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Canon G3 X Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot G3 X is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in June 2015 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.

camera

Is the Canon G3 X a good camera? The G3X has a Camera Elo of 2376. This rating puts the G3X among the top 20 percent of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the G3X ranks among the top 40 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Canon G3 X
Fixed lens compact camera
24-600mm f/2.8-5.6
20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 125-12800 (125-25600)
Viewfinder optional
3.2" LCD, 1620k dots
Tilting touchscreen
5.9 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
300 shots per battery charge
123 x 77 x 105 mm, 733 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Canon G3 X relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon G3 X vs credit card front
G3X versus credit card top view
G3X and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon G3 X alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon G3 X 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
 
Canon 80D« » 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199- i Canon 80D
 
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon 7D II« » 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Nikon D7200« » 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 III« » 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10 II« » 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon G3 X was launched in the US market at a price of $999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Canon G3 X:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Canon G3 X features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon G3 X among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Canon G3 X sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
 
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
 
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Nikon D7200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387Nikon D7200
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270Sony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G3X indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the G3X can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Canon G3 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon G3 X- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
 
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
 
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Nikon D7200« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7200
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV

One convenient feature of the G3X is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon PowerShot G3 X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon G3 XYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
 
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
 
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Nikon D7200« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Nikon D7200
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV

It is notable that the G3X has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

 

The G3X has a zoom lens built in (8.8-220.0mm f/2.8-5.6), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 600mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G3X in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon G3 X+-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
 
Canon 80D« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199- i Canon 80D
 
Canon G9 X« »+ +-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon 7D II« »+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Nikon D7200« »+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 III« »+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V« »+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10 II« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« »+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon G3 X FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the G3X.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the G3X based on?

The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the G3X with the DIGIC 6 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the G3X?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800.

Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?

Yes, Canon provides the EVF-DC1 as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the G3X is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Canon G3 X?

The G3X offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Canon G3 X feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Canon G3 X support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the G3X use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-10L (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon G3 X
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6
    Launch Date June 2015
    Launch Price USD 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 125-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 125-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 521
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NB-10L power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 77 x 105 mm
    (4.8 x 3.0 x 4.1 in)
    Camera Weight 733 g (25.9 oz)

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