Canon Powershot G7 Mark II one sharp shooter
IF you are looking for a tough compact camera packing in more features than the average point and shoot, Canon's PowerShot G7 X Mark II is certainly one to consider for under the Christmas tree.
While there are cameras in the same class with better specs and faster processing power, this 20.1 megapixel camera is no slouch when it comes to shooting in low light and sharing your great photos on social media, without the need for filters or editing.
The Mark II is the first to feature Canon's new DIGIC 7 processor, and comes with a 4.2x optical zoom lens.
It's not a big enough zoom for some situations but great for portraits, travel, and landscape photography.
It takes beautiful photos with vivid colours, and for a photographer wanting to go beyond just the automatic setting has an impressing range of manual controls.
One of the things we liked about it most is the Lens Control Ring which allows you to easily change things like aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
You can easily see the effect of the changes on screen, making it a good camera to learn the basics of photography.
When it comes to focus, MF Peaking immediately highlights on the tilt up touch screen what is in focus.
The tilt screen also allows you to easily play around with filming from above or below subjects to greater effect.
The camera is easy to hold, with a better grip than its predecessor, and has that solid, high quality feel of a DSLR, without the size. It fits easily in the pocket.
For the enthusiasts, it offers 14-bit RAW shooting while Picture Style offers pre-sets that can be customised.
The camera worked particularly well in low light settings with fast and accurate focus.
The Canon was able to rapid fire a succession of photos pretty quickly with Canon promising 8fps RAW continuous shooting.
Even when subjects offered little contrast and saturation, the camera managed to lock on well to what we were shooting.
The camera has a bright f/1.8-2.8 lens which seem to handle most conditions well.
An optical image stabiliser helped to reduce camera shake for sharper shots.
The camera shoots high quality 1080HD video, but not 4K, but like some of its rivals.
Canon says its Dynamic Image Stabilisation works with auto level to correct camera shake over five axes automatically, ensuring scenes are steady and horizons straight, even when shooting on the move or at unusual angles.
There's also a Time-Lapse Movie mode.
One area where Canon appears stronger than Nikon is when it comes to sharing images from the camera to your smartphone.
You can easily connect via a Wi-Fi Button or NFC.
Higher quality images can also be shared to irista, where you create photo galleries that can be shared with friends.
My only real qualm with the camera was the clumsy pop-up flash and the steep price of $899, though there are cheaper prices around.