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 – Dynamic range

The G3 X’s 20.2MP sensor delivers good results at low ISO sensitivities in our Applied Imaging tests, with nearly 12EV of dynamic range at ISO 125. In practice, this means that it doesn’t clip highlights as abruptly as cameras with smaller sensors tend to, while also retaining a bit more useful shadow detail. But at ISO 800 and above it falls off quite quickly, reflecting increasing noise levels particularly in the shadows. The top three ISO settings give particularly low readings.

Canon G3 X DR graph

Canon PowerShot G3 X dynamic range

Noise and detail

At ISO 125 the G3 X gives impressively detailed images, with barely any visible noise. A hint of luminance noise appears at ISO 400 when examining images on the pixel level, but this will have no serious impact on prints. At ISO 800 the impact becomes a little more severe, with fine low-contrast detail beginning to smear away, and at ISO 1,600 this is accentuated, with shadow detail becoming lost too. At ISO 3,200 the effects of noise and noise reduction are quite obvious, making it best avoided if possible, while ISO 6,400 and ISO 12,800 should only be used if there’s really no other choice.

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 125

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 125

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 200

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 200

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 400

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 400

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 800

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 800

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 1600

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 1600

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 3200

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 3200

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 6400

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 6400

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 12800

Canon PowerShot G3 X ISO 12800

This is all familiar behaviour from this sensor, but it’s worth pointing out that the G3 X’s slow maximum aperture forces you to raise the ISO sooner as light levels drop, especially when shooting at the long end of the zoom where you’ll need faster shutter speeds to avoid blurred images from subject movement and camera shake.

  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 8 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.