Canon’s PowerShot G3 X thinks it’s a DSLR, and it’s not far off

Four months after giving us a sneak-peek, Canon officially took the wraps off its new advanced, premium point-and-shoot, the PowerShot G3 X. The bridge camera will become the flagship in Canon’s PowerShot G-series, and will list for $1,000 when it goes on sale in July.

While the G3 X isn’t a complete surprise – we already know what it looks like, and that it uses a 1-inch sensor and a compact 25x optical zoom lens – but we can now reveal more details about how powerful it will actually be. The sensor is smaller than the 1.5-inch High-Sensitivity CMOS in the PowerShot G1 X Mark II (a DT-recommended camera), but it has a higher resolution, at 20.2 megapixels – the same sensor as the one in the PowerShot G7 X (a DT Editors’ Choice camera). While we can’t yet vouch for performance, we found the G7 X to deliver quality stills and movies, so we expect the G3 X’s image quality to be just as great. Still, a 1-inch sensor is larger than what’s in most bridge cameras.

As a camera, there’s “nothing else quite like it in the marketplace right now,” says Chuck Westfall, Canon U.S.A.’s Technical Advisor, during a briefing. “We think it’s going to appeal to a lot of advanced amateur photographers and as a backup for professionals.”

What makes the G3 X unique in its class is the fixed, optical zoom lens. It has a long focal range (24-600mm), yet it’s relatively compact (for a megazoom), thanks to variable aperture lens design of f/2.8-5.6. But the camera also has a 5-axis image stabilization system that’s supported by electronic image stabilization (two optical, three electronic), helping to provide rock-steady images as much as possible. The G3 X uses Canon’s latest imaging processor, the Digic 6 – same as the G7 X. The new camera can shoot in uncompressed RAW and JPEG/RAW formats, has an ISO range of 125-12,800, and continuous shooting for 5.9 frames per second, with no buffer lag or frame limit in some cases, Canon says. The 31-point autofocus system is spread out to cover more of the frame.

The G3 X is larger than other G-series cameras – closer to the EOS SL1 DSLR in look and feel, but shorter. It has DSLR-like attributes – in fact, the G3 X mimics Canon EOS DSLR operation, a first for the G-series – such as the large grip, dials, buttons, and weather-resistant (dust and water) magnesium alloy body (similar in strength to the EOS 70D DSLR). On the back is a 3.2-inch, tilt-adjustable touchscreen (rated 1.62-million-dot resolution). The ring around the lens can be used for focusing or changing settings. A hot-shoe supports the full range of Canon Speedlite flashes (we wished the G7 X had a hot shoe, so this is a nice touch for enthusiast photographers); there’s a built-in flash, too. Unfortunately there’s no viewfinder, and considering who Canon is trying to target with this camera, we think this is a miss. However, the G3 X supports the optional EVF-DC1 electronic viewfinder ($300).

The camera is also designed with video in mind. It can capture up to Full HD 1080 video at 60p/30p/24p (MP4), but there other moviemaking features as well, such as headphone and microphone jacks, the ability to output a live, clean HDMI signal to an external display or recorder while filming, and a three-stop neutral density filter. While filming, you can adjust exposure and focus manually. The G3 X supports UHS-1 SDXC and SDHC cards, but there’s a 30-minute limit on video recording; you’ll need to restart the recording each time.

As with all new Canon PowerShot cameras, the G3 X has both Wi-Fi and NFC. The latter is used for quick pairing with select Android devices, as well as Canon’s upcoming Connect Station CS100. Canon’s Wi-Fi implementation has improved. It’s not as robust as Sony or Samsung’s, but it works well, as we learned during our G7 X review. Astro photography seems to be a popular new feature lately, and the G3 X has a Star Mode for shooting star trails and star time-lapse movies.

Canon says the G3 X is made for those looking for a DSLR-like camera in a point-and-shoot, which is what the G-series is designed to be. However, although Canon won’t say it, the G3 X is a response to Sony’s Cyber-shot RX10, just as the G7 X is a response to the RX100. Both are high-end, weather-resistant bridge cameras with a DSLR-like feel (more so with the RX10, we feel). Both use a 1-inch sensor, and Sony also touts the RX10’s video-making capabilities.

But Canon says the G3 X’s strong point is the zoom lens (25x versus the RX10’s 8.3x), Although the RX10 has a constant f/2.8 aperture (and a much larger-sized lens), Canon suggests users would rather have a longer zoom with variable aperture (that tradeoff really depends on the type of user; if you want a brighter and faster lens, the RX10 is stronger). While the G3 X is using a capable 1-inch sensor, the new RX10 II is using a brand-new “stacked” sensor technology that promises to deliver even better image quality and faster performance, although that remains to be seen. The G3 X, however, costs less.

Still, at $1,000, the G3 X is an expensive point-and-shoot, even though it’s far more powerful than the pocket PowerShot cameras or smartphones. As we said about Sony’s new RX10 II and RX100 IV, you can get an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera for less money.

Canon B&H Amazon


The Morgan EV3 is a concept no longer — production begins in 2018

Morgan has introduced the EV3 concept, its second all-electric vehicle. Slated to go into production in 2018, the 3-Wheeler-based EV3 is powered by a 101-horsepower electric motor that spins the lone rear wheel.
Photo Galleries

This Norweigian Airbnb is the fairy-tale retreat of your childhood dreams

From cliffside domiciles to underwater offerings, there are millions of incredible Airbnbs to choose from. That said, this Norwegian sheep farm will whet your wanderlust whistle and then some.
Emerging Tech

A faithful satellite drifts stunningly close: The best supermoon photos

From a solar eclipse to the Leonids meteor shower, 2017 has been loaded with celestial viewings. This past weekend we witnessed the first and last supermoon of the year and here are the best supermoon photos from around the globe.
Photo Galleries

With its starburst design, the Joshua Tree Residence thwarts sand and spectators

Whitaker Studio expertly transformed a cluster of shipping containers into the Joshua Tree Residence, thus creating a stunning reprieve in the the stark desert landscape of Joshua Tree.

Out of this world rides: The best futuristic cars from science fiction movies

The sci-fi genre has produced some of the most memorable futuristic cars ever made, despite the fact that most will never see a public road. In no particular order, here are the best cars from science fiction movies.
Smart Home

Perched on a cliff, the Hawk’s Nest is a stunning artist retreat in West Virginia

Not wanting to disturb the natural environment of the limestone quarry it sits on top of, Wiedemann Architects uniquely designed the Hawk's Nest in West Virginia to be raised up off the ground and have majestic floor-to-ceiling views.

From film to the iPhone, Sony World Photo Awards show the world's diversity

The Sony World Photography Awards has announced the Photographer of the Year, as well as category winners and student and youth prizes. See the images judges selected as the top photos of the year.

Survive the apocalypse (or just a week off the grid) with these zombie-proof rides

From hardcore off-roaders to weaponized people-carriers, there are many vehicles out there that can take on the apocalypse. We’ve compiled our favorite zombie-proof rides to get you through the end of the world.
Movies & TV

Here’s what a MacGuffin is, and 15 killer examples that made movies memorable

Whether it's a lost soldier, a mysterious briefcase, or the plans to a cosmic weapon, these movie MacGuffins prove that it isn't always the object of an adventure that makes the experience memorable.

Live like a (coddled) astronaut in this lunar lander-inspired tiny home

A tiny home situated on the Columbia River in Washington looks like an Apollo lunar lander, and yet still manages to squeeze in a breakfast nook, bedroom, geodesic skylight, and other features in an open floor plan.
Emerging Tech

The winning photographs from the 2018 Drone Awards will make you drool

The 2018 Drone Awards showcases some of the best aerial photography around. From scenes depicting the perils of climate change to abstract art, seven photos were selected from the more than 4,400 submissions.
Smart Home

Imagine yourself doing the backstroke in one of the 10 largest pools in the world

From Egypt to Singapore to California, here's a pictorial breakdown of some of the biggest and largest pools in the world. Many of these pools are so big that you can even kayak and windsurf on them.

20 awesome cosplays we saw at BlizzCon 2018

Cosplay is a tradition at BlizzCon and this year, Digital Trends got to capture stunning photos of fans dressed up and posed as their favorite Blizzard characters. Take a look at the 30 photos of the coolest cosplay we saw at BlizzCon 2018.
Smart Home

10 extravagant holiday light displays that even Tim Taylor would envy

Not everyone wants to spend several hours painstakingly affixing Christmas lights to their gutters. Unplug those halfhearted decorations, make a cup of hot cocoa, and check out our list of the coolest holiday light displays.