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Canon G3 X vs Sony RX10 III

The Canon PowerShot G3 X and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2015 and March 2016. Both the G3X and the RX10 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G3 X versus Sony RX10 III
Canon G3 X Sony RX10 III
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0
20 MP, 1" Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 125-12,800 (125 - 25,600) ISO 100-12,800 (64 - 25,600)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.2 LCD, 1620k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 14 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
300 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
123 x 77 x 105 mm, 733 g 133 x 94 x 127 mm, 1051 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G3 X and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G3 X and the Sony RX10 III is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G3 X vs Sony RX10 III
Compare G3X versus RX10 III top
Comparison G3X or RX10 III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 III is notably larger (32 percent) than the Canon G3 X. Moreover, the RX10 III is substantially heavier (43 percent) than the G3X. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

Concerning battery life, the G3X gets 300 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the RX10 III can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the RX10 III can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G3 X 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
 
Sony RX10 III 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D7200 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX10 IV 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i
 
Sony RX100 V 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX10 II 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony RX10 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G3X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the RX10 III, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon G3 X and Sony RX10 III sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G3X and the RX10 III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the RX10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the G3X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon PowerShot G3 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600.

G3X versus RX10 III MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX10 III has a markedly higher DXO score than the G3X (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
 
Sony RX10 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Sony RX10 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the RX10 III provides a better video resolution than the G3X. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX10 III has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G3X relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G3X can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G3 X and Sony RX10 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 III2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 IV2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX101440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G3X has a touchscreen, while the RX10 III has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The G3X has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the RX10 III does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the RX10 III is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

Both the G3X and the RX10 III have zoom lenses built in. The G3X has a 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 optic and the RX10 III offers a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). The RX10 III offers the faster maximum aperture.

The G3X writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX10 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon G3 XYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon 7D IIYstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IVYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-

Both the G3X and the RX10 III are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The RX10 III replaced the earlier Sony RX10 II, while the G3X does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G3 X and the Sony RX10 III? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1229k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x77mm vs 133x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 318g or 30 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.4 vs f/2.8).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 III emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G3X 08:11 RX10 III

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G3 X and the Sony RX10 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G3X or the RX10 III perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G3 X+..4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
 
Sony RX10 III+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon 7D II+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX10 IV+84/1004.5/5..5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX10 II+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony RX10+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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:
Check Amazon price
Sony RX10 III:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon G3 X vs Sony RX10 III

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon G3 X Sony RX10 III
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0
    Launch Date June 2015 March 2016
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 1,499
    Sensor Specs Canon G3 X Sony RX10 III
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 125 - 25,600 ISO 64 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 70
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.4 23.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 521 472
    Screen Specs Canon G3 X Sony RX10 III
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G3 X Sony RX10 III
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 14 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/32000s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G3 X Sony RX10 III
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon G3 X Sony RX10 III
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NB-10L NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)300 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 123 x 77 x 105 mm
    (4.8 x 3.0 x 4.1 in)
    133 x 94 x 127 mm
    (5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 in)
    Camera Weight 733 g (25.9 oz) 1051 g (37.1 oz)

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