In part three of my findings about the Canon G7X I looked at a very specific advantage to this particular camera, and its ability to synchronise with your strobes at all shutter speeds and how this can be useful.
In the final part of this series I would just like to wrap things up by looking at using this camera for video, and also how the Nauticam housing stacks up against its less expensive competitors out there.
Canon G7X as a video camera
I shoot a lot of video, and I often shoot videos alongside my still pictures so I am always judging a new camera on its abilities to shoot both.
This always used to be a compromise with regular stills cameras, but with Canon themselves pioneering the multipurpose nature of modern cameras with the groundbreaking Canon 5D Mk2 a few years back, the video facilities of most modern stills cameras are implemented in much more of a serious fashion than as a tacked on afterthought these days.
I have shot with Canon compact cameras that have had HD shooting resolutions ever since they first became available in 2009, and what has separated them from the competition has been there ability to get great colours because of the facility to use the very same Custom White Balance that was available for stills shooting.
They have also had a function built in called Underwater Mode, which has unfortunately been less capable than Custom White Balance, but a lot of people haven’t wanted to take regular white balance readings considering it a bit of a hassle.
So I was keen to see if the Underwater Mode had improved at all with the G7X.
And with this in mind I took some shots using Custom White Balance, which reassuringly worked as well as in previous Canon cameras, so no worries there.
So I decided to be brave and only use the Underwater mode for getting good colours, and you know what it worked very well indeed.
This has the added benefit of allowing you to concentrate more on your exposure, and as the camera shoots fully manually if you desire, normally problematic lighting scenarios like inside wrecks and dark places, you are able to shoot truthfully, without the added headache of colour correction too.
The camera shoots at Full HD resolution 1920 x 1080 at up to 60fps,and this means that you can also shoot fabulous slow-motion sequences too, when you slow down the frame rate in your video editing software to the normal speed of 25 frames per second.
All this adds up to a potentially great video system, and if you added some compact LED lights to the package you would be fully tooled up to shoot both stills and video to a very high standard.
Final thoughts and conclusions
The only fly in the ointment for me in the whole scenario and with the G7X setup was nothing to do with the quality of the camera or housing. It was the fact that I was using an additional wide angle lens that wasn’t best suited to the system.
When Alex Tattersall from Nauticam UK sent me the kit, he was unable to also lend me the prototype wide-angle lens that Nauticam have made for their housing, so I had to use a wide-angle lens I already owned which is for an earlier type of camera and housing, so whilst it would physically fit onto the housing using the 67mm thread on the short port.
It proved to be very soft at the edges of the frame, which you will be able to see on some of the shots Ive included on the earlier blogposts, and also in the videos as well.
I must stress that this isn’t the fault of the housing itself and is only because the combination I was using was ill matched.
This brings me to the only other housing for this camera I have used with this camera and thats the Ikelite housing.
Ikelite are always quick to market with their products, and when I got my hands on one, it wasn’t quite in the same league either aesthetically or ergonomically, with a lot of the functions and controls stiff and difficult to operate.And to make the rear function wheel work required a combination of button presses, not ideal in the fast changing underwater world.
It was however perfectly usable, but it suffered in comparison to the Nauticam with its easy control systems, and ergonomic buttons.
And for those wanting something cheap it’s perfect.
The real deal breaker for me though was that there was no short port option, like Nauticam have adopted, which means that you will never be able to get wide angle shots to compare with Nauticams own wide angle lens, expensive though it is.
And I really feel that to get the maximum out of this camera and realise its full potential you only have one viable option and that is the Nauticam, with the short port and Nauticams own wide angle lens, and add to that with the excellent new Nauticam Compact Macro Converter for a fully fledged system.
This outfit will allow you to get great stills and video with total control over both, but also the option to use it in a fairly quick and easy way if you want to task load less.
I will have to check out my bank balance as I think this camera could realistically sit alongside my more usual micro 4/3 system for when weight and compactness were at a premium.
*STOP PRESS* Stay tuned for my opinions on another less expensive alternative to the Nauticam housing for the Canon G7X coming very soon, as I intend to test some exciting new options to the Nauticam on my March Winter Warmer 2016
Perfect for long haul shooters travelling light, as you could fit all of this rig into your hand luggage, and not feel too compromised on quality at all.
I loved it.
Why not come on one of my photo workshops and I can help you with all these techniques to get better photographs. Here is a link to my upcoming world wide workshops.