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Canon G7X Mark III or Sony RX100 Mark VII?

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My old Canon G12 is about ready to die. It's had a good life in its Recsea housing, but time to upgrade.

I'm alternatively looking at getting the Canon G7X Mark III or Sony RX100 Mark VII as a replacement. I would be aiming for a Nauticam housing with associated macro and wide angle lenses either way.

I know the Sony is an obvious step up from the Canon, but I'm after opinions on whether people think it's worth the additional financial outlay given that I mostly shoot macro?

Appreciate any advice or opinions. Would potentially consider other camera options, but definitely only interested in a compact setup.

Thanks!

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I go by the old adage in photography, "you get what you pay for". What do you "want or need" from the camera's performance? Since you are shooting mostly macro, low light (fast glass) should not be a big factor. Personally, I go for very accurate and fast focus. Sony is the king in that area. Even in full frame. Others may dissagree on this forum and that is okay. I've shot many cameras in 20+ years and the Sony wins for me every time with focus. If you also shoot video macro, it will be very noticeable. I shoot 4k 24p and it looks astonishing. Hope this helps some. 

Good luck!

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It doesn't include the latest models but Backscatter's review gives a lot of background on what to look for: 

https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Backscatter-Best-Underwater-Compact-Cameras

One of the issues with the newer models of these compacts is the need to change ports to get wet lenses working properly - the long zooms mean that wide angle work is compromised as when set at wide the lens is too far from the port to work properly.  You'll see Backscatter give top marks to two Panasonic models.  You should be able to insert the features of the newest Sony/Canon into the comparison.

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You can find another compact camera review here: https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/best-compact-underwater-cameras

Best for Macro: Sony RX100 VII
But you'll have to deal with the port system, "short" for wide-angle and "long" for macro, similar system that DSLR or Mirrorless.

Best Value: Canon G7X III 
"It is an excellent, fast-focusing camera with great image quality and has dedicated macro focus."
"The Canon G7X Mark III also has advantages over recent RX100 series cameras like the RX100 VII, because you can shoot both wide angle and macro on the same dive!"

Edited by turandot

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Having used the previous G7X MkII and various Sony cameras as well as the G9X MkI and MkII, the Canon S95 and the Olympus TG5 to name a few. I'd recommend the Canon over the Sony for a number of reasons. Firstly the controls are much more user friendly with the ability to control aperture and shutter speed via separate dials and the camera being less menu driven than the Sony. Also the menus are much more intuitive in my opinion especially if you are coming from having used a Canon previously. The lack of intuitiveness in the controls isn't helped by the appalling Sony online help guide. You'll also pay some what less for the camera. Interestingly despite the review shared by a previous poster from Bluewaterphoto store saying otherwise, you will get better wide angle results using the specific short port for the Nauticam G7X MkIII housing and a wide angle wet lens. With the longer port that accomodates the full lens travel you'll get vignetting when shooting with a wide angle wet lens. If you were looking for a cheaper option specifically for underwater that will give similar stills results I'd suggest thinking about the older G9X or G9X MkII in a Fantasea housing as this has a shorter lens that allows you to get the best from wide angle and macro lenses without changing ports. Controls aren't as nice as the G7X's lacking the extra dial, so you have to change between what the lens dial controls by a button press but still a good option, if you don't need 4K video. 

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On 2/7/2020 at 8:12 AM, turandot said:

You can find another compact camera review here: https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/best-compact-underwater-cameras

Best for Macro: Sony RX100 VII
But you'll have to deal with the port system, "short" for wide-angle and "long" for macro, similar system that DSLR or Mirrorless.

Best Value: Canon G7X III 
"It is an excellent, fast-focusing camera with great image quality and has dedicated macro focus."
"The Canon G7X Mark III also has advantages over recent RX100 series cameras like the RX100 VII, because you can shoot both wide angle and macro on the same dive!"

I'm not sure where the information in this review is coming from. It is entirely and factually incorrect.

With my (Nauticam) RX100 MKVI housing, the standard port offer the full zoom range...24-200mm. No problem using it for both macro and wide angle on a dive with the standard port if you wish. You can (with this housing) also add a flip adaptor to use wet lenses or chose to add ports that allow the use of other wet lens options if you chose.

This is also true with the NA-RX100 VII housing.

As sadly seems to be frequently the case with some of the Bluewater reviews, they have got their facts wrong...

@PhilMed- All the RX100 series offers separate aperture and shutter speed dials? I'm not sure what you are suggesting here

I don't find Sony's controls any more or less intuitive that Canon's and while I'm no fan of Sony's menus, I don't love Canon's much either! I don't really see this as being a significant difference, once you get used to them.

I do prefer Canon's color treatment to Sony's but can normally fix this easily in post. 

The extra 100mm of reach on the Sony provides some really interesting options, both topside and underwater. The 200mm end is actually very usable. Combined with a macro lens, it offers an amazing super macro option in a very small bundle.

The ability to use WWL lenses on Nauticam housings makes for really amazing wide angle performance. 

 

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You cannot add a Wide Angle wetLens to the Standard Port. Bluewater does not consider 24mm behind a flat port wide angle and they are not wrong. 

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2 hours ago, hyp said:

You cannot add a Wide Angle wetLens to the Standard Port. Bluewater does not consider 24mm behind a flat port wide angle and they are not wrong. 

True, and I would not really disagree, but in their review of the G7X III, from the quote above, they are saying that its 24mm behind a flat port allows you to "shoot both wide angle and macro on the same dive." Surely it is the same for both?

If the "advantage"of the Canon is that you can add an accessory lens to achieve a wider FOV, then the Nauticam option offers that same advantage:
1. Add the flip converter to the Nauticam housing, and can add any standard 67mm wide-angle converter.

2. Add the the N50 Short Port with Bayonet Mount, this allows the user to add WWL.

I can't see why they suggest that this is an advantage unique to the G7?

 

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Bluewater says that the best camera is the Sony RX100 MKVII and VA the reason why canon is best value is that it does not need a port system to attach wide and close wet lenses

So without checking each line this means if you want the best go sony if you want comparable IQ but spend less than use canon

With regards to the quirks of canon vs sony having been a fuji, panasonic, canon, nikon and sony user I would agree that Sony is inferior to canon for both colour management and menus this however is not that important as you shoot in manual all the time and most features become irrelevant

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@adamhanlon I think I was mixing up my memory of the Canon G9Xs with RX100's when I said that there wasn't a dial for each of shutter speed and aperture. But I'll stand by my statement regarding the menus and the Sony help guide especially for someone who is already used to the Canon. Recently used an A6500 and finding what menu different setting options were in was a nightmare. No logic at all, with movie settings buried away at the bottom of an untitled menu with other options that had nothing to do with movies. 

I haven't tried the RX100VI or VII yet underwater and as Fantasea (who are usually the people who lend me kit to play with) have opted to just go with a fixed short port for their housing I probably won't get to try out using the zoom at 200mm equivalent, unless I get someone on a workshop with one in a Nauticam. As an all round compact camera for someone looking to travel with just one camera and take pictures and especially video on land and underwater it's what I would recommend. But for someone just looking for the best value for money compact to take stills I'd stick with one of the G9X's in a Fantasea.

@Interceptor121As Adam has already said despite what Bluewater suggest in their 'review' the G7X MkIII still needs a changeable port system to get the best from a wide angle wet lens. With the camera lens at its widest you'll get quite a lot of vignetting with a standard port that allows full travel of the lens like on the Fantasea housing. This is why Nauticam make a housing for it like their RX100VII housing that has an optional short port for wide angle. 

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4 minutes ago, PhilMed said:

 

@Interceptor121As Adam has already said despite what Bluewater suggest in their 'review' the G7X MkIII still needs a changeable port system to get the best from a wide angle wet lens. With the camera lens at its widest you'll get quite a lot of vignetting with a standard port that allows full travel of the lens like on the Fantasea housing. This is why Nauticam make a housing for it like their RX100VII housing that has an optional short port for wide angle. 

To get the best but you can get by. With the rectangular port you have no options than changing it and you need special adapter also for close up

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7 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

To get the best but you can get by. With the rectangular port you have no options than changing it and you need special adapter also for close up

I tried the G7X MkII in a Fantasea housing last year with a couple of different wide angle wet lenses and you lose quite a lot of angle of view once you've zoomed in to remove the vignetting with the standard design lenses like the Fantasea UWL-400F. Of course you could use the INON UWL-S100 ZM80 which is made for this type of super zoom camera but it is a bit more fiddly to setup and more expensive than a lot of wide angle wet lenses. 

With regard to needing a special adaptor for macro lenses that's with the standard Nauticam port for the RX100VII isn't it where you need to use the special rectangular flip adaptor? Fantasea housings have had 67mm threads on their ports for macro lenses since the G7X MkII and the Nauticam standard port for the G7X's are threaded as well.

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Yeah, thought so. It's those kind of added issues that cause me to recommend the G9X MkII in a Fantasea or the RX100VA in the Nauticam or Fantasea as simpler solutions for compact stills and video primarily for underwater. What's funny is that Fantasea opted to basically keep the old RX100V housing with it's shorter round port and market it for the RX100VI and VII limiting the zoom travel of the lens but for the G7X's they've kept the shape that they had for the G16 housing with the rectangular port which causes that vignetting with wide angles rather than go with a port like on the RX100's that would just limit the zoom slightly but get rid of the vignetting. I gather it's a matter of saving costs on moldings.

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Another option would probably be the Panasonic LX10/15. Not sure what the advantages of the Canon are over the Panasonic (AF maybe?)

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Another option would probably be the Panasonic LX10/15. Not sure what the advantages of the Canon are over the Panasonic (AF maybe?)

I would not worry about AF
The Lx10/15 are the only truly compact cameras left without a port system not great for macro but compatible with the new WWL-C
Excellent sensor and color rendition and superb ergonomics also for land use


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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10 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

The Lx10/15 are the only truly compact cameras left without a port system not great for macro but compatible with the new WWL-C

And Sony RX100 Mark VA with 24-70mm

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And Sony RX100 Mark VA with 24-70mm

Yes meant is the last one of the new gen
Sony VA will work better with the wwlc but wont white balance if ever you need that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have owned the G7XI, Own a G7XII and have used the G7XIII. I upgraded from a G11 as well. I shoot 99% stills which is one of the reasons I went Canon over Sony. I like the control placement on the Canon point and shoots and think the macro does a good job. 

If you're into video it is worth noting that the G7Xiii had serious issues with video AF at launch. 2 software patches later its better but from what I hear isn't up to par with other point and shoot (which is disappointing bc the iii was supposed to bring the G7X up to other brands offerings). 

Overall I have zero regrets buying the G7Xii. 

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Posted (edited)

I am facing the same dilemma (upgrading from my old G9). Basically, reading the OP’s message, his focus area is macro:

the G7x mark iii is about 350€ cheaper here in Europe than the RX100 mark VII.

If you go for the fantasea housing (as far as I can see, the one for the G7x is about 50€ more expensive), you are limited to 66mm on the RX100 while you get 100mm on the G7x. I don’t think you can justify the 300€ difference.

If you go for the Nauticam housing (600€ more than the Fantasea), you will get the full 200mm on the RX100, but I would argue you can get a macro lense for less. Of course Nauticam is very good quality, so if that is the preference, the RX100 becomes a bit more attractive.

The LX10/15 is currently a lot cheaper (200€ below the G7x) but there is no Fantasea housing (there is an Ikelite). You only get 72mm then so for macro not the best option.

On a budget I would say for macro (stills) the G7x is really worth it. I am currently struggling because I would like to have a bit more options on the wide angle too, it’s not good to hear you lose a lot due to the vignetting. Maybe there is a mirror less option that gives me more for a similar budget...

Edit: I didn’t add the RX100VA in the list. Price is about 50€ above the canon and they do have a Fantasea housing. So on a budget, you get about the same as for the Canon but again only 70mm like the LX10/15. Maybe that’s for me the best of both worlds.
 

Due to a promotion This weekend, the Canon here in Belgium is 100€ cheaper, so I am still in doubt...

Edited by nokie
Added RX100VA

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2 hours ago, nokie said:

If you go for the Nauticam housing (600€ more than the Fantasea), you will get the full 200mm on the RX100, but I would argue you can get a macro lense for less. Of course Nauticam is very good quality, so if that is the preference, the RX100 becomes a bit more attractive.

You need a macro lens (or rather a diopter) with either camera, as neither of them can focus closely at longer zoom extension. However, RX100 VII will give you more magnification with the appropriate diopter. Also, Nauticam is not the only option for RX100 VII - SeaFrogs Salted Line ($247) with macro port ($99) will let you use it at full zoom.

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I was not aware of seafrogs salted line (I thought they only had the standard version which is limited to 40m). I can’t really judge ergonomics on this one and if you have access to all controls. I am also not sure if you can add a wide angle lens on the macro port like I want to do.

but if ergonomics are ok, I would agree this is the better option if you only go for macro.

i spoke to the guy from the shop here this morning, he said the canon and the Sony were on par for macro, wide angle the Sony is the better choice...

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1 hour ago, nokie said:

I was not aware of seafrogs salted line (I thought they only had the standard version which is limited to 40m). I can’t really judge ergonomics on this one and if you have access to all controls. I am also not sure if you can add a wide angle lens on the macro port like I want to do.

I use the A6xxx Salted Line housing with an A6300 and I'm happy with the ergonomics. All the controls are accessible. The RX100 Salted Line, judging by the photos, also exposes all the controls, including the rear dial (unlike their earlier RX100 housings).

For wide-angle, you have a choice of bundled flat port (allows full range of 24 to 200mm, but does not allow wet lens attachment and does the normal flat port shrinking, so not really that wide), short macro port (allows wet lenses but limits lens extension), and a choice of domes (same mount as the A6xxx housing, so you get 4", 6" and 8" options).

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