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.
Is the Canon G3 X a good camera? The G3X has a Camera Elo of 2247. 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 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4-star performance rating.
|Canon G3 X|
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|ISO 125 - 12 800 (125 - 25 600)|
|3.2 LCD, 1620k dots|
|5.9 shutter flaps per second|
|300 shots per battery charge|
|123 x 77 x 105 mm, 733 g|
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.
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.
|Canon G3 X||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Nikon D7200||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199|
|Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|Sony RX10 III||133 mm||94 mm||127 mm||1051 g||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499|
|Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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.
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.
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.
| DXO |
|Canon G3 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
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.
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.
|Canon G3 X||optional||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
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.
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.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Canon G3 X||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
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).
|Canon G3 X||+||..||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon 80D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon G9 X||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|Canon 7D II||+||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 70D||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Nikon D7200||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199|
|Panasonic FZ1000||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Sony RX10 III||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499|
|Sony RX100 V||+ +||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX10 II||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|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.
|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 Format||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 472 x 3 648 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 - 12 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125 - 25 600 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|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I|
|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|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||NB-10L power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge|
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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