CONTENT creation is serious business now, and camera manufacturers are increasingly responding to demands for light, portable, quality cameras which can live stream directly to the internet and still function as a traditional digital camera as well.
But Royce, I hear you say, that already exists. It’s called a smartphone and everyone has them. There are Mongolian Yak Herders with them; primary school kids have them, even the Sentinelese have probably got an iPhone on their island somewhere (even if it doesn’t work and they don’t actually know what it is or how it functions).
Ah yes, I say, but while smartphones are indeed marvellous content creation devices and communicators, they’re still not quite a full substitute for a proper camera – which is why, if you’re serious about taking pictures of video, you should look into a proper camera like the one in this review.
Canon are one of the world’s best-known camera brands and have long been making pocket mirrorless cameras that sit in the space between point n’shoot and a full Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera.
The PowerShot G7X Mark III is the latest in their line of compact mirrorless cameras and offers excellent potential as an all-round camera for photography, video and content creation alike.
Featuring an 8.8-36.8mm lens (equivalent to a 24-100mm lens on a 35mm camera, if you’re stuck in the past like me) and an effective 20.1 megapixel sensor; the camera films in 4K and can also do 1080p at 120fps as well.
From a zoom (the “making far away things closer” one, not the “seeing what your colleagues living rooms look like” one) perspective, the G7X has a 4.2x optical zoom, an 8.4x “ZoomPlus” (essentially an enhanced digital zoom), and a roughly 4x optical zoom for a combined zoom of about 17x; and the f/stops run between f/1.8-f/2.8.
Of course, you can also just put the camera in “Automatic” setting and let it handle everything, but for the purists out there the full manual control options are quite extensive and will give them complete control over what the camera is doing, aided by the adjustable and tiltable LCD display on the back of the camera.
The camera can also mount external accessories including a microphone and a remote control too (more on that later).
I have long been impressed with Canon’s G-range of cameras; for many years a Canon G12 was our family’s go-to camera until it met a premature demise at the hands of a curious toddler and even today it’s probably my favourite mirrorless camera out that I’ve owned.
Most of my camera work has been done from the perspective of a journalist or general photo taker, but the world – much like my socks – are forever changing and there’s now an enormous market out there for influencers, content creators, vloggers and other people working in a digital video medium. Those people also need a good digital camera, and having heard good things about the G7X Mark III I decided to take one for a spin.
True to my experiences with most of the well-known Compact Mirrorless camera brands out there, the G7X Mark III did a very good job with everything I needed from it, both as a still camera (where it captured action and colour equally well) as well as a video camera.
When connected to a smartphone or similar, the G7X Mark III has the ability to stream live to YouTube. While not a lot of help to me personally right now, its utility for content creators is undeniable; especially for streaming from events (when they restart) or wanting to do authentic reaction videos in real-time.
The videos I shot – using my bemused cat as a subject – were high quality (visually; artistically they won’t be opening to rave reviews at Sundance or Cannes anytime soon) with smooth zooming and autofocus, although I did notice a slight tendency to overexpose in some bright light outdoors – nothing problematic and it didn’t appear to be an issue under more controlled lighting conditions indoors.
The other piece of equipment I tested with the HG100-TBR Tripod/Grip, which also comes with an included BR-E1 Bluetooth remote too.
The tripod/grip itself is great – it’s the perfect size for carrying around and filming, and it splits out into a tripod at just the right height for sitting on a desktop or the ground or wherever so you can film.
The included remote works very well in filming mode, but I couldn’t get it to function as a remote shutter release for the camera (ie, trying to take a selfie at an event or something). I’m sure it’s possible (it is a pretty basic digital camera function) but even after going through the manual for the camera and the remote I wasn’t any clearer or how to do it.
The only major criticism I have of the camera (given its design and intended users) is that from a design perspective it also suffers from the same malady as most other compact mirrorless digital cameras on the market: It’s a rectangle with a lens at the front.
Aesthetically it’s just not that appealing to me, but I’m also one of those odd people who likes their camera to have lots of buttons and dials and viewfinders and generally look interesting as well as being able to take great photos. I also like my cameras to have a viewfinder, which this one does not.
Overall however, for Content Creators the combination of G7X Mark III and the HG-100 tripod is a winner. It’s compact, versatile and effective enough to go everywhere and provide professional results. It’s got a mind-boggling range of features – most of which you probably won’t use – but does everything you’re likely to need in a useful size that can go anywhere with you.