With the PowerShot G7 X Mark II, Canon appears to have resolved the main issues of the model’s predecessor. Matt Golowczynski takes a closer look
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II review – Performance
One of the main performance improvements on the G7 X Mark II is its burst rate when capturing raw images. I found that with a suitably fast memory card, the camera not only met its 19-frame burst depth, but also often exceeded it by the odd frame or two. A burst of images is written to the card in around 12 seconds, with an additional five seconds if capturing JPEGs too, and while it’s not possible to enter the menu or zoom the lens as this takes place, you can capture a handful of additional frames as these are processed.
Post-capture, the most significant change on the Mark II over its predecessor is the ability to process raw images. While the level of control on offer isn’t as extensive as that on some other models, it’s possible to zoom in to images before committing to any changes – useful for noise reduction – and easy to compare adjustments to original captures. Furthermore, the option to delete raw files and JPEGs independently can be useful when card space is limited. It’s good to have the option to crop and resize images too, although some other enthusiast-oriented controls, such as perspective correction and image straightening, would be welcome additions.
Looking closely at raw images alongside their JPEG counterparts makes you appreciate how well the processing engine does to produce immediately usable JPEGs. Contrast is good and colours on the Standard picture style are well saturated but still accurate. I was happy to use this for scenes containing flowers and foliage, as well as more everyday images captured in urban settings. I did, however, find that scenes containing blue skies were best captured on the auto mode, if not the more dramatic landscape mode, as the standard option tended to leave blues somewhat undersaturated.
Although the camera is capable of producing detailed images, this is very much dependent on how the lens is set. Sharpness is weakest at the wide end, with fine detail generally lacking throughout the frame. Oddly, although there is some corner softness at f/1.8 here, stopping the lens down (say, to f/4) only seems to make this worse. The fine detail picture style works very well to counteract some of this softness, although it also accentuates image noise.
Detail across the frame is higher and more consistent at mid-range and telephoto settings, although you do see a benefit by stopping down to f/5.6 or so to get the best sharpness throughout. Best performance is at middle focal lengths, with shots captured at 40-75mm producing a very good level of detail across the frame. Chromatic aberrations, while present in raw files to a moderate degree, are removed by the camera’s JPEG processing.
I was generally pleased with what the camera’s metering system deemed to be the correct exposure most of the time, although occasionally it erred towards underexposure. The auto white balance system does a stellar job of keeping things accurate regardless of what is thrown at it. Impressively, scenes lit with a mixture of natural and artificial light don’t prove to be much of a problem, either.
Video quality is somewhat hit and miss. The softness of the lens at the widest end results in footage being less detailed here than further up the focal range. Exposure changes happen fluidly as the camera is moved around the scene and minor artefacts over finer details are visible but not to any massive degree, while the image stabilisation is very effective at keeping things steady. Audio quality is unremarkable but, again, for most uses it is satisfactory.