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 – Test results

G3 X standard

In its standard mode the G3 X gives punchy, saturated colours

In general, the Canon PowerShot G3 X offers similar image quality to other premium compacts that use the same 20.2-million-pixel, BSI CMOS sensor, and is therefore vastly superior to superzoom cameras with small 1/2.3in sensors such as the PowerShot SX60 HS. It is capable of recording lots of detail at low ISO settings, while giving reasonably low-noise images up to about ISO 800. Beyond this it gets increasingly stretched, and ISO 6,400 and above are barely acceptable.

With only limited software support available (only Canon’s own Digital Photo Pro supports the camera at the time of writing), we’ve not been able to look at raw image quality as far as we’d like, and spent more time looking at Canon’s JPEGs than is ideal. The images certainly bright and punchy, but I suspect many enthusiast photographers would like to tone down their excesses a little. Unfortunately, Canon doesn’t allow you to modify the JPEG processing if you also want to record raw files.

Resolution

At its best around the 50mm equivalent mark on the lens, the G3 X is capable of resolving close to 3,200l/ph at ISO 125, which is as good as anything else we’ve seen with this sensor. With our high-contrast black & white resolution test chart, this drops only slightly as the ISO is raised, to about 2,800l/ph at ISO 1600. But beyond this the resolution drops off more rapidly as noise increases, with the top two settings giving poor results.

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 125

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 125

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 125

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 125

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 400

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 400

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 800

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 800

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 1600

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 1600

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 3200

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 3200

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 6400

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 6400

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 12800

Canon PowerShot G3 X resolution, ISO 12800

  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 7 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.