Canon’s latest enthusiast compact offers a compelling combination of a long zoom range and a relatively large 1in sensor. Andy Westlake tests it out

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Canon PowerShot G3 X

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Huge lens range covers almost any subject
  • - Good image quality from 1in sensor
  • - Excellent touchscreen interface

Cons:

  • - No built-in viewfinder
  • - Awkward ergonomics
  • - Poor continuous shooting with raw enabled

Product:

Canon PowerShot G3 X review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£799.00

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Canon PowerShot G3 X review – Introduction

The G3 X's lens covers a huge 25x zoom

The G3 X’s lens covers a huge 25x zoom range from 24mm equiv (left) to 600mm (right)

At a glance:

  • 20.2-million-pixel, 1in BSI CMOS sensor
  • 24-600mm equivalent f/2.8-5.6 lens
  • ISO 125-12,800
  • 1.62-million-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Dustproof and splashproof construction
  • 5.9fps continuous shooting
  • £800

One of the most welcome trends in camera design recently has been the adoption of relatively large sensors in fixed-lens compacts. In particular, the runaway success of Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 series showed that there’s a real appetite for small cameras with much higher image quality than was achievable from small 1/2.3in or 1/1.8in sensors.

Canon was a relatively early player in this game, but its relatively bulky PowerShot G1 X series never quite captured photographers’ imaginations. Last year’s PowerShot G7 X was a rather more successful design, adopting much the same pocket-camera template as the RX100s. Now, with the PowerShot G3 X, Canon is going after a different market, combining a large sensor with a 25-600mm equivalent long zoom lens.

Canon G3 X 600mm equivalent

The Canon G3 X’s lens extends considerably when zoomed to the 600mm equivalent position

However, this isn’t uncharted territory, as the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 do something similar. Both feature relatively long zooms and electronic viewfinders in DSLR-like body designs. But Canon’s approach has two crucial differences – it has a longer zoom lens with a slower maximum aperture, and it sacrifices the built-in viewfinder, apparently to keep the camera as small as possible.

With manufacturers such as Sony and Panasonic currently making a point of adding electronic viewfinders to cameras wherever possible, the lack of a viewfinder on the G3 X is a perplexing design decision, and one that I’ve found myself cursing throughout my time with the camera. More on that later, but first let’s take a closer look at what the G3 X has to offer.

See our Canon PowerShot G3 X sample image gallery 

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Introduction
  2. 2. Canon PowerShot G3 X - Features
  3. 3. Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Screen and viewfinder
  4. 4. Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Build and handling
  5. 5. Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Autofocus
  6. 6.  Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Performance
  7. 7. Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Test results
  8. 8. Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Dynamic range
  9. 9. Canon PowerShot G3 X review - Verdict
  10. 10. Page 10
Page 1 of 10 - Show Full List
  • John Russell

    This reviewer states ‘no where else to put your left hand other than below the lens’
    Duh, that is the only place to put your left hand, you want to stabilize the camera. Where else would you put your left hand, you certainly don’t hold the camera body with it or play pocket pool.
    To stabilize a camera whether it has an EVF or not you always tuck your elbows in to your sides. Never hold your elbows out away from your body. So who cares if it has an EVF or not. At least the Canon is versatile and if you want to put one on you can.
    Ergonomics is a all up to what the individual person is used to or feels comfortable with. If you use a camera enough then the buttons become second nature whether you own another camera or not. That is the great benefit to being human.
    Why in the world would a company put master capability in their silly little flash. These cameras are not meant for professional studio work. They are an updated point and shoot holiday cameras, nothing else.
    Constant 2.8 at 200mm can be replaced with 5.6 200mm. But you cannot replace 600mm 5.6 with a 200mm 2.8. You can digitally zoom all you want and all you get is a blurred mess.
    I believe Sony saves all their photos at 11bits, Panasonic saves at 12bits and Canon saves at 14bits. How big a difference does this make? for size of file, quality and manipulation of the file?
    People reading reviews and people writing reviews should do a bit of research on optics and learn how big a 600mm 2.8 lens would have to be on a 1inch sensor. Maybe just maybe they would realize how big a camera would be with a fixed lens at 24mm to 600mm 2.8. So the comment a rather slow 600mm is nothing but stupidity!!!!
    4k video is nothing but media hype and to sell more TVs. Do regular people really need 4K video, NO, 1080p is good enough. 4K video wastes good hard drive space.
    Should Canon have put in 4K video, Yes, it is an industry standard now.
    Should Canon have put in a built-in EVF, yes, it is an industry standard.

  • Tina Edwards

    Most negative comments focus on the lack of 4K video and an in-built EVF. The camera (apparently) has good image quality, weather sealing, a reasonably good aperture range, long zoom range and, even with the optional (and admittedly expensive but high quality) EVF, weighs less than the Sony RX10, the Sony RX10 II and the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. Perhaps I’m not in my ‘right mind’ but I think this could actually be a versatile camera for quite a few people.

  • entoman

    Nice looking camera and probably takes nice images, but no one in their right mind would buy it. Get rid of the silly and fragile little pop-up flash and fit the camera with an EVF. Panasonic are blowing you into the dust Canon. Change or die.