When we first used the Canon PowerShot G7 X, the company's first 1-inch sensor compact, it felt like Canon's attempt to deflect a strong Sony line-up - namely the RX100 series.
Some 18-months later and it's time for round two, with the G7 X Mark II upping the high-end compact camera ante. But is it strong enough to keep Sony at bay?
At first glance this second-gen model isn't drastically different from the original. The design is much the same, offering a larger grip, but still keeping a truly pocketable body paired with 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 (equivalent) lens on the front. It's this fast lens that really sells the camera.
But there are changes: around the back the LCD screen can now tilt 45-degrees downward, in addition to the 180-degrees up as per the previous generation; while to the front the lens control ring now offers dual functionality, with the option to toggle between smooth rotation and click-stop rotations.
The majority of changes come down to performance. The Mark II is twice as fast to startup and be ready for shooting compared to the original, while the 20.2-megapixel sensor, although the same as before, now adopts the first Digic 7 processor for better results due to processing (Canon is claiming around a full stop of better low-light performance). Add an enhanced image stabilisation system and the G7 X II is an all-round more accomplished camera.
But it doesn't reinvent the wheel. There's still no viewfinder or the ability to add one, the autofocus system isn't as next-level as we'd like it to be (our common complaint with Canon PowerShot cameras) and, really, the Sony RX100 series is still a step ahead.
What Canon has spent the last 18-months doing, though, is producing a wider range of 1-inch sensor compacts, including the G9 X and G5 X, to offer something to suit all tastes. Granted, the G7 X II looks like an improvement but, well, there's yet more room for improvement - especially in the face of an imposing Sony. Available from April, the Mark II will be priced £549.
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