First Impressions, compared to G9X

Started 4 months ago | User reviews thread
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Smaug01
Smaug01 Senior Member • Posts: 1,890
First Impressions, compared to G9X
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At times, I found myself wanting a faster lens (esp. at full telephoto) than the G9X has. I'd convinced myself that I didn't really need it, since I had gone from a 1/1.7" sensor to a 1". But a faster lens is always nice; keeps the ISO down.

I had just sold my full frame Nikon rig for lack of use due to bulk and weight, so it was a good time to upgrade the compact camera that was getting the most use.

After some research here and elsewhere, I settled on the G7X II, due to:

  • Faster lens (it's great!)
  • A bit more reach (it's great!)
  • Better ergonomics (it's great!)
  • Bounce-able flash (not useful for bounce; it's too weak)
  • Articulating screen (It's good, but adds noticeably to thickness, I don't blame them for leaving it off of the G9X)

The thumb and finger grips make it a camera that can be comfortably carried at one's side, in a position ready to just bring up and shoot. No need to put the death grip on it to be confident. I use a wrist strap religiously, so it doesn't even have to be a firm grip. It's that good.

The menu system is pretty much the same as the G9X's, but the user has the option of using the control wheel instead of being forced to use the touch screen for everything. Kind of a nice option.

Re. the flash, now that manufacturers are starting to make them bounceable, the next step is to make them usably powerful for bouncing. I tried one shot inside my mom's living room. 9' ceilings. I was sitting down and so was my subject. I tried the bounce, and it utterly failed to make the journey with enough light to be useful. Maybe if it were the only light source, it might have made a useful difference, but I had to re-shoot with ambient window light, which came out much better. Don't buy it for the bounce flash.

The direct exposure compensation wheel is nice, for those times when evaluative metering guesses wrong.

I was a little worried about other reviewers' comments about the shutter release button being easier. It's still not easy for a photography enthusiast to trip accidentally. It's not really an upgrade or downgrade, to me.

I like the creative filter modes, especially the B&W ones and 'dramatic tone'. It looks nice sometimes, and is great for those of us who aren't post-processing masters.

The camera has built-in automatic corrections to prevent blown highlights and black shadows, and it seems to work pretty well. I haven't found myself needing raw yet. (but I will shoot raw in low light, just to be safe)

I mentioned to my family that I was going to sell the G9X now, and my wife jumped in and said she wanted it. I didn't know she liked it that much; she's the type who'll use a phone or iPad for everything. Maybe now that she has her OWN camera, she'll bring it along. It's a nice bonus that they share batteries and chargers too.

Below are a couple of samples. OOC JPGs, shot on P mode and all standard settings, except for the B&W.

The recital proved a bit too ....SOOTHING... for my son.

T-Max 100 filter, with DxO FilmPack. (if you like the B&W film look do the free trial!)

Getting settled for a Bach organ recital

A walk in the woods on a nice early spring day

Ratings below are compared to a full frame SLR. Flash photography scored low because of no usable bounce. Once you've used a strong shoe-mounted bounce flash, there's no going back to on-camera direct flash. Sports scored low because it would be inadequate for any field sport; just not enough telephoto. You'd have to zoom in, go to full resolution, then crop into it. If you shoot field sports or wildlife, get something with a longer zoom and drop the requirement for a truly compact camera. It's adequate for the typical point & shoot snapshot, where the subject's overexposed and the background's black.

Portraits only scored a 'great' because when zoomed into 100mm-e, and f/2.8, it doesn't blur the background like a large-sensored SLR.

Low light without flash, it is quite usable, esp. with the OIS. But it's not full frame SLR-with-a-fast-prime-lens caliber. We can only do so much with a 1" sensor, even if the lens is fast. It blows the doors off the G9X at telephoto and anything with a smaller sensor, like my trusty old Pentax MX-1.

More later, after a lot more photos. (or I'll update this thread, if I'm allowed)

-- hide signature --

-Jeremy

 Smaug01's gear list:Smaug01's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30 Canon G9 X DxO Optics Pro Elite +2 more
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
20 megapixels • 3 screen • 24 – 100 mm (4.2×)
Announced: Feb 18, 2016
Smaug01's score
5.0
Average community score
4.4
bad for good for
Kids / pets
excellent
Action / sports
weak
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
mediocre
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Canon G7 X II Canon G9 X Pentax MX-1
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