It’s not all that often a new camera appears on the market that does something we haven’t seen before. But by squeezing an APS-C sensor into a fixed-zoom compact camera, Canon has done just that. As a result, the PowerShot G1 X Mark III quite simply provides much better image quality than any of its direct competitors. Canon’s home-grown 24MP CMOS sensor gives higher resolution, greater dynamic range and lower noise compared to the 20MP 1-in sensors more commonly used on cameras of this type.
But that’s not all; the G1 X Mark III is a very likeable camera, too. Its rugged, weather-resistant body sits firmly in your hand, thanks to a decent-sized grip and prominent thumb ‘hook’. The 24-72mm equivalent f/2.8-5.6 provides a useful wideangle to short telephoto range, and is ideal for a broad range of subjects such as travel, street, or landscape photography.
A standout feature is the large, centrally-mounted electronic viewfinder which makes the camera a pleasure to shoot with. It’s complemented by a fully-articulated LCD that’s great for shooting at high or low angles. Unlike the tilt-only screens found on most other small cameras, this is also completely usable when you wish to shoot in portrait format.
With the mini SLR-style design comes SLR-like handling: Canon has equipped the G1 X III with a nice range of external controls, including a front electronic dial and a dedicated exposure compensation dial on the top-plate, which makes changing your settings for creative effect a breeze. The comprehensive physical controls are joined by Canon’s excellent touchscreen interface, too. As result the G1 X III is much more engaging to use, compared to its nearest rivals.
At £1149 the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is undeniably pricey, but if you want the best possible image quality in a small camera with a fixed zoom lens, this is it.