A new compact… again

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Ground Staff cutting the grass on Court 14 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon ahead of The Championships. ©Neil Turner, June 2018

When I’m away from home working as a Photo Editor on big sporting events I like to have a compact camera with me. My relatively recent entry into the world of Instagram has made my desire to have a camera in my pocket/rucksack/bag has grown. Regular readers of this site will know that I have owned and loved quite a few but, having sold all of my Fujifilm cameras, I felt the need to buy a new one.

The list of features that I felt that I needed couldn’t really be filled by one camera and I considered several options before finally making a purchase. Top of my list was probably the Sony RX100 MkV and the Panasonic TZ100 was also on that list but the combination of my familiarity with the Canon system meant that I want for the G7X MkII. The Sony was a little expensive (almost £500 dearer than the Canon) and the Panasonic just didn’t produce the results in the way that I wanted. Two days after I picked up my G7X MkII from the lovely folks at Castle Cameras Sony announced the RX100 MkVI which looks absolutely amazing – so who knows if the Canon will remain my favoured compact for long!

Anyway, there’s not much to say about using the G7X MkII yet. I’ve been away to Greece with it and I’ve been out and about at Wimbledon as we have been getting ready to shoot The Championships again. So far I really like the camera without being in love with it. On the plus side it is really easy to use, has the very familiar Canon CR2 RAW file format and produces lovely files up to about 640 ISO (after which the quality goes into free-fall). The tillable screen is pretty good and the 24-100 equivalent zoom range is decent enough. On the downside it doesn’t have any form of viewfinder and the flash is pretty pathetic.

Much of the comment on the internet is about how capable this camera is when shooting HD video and in particular for vlogging. To be honest I haven’t tried the video so that’s not something I’m going to comment on. What I do want to mention is the ease with which you can pair this camera with a decent smartphone or tablet. I have an iPhone 7 and an iPad Mini 4 and setting up to transfer images from the phone or tablet or control the camera with the app on the phone or tablet is a doddle. The dedicated ‘link’ button on the camera makes it really easy – something that I’d like to see on DSLRs from now on.

The bottom line is that this is a truly capable, highly affordable and genuinely compact compact digital camera. A while ago I wrote that using a different compact camera just made me smile and I’m starting to develop a grin when using this new one too. That’s a good sign and I’m pretty sure that it will lead to some pictures that will make me smile too.

The next three weeks are all about photo editing and sneaking the odd frame or two on this new compact. I’m going to post as much as I get time for on Instagram so if you haven’t already followed me on there, please do.

2 comments

  1. I have been looking at the Mk III Sony – and wondering how good the 1″ sensor is in the real world compared to micro four-thirds or APC. So now I can ask you how you think the 1″ sensor on the G7X MkII stacks up at reasonable ISO levels against larger Canon sensors?

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  2. The maximum ISO that I’d use the G7X MkII at is probably 640 or 800. That compare to 3200 or 4000 on a full-frame DSLR which means that this isn’t a low-light champion. I don’t think that the Sony is appreciably better – it’s the physics of the smaller sensor that dictates everything.

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