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Canon Powershot G3 X Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the new Canon Powershot G3 X, with a 1inch sensor and 25x optical zoom lens.

| Canon Powershot G3 X in Compact Cameras
BUY NOW CANON Powershot G3 X

Canon Powershot G3 X Hands-On Preview: Canon Powershot G3x (2)

The Canon Powershot G3 X is the latest ultra zoom camera from Canon that was previously announced as being in development, and features a 20 megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor, with an impressive 25x optical zoom lens, 5-axis image stabilisation, a 3.2inch 1.6million dot touch-screen, plus built in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. 

Read our full Canon Powershot G3 X Review.

Canon Powershot G3 X Features

Canon Powershot G3 X Hands-On Preview: Canon Powershot G3x (4)

The nearest competitors to the Canon Powershot G3 X are the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II, and the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, both offer 20 megapixel 1inch CMOS sensors and a bright optical zoom lens. Here we compare the main features of the Canon Powershot G3 X verses the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II: 

Canon Powershot G3 X   Panasonic Lumix FZ1000   Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II
20 megapixel 1inch sensor   20 megapixel 1inch sensor   20 megapixel 1inch sensor
24-600mm equivalent (25x)   25-400mm equivalent (16x)   24-200mm (8.3x)
f/2.8 - f/5.6   f/2.8 - f/4.0   f/2.8 constant
5-axis IS   5-axis IS   Optical Steadyshot
3.2inch, 1.62m dot touch (Tilting)   3inch, 921k dot (Vari-angle)   3inch, 1288k dot (Tilting)
N/A (Optional extra)   EVF, 2.36m dot   EVF, 2.36m dot
5.9fps continuous   12fps continuous   14fps continuous
FullHD video, stereo    4K video, stereo   4K video, stereo
Mic/Headphone sockets   Mic socket   Mic/Headphone sockets
Wi-Fi / NFC   Wi-Fi / NFC   Wi-Fi / NFC
Weather sealed   N/A   Weather sealed
300* shot battery life   360 shot battery life   400 shot battery life
123.3mm x 76.5mm x 105.3mm   136.8mm x 98.5mm x 130.7mm   129.0mm x 88.1mm x 102.2mm
733g   780g   813g
£799 RRP   £609 (£699 RRP)   £1200 RRP 


Impressively, the Canon Powershot G3 X features the longest optical zoom, but the smallest and lightest camera body of the three. * The Canon Powershot G3 X battery life can be extended to 410 shots with ECO mode enabled.

Canon Powershot G3 X Handling

Canon Powershot G3 X Hands-On Preview: Canon Powershot G3x (12)

On top you'll find the pop up flash, flash hot-shoe with accessory port, mode dial, exposure compensation dial, shutter release and zoom rocker, as well as the on/off and video record buttons. Underneath there is a metal tripod socket, with video lug hole, plus the battery and memory card compartment.  

The camera has a good sized rubber hand grip, a protrudiing rear rubber thumb grip, plus rubber on the left hand side, making it easy to hold. The G3 X is weather sealed to the same standard as the Canon EOS 70D, according to Canon.

The high resolution touch-screen is responsive and tilts up 180degrees for "selfie" shots, and 145 degress down. An optional electronic viewfinder (EVF2) can be attached to the flash hot-shoe. The camera has an impressive macro focus, with the camera letting you focus on subjects 5cm away from the lens, even when you have zoomed into the equivalent of 100mm. 

Canon Powershot G3 X Hands-On Preview: Canon Powershot G3x (6)

The lens ring can be customised, although it can't be used to control the zoom. In addition, the top scroll dial, S (shotcut) button, video button, MF / Zoom frame assist buttons, plus the two buttons next to the thumb grip, can all be customised. 

The menus can be navigated and operated using the touch screen, and are clearly laid out. They are very similar to the Canon EOS menus so should be familiar to anyone who has used a recent Canon EOS camera. There is a Q button that can be used to bring up a quick on-screen overlay of some of the most commonly used options.

Read our full Canon Powershot G3 X Review.

Canon Powershot G3 X Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Canon Powershot G3 X Specifications

Max Aperturef/2.8 - f/5.6
35mm equivalent24mm - 600mm
Optical Zoom25x
Image Sensor
Pixels20Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5472
Pixels (H)3648
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3.2in
Screen resolution1.62million
Touch ScreenYes
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5.9fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)300shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera, Battery Charger, Battery, Lens Cap, Lens strap, Neck Strap, AC Cable

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Photographs taken using the Canon Powershot G3 X

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josa Avatar
josa 11 25 Czech Republic
18 Jun 2015 9:44AM
No EVF...
themak Avatar
themak 10 1.1k Scotland
18 Jun 2015 11:56AM
I wonder if Canon will ever cotton on to the fact that the competition is building in superior EVFs and not charging £200 for crummy 'accessories'.
dannyr Avatar
dannyr 14 49 United Kingdom
18 Jun 2015 6:50PM
Well it looks good on paper (apart from the lack of EVF) but its previous versions were regarded as being a bit dull! so I am sitting on the fence for this one
Stickleman Avatar
Stickleman 13 83 3 England
18 Jun 2015 7:30PM
Not for me without an inbuilt EVF I'm afraid.Aesthetically it also appears,to have been cobbled up from from spare parts bin IMHO.
mitchellhatpeg Avatar
19 Jun 2015 7:21PM
Why do the camera makers make compact bodies and then stick whopping great lenses on them? If this Canon had a 28-200 F4 it would be a great all- rounder and genuinely compact.

There is a real gap in the market for a camera with a 1" or bigger sensor, a compact body and a decent general use lens like the good old 28-200 equivalent.

Everything currently available either has a short range zoom that is too restricted (and no teleconvertor available) or a rediculously long zoom that most people don't need that results in a camera as big as a DSLR. The Minota Dimage was ideal, it just needs modern technology!

Offertonhatter Avatar
22 Jun 2015 6:53PM
For me it is a "not quite" camera. Sure the body bit is quite small, but add the superzoom it becomes a lot bigger. The worst bit is why do manufacturers produce superzoom cameras that lack an in-built viewfinder (EVF)? It you want a sharp photograph hand held at 600mm(equiv) you really need a traditional camera set-up, meaning a built in EVF. It is the same with these very compact superzooms.

No, the best of the three is actually the cheapest. the Panasonic. superior zoom range than the Sony but limited f-stop reduction and of course has an EVF.

Close Canon, but work harder.
grahamj Avatar
grahamj 13 7 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2015 10:56AM
I am a huge Canon fan, but I feel some of the criticism regarding the EVF is justified. Canon always seem to miss a trick by not including something in what has become standard spec for certain cameras these days. For example not including wifi in the 7D MkII, a wildlife camera, seems odd and is a huge disappointment. But I still want one (too many quality lenses to change and the feel/ergonomics are right for me) and perhaps that is what Canon are relying on. This may disappear with other brands raising their game/
Having said all of the above my latest Canon is the G7X (upgraded from an S100) and I'm hugely pleased with it. If this camera has the same image sensor then it should take an excellent picture.

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