Canon PowerShot G3 X Review

July 13, 2015 | Mark Goldstein |


The new Canon PowerShot G3 X is a solid super-zoom camera for enthusiast photographers, offering a wealth of options for shooting both stills and video, excellent image quality, speedy auto-focusing, intuitive and configurable handling, and solid construction. Unfortunately, it's rather ham-strung by the strange omission of a built-in viewfinder - trying to hold the Canon PowerShot G3 X at arm's length whilst using the full extent of the 25x zoom lens results in too many misses due to camerashake. Sure, you can add the expensive optional electronic viewfinder, but the G3 X's main rivals (the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and Sony CyberShot DSC-RX10) both feature a built-in viewfinder and cost less than the out-of-the-box G3 X.

The G3 X's image quality is excellent for a compact camera thanks to the 1-inch sensor that lies at its heart. If you've ever wanted DSLR-like pictures from a fixed-lens camera, then look no further than the G3 X, with its fast f/2.8-5.6 lens creating very nice bokeh at both ends of the versatile zoom range when shooting wide-open. Sure, it still can't match a DSLR or an APS-C equipped compact system camera at the higher ISO speeds, but ISO 100-1600 is eminently usable with 3200 as a backup, not something that you can say about too many compacts.

In terms of build quality and handling, the Canon PowerShot G3 X again gets most things right, offering a reassuringly rugged dust and drip-proof metal chassis and a plethora of customisable controls, including the lens control ring. command dial and exposure compensation dial, while the tilting touchscreen LCD, folding pop-up flash and 31-point AF system are all great features.

The Canon PowerShot G3 X is almost the perfect super-zoom camera for more experienced photographers, but the decision not to include a built-in viewfinder turns the G3 X into a near-miss...

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4