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Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review

Read our full review of the new Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III, the compact camera with 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor and 3x optical zoom lens.

| Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III in Compact Cameras
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Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1X MarkIII (7)

The Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III is Canon’s large sensor compact camera, with a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 3x optical zoom lens, 3inch vari-angle touch-screen, electronic viewfinder (EVF), FullHD video recording, and built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. Has Canon made a true miniature DSLR in the size of a compact camera? 


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Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Features

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1X MarkIII (9)

The G1 X Mark III is the first G series camera with an APS-C sensor, using the same sensor generation as the Canon EOS 80D, with gapless microlenses, dual pixel AF, and fast sensor readout. It's also the largest sensor in a G series camera, updating (and replacing) the G1 X Mark II, which featured a smaller 1.5inch sensor.

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Sensor size comparison

Above you can see the relative size of the different APS-C, Four Thirds, 1inch and 1/2.3inch camera sensors - more examples can be found here

With a 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor, the camera offers a higher resolution than alternative 20 megapixel 1inch CMOS sensor cameras, such as the G5 X, and Sony Cyber-shot RX100 series. The only other APS-C camera with a zoom lens, is the Leica X Vario, which has been discontinued. 

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G5X Vs G1X MarkII Vs MarkIII (3)
Canon Powershot G5 X (left) Vs G1 X Mark III (middle) Vs G1 X Mark II (right).

Nearest competitors compared:

RX100 V G5 X G1 X III G1 X II LX100
20mp, 1inch 20mp 1inch 24mp APS-C 12.8mp 1.5inch 12.8mp Four Thirds
f/1.8-2.8 f/1.8-2.8 f/2.8-5.6 f/2.0-3.9 f/1.7-2.8
24-70mm* (2.9x) 24-100mm* (4.2x) 24-72mm* (3x) 24-120mm* (5x) 24-75mm* (3.1x)
24fps 6.5fps 9fps 5.2fps 12fps
4K video FullHD video FullHD video FullHD video 4K video
220 shots 210 shots 200-250 shots 240 shots 300 shots
299g 377g 398g 558g 351g
£949 £599 £1149 £449 £499

*equivalent 35mm terms

The G1 X Mark III is weather-sealed and weighs 398g. It’s the big brother to the G5 X, and whilst not much larger, it features an APS-C CMOS sensor, rather than a 1inch sensor. Weather-sealing is said to be to the same standard as the Canon EOS 80D and Powershot G3 X.

Optical image stabilisation is built-in, with the camera featuring a gyro sensor to help the camera combat image blur. The IS system is said to give up to 4 stops of image stabilisation. The lens can focus down to 10cm at the wide-angle end of the lens, and 30cm at the telephoto end of the lens. AF is said to be fast thanks to Canon’s Dual-pixel AF system, with sensor pixels featuring phase detection auto-focus.

There are a number of external controls on the camera, including a control ring around the lens, a front control dial, plus a rear control wheel. There’s also an exposure compensation dial on top. The shutter release designed to feel like an EOS DSLR.

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1X MarkIII (16)

On the back is a 3inch vari-angle touch-screen with 1.04m dots and reinforced glass.The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a high-resolution of 2.36million dots. 

Wi-Fi, NFC, and low-power Bluetooth are built-in (for image transfer while the camera is off). While remotely controlling the camera over Wi-Fi you can adjust the AF point during movie recording from your smartphone or tablet.

For the first time ever in a Canon camera, there is now an automatic Panoramic sweep mode, letting you take a panoramic photo with the camera automatically stitching the photo as you pan the camera from one side to the other! The maximum resolution for panoramic photos is: 24064x2800 (67mp, horizontal), or 16000 x 4200 (67mp, vertical).

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1X MarkIII (2)

There's a built-in pop-up flash, which you manually pull up and push down. Flash hot-shoe on top of the camera. A 3 stop ND filter is built-in with options of - On / Auto / Off.

An optional underwater housing, the WP-DC56, gives waterproofing down to 40m / 130ft, whilst still giving access to all the controls available on the camera (excluding the touch-screen).  

The camera records FullHD video at 60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps, using MP4 / MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 compression, and records stereo sound with the built-in microphones.

Key Features

  • 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor, Hybrid AF
  • Dual Pixel AF (sensor PDAF)
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • 3x optical zoom lens, 24-72mm equivalent, f/2.8-5.6
  • Optical Image Stabilisation + Gyro IS
  • 2.36m dot EVF (0.39inch), with dioptre adjustment
  • 9fps continuous shooting, 7fps with C-AF
  • Star-shooting mode, in-camera raw processing, 14-bit raw
  • Touch-AF Pad (customisable)
  • ISO100 to ISO25600
  • FullHD, 60fps video with stereo sound
  • 5-axis IS for video recording
  • 10-30cm macro focus
  • Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Handling

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1X MarkIII (4)

The Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III is really small considering the APS-C CMOS sensor inside, measuring 115mm x 77.9mm x 51.4mm. When switched off, the camera lens retracts a good amount, making it easy to put the camera in jacket pockets. The build quality is very good, with the camera featuring a mostly plastic body. The front grip protrudes enough to give a good hold on the camera, and on the back is a good sized lip for your thumb to hold on to.

The layout of controls should be familiar to EOS DSLR users, and Canon has specifically designed the camera so that it’s easy for EOS DSLR users to use. There’s a locking mode dial on the top left, with a central button, which needs to be pressed in order to turn the dial, and there are two custom positions. On default settings, the front lens ring can be used to control the optical zoom. The front and rear wheels can be used to change settings quickly. 

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1x Iii Vs Canon Eod 600d
The Canon Powershot G1 X III is smaller than the Canon EOS 600D body on its own. See how the G1 X III compares in size next to the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II, or the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II

Underneath the camera is where you’ll find the battery and memory card compartment. On the side is a HDMI connection, MicroUSB, and remote cable socket. Unfortunately, there is no external microphone socket.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) features a rubber surround, making it comfortable to use. There’s an eye-detection sensor so that it will automatically switch between the rear screen and the EVF when you hold it up to your face. If you want to manually switch between the two, you need to go into the menus to change the settings - it would be nice if there was a quicker way to do this, although you can customise one of the buttons to get quicker access. The refresh rate on the EVF is good, unless you switch on the display power saving setting.

The screen looks great, with good viewing angles, and a gapless design. There's a dual-axis electronic level that can be displayed on the screen or EVF. You can use the touch-screen to change the focus point, as well as change settings, either in the Quick menu or in the menus. 

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1X MarkIII (3)

Menus – The menus should be familiar to anyone who’s used a recent Canon camera, with the menu design following the same layout as Canon’s EOS cameras, and other Powershot G series cameras. The menus are clearly laid out in to Shooting options, Settings, and MyMenu is where you can add your favourite settings. You can use the Q. / Quick Menu button to quickly access settings on the back of the screen, and these options can be customised.

Continuous shooting is rapid, with the camera offering 9fps when shooting JPEG images, and you can take up to 24 shots before the camera slows. If you’re shooting raw, the number of shots is less, at 17 shots, but this is still a reasonable amount. If shooting with continuous AF, at 7fps, you can shoot up to 29 JPEG images. 

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III Camera Review: Canon Powershot G1X MarkIII (21)

Battery life is rated at 200 shots, which is not particularly impressive. There’s the option to switch on ECO mode, which should extend battery life to 250 shots. Therefore we'd recommend the purchase of a second battery straight away.

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Photographs taken using the Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III

SwanA view of the canalIts in there somewhere!!Canal Boat JessieCanal BoatsWillows on the canal bankCanal Boat 'Grifter'Swan posingOne little duck3 Little DucksBridge 29The archOops! hope the cyclist survivedSt Marys ChurchThe canal

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pablophotographer 11 2.2k 443
16 Oct 2017 9:21AM
Retro SLR tactile design BUT well packed with modern features. I would love to see the lens reaching the equivalent of 100mm in 35mm photography. The extra underwater casing makes it a very interesting tool for sea photography.
Bravo Canon
altitude50 18 23.4k United Kingdom
16 Oct 2017 10:18AM
The price!
Who is going to buy it?
Too many brilliant competitors from Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic. Etc.
ChrisV 16 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2017 10:34AM

Quote:The price!
Who is going to buy it?
Too many brilliant competitors from Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic. Etc.

Looked at the spec, thought 'this is a good camera'. Saw the price. Shouldn't be a surprise for Canon. But Lordy. I expect some people will buy it.
16 Oct 2017 7:50PM
I am glad that someone has embraced the idea of an APS-C compact zoom, but the price is far too much! You can buy the 200D, Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and 50mm F1.8 for a lot less than this. Yes you can't put those in your pocket, but hey, it still makes a concept like the G1X3 overpriced. Come on Canon, you cannot rip-off photographers like this.
MrScott 10 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2017 9:05PM
Having a well used Mark II, with a dodgy rear control wheel, I was looking forward to this. Until I saw the Price. Yikes! I know it is near Halloween and all, but what a fright!
The M5 is not much bigger, more versatile and available at some reputable dealers for 60% of this price, now, with the 15-45mm lens. You could add he 18-135 and the 11-22mm and still have change for a spare battery. I appreciate the size and convenience advantages of this though.
200 shots? You will need a lot of batteries for a day out - and if you read the Canon specification sheet it says 'dust and moisture resistance' and qualifies it by saying it is not 'dust and moisture proof' , so probably no more resistant than anything else.
At £300 less, it would still be expensive, but more reasonably priced - the only thing that will increase my interest (apart from a price cut) is the quality of the lens. If it is ( and it really has to be) sharp wide open through the range then it may be I would reconsider it. But if the lens is a bit mediocre, I think I will pass.

MrScott 10 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2017 9:10PM
Oh, and one other thing - as usual with Canon, you have to buy the lens hood separately ..... come on, at that price a lens hood and a hot shoe cover (! For the weather resistance) should be in the box.
Filters; no mention of being able to add filters - I take it there will be another filter adaptor to buy to allow filters to be used......
petebfrance 11 3.2k France
18 Oct 2017 3:52PM
I suppose if you compare it with the M5 the price, at about $200 more compared to the M5 and standard lens probably isn't too big a shock. Adds weather-sealing and a fold-out screen (I think the screen has a lower resolution, though) and price-wise is more aimed at things like the Fuj X100 and and 'other large sensor' all-in-ones. But that's in hindsight, after the initial 'how much!' feeling on seeing the price. From the marketing blurb I don't think Canon see it as being in the same market segment as a 200D, btw. more the 80D level.....whether or not etc. etc. - oh, and I suspect that the zoom lens may not be to my taste anyway as I think it's motorised.

It is pretty small and light, though, so what they have done is quite impressive, kind of ground-breaking. Not sure it's going to attract those looking for 'pocketable,' and like the M5 misses out on the attractive retro looks - it does look bland, but of course that shouldn't (but probably will) make a difference.

It will be interesting to see how it fares.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
15 Nov 2017 10:05PM
I think lots of people will buy it. Whats there to compare it to? Nothing. APSC 24 Mpix, built in zoom, image stabilization, flip put touch screen. Pricey, but a brilliant travel camera.
19 Nov 2017 12:42PM
A built in viewfinder at the third attempt and a very nice looking camera. However, the 1.5 inch sensor and longer, faster lens might have been retained for greater versatility. There's no way I'm tempted to trade in my mint condition, used, £400, Olympus OMD E-M1 for it.
JohnnyG 11 19 Canada
21 Nov 2017 12:16AM
No mic jack! No sale.
5 Dec 2017 8:28AM
Thanks for the review, but your Pros/Cons list is often useless. Why you don't put pros/cons that you already mentioned in the text into the list as a summary. So why not mentioning the missing mic jack or the rather slow lens?

Instead you write "3x optical zoom lens with f/2.8 aperture", which is not true because it has no constant f2.8 aperture.
Moreover you list the compact size with big sensor twice under pros.
And as if auto panoramic mode is someting special?!

Overall the Pros/Cons list seems to be completely random and is useless as a summary for people who don't want to read the whole review.
28 Mar 2018 3:55PM
As a second pocket-able camera to my Canon 5D4, with good image quality, it ticks the boxes for me.
I have a Lumix LX5 which I've been looking at replacing for ages.
The G1X is expensive but when you are going up mountains you need something that fits in your pocket, this fits the bill.
You only live once!
You wingers who want everything in a compact size, get real!
14 May 2018 11:04AM
With the advent of the Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera, I can see no point in this camera. At less than two thirds the cost with the kit lens, with a variety of other lenses available, and with an adaptor allowing the use of all Canon EOS lenses, what more for the money could you want. The Canon G5X is still available, and for a simple camera, which will fit into my anorak pocket, this is a considerably cheaper option, and though with a smaller sensor, has a larger zoom range.

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