The G7's comprehensive feature set includes a 10Mp (megapixel) sensor, face-detection autofocus, optical image stabilisation and a maximum ISO light sensitivity of 1,600. This is a sturdy-looking, sophisticated successor to the G6.

However, it has a fair few shortcomings. The large, high-resolution 2.5in LCD doesn't swivel (the G6's did), there's no wireless remote and the strip of rubberised material is a poor substitute for a true hand grip.

The mode dial on top of the camera offers a typical assortment of shooting modes, plus two positions you can assign to customised settings. Working with the dedicated ISO dial is far more convenient than using an LCD menu. Unfortunately, the top panel lacks a status display.

The G7 delivered very sharp shots in our tests, and scored highly on image quality. We were disappointed, however, by the indifferent accuracy of its exposures on indoor shots (at automatic settings), especially where we used the built-in flash. Thankfully, it's more accurate outdoors.

The slow autofocus proved frustrating: the lens tended to swim in and out for several seconds before locking on. In dim lighting, it sometimes produced out-of-focus shots.

The G7's 6x optical zoom is fairly modest, and photo enthusiasts may be disappointed to discover that the G7 shoots only Jpegs. If you like to use a tripod, be warned that the SD (secure digital) card slot is located next to the battery compartment on the underside; before you can swap cards, you'll have to remove the camera from the tripod.

A final criticism concerns the G7's battery, which lasted for just 275 shots – at this level, you should be looking for 400.

Canon PowerShot G7: Specs

  • 10Mp compact digital camera
  • zoom lens 6x/4x (optical/digital)
  • range 35-210mm
  • aperture f2.8-4.8
  • ISO 80 to 1,600
  • shutter 1/2,000 sec
  • 2.5in LCD viewfinder
  • video capture at 640x480/30fps
  • lithium-ion battery with charger
  • SD card slot
  • 106x43x72m
  • 320g
  • 10Mp compact digital camera
  • zoom lens 6x/4x (optical/digital)
  • range 35-210mm
  • aperture f2.8-4.8
  • ISO 80 to 1,600
  • shutter 1/2,000 sec
  • 2.5in LCD viewfinder
  • video capture at 640x480/30fps
  • lithium-ion battery with charger
  • SD card slot
  • 106x43x72m
  • 320g

OUR VERDICT

The PowerShot G7's generous controls and easy navigation may prove ideal for photographers who frequently adjust manual settings in pursuit of the perfect shot. But enthusiasts looking for a backup to their SLR (single lens reflex) digicam may be turned off by the high price, lack of RAW support and mediocre battery life.

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