"Between compact and dSLR? What a choice!"3.5 starson by oscarcolorado
Pros: 10megapixels, Image Stabilization, full manual control, lots of scene presets
Cons: No RAW mode, no flippable LCD screen, not that compact
Summary: I haven't had a G7 on my hands since it's gonna be available sometime this october. I've owned a couple of Canon's G series (G2 and G6), so even with just the on-line info we can guess many things:
1. Compact vs dSLR
No G camera has ever been an ultra compact, it is compact but it won't fit in your pocket. However, it is much lighter than any dSLR. dSLR are great, but they are bulky, heavy and you need to carry many lenses and at least one decent flash unit. That's quite a weight to carry! The G7 will offer excellent lenses (as Canon has done previously on the G series) that are quite versatile and the 6x optical zoom is greeat. Great photos in portable package and 10Megapixels resolution... Mmmm... this looks good.
2. Going macro!
Have you ever tried to take a macro photo with a dSLR?The first thing you'll notice is that you'll need a dedicated macro lens that may cost anything between $400 and $2,000 depending on quality. The compacts and ultracompcts digicams have a great advantage: macro photography made easy. With the G7 you'll have 10Megapixels, excellent lens and macro capability in a small space. Wow! This feature alone is a solid reason to seriously consider the G7.
3. Look ma! No RAW!
What's going on with you guys at Canon? I'm a pro photographer and I truly like to have the option of shooting jpg, RAW and (even better) both at the same time. I don't see this camera as an amateur-grade one, but as a pro compact camera. I really like to have the control of shooting RAW and then make all the processing I want.
4. Image Stabilization
Flash can kill your photos. Personally I prefer natural light, but a great pain in the neck with ultra-compacts and compact cameras is shake. If you turn off the flash, you'll probably get a blurry photo. The same with zoom fully extended. I've tried the image stabilization of my wife's Lumix and it's terrific for low light or zoom photos. Canon is finally putting IS on the G series. I also own a Canon SD-550 and it's great (7 megapixels in an ultra compact... not bad!!!!) but it has no IS. Moral: IS is great, and the G7 will have it.
5. 2.5 fixed LCD
One of the most usefuel features of the previous G series was the flippable LCD. Flippable means freedom to take unusual angles and is really quite fun. But the G7 has a fixed LCD insted of the flippable ones. That's quite a loss! I know the display will be bigger, but I prefer an smaller but flippable display.
6. Manual controls
This is always great in the G series, I only hope that the manual focus may be easier to use. My G6 manual focus is really difficult to use. Having manual control is a must in this category.
7. Lots of buttons!
I really like my G6 but usability is quite an issue. The G7 will, obviously, provide a better interface. The ISO dedicated control is very welcome. The "wheel" for navigation looks a lot like high-end canon controls, so I expect that this camera will be much easier to use and to take advantage of its features.
This G7 has shortcomings (no RAW and fixed LCD), but the advantages are superb in a compact package. The price looks great too. Those 10megapixels will allow you to make really big prints or crop photos without losing quality.
Personally I'll buy it as soon as it is available, but I encourage you to take a look at manufacturers like Panasonic, Nikon or Casio that offer great options (look for Casio's new ultra-compact with 10megapixles). I love the G series, it's like "oh, I know them since they were only a G2 with 4megapixeles...". Yes, I will miss the RAW capabilites and flippable LCD, but I can live with it. In your case, think about your own needs and make a little homework before buying your next prosumer digicam and compare other manufacturers products. The G7 is a great contender, but it's not alone in the digicam planet.Updated
Finally I bought the G7 and I want to update some important facts:
1. Superb Quality
The G7 quality, feel and construction is really very impresive. It feels more solid than the G6 (even though the G6 was also mainly made of metal). The G7 feels very solid and everything in the finishes, materials and overall construction screams "Superb quality here!"
2. So-so battery life
The G7 screen is bigger and the battery smaller, so do the math. It has a so-so battery life. With my G6 I practically never used my second battery. With the G7 and a 2GB SD Card you'll need the second battery. It's not to die for, but's not great either.
3. Fast performance and accurate exposure
I'm very impressed with the performance of this camera. The other day I bought an Olympus SP350 wich is a very fine camera but with sluggish performance. Everything is fast in the G7: from startup, autofocus, practically no delay from shot to shot (w/o flash at least). The exposure is very accurate.
4. From P&S to Enthusiast Creative Photographer
The scenes mode of the G7 will allow any Point & Shutter to get great pics with no effort. For the enthusiast, the manual controls are not only powerful but really very easy to use. This camera allows you to get very creative.
5. 6x zoom Wow!
The 6x zoom works really fine with the image stabilization feature. This is a good point that is an improvement from the G6. The IS works very nice. Don't expect miracles, but it provides you with the possibility of low light shots or big zoom pics without blur.
6. Noise, that ugly word
OK, you got your 10 mega pixels, and also a dedicated ISO dial on the G7, but the problem with a big mega pixels in a tiny sensor is noise, and the G7 is very noisy from ISO 800 and up. ISO 1600 is useless and ISO 3200 is a joke. I mostly use it at ISO 80, but I lose the ability to capture movement in low light condition. To be honest, I'd prefer 6, 7.2 or 8 megapixels with less noise than a high ISO filled with digital noise.
7. And againd, LCD & RAW
I've read a lot of anger guys blogging around and complaining for this two features. Now that I've used the camera for a while I can tell you a couple of things. The fixed LCD is like any display on most digicams available today, that means that you can live without it, but once you've used a swivel LCD everything changes and you can get more creative. I can live without the swivel LCD, but I have to say that it is a great loss. Regarding RAW, with an enthusiast camera sooner or later you'll have a great pic that needs some fixing, but sorry, you'll have a JPG instead a RAW to work with. There are millions of amateur photographers that are really afraid of RAW pics, so they won't miss this on th G7, but since this camera is aimed to the amateur-enthusiast or Pro's 2nd camera, it now seems that guys at Canon made a big flaw.
8. How good it is?
The G7 is a great camera on its own, but I don't think this one will be a big hit for Canon. In one hand there are many dSLR on the same price tag, on the other hand the enthusiasts and amateur photographers looking for a powerful compact or 2nd camera will be disappointed without RAW and swivel LCD.
This camera is for:
a) Anybody that haven't tried a Canon G series before and are moving from P&S to more advanced creative possibilities
b) Anybody that wants a powerful yet compact camera and doesn't care for swivel LCD nor RAW format
c) Anybody so absolutely in love of the G series that wants this as a collectible
d) Anybody that is not so absolutely in love of the G series and that may appreciate the G7 advantages without caring of its drawbacks
I can live with the shortcomings of the G7 (even the noise), and I've found it is a very powerful photographic device. It's a great second camera when you don't want to take a bulky dSLR, lenses and accesories but you expect great photos.
My advice: buy it from a seller with an open return policy, so you can try it, find if it suits your needs and, if you don't like it, return it. Check other brands and models. Just remember: not everything is big megapixles.