Compared to... Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

Unlike the G6, which entered a very crowded marketplace, in 2006 high end 'prosumer' compacts are a lot thinner on the ground, and the G7 has no obvious direct competitors. Perhaps the nearest is the Panasonic LX2; it too has 10MP (although in a different shaped sensor), image stabilization and lots of manual controls. The specification might not match exactly, but the cameras are undoubtedly aimed at a similar sector of the market.

In this section we have included comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO setting (G7: ISO 80, LX2: ISO 100), ISO 400 and ISO 1600 (the maximum setting on either camera can shoot at full resolution). The G7's ISO 800 setting can be seen in a later comparison.

Studio scene comparison (Canon G7 @ ISO 80, Panasonic LX2 @ ISO 100)

  • Canon PowerShot G7: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation

  • Panasonic DMC-LX2: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot G7
Panasonic DMC-LX2
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5
ISO 100, 1/80 sec, F4.9
3,883 KB JPEG
3,489 KB JPEG

As Canon's flagship PowerShot compact you would expect good results from the G7, and it doesn't disappoint, producing output at ISO 80 that isn't significantly different to an entry-level digital SLR and kit lens combo. Putting aside the vertical resolution advantage the G7's 4:3 sensor has over the 16:9 CCD in the LX2 (which gives you more pixels horizontally) it's obvious that there are small, but significant, differences in output. The G7 is pulling a lot of detail from the scene, though viewed at 100% (as here) the images do look a little soft - something we also saw in our 'real world' shots. Of course this can easily be fixed in post-processing.

Noise, though present in shadows if you look really closely, isn't really an issue for the G7 at ISO 80 (certainly less than it is for the LX2) - Canon has chosen to use fairly low noise reduction to preserve low contrast detail. Color is typical Canon; bright and vivid without being unnatural (the reds are a little hot, but they are at least accurate). If you find the G7's output a touch 'over processed' (or the processing isn't to your taste) there are plenty of in-camera adjustments on offer.