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Canon Powershot G3 X Review

Reviewed: The Canon Powershot G3 X with a 24-600mm equivalent lens and a larger than normal sensor, could this be the best ultra zoom available? Find out in our review.

|  Canon Powershot G3 X in Compact Cameras
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Canon Powershot G3 X (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. 

Canon Powershot G3 X Features

Canon Powershot G3 X (4)

The Canon Powershot G3 X features an impressive 25x optical zoom lens, with a 20 megapixel 1inch BSI (Back Side Illuminated) CMOS sensor, along with FullHD video recording and a large 3.2inch touch-screen with a high resolution of 1.62 million dots.

The 25x optical zoom lens is the equivalent of 24-600mm in 35mm terms, and features a bright f/2.8 aperture at the wide-angle end of the lens which goes down to f/5.6 at the telephoto end. 5-axis optical image stabilisation is built in to ensure sharp photos when shooting in low light or when using a lot of optical zoom. The camera can focus on subjects as close as 5cm, making it well suited to macro photography.

Canon Powershot G3 X (10)

Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity make it easy to remotely control the camera with your smartphone or compatible tablet, or you can use this to transfer photos for sharing on social media sites such as Facebook. Another feature of this is simple image backup which can be run wirelessly.

FullHD video is recorded at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p and the camera features a microphone socket as well as a headphone socket for those serious about audio quality on videos. 

A weather sealed body means you can use the camera in less than ideal weather. 

Canon Powershot G3 X (5)

Key Features

  • 20.2 megapixel 1.0type BSI CMOS sensor
  • 25x optical zoom lens, f/2.8-5.6, 24-600mm equivalent
  • 5-axis Intelligent optical image stabilisation 
  • 3.2inch, 1,620k dot tilting touch-screen
  • Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity
  • FullHD video, stereo sound
  • ISO125-12800
  • 5cm macro focus
  • 5.9fps continuous shooting
  • Mic / Headphone sockets
  • Weather-sealed body
  • DIGIC 6 image processor

Canon Powershot G3 X Handling

Canon Powershot G3 X (8)

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 protruding 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, making the camera feel well built.

The high-resolution touch-screen is responsive and tilts up 180degrees for "selfie" shots, and 145 degrees down, with good viewing angles. An optional electronic viewfinder (EVF DC1) can be attached to the flash hot-shoe for those that don't like using a screen outdoors in bright sunlight. 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. 

The lens ring can be customised, although it can't be used to control the zoom. In addition, the top scroll dial, S (shortcut) 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.

Canon Powershot G3 X (7)

Wi-Fi features - Canon Camera Connect is available for iOS and Android devices, and lets you remotely shoot, view and transfer images, as well as add location information to photos, based on the GPS data on your phone.

Canon Camera Connect App Canon Powershot G3x Playback Canon Powershot G3x Remote Shooting
Canon Camera Connect App Playback Remote Shooting


There are numerous options and settings available when using the remote shooting section of the app, and you can control the zoom position as well as other settings including exposure compensation. One issue we found when using the app was that the preview screen did not show the effect of exposure compensation on screen, although the photograph taken did show the changes. Hopefully, this is something that will be resolved with an updated version of the software. 

Canon Powershot G3 X (9)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results or 410 shots with ECO mode enabled, which is average for a compact class of camera - therefore we would recommend a spare battery or switching on ECO mode. Extended use of Wi-Fi is likely to drain this further, so a spare may be a requirement.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.325secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.1secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.8secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.2secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
7fps (9 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 1.4secs
Continuous Shooting - RAW 0.8secs but often slower

Focus and shutter response are both quick, with the camera also offering a very quick continuous shooting speed of 7fps when shooting JPEGs, but much slower when shooting raw images. 

Canon Powershot G3 X (6)

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Photographs taken using the Canon Powershot G3 X

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Little Jo Plus
20 2.3k United Kingdom
19 Sep 2015 11:09AM
I've owned one of these now for two months and the image quality is rather good. It's also near silent in operation, so for discreet shots, it is idea. I have had some really nice images and to be fair, I'm not bothered by the lack of 4K video, HD video is more than adequate and I rarely use that due to the large file sizes.

I have purchased the lens hood and filter adapter - these are really neatly designed and conveniently allow me to use a size of filter that is already in my camera bag. No, it's not as quick to focus as my EOS 5D MkIII, but if I need performance, I take the other camera.


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