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Canon Powershot G3 X Review - Performance

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Canon Powershot G3 X Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


Canon Powershot G3 X Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Exposure is reliable, and images come out with quite neutral colours, and more vibrant images can be achieved by using -0.3 exposure compensation, or alternatively using the vivid colour setting. Unfortunately, colour options aren't available when shooting raw images. Dynamic range is good, although this can be extended by using the highlight and shadow options (when shooting JPEG only), or alternatively using the HDR shooting mode. Portraits with flash show now red-eye, although the bright AF assist lamp did cause some subjects to squint, and luckily this can be turned off.


Canon Powershot G3 X Lens test images

Lens Performance - It's possible to get photos with pleasing background blur (or Bokeh) when using the telephoto end of the lens. There is some purple fringing in areas with high contrast, such as leaves against a bright sky, although these are most noticeable towards the corners of the image. The lens is quite resistant to flare, even though there is no hood provided with the camera. Macro performance is impressive with the camera letting you focus on subjects just 5cm away from the camera, even when using up to roughly 105mm equivalent (39.2mm) zoom. There is minimal lens distortion at both ends of the lens, with the camera automatically correcting images in camera. Image stabilisation helps keep shots steady at slower shutter speeds, and when using the telephoto zoom.


Canon Powershot G3 X ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO125 to ISO800, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO1600 to ISO3200 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO6400 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO12800 is best avoided as noise is extremely high, and detail is very low.

Comparing JPEG images to the FZ1000 and RX10, the G3 X shows more noise at higher ISO settings, due to weaker noise reduction being applied. If you shoot raw images, then it's likely that there will be little real difference if you process the images in the same way. 


Canon Powershot G3 X White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm yellow colour cast under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a very similar result. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta / yellow colour cast. For more accurate results we'd look at adjusting the white-balance on the camera, or using manual white balance. 


Canon Powershot G3 X Digital filters

Digital Filters - There is a creative shot mode that will take a number of photos with a (seemingly) randomly selected set of effects applied to it. You can also select from a number of creative effects, which can be customised. For example, the HDR mode has a number of different effects, some giving a natural looking image, others giving a more artistic interpretation of the scene. The camera does not feature an automatic panoramic mode. 

Video - Video options include FullHD video recording with optical zoom and stereo sound, with a number of frame rate options, including 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60p. You can manually control the aperture and shutter speeds in manual video mode. There are headphone and microphone sockets. Wind filter, attenuator options, plus mic level adjustment with fine adjustment possible. The tripod socket has a video lug hole next to it, for tripod video head compatibility. Quality is good, with the optical image stabilisation system doing a good job to steady the video even when using the camera handheld. Additional videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.


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Photographs taken using the Canon Powershot G3 X

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Little Jo 19 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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