What is the Canon G1X Mark III?
The Canon PowerShot G1X Mark III is a premium zoom compact digital camera designed for severe fanatic photographers. It includes a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor in a small SLR-styled physique, with a retractable 24-72mm-equivalent f/2.Eight-5.6 lens and a centrally positioned digital viewfinder. It does, nonetheless, price over £1000.
Related: Best compact cameras
In the early days of digital, Canon’s PowerShot G-series compacts had been massively in style with fanatic photographers for his or her mixture of respectable picture high quality and in depth guide controls. Canon was additionally the primary in early 2012 to place a big sensor into a fairly small zoom compact, with its authentic PowerShot G1X sporting a 14-megapixel, 1.5-inch sensor.
However, lower than six months later Sony launched its pocket-sized Cyber-shot RX100 with a 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor, and the competitors has been enjoying catch-up ever since. Canon’s follow-up G1X Mark II by no means fairly caught the creativeness, with a cumbersome design that lacked a built-in viewfinder.
Now, although, Canon has upped the ante significantly, by putting a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor right into a remarkably compact physique. In precept, this implies the G1X Mark III ought to provide higher picture high quality than another zoom compact available on the market, and the equal of many DSLRs.
The new mannequin additionally eschews the uninspired boxy designs of its predecessors, and is as an alternative based mostly on the SLR-like PowerShot G5X, with a central built-in digital viewfinder and totally articulated touchscreen. As a end result, it guarantees a uncommon marriage between compact dimension, excessive picture high quality and usefulness.
Naturally, there are some compromises to be made for this feat of miniaturisation. The most evident is the lens: its 24-72mm equal vary and f/2.Eight-5.6 most aperture look restricted in comparison with both its G1X-series predecessors, or the 24-100mm equal f/1.Eight-2.Eight zoom on the G5X and G7X Mark II. Its 200-shots-per-charge stamina can also be properly under par, however not less than the NB-13L battery is shared with many current PowerShot fashions, making spares simple to search out.
Last however not least, the £1149 price ticket locations the digital camera firmly into the realm of significant photographers.
This isn’t truly the primary digital camera to mix an APS-C sensor with a built-in zoom lens, having been preceded by Sony’s bridge-type Cyber-shot DSC-R1 in 2005, and the Leica X Vario of 2013. But it’s the primary that’s really pocketable, because of its retractable lens design, whereas additionally together with a built-in EVF. As such, it’s honest to say that Canon has damaged new floor.
Canon G1X Mark III – Features
The G1X Mark III’s headline function is undoubtedly its sensor. Canon says that the 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS is much like that utilized in its in style EOS 80D DSLR, providing a sensitivity vary of ISO 100-25,600.
The agency’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF expertise is onboard for on-chip part detection, which suggests autofocus is impressively fast. The sensor is coupled with Canon’s newest Digic 7 processor, which allows EOS-like picture processing options reminiscent of Auto Lighting Optimizer for balancing troublesome illumination situations, and Diffraction Compensation for sharper-looking photos when capturing at small apertures.
Continuous capturing specs are respectable, at 7fps with autofocus between frames, or 9fps with the main target fastened in the beginning of a burst. Buffering can also be fairly respectable, with 24 JPEG or 19 Raw frames recordable earlier than the digital camera slows down. While that is no match for the ultra-quick Sony RX100 V’s 24fps, given the comparatively quick lens, I don’t assume many potential consumers might be terribly involved.
Canon says that the built-in 15-45mm f/2.Eight-5.6 lens has been particularly matched to the sensor for optimum picture high quality. It has an impressively shut minimal focus distance of 10cm at wide-angle, dropping to a still-respectable 30cm on the lengthy finish.
The lens consists of optical picture stabilisation promising four stops profit, a switchable Three-stop neutral-density filter, and a 9-bladed aperture diaphragm for enticing background blur. It even has a 37mm filter thread, into which you’ll screw the elective £49.99 LH-DC110 lens hood, or – extra sensibly – a generic wide-angle hood for a fraction of the value.
Canon provides a surprisingly thick clip-on lens cap. It feels relatively at odds with the digital camera’s slim body, however has the benefit of being simple to connect and detach while you’re sporting gloves.
Despite the big sensor, the f/5.6 most aperture signifies that the G1X Mark III’s lens gained’t give any higher background blur than these on 1in sensor cameras such because the Sony RX100 V or Panasonic Lumix LX15 , which have f/2.Eight apertures at their 70mm equal settings. Indeed, in the event you particularly need shallow depth of subject at telephoto for portraits, Canon’s G7X Mark II and G5X nonetheless have the benefit with their 100mm-equivalent f/2.Eight zooms.
Alongside the standard PASM modes for fanatic photographers, there’s the acquainted set of automated Scene modes geared toward newbies. Most notably, Canon has lastly included an auto-stitching sweep-panorama mode. You can select the route you want to transfer the digital camera, and generate information as much as 26064 x 2400 or 16000 x 4200 pixels, relying on which method spherical you maintain the digital camera. The show is masked to point out the ‘secure’ space that ought to be included within the ultimate picture.
Results are spectacular, being extremely detailed with no trace of sewing errors. However, the one factor the digital camera can’t do is regulate for adjustments in brightness as you sweep across the scene. This signifies that in the event you level it in direction of the solar at any level, that part will get overexposed. In this explicit respect, most trendy smartphones do a lot better.
When it involves video, Canon has once more upset any followers hoping that it’d lastly embrace 4K recording in an reasonably priced digital camera. Instead, you solely get Full HD at 60fps – and, in contrast to the G7X Mark II, there isn’t even a microphone socket for recording better-quality sound.
One comfort is that in-camera time-lapse film creation is on the market. Unfortunately, it provides little consumer management; the digital camera simply takes one shot each Three seconds for 15 minutes after which compiles it right into a film. There’s no standard intervalometer, both.
Canon has included complete connectivity choices, with onboard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Dynamic NFC. This makes it simple to attach the digital camera wirelessly to a smartphone, pill, printer or good TV for copying, printing or viewing your pictures. Connections are arrange utilizing a small button on the base of the handgrip, which additionally offers a easy solution to push photos throughout to your telephone when searching by way of them in playback.
But it’s the addition of Bluetooth, and extra to the purpose how Canon makes use of it, that basically stands out. The digital camera varieties an always-on connection to your telephone, permitting you to make use of your telephone as a fundamental wi-fi distant management at any time by way of the Canon Camera Remote app.
The Bluetooth connection may also be used to fireplace up the digital camera’s Wi-Fi for extra superior distant capturing, with a Live View show and full management over publicity parameters out of your telephone. Alternatively, you should use the Bluetooth to start out up the digital camera’s Wi-Fi, flick thru your footage, and duplicate your favourites throughout for sharing – even when the digital camera is switched off and in your bag.
Canon G1X Mark III – Build and dealing with
In phrases of design, the Mark III represents an entire about-turn for the G1 X collection, and I feel it’s very a lot for the higher. The SLR-styled physique format is lifted from the 1in-sensor G5 X, which isn’t any dangerous factor as that digital camera may be very nice to shoot with. It feels powerful and well-made, with Canon’s claims of mud and drip-proofing including confidence that it ought to survive outside use in less-than-perfect climate.
Indeed, I used it in snow showers with no ill-effects. The central EVF affords a really pure stability, whereas giving an honest quantity of area on the physique for buttons and dials. The finish result’s an virtually SLR-like dealing with expertise that’s method higher than Sony’s cramped RX100-series cameras.
Don’t let these SLR-like appears to be like idiot you, although, because the G1X Mark III remains to be very small. At 115.zero x 77.9 x 51.4mm and 399g in weight, it’s noticeably extra compact than even the smallest SLR-style mirrorless fashions such because the Fujifilm X-T20 or Canon’s personal EOS M5.
Yet regardless of its petite dimension, the digital camera feels unexpectedly safe in your hand, because of its good-sized rubberised fingergrip and pronounced thumb hook. The most vital capturing controls are moderately giant and properly positioned too, which isn’t all the time the case on cameras of this dimension.
Canon has included an EOS-like digital dial for altering publicity settings. It sits vertically on the front-plate for operation by your forefinger, together with an publicity compensation dial that falls beneath your thumb.
There’s one other vertical dial on the again, which is used to vary the aperture in manual-exposure mode, and which will be configured to vary ISO within the different publicity modes if you want. It’s relatively small and fiddly, nonetheless.
The publicity mode dial is one other awkward one, as you must maintain down a button in its centre to have the ability to flip it, which seems to be rather a lot much less simple in comparison with the bigger dials on EOS DSLRs. A toggle-type lock would have labored higher right here.
Related: Best DSLRs
A rocker across the shutter button controls the zoom, however you should use the dial across the lens, too, which I discovered provides a lot finer management over composition. This dial rotates easily with no clicks, and can be utilized for guide focus as properly.
It’s a disgrace that Canon hasn’t used the clicked/clickless mechanism from the G7X Mark II, although. Doing so would have supplied the choice of utilizing the lens dial as a big and tactile management for altering publicity settings.
A cluster of buttons on the digital camera’s again is used for video recording, publicity lock and focus space choice, whereas the directional buttons on the D-pad entry drive, focus and flash modes. These are all relatively small and crowded collectively, nonetheless, and a few customers may discover it too simple to press the fallacious one accidentally.
Pretty a lot all the things else that issues is on the market from Canon’s well-laid-out on-screen Q Menu, which will be accessed from both the centre button of the D-pad or the touchscreen, and can also be user-configurable.
You get an honest diploma of management customisation, too. For instance, the AE-L button can be utilized for back-button focus, the video and AF-area choice buttons will be reassigned to different capabilities, and the three digital dials will be configured individually for every publicity mode. Overall, the bodily management format works relatively properly, and I even discovered it fairly usable capturing within the chilly with my skinny, however cosy MacWet gloves.
Like different current Canon fashions the G1X Mark III additionally has a full contact interface, which is arguably the most effective within the enterprise. It means that you can change virtually any setting or flick thru your photos in playback utilizing the touchscreen.
It additionally consists of the power to make use of the touchscreen to maneuver the main target level with the digital camera held to your eye, which is faster and extra exact than Canon’s normal technique of urgent a button then shifting the AF space utilizing the D-pad or entrance dial. You can choose which a part of the display screen you wish to use, and on the G1X Mark III I discovered it best to make use of the left aspect with my left thumb.
This works properly till until you’re sporting gloves, since most gained’t activate touchscreens. I’d nonetheless a lot want a devoted bodily AF-point selector, but it surely appears I’m preventing a dropping battle on this one.
Canon G1X Mark III – Viewfinder and display screen
The EVF is one other standout function of the G1X Mark III, not a lot for its specification as its central location above the lens. While this implies the digital camera is bulkier than rivals with built-in digital viewfinders, such because the Panasonic TZ100 or Sony RX100 V, the benefit is that the view is bigger and clearer. It simply feels ‘proper’ to have a viewfinder on this place, particularly in the event you’re used to DSLRs, and I discovered myself utilizing it for almost all of my pictures.
The EVF itself is a 2.36-mdot OLED unit with an honest magnification of roughly zero.62x. The show is vibrant, colour-accurate, and never overly-contrasty.You also can select to overlay useful aids reminiscent of a dual-axis digital stage and RGB stay histogram. The chunky rubber eyecup does a fantastic job of excluding peripheral mild, which is an actual benefit in comparison with the Sony RX100 V’s pop-up EVF.
Immediately under the EVF is the 1.04m-dot totally articulated touchscreen, which will be set to level in just about any route: up, down, or forwards for selfies. This is nice for capturing from awkward angles, reminiscent of low down or excessive overhead.
Unlike tilt-only screens, it continues to work completely properly while you flip the digital camera spherical to shoot in portrait format, and general I discovered it a prefect complement to the EVF. Unlike on the EOS M5, the color calibration carefully matches the viewfinder, so that you’re not left questioning which is likely to be right.
Canon G1X Mark III – Autofocus
Previous generations of G1X haven’t precisely been identified for snappy autofocus, however the Mark III turns into the primary to function Canon’s signature Dual Pixel CMOS AF – and the impact is transformative.
Its focusing is fast, decisive and correct, irrespective of the place within the scene the topic could also be. Indeed, the main target level will be positioned virtually anyplace inside the body (however not on the very edges), and you’ve got a selection of two sizes of AF body, with the smaller possibility being higher suited to detailed topics.
For photographing individuals, face detection can also be obtainable, or you may specify a topic by contact for the digital camera to try to trace. Canon has additionally included zone AF, which makes use of a bunch of 9 focus factors throughout one third of the body vertically and horizontally (for example, one-ninth of its space) that may be freely repositioned utilizing the touchscreen. As common, you may swap between one-shot and steady focusing modes, which Canon calls ‘servo’.
These choices might not be as complete as these present in top-end compacts from the likes of Sony and Panasonic, however in observe they work fairly properly. This is very true provided that with its quick zoom, the G1X Mark III isn’t precisely going to be your first selection for motion pictures. Even so, the on-chip part detection autofocus does an honest job of conserving topics sharp after they’re shifting in direction of or away from the digital camera, notably when used with zone AF mode.
It’s fortunate that autofocus works so properly, as a result of guide focusing is applied poorly. By default, you must press the left key of the D-pad to enter focus adjustment, then use the up and down keys for focusing. This is gradual and clunky. You can overcome this by assigning the lens ring to guide focus, however then the digital camera jumps into MF mode everytime you a lot as contact the ring, forcing you to press the left key to exit.
I actually don’t perceive why Canon couldn’t make the lens ring management guide focus solely when the digital camera is particularly switched to MF mode (in spite of everything, Olympus bought this proper on its Stylus XZ-2 5 years in the past).
Canon G1X Mark III – Performance
Canon’s premium compacts haven’t all the time been the quickest on the block, however there’s little or no to complain about with the G1X Mark III. It takes a second or so to increase its lens and begin up after you press the ability button, however as soon as it’s prepared, it’s a really succesful performer. I by no means felt prefer it was holding me up whereas I used to be capturing.
As we’ve seen earlier than on Canon compacts, the evaluative metering is dependable and customarily does an excellent job of selecting a smart publicity with out blowing out spotlight element irretrievably. Canon’s auto white stability additionally does a superb job, and consequently the G1X Mark III churns out attractive-looking JPEGs shot after shot. On these uncommon events it will get issues fallacious, the easy-to-use in-camera Raw converter is on the market to assist out.
As common, although, you’ll get probably the most out of your picture information by capturing in Raw and post-processing – and that is the place the APS-C sensor comes into its personal. There’s simply that bit extra decision, together with decrease noise and better dynamic vary, in comparison with the present spherical of 1-inch sensor compacts. As a end result, you may get extra out of your picture information, with higher scope for extracting extra element from shadow areas.
None of this might matter, after all, if the lens weren’t as much as scratch. Thankfully, I’ve discovered it delivers good outcomes. There’s some softness within the excessive corners at wide-angle, however nothing too troubling.
Like on another trendy zoom compact, software program is corrected in software program relatively then optically, with the underlying sample shifting from barrel distortion at wide-angle, by way of impartial at across the 30mm-equivalent mark, to pincushion throughout the remainder of the vary. However, correction of pincushion distortion requires stretching the centre of the picture, which may end up in a slight softness when analyzing your photos on the pixel stage on-screen.
Canon’s JPEG processing doesn’t essentially do the lens any favours, both, with a bent to prioritise noise discount over element retention. I’d advocate utilizing the Fine Detail image fashion, particularly in the event you plan on making giant prints direct from the digital camera.
Opening Raw information in Adobe Camera Raw reveals that they include embedded correction information for distortion, which is utilized mechanically. However, you’ll wish to click on ‘Correct Chromatic Aberration’ since there’s robust inexperienced/magenta fringing in direction of the perimeters of the body, particularly at wide-angle – which might be the foundation reason for the JPEG nook softness. Even you then’ll see some residual fringing that Canon suppresses extra successfully in its personal processing.
Battery life is clearly a priority, and I’d actually advocate turning on the power-saving Eco mode within the menu. This takes a reasonably aggressive strategy, shutting down the Live View feed after 10 seconds of inactivity. However, a fast faucet of the shutter button will awaken the digital camera from its slumber.
Since operating the sensor, processor and display screen in Live View is what consumes a lot of the battery in regular use, this seems to be an efficient technique for rising stamina. However, as is the case with most cameras, Eco mode doesn’t work if the viewfinder proximity sensor is activated. This means it’s simply defeated in the event you use a neck strap and drop the digital camera all the way down to your chest after taking an image.
Real credit score have to be given to Canon’s optical picture stabilisation, which I’ve discovered to be remarkably efficient. I used to be capable of obtain sharp outcomes at shutter speeds as little as 1/2sec, which provides one other highly effective string to your bow when capturing in low mild.
Canon G1X Mark III – Image high quality
With its 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, the G1 X Mark III basically provides related picture high quality to Canon’s present vary of APS-C DSLRs. This signifies that it has barely greater decision and noticeably decrease high-ISO noise than its 1-inch sensor rivals.
However, this high-ISO benefit is nearly exactly offset by its smaller-aperture lens, which signifies that its sensible low-light picture high quality is unlikely to be a lot totally different to the Sony RX100 V or Panasonic Lumix LX15. Raw information give loads of latitude for recovering shadow element when exposing to protect highlights, particularly at ISO100.
Canon G1X Mark III – Resolution
With a most measured decision of round 3600 l/ph in our chart checks, the G1X Mark III isn’t any slouch. However it does give barely decrease outcomes than we’ve grow to be used to seeing from different cameras with 24MP APS-C sensors, most of which now not use optical low-pass filters.
Boosting the sensitivity setting leads to a gradual lack of decision as a result of results of noise, however even at ISO 6400 it’s nonetheless able to resolving 2800 l/ph. However on the high setting of ISO 25,600, excessive ranges of noise scale back the decision to round 2400 l/ph.
In the crops under, multiply the quantity beneath the road by 200 to calculate the decision in traces per image peak.
Canon G1X Mark III – Detail and noise
Just as we’d anticipate, the G1X Mark III provides wonderful picture high quality at its lowest ISO 100 setting, with loads of positive element, no seen noise and powerful, enticing color.
Compared to its 1-inch sensor friends, although, it maintains this high quality higher because the ISO sensitivity is raised, and at ISO 800 solely the best low-contrast element is being misplaced to noise. At ISO 3200 luminance noise turns into seen in Raw information, which is suppressed on the expense of positive element within the JPEGs.
Colour saturation suffers at ISO 6400, and I wouldn’t enterprise a lot past this setting. ISO 12800 is maybe okay if obligatory, however ISO 25,600 provides very poor outcomes.
Why purchase the Canon G1X Mark III?
With the PowerShot G1X Mark III, Canon has managed a extremely spectacular technological feat – it’s barely plausible that such a small physique can accommodate an APS-C sensor and a zoom lens. What’s extra, it’s a really likeable digital camera certainly, with nice dealing with and speedy autofocus. In phrases of picture high quality, it’s the most effective zoom compact cash can purchase proper now.
What actually units the G1X Mark III aside is how Canon has been ready to compromise on dimension to make a digital camera that’s far more rewarding to make use of than its rivals, whereas delivering higher picture high quality too.
The central EVF and totally articulated display screen make composing your photos a pleasure, whereas the in depth exterior controls will please fanatic photographers, and the decent-sized handgrip offers a safe maintain. While it’s unlikely to slide right into a shirt pocket, it isn’t precisely cumbersome both. I spent most of my time carrying it in a coat pocket, utilizing a wriststrap for safety.
If there’s one catch, it’s the comparatively restricted lens vary. I’m unsure what number of photographers might be drawn to a 3x zoom with a comparatively modest most aperture, particularly given the £1150 price ticket. I usually discovered myself pissed off by the shortness of the zoom, and would relatively have a bigger digital camera with a 100mm equal lens (not less than).
Some may additionally be involved by the quick battery life. Using the Eco mode alleviates this to a level, and it’s simple sufficient to hold a spare. However, anybody significantly fascinated with video ought to in all probability purchase a 4K-capable Sony or Panasonic as an alternative – with out a lot as a microphone enter, the G1X Mark III may be very a lot geared toward stills photographers.
Until now, Sony’s RX100 collection has led the sector for small, high-performance cameras. However, Canon has hit a house run with the G1X Mark III, and I’d advocate it to most fanatic photographers over the RX100 V – not less than if cash isn’t any object. It’s nicer to make use of and offers higher outcomes.
But it’s additionally properly price trying on the Panasonic Lumix LX100, which is simply as participating to make use of because the G1 X III however prices beneath £500, in the event you can stay with its 12.Eight-megapixel decision.
Want a small digital camera with a brief zoom lens, digital viewfinder and the very best potential picture high quality? Then the G1X Mark III is doubtless one of many best available on the market proper now.