Canon G7X for Snorkeling? – A Review

Canon G7x for snorkeling - with the Canon housing

We bought two of the first generation Canon G7X for snorkeling, with the Canon WP-DC54 housings, back in 2015, and we are still using them in 2022, and hope to get many more years of use out of them. We have used them on so many trips that we wore out the housings, and had to buy new ones.

We love the colors they provide, the high image quality, and their reliability. They are excellent cameras.

Before these cameras we owned a pair of Canon S90 cameras. All the things we love about the Canon S series were improved with the first generation of the G7X.

There are a few negatives about the Canon G7X for snorkeling, but overall we are very happy with the camera.

Note: This camera is no longer available, but there are two newer versions, the G7X II and the G7X III. They are similar, with many improvements compared to ours, and one major downside. Read more about those here.

Our Canon G7X Underwater Picture Samples

First, check out some pictures we took with the Canon G7X cameras, from a couple of recent trips. The proof is in the pudding. We got a far higher percentage of usable pictures using the Canon G7X for snorkeling than any other camera we have ever used.

Beautiful coral reef, taken with the Canon G7X
Hogfish picture taken with the Canon G7X
Soft coral fan taken with the Canon G7X
Caribbean Reef Squid picture taken with the Canon G7X
Anemone Fish picture taken with the taken with the Canon G7X

Why We Like the Canon G7X for Snorkeling?

The most standout feature of the G7X, versus our previous Canon S90 cameras, is that it has a big one inch sensor, yet remains compact. One benefit of that is that you can crop into a picture and retain detail, which is great for fish pictures, like the sample below.

Picture taken with the Canon G7X to demonstrate its ability to crop
Cropped close to show the detail that remains from the Canon G7X.

In our tests the camera took excellent pictures. The focusing was fast, the shooting speeds were fast, the dedicated video button is great, as is the quality of the video. We thought the camera and housing might be too big, but it ended up not bothering us at all.

Probably one of the best features of the Canon G7X for snorkeling is its excellent underwater white balance. We get great colors. We have found that the underwater scene mode provides excellent automatic white balance, for very good colors, in most shallow snorkeling conditions. The camera also has a feature where you can program a button the back that allows you to take custom white balance settings with a single button push. This is great for when Galen is diving into deeper water. Note that later versions of this camera lost this quick custom white balance option.

And if we are in underwater mode we set the focusing option to “Quick”, which does a better job at stopping fish motion for most shots.

The pictures are sharper toward the edges than any other camera we have used in an underwater housing.

Nicole was really impressed with the zoom lens on this camera. Because this lens is so fast (F1.8-2.8), and the high ISO capability is so good, the zoom lens is actually very usable. On many other cameras you really can’t use the zoom very effectively underwater because the shots will come out blurry. Since Nicole does not dive down, she zooms, and it worked great.

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  • Still compact
  • Manual controls
  • Amazing low light ISO performance
  • One button push custom white balance (not true for the G7X II or III)
  • Fast and sharp lens – F1.8-2.8
  • Wide angle zoom lens (24-100mm)
  • Image stabilization
  • Fast focusing
  • Fast shooting and burst shooting
  • Dedicated video button

Problems With the Canon G7X for Snorkeling?

The G7X has a shorter battery life than its rivals, although we found it to be about the same as our previous cameras, and not to be a problem because we had extra batteries.

The front control ring is slightly too stiff, making it hard to turn the small dial to control it on the Canon housing. Galen’s was more difficult than Nicole’s.

The camera has a delay at times when entering playback which is slightly annoying.

And let’s face it, it’s fairly expensive.

Canon G7X Underwater Housing Options

There used to be a number of different underwater housings available for the Canon G7X for snorkeling. We chose the Canon housing because we have had good luck with them, they are not too expensive, and we do not use auxiliary lenses. But the camera is so old now that housings are nearly impossible to find new.

  • Canon WP-DC54
  • Ikelite 6146.07
  • Nauticam NA-G7X
  • Fantasea FG7X
  • Recsea CWC-G7X

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