What's new and how it compares

Key takeaways

  • The G7 X III can shoot Raw bursts at up to 30 frames per second and can save up to 15 photos taken prior to fully pressing the shutter release
  • This is the first camera that can stream live 1080p video over YouTube, though setting it up isn't as easy as it could be
  • While you can charge the G7 X III over its USB Type-C port, only USB PD chargers are compatible

Updated sensor and processor

The G7 X Mark III's 20MP 1"-type sensor uses a Stacked CMOS design which, up until now, has only been found on Sony cameras. This sensor design is all about speed: since the sensor reads out so quickly, the camera can shoot faster bursts at up to 30 fps with continuous autofocus (more on that below).

The Digic 8 processor provides the horsepower for 4K video (among other things) and also makes the Mark III a better high ISO performer than its predecessor, according to Canon. We'll see how that claim holds up later in the review.

30 fps Raw burst

As with several recent Canon cameras - both compact and ILC - the G7 X Mark III can shoot Raw bursts at 30 frames per second. And it can do so for quite a while, with the camera displaying a bar on the left side of the display representing the buffer capacity. The G7 X III can pre-buffer while the shutter is halfway-pressed and will save the 15 photos captured prior to the button being fully pressed.

ISO 125 | 1/1000 sec | F5.6 | 24mm equiv.
Photo by Barney Britton

Images taken in Raw burst mode have different file names than images taken in the 'regular' modes and are grouped together in their own virtual folder on the camera (they're not accessible on the memory card, as they are compiled into a single CR3 file). You can extract individual images from the group and export them as JPEGs, with the ability to make adjustments prior to saving.

Since the camera uses the electronic shutter to pull off the 30 fps burst mode, banding may be an issue under artificial light. Rolling shutter distortion may also be more noticeable.

Live streaming

The biggest 'party trick' on the G7 X Mark III is its ability to stream live video over YouTube. At the time of writing it's a pain to get working, but if you can get past the random, unexplained error messages (both on the camera and Canon Image Gateway site) and frequent low bandwidth issues, it does work as advertised.

You may encounter errors like these when setting up live streaming

To make streaming work, you need to first sign up for an account on Canon Image Gateway (CIG), the company's cloud service that also allows for easy uploading to Facebook, Twitter and more right from the camera. You then pair your CIG and YouTube accounts, and sync that info back to the camera. If everything works as promised (which it often does not), the camera will indeed stream video onto YouTube. The G7 X III can start a new event, or use one that you've set up in advance on YouTube.

DPReview TV's Jordan Drake shows off the G7 X III's live streaming abilities

It goes without saying that you'll need a solid connection to the Internet to make this work. Video is streamed at 6Mbps (1080/30p or 25p), so a fast home or wireless connection is a must. Since streaming is a big battery drainer, you may want to connect a USB PD-compatible power pack or AC adapter to the camera first.

Vertical video capture

A very vlogger-friendly new feature is the ability to capture vertical video. You don't need to turn on any setting: just shoot in the portrait orientation and you can post them on your favorite video sharing site, right from the camera.

Surprisingly, you cannot live stream vertical video: a common use case.

USB Power Delivery

More and more cameras support USB Power Delivery (USB PD), and the G7 X Mark III is one of them. This allows the camera to be both charged and operated while connected to a USB PD power source, whether it's a portable power bank or something like a laptop charger.

If you have a regular phone charger sitting around, or want to use that USB port in your car to charge the battery, it probably won't work. Things like iPad chargers and newer power banks do the job: just make sure they support Power Delivery before you buy. If you want to play it safe, Canon is happy to sell you its own USB charger for around $190. (We bought one from Anker for $25 that works just fine.)

Compared to...

The PowerShot G7 X III has quite a few competitors, but we've decided to narrow it down to Canon's own G5 X II (whose biggest different is a long lens) as well as Sony's DSC-RX100 VA and the Panasonic DMC-LX10.

Canon G7 X III Canon G7 X II Canon G5 X II Sony RX100 VA Panasonic LX10
MSRP $749 $699 $899 $999 $699
Sensor 20MP Stacked CMOS 20MP BSI-CMOS 20MP Stacked CMOS 20MP Stacked CMOS 20MP BSI-CMOS
Lens focal range 24-100mm equiv. 24-100mm equiv. 24-120mm equiv. 24-70mm equiv. 24-72mm equiv.
Max aperture F1.8 - F2.8 F1.8 - F2.8 F1.8 - F2.8 F1.8- F2.8 F1.4 - F2.8
ND filter Yes Yes Yes No No
AF system Constrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect Phase + contrast detect Contrast detect
LCD size/type 3" tilting (180° up, 45° down) 3" tilting (180° up, 45° down) 3" tilting (180° up, 45° down) 3" tilting (180° up, 45° down) 3" tilting (180° up, 45° down)
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Built-in EVF No No Yes Yes No
Max burst rate
(w/C-AF)
8.3 fps 5.4 fps 8 fps 24 fps 6 fps
Video 4K/30p* 1080/60p 4K/30p* 4K/30p/24p 4K/30p/24p
Mic/headphone socket Yes/No No/No No/No No/No No/No
In-camera Raw conversion Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Connectivity Wi-Fi + Bluetooth Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + Bluetooth Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Battery life (CIPA) 235 265 230 220 260
In-camera charging Yes** Yes Yes** Yes Yes
Dimensions 105 x 61 x 41mm 106 x 61 x 42mm 111 x 61 x 46mm 102 x 58 x 41mm 106 x 60 x 42mm
Weight (CIPA) 304 g 319 g 340 g 299 g 310 g
* 24p support to be added via firmware update in late 2019
** requires a USB PD-compatible power supply

In terms of core spec, the G7 X III is a fairly modest upgrade, though it's a different story when it comes to features. Something that has gone in the wrong direction is battery life, which is down about 10%. The main difference between the G7 X III and G5 X II is the focal length, video streaming capability and, of course, a pop-up electronic viewfinder.

When compared to the RX100 VA, the Sony is mostly ahead in terms of spec, with substantially faster burst shooting and a phase-detect autofocus system that gives it an advantage when it comes to subject tracking, though its lens is lacking in telephoto power. The Panasonic has the fastest lens of any of the cameras on the list, though only by 1/3-stop, and it too doesn't can't match the 100mm equiv. focal length on the G7 X III.

Equivalent apertures

Another thing worth comparing are the equivalent apertures of each camera's lens. Ideally you want the line to start low and stay low, which equates to more light hitting the sensor as the focal length increases. More light means signal, which in turn means less noise. In addition, a larger equivalent aperture allows for more flexibility for blurring backgrounds.

As you can see, although the Panasonic LX10's lens starts off slightly brighter than its rivals' lenses, it rapidly drops as you zoom in. The LX10 drops below F7.6 equivalent at the relatively wide-angle 30mm (equiv) focal length. The Sony RX100 VA performs in a similar manner. By contrast, the G7 X III stays brighter than this until 50mm equiv, which is likely to make it more flexible.