If you had the chance to ask your favorite vlogger what they want in a camera, you’ll probably get a laundry list of feature requests. It should have the ability to record 4K video in a variety of framerates. It should be small and unobtrusive, so it can be carried around at arms length for hours at a time. It needs a display that flips around so they can see their framing when they are asking for their audience to smash that like button. And importantly, it needs an external microphone input so they can record clean, crisp audio to the same device they are filming with.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there aren’t really any cameras that fully fit this description. Even Sony’s super popular RX100 lineup lacks the microphone input that larger cameras offer. That’s why today’s leak of what could be Canon’s next G7 X is so intriguing. The G7 X lineup is Canon’s answer to Sony’s RX100 — compact cameras with relatively large sensors and a lot of physical controls.
According to images shared by PhotoRumors.com (via PetaPixel), the alleged G7 X Mark III will be able to shoot 4K video and will come with that elusive microphone input that compact cameras often lack. It will even have a hot shoe to mount a shotgun mic to. It’s not clear if the screen will just angle up or down or if it will flip around entirely, but the prior G7 X Mark II does have a flip around display. (Presumably, the Mark III’s display would be designed around the fact that a microphone sitting in the hotshoe would block the screen if it just flips straight up like the Mark II’s. The flip down design of the Canon M5 interchangeable lens camera brings its own headaches, such as being easily blocked by the tripod holding the camera.)
Those features would make the G7 X Mark III quite the compelling camera for both new vloggers and experienced ones alike. The G7 X cameras use a 1-inch class sensor, which provides much better image and video quality than the sensors found in smartphones, yet still allows for a small and compact camera that can fit into a pocket with ease.
But there are a lot of things about these images that give me pause, and lead me to think that the reality of the next G7 X won’t be quite as nice as this ideal.
For starters, the images show a significantly different design than prior G7 X models, with sleeker lines and smaller grips. The top command dial appears to lack any markings, which is very out of character for Canon. The most telling detail is that the “G7 X” and “Mark III” labels use a completely different font than any other Canon PowerShot I’ve ever seen. Even the trash can on the delete button is different from prior Canon models. It’s almost as if someone blended a Leica TL with a G7 X Mark I to create the G7 X Mark III they want to see in the world.
Canon is well known to be a very conservative company, so I’d be shocked if it made this many changes to the G7 X’s look and appearance. Further, Canon’s been very hesitant to add 4K video recording to its cameras — even last year’s $2,000 semi-pro 6D Mark II DSLR tops out at 1080p video. Maybe 2018 will be a turning point for Canon in a number of ways, but I’ll have to see it to believe it.
The next big event in the camera world is the CP+ trade show in Japan at the start of March. Chances are we’ll know for sure if this alleged G7 X Mark III will take over the vlogging world, or if it will just stay in the shadows of Sony.