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Canon PowerShot G7 Review

November 2006 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Canon PowerShot G7, Firmware version 1.00

Announced just before Photokina 2006 in September 2006, the G7 came as something of a surprise to many who had written off the G series of high end PowerShots when the G6 (launched 2004) wasn't updated last year. The G series has a long and distinguished history at the top of Canon's PowerShot range, offering SLR-like functionality in a solid, compact body and high-end features such as fast lenses and external flash capabilities. The G7 continues the tradition, adding all Canon's latest gizmos (including the new Digic III processor, face detection and image stabilization), though since its announcement there has been heated discussion about some of Canon's decisions - particularly the loss of raw mode and the slower lens. So let's find out if the new model is a worthy successor to the G6, or if Canon really has - as some users feel - squandered the legacy of one of the most acclaimed cameras in the short history of digital photography. We'll start, as ever, by looking at the headline features:

Headline features

  • 10.0 Megapixels
  • 6x optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer and SR coating
  • DIGIC III and iSAPS with Advanced Noise Reduction and Face Detection AF/AE
  • 2.5” high-resolution LCD with wide viewing angle and anti-glare coating
  • ISO 1600 for flash-free, low light shooting
  • Ergonomic design with dedicated ISO and Multi Control dials for fast, easy operation
  • 25 shooting modes including full manual control and 2 custom settings
  • Extra telephoto reach with Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
  • Hot shoe support for Canon Speedlite flashes and optional lens accessories

Powershot G7 vs G6: What's changed?

Two years is a very long time in the digital camera world, and it comes as no surprise that the G7 is a significantly different beast to the model it replaces both externally (there's no grip, making the body a lot slimmer) and internally. What is slightly surprising is how many of the changes are 'steps down' rather than 'steps up'; some of the key qualities and features that made the G series so different from Canon's other compact camera ranges have been removed or 'downgraded'. Of course there are some areas where the specification has been 'beefed up' over the G6, but not all these changes will be welcome to potential upgraders.

  • Higher resolution (10MP vs 7MP)
  • Digic III processor
  • Longer, but slower zoom lens
  • Image stabilization
  • Larger, higher resolution screen (fixed: no longer vari-angle)
  • Loss of Raw mode
  • Face detection mode
  • Lighter, smaller (no hand grip), no LCD info/status panel
  • Reduced battery life
  • Wider ISO range (to ISO 1600 at full resolution)
  • New ISO dial on body
  • Better macro mode
  • Enhanced movie mode
  • Additional scene modes
 

Canon PowerShot G7

Canon PowerShot G6
Body color Black Silver
Effective pixels 10.0 million 7.1 million
Processor Digic III Digic
Lens (35mm equiv.) • 35-210mm
• 6x optical zoom
• 35-140mm
• 4x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes (lens shift) No
Aperture Range F2.8 - F4.8 F2.0 - F3.0
Closest focus (macro) 1cm 5cm
Sensitivity ISO 80-1600*
*ISO 3200 (reduced resolution) available as scene mode
ISO 50-400
Storage SD & SDHC CompactFlash
File Formats • JPEG Exif 2.2
• DCF
• DPOF
• AVI Motion JPEG with WAVE monaural
• RAW
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2) - Super Fine, Fine, Normal *
* Any image shot as JPEG can be instead saved as
  RAW by pressing the Flash button during record review
Image sizes • 3648 x 2736
• 3648 x 2048
• 2816 x 2112
• 2272 x 1704
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480

• 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 1024 x 768 @ 15fps
• 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30 / 15fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
• 640 x 480, 10 / 15 fps, max 30 sec
• 320 x 240, 15 fps, max 3 mins
• 160 x 120, 15 fps, max 3 mins
Continuous
(Large/Fine, LCD Off)
• Normal: approx 2fps
• AF: approx 0.8fps
• Low speed: 1.2 fps, up to 23 frames
• High speed: 2.0 fps, up to 14 frames
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 207,000 pixels
• 2.0" TFT, 118,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• Tilt, twist and swivel ('Vari-angle')
Status panel None • Right side of camera
• Illuminated
Battery • Rechargeable Li-ion battery NB-2LH/NB-2L (720mAh) Canon BP-511A (1390 mAh)
Battery Life (CIPA standard) 220 300
Remote Control No Yes (IR remote included)
Menu languages 25 languages 14 languages
Dimensions

106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5 mm
(4.2 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)

105 x 73 x 73 mm
(4.1 x 2.9 x 2.9 in)
Weight (incl.) 320 g (11.3 oz) 467 g (1.0 lb)
Other features • Face Detection AF
• Digital Tele Converter & Safety Zoom
• Categories
• Intervalometer

Key specifications

Street price • US: $480
• UK: £330
Body Material Metal/Plastic
Sensor • 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 10.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 3648 x 2736
• 3648 x 2048
• 2816 x 2112
• 2272 x 1704
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 1024 x 768 @ 15fps
• 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30 / 15fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
• AVI Motion JPEG with WAVE monaural audio
Lens

• 35-210mm (35mm equiv)
• F2.8-4.8
• 6x optical zoom

Focus

• TTL autofocus
• AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point)
• Single / Continuous AF
• Manual focus
• Focus lock
• 1-point AF (center or flexizone)
• 1 cm minimum focus range (macro)

Metering • Evaluative
• Center-weighted average
• Spot (Linked to center or selected AF point)
Shutter speed

• 15-1/2000 sec

Aperture • F2.8-F8.0 (wide)
• F4.8-F8.0 (tele)
Shooting mode • Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Custom (2 modes)
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Special Scene
Sensitivity • Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
White Balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Flash
• Underwater
• Custom
Image parameters My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Continuous • Normal: approx 2fps
• AF: approx 0.8fps
Flash • Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• Second curtain sync
• Range: 30cm - 4.0m (wide) / 2.5m (tele)
• Hot shoe
Storage • SD / SDHC / MMC card compatible
• 32 MB card supplied
Viewfinder • Real-image zoom
• Dioptre correction
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 207,000 pixels
• Adjustable Brightness
• 100% coverage
Connectivity • USB 2.0 High speed
• A/V out (NTSC/PAL switchable)
Power • Rechargeable Li-ion battery NB-2LH/NB-2L
• Charger included
• Optional AC adapter kit
Other features

Orientation sensor
• DPOF
• PictBridge
• Index view
• Histogram
• 4x digital zoom
• Sound memo
• Direct print (Canon & PictBridge)
• 2 and 10 sec self-timer (plus custom)
• 25 languages

Optional accessories • Speedlite 220EX/ 430EX/ 580EX
• Tele-converter (2.0x) TC-DC58C
• Wide-converter (0.75x) WC-DC58B
• Lens adapter/Hood set LA-DC58H
• Waterproof Case WP-DC11
• Waterproof Case Weight WW-DC1
• Soft Case DCC-600
• High Power Flash HF-DC1
• AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC20
• Rechargeable Li-ION battery pack NB-2LH
• Car Battery Charger CBC-NB2
Weight (no batt) 320 g (11.3 oz)
Dimensions 106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5 mm
(4.2 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2006 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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