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Movie mode

Things have moved on a little in the digital camera world since 2004's G6, and it comes as no surprise that the G7 improves on that camera's movie mode significantly, allowing you to shoot at up to 1024 x 768 pixels (though only at 15fps) until you fill the card. One big change over all other current Canon compacts is that you can now shoot movies up to 4.0GB in size - presumably this is a feature of the new Digic III processor - previous models stopped at 1.0GB.

Movie options include three sizes (High Resolution, VGA and Compact -160x120) and two frame rates, 15 and 30 fps (you cannot choose 30fps in High Resolution or Compact modes). You can also use many of the parameters available in stills mode, including (if you really want to), the 'special effects' in the MyColors menu.

The movie quality is excellent (the AVI files are large; about 1.7MB/s for VGA/30fps) with no really obvious artefacts and good exposure. The large 1024x768 movies look very jerky compared to the 30fps VGA clips, and the digital zoom (you can't use the optical zoom) produces very 'blocky' looking results, but as stills cameras go, the G7 is a pretty good movie camera.

There is a dedicated movie mode on the main mode dial too, which is where the screen captures here were taken. The main difference is that you can preset a couple of options. As with stills recording you can choose the amount of information overlaid on the live preview image.
You can, if you so desire, shoot your movies using the Color Accent and Color Swap effects.
There is a simple brightness control which can be used during the recording of a clip (the zoom can also be used). In movie mode (as opposed to just pressing the movie button) you can preset the brightness level.
In movie mode the FUNC menu offers quick access to white balance, My Colors effects and movie size / frame rate. There is a also a cut down record menu in Movie mode.
Whilst recording you get a basic screen showing elapsed time (you can optionally turn on the grid too).
In playback mode you get some basic controls for playing movies, slow motion, fast forward and rewind and edit.
Choose edit and you can trim the start and end of the movie clip, and save the result as a new file or overwrite the existing clip.

Sample movies

1024 x 768 pixels @ 15 fps
File size: 12.92MB
6.14 seconds
(shot through glass)

Click on the thumbnail to view the movie (caution: large file!)

640 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps
File size: 12.1MB
6.16 seconds

Click on the thumbnail to view the movie (caution: large file!)

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