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
Canon PowerShot G3 X review – Test results
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.
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.