Canon PowerShot G3 X Review

Preview posted 06/17/2015 by Michael Palmer
Review posted 09/08/2015 by Kyle Schurman

Quick Take
  • Outstanding image quality in all shooting conditions
  • 25x optical zoom lens
  • Lens moves fast throughout zoom range
  • Above average shutter lag and burst performance in JPEG versus other large zoom cameras
  • High-quality, large LCD screen that's a touch screen and that tilts up to 180 degrees
  • Mode dial, EV dial, and command dial on top panel
  • Manual focus works well
  • Camera's buttons and dials are well-placed
  • Full zoom available in movie recording
  • Excellent battery life in real-world shooting conditions
  • Good mix of manual and automatic shooting modes
  • Plenty of special effect shooting options
  • Expensive starting price
  • No built-in viewfinder
  • Problems with camera shake when using maximum telephoto setting and hand holding G3 X
  • Slow burst mode performance in RAW
  • Bulky camera that weighs more than 1.5 pounds
  • On the model I tested, interior components of lens seemed to slide around when G3 X was powered down
  • LCD's color accuracy seems to be a little off
  • Movie special effect options could be better
  • Camera's main menu screen could be redesigned to take advantage of touch screen
Bottom Line
The Canon PowerShot G3 X certainly has some of the same drawbacks that you find with other fixed lens, large zoom cameras, but its extremely good image quality more than makes up for those issues. Add in a tiltable, high-resolution, touch screen LCD, a 25x optical zoom lens, a good mix of manual control and auto shooting modes, and great battery life, and the G3 X is a really good camera. The only items holding it back from being an unquestioned recommended model is the lack of a viewfinder and its hefty $1,000 suggested price tag. Read more in our Full Conclusion.

Aimed at advanced amateurs looking for a second camera or a point-and-shoot alternative to an entry-level DSLR or Micro Four Thirds ILC, Canon has announced the G3 X for 2015. It sits next to the G1 X Mark II as this series' co-flagship model, and slightly above the G7 X.

The G3 X has been constructed with a weather sealed -- dust and water resistant -- magnesium alloy body equivalent to the EOS 70D DSLR. The camera boasts a 20.2-megapixel image sensor (as seen in the G7 X) as well as the DIGIC 6 image processor and a 24-600mm (equivalent) f/2.8-5.6 optical zoom lens. To handle such a long zoom range, Canon has added a 5-axis intelligent image stabilization system as well as digital image stabilization. This camera offers numerous shooting modes, including Programmed Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, and Bulb. Still images can be captured in either the JPEG or RAW image format.

The G3 X also features Full 1080p HD movie recording in the 24p, 30p, and 60p frame rates. HD video recording length is limited to 29 minutes. 720p HD and VGA video recording is also available at 30p. To aid with professional video production, Canon has built in a headphone jack to monitor audio, a stereo input to record from an external microphone, HDMI Live Feed to output to a monitor, and a three-stop ND filter for bright shooting conditions.

Images (and videos) are composed via the 3.2-inch tilting touch screen LCD with a 1.62-million dot resolution. This LCD tilts up 180 degrees as well as down 45. There is no built-in EVF (Electronic View Finder); however, you may choose to purchase the optional EVF-DC1 that is compatible with both the G3 X as well as the G1 X Mark II.

The G3 X also features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technologies for pairing this point-and-shoot to an iOS or Android device running a free app. From there, it's easy to transfer or share images and videos on social media, or to even use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control / monitor.

Canon G3 X Features
  • 20.2MP 1" CMOS image sensor
  • 25x 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 optical zoom lens
  • DIGIC 6 image processor
  • 3.2" tilting touch screen LCD (1.62M dots)
  • 5-axis intelligent image stabilization system
  • Full 1080p HD Video Recording @ 60p, 30p & 24p
  • Headphone jack
  • Stereo input jack
  • HDMI live feed
  • Built-in ND filter (3 stops)
  • 720 and VGA @ 30fps also available
  • RAW shooting
  • PSAM + Bulb Modes
  • UHS-1 compatible SD card slot
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Dust & water resistant magnesium alloy body
  • UHS-1 compatible SD card slot

Optional G3 X Accessories

  • EVF-DC1 Electronic View Finder
  • RS-60E3 Wired Remote

The Canon G3 X is available with a suggested retail price of $999.99. See our best price box at the top right of this page to see current online pricing.

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