Body, controls and handling

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III may not be the smallest enthusiast compact, but it's pretty close. It can be carried in a pants or jacket pocket with relative ease, and the placement of the power button helps prevent you from accidentally turning the camera on while it's tucked away.

Key takeaways

  • The camera continues to use the same 24-100mm equiv F1.8-2.8 lens as previous models in the G7 X series
  • The display on the G7 X III can flip up by 180 degrees and down by 45. Canon's touch interface is one of the best in the business.
  • The camera can be charged over USB, but only with chargers and power banks that support USB Power Delivery
  • The camera allows for uploads to several social media/photo sharing sites via Canon's Image Gateway service

Body

The most notable feature on the PowerShot G7 X Mark III is its lens, which is the same as the other models in the series. Its lens is equivalent to 24-100mm and has a maximum aperture of F1.8-2.8. We'll discuss the quality of said lens in a bit.

The G7 X III looks and feels like a premium product, with a solid-feeling body and red accents around the dials on its top plate. The dials have enough 'resistance' to turning that you won't accidentally rotate them.

There's little to distinguish the G7 X III from its predecessor. The most visible changes are a barely redesigned top plate (which now seems to be plastic instead of metal), and the change in function of one of the buttons: Ring Func is now AE/AF lock.

On the G7 X II one could have the control dial around the lens be 'clicky' or 'not clicky' with the flip of a switch. That's gone on the Mark III (it's 'clicky' only now) which is a strange choice, given that it's a video-centric camera, and video shooters don't want the sound of the dial being picked up when adjusting a setting. If you're shooting stills, clicky is better, so there's no ambiguity about when you've changed a value (like aperture).

The G7 X III's LCD is standard for this class: it's 3" in size and has 1.04 million dots. It can flip upward by 180° for selfies or vlogging, or down 45° for overhead shooting. Unlike the RX100 VA and G5 X II, the G7 X III has no electronic viewfinder. Canon's touchscreen implementation is one of the better ones out there. Virtually everything is touch-enabled - even the main menu - and responsive, too.

There are plenty of physical controls, too. There's a dedicated exposure compensation dial on the top plate, the control ring around the lens and still-too-small wheel on the back of the camera adjust shutter speed, aperture and more (see below).

The G7 X III's pop-up flash has a range of up to 7.5m (presumably at Auto ISO) and can be manually bounced.

There are three ports on the camera: a mic input on the left, and USB and HDMI on the other. While the USB port uses a Type-C socket, transfer speeds are the same as USB 2.0. As mentioned on the previous page, you need the right gear to charge over USB. (Thankfully, Canon includes an external charger).

The G7 X III uses the very familiar NB-13L battery. Battery life on the Mark III has dropped by about 10% compared to its predecessor with a CIPA-rated value of 235 shots, possibly due to its new image processor and/or sensor. In real life you'll be able to take many more photos than that, assuming that you're limiting Wi-Fi use and video capture (not to mention streaming).

Under the same door as the battery is the camera's SD card slot, which supports UHS-I media.

Menus and customization

The menu system on the G7 X III is the same as those on previous models, and that's fine, because they're already pretty good. The main menu is logically laid out, with colored tabs separating each section (stills, playback, wireless, setup and a customizable 'My Menu').

The Q.Menu, activated by pressing the aptly named Q/Set button on the rear, has the most common settings at your fingertips. This particular menu is not customizable.

Speaking of customization, there are five controls whose function you can adjust: the shutter release, AE/AF lock and movie buttons, as well as both the front and rear dial. Options for the shutter release are limited to AF start on half press (or not), while the rear dial is mode-dependent ('standard') or off.

Auto ISO

Canon gives users plenty of options for using Auto ISO. You can select the ISO range the camera will use as well as the minimum shutter speed, and you can also tell the camera whether to choose a shutter speed based on the focal length, or tell it to bias this choice towards a faster speed (if you're trying to freeze action) or slower (if you're confident you can keep the camera steady).

Auto ISO can be used in 'M' mode for stills, and works with exposure compensation in all video capture modes.

Connectivity

The G7 X Mark III has the feature set that you'd expect to see on a 2019 model-year camera: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Canon's 'Camera Connect' app has improved over the years, and is pretty reliable. It can automatically transfer images, remotely control the camera (either with live view or just as a remote trigger) and provide GPS data. The app can automatically start a Wi-Fi over Bluetooth: no manual intervention needed.

Something we like about the G7 X III is the ability to upload to social media and photo sharing sites directly from the camera, with YouTube streaming being one example. You do need to set everything up with Canon's clunky Image Gateway website, but once that's done, you can seamlessly send images to Twitter, Flickr and Google Drive.