On my last trip to Lombok, Indonesia, I had the privilege of testing out the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II on a couple of projects. This easy-to-use compact camera proved to be a worthy companion underwater, producing some fantastic shots with the help of an external strobe and a close-up lens.
I particularly liked the well-thought-out placement of the controls. While the cramped ergonomics of some cameras makes it difficult to adjust settings underwater, the buttons and dials of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II are easily accessible, even when the camera is in a housing.
Some photographers doubt the capabilities of a compact camera, but I found that its small size came with its own advantages, especially when photographing macro subjects.
On one of our dives, we found a cowrie moving on its gorgonian host. When shooting such tiny subjects on large corals, it is always important to avoid contact with the subject and its surroundings. The pocket-sized PowerShot G7 X Mark II in its equally compact housing made it extremely easy to approach the cowrie without having to worry about the setup touching, and damaging, the gorgonian. To compensate for the yellow hue that typically occurs when compacts get up close to macro subjects, I simply adjusted the white balance towards blue.
Similarly, the size of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II allowed me to get very close to a shrimp on a tube worm without creating water movements that would frighten it. I was concerned that the camera’s autofocus might lock onto the tube worm background, so I switched to the enlarged manual focus screen, which made focusing on the shrimp’s eyes a breeze.
On another dive, I encountered a tiny green snail on a seagrass blade. I was surprised at how well the PowerShot G7 X Mark II coped with the low-contrast scene, easily focusing on the snail against the similarly coloured background. The camera’s continuous autofocus even accurately tracked the snail as it moved, allowing me to capture a clean shot. The resulting details in the image are no less impressive than those from a DSLR.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is ideal for divers who want a small, intuitive setup for capturing a range of marine subjects. Coupled with a high-quality close-up lens, the camera is a serious contender for macro photographers looking for an economical travel option that’s capable of producing high-quality images.