instagram and more.
And as for the YouTube streaming capability, it’s just a button away. There’s a dedicated button for live streaming the video on the right side of the camera. Pressing it will make you go through a setup process via a connected phone and you’re good to go live.
Rest assured, you get all the basic set of connectivity ports from a slot for the microphone to HDMI and USB Type-C ports, Bluetooth and even Wi-Fi to share images directly to smartphones using the companion app.
In our limited time spent with the Powershot G7 X Mark III, we were not quite impressed with the battery performance. We shot some video clips worth of 10-15 minutes and clicked a few images only to see the battery reaching half the capacity. The camera has NB-13L lithium-ion battery, which we are yet to test in detail and more thoroughly before jumping to conclusions. It is worth adding that the battery is the same as the predecessor. However, since the camera is aimed at video makers, Canon could’ve bumped up the battery life a bit, even if it meant increasing the bulkiness.
All-in-all, the Canon Powershot G7 X Mark III is one of the most feature-rich pocket-friendly point-and-shoot cameras that we have been launched in a while. There are plenty of options to play around, specially for video makers and the efforts made by Canon is worth the appreciation. Yes, the battery life may have been better considering the audience it is aimed at but then again, you get a light-weight device that has a rotating screen, in-built live streaming option and impressive image processor. At Rs 52,995, you can go for this in case you don’t want to carry a DSLR around all the time. It might just be a light-weight champ in the market right now, but with a few caveats.