There are two kinds of photographers in the world. One school takes the art very seriously — professionals and passionate hobbyists who often invest thousands of dollars in equipment. The rest of us capture snapshots of our everyday lives for our immediate social circles. And thanks to crossover cameras like the Canon PowerShot G7X, the gap between these two groups is narrowing fast.
The high-end point-and-shoot camera market — aimed at both parties — was born when Sony released the RX100 in 2012, a compact but powerful device, attractive for both its high-quality performance and reasonable price point. Since then, Sony has remained relatively unchallenged in this arena, releasing the RX100 II (included in last year’s GP100) and now the RX100 III. That is, until now.
The Canon G7X is, terms of specs and performance, very similar to Sony’s latest model, obviously designed to compete for the same slice of the market. Both pocket-sized cameras feature a 1-inch-type, 20MP BSI sensor and f/1.8-2.8 max aperture. That said, Canon has improved on Sony’s template, adding unique external controls such as an exposure compensation dial and touchscreen for easy focusing. Admittedly, Sony’s RX100 III does feature a built-in viewfinder and hold an edge in battery life as well as video capabilities. But Canon’s lens is superior in low-light fixtures, giving a more consistent, controlled depth of field, proving the new kid on the block can make noise too.
With the rise of smartphone cameras, who knows how long the market for the point-and-shoot will even last. But for now, competition is stiff, which is a good thing for the professional and everyday consumers who buy them. Canon wins this round.
Effective Resolution: 20MP
Focal Length: 24-100mm
Max Aperture: f/1.8-2.8
ISO Range: 125-12800
External Controls: lens, exposure compensation, and rear-plate thumb dials; touchscreen
Battery Life: 210 shots