Canon PowerShot G3 X Review

July 13, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

The Canon PowerShot G3 X produces images of very good quality. It recorded noise-free images at ISO 125-800, with some noise at ISO 1600. ISO 3200 and 6400 show more obvious noise but still remain perfectly usable, although the fastest setting of ISO 12800 is best avoided.

The Canon PowerShot G3 X handled chromatic aberrations fairly well, with some purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure, although there's noticeable vignetting at 24mm. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 and the Bulb mode seconds being long enough for after-dark shots.

Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. Macro performance is good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cm away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the Canon PowerShot G3 X at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting.

The extensive range of My Color modes and Creative Filters make it easy to spice up your images, while the Dynamic Range and Shadow Correction modes help to extract more detail from the shadow and highlight areas.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Canon PowerShot G3 X. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW formats.

JPEG RAW

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

iso125.jpg iso125raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Canon PowerShot G3 X's 25x zoom lens offers a very versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

24mm

600mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with SuperFine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

SuperFine (7.61Mb) (100% Crop)

Fine (5.01Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
   

RAW (24.1Mb) (100% Crop)

 
quality_raw.jpg  

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot G3 X handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with some green and purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Canon PowerShot G3 X has a good macro mode that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card).

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon Powershot G3 X are Auto, On, Auto Red-eye Reduction, Slow Synchro and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (100mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (100mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Canon Powershot G3 X's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode too, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 125.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Canon Powershot G3 X has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length Anti-Shake Off (100% Crop) Anti-Shake On (100% Crop)
1/6th sec / 24mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
1/8th sec / 600mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Dynamic Range Correction

The Dynamic Range Correction mode automatically takes three exposures of the same scene at different settings, then combines them in-camera to create a single image with greater dynamic range. Note that you need to mount the G3 X on a tripod or stable surface to avoid camera-shake.

Off

Auto

dr_off.jpg dr_auto.jpg
   

200%

 
dr_200.jpg  

Shadow Correction

The Shadow Correction mode improves the shadow areas of the image without impacting on the highlights.

Off

Auto

sc_off.jpg sc_auto.jpg

My Colors

The My Colors function menu option contains a range of colour options for tweaking the look of your images before shooting.

Off

Vivid

my_colors_01.jpg my_colors_02.jpg
   

Neutral

Sepia

my_colors_03.jpg my_colors_04.jpg
   

B/W

Positive Film

my_colors_05.jpg my_colors_06.jpg
   

Lighter Skin Tone

Darker Skin Tone

my_colors_07.jpg my_colors_08.jpg
   

Vivid Blue

Vivid Green

my_colors_09.jpg my_colors_10.jpg
   

Vivid Red

 
my_colors_11.jpg  

Creative Filters

The Creative Filters shooting mode contains 10 different options to help spice up your images.

Off

High Dynamic Range

effects_01.jpg effects_02.jpg
   

Nostalgic

Fish-Eye Effect

effects_03.jpg effects_04.jpg
   

Miniature Effect

Toy Camera Effect

effects_05.jpg effects_06.jpg
   

Background Defocus

Soft Focus

effects_07.jpg effects_08.jpg
   

Monochrome

Super Vivid

effects_09.jpg effects_10.jpg
   

Poster Effect

 
effects_11.jpg