Long Zoom, Large Sensor: Canon's New PowerShot G3 X Digital Camera

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Canon is welcoming a new member to its G-series line of premium compacts, with the release of the PowerShot G3 X Digital Camera. Sitting alongside the G1 X Mark II and G7 X, this model differentiates itself with a long 25x optical zoom, equivalent to 24-600mm in 35mm terms, while still maintaining a portable form factor. Working with the optics are a large 20.2MP 1" High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor and the DIGIC 6 Processor, for high-resolution, low-noise images up to ISO 12800. Also, the lens has a maximum aperture range of f/2.8-5.6, which allows for imaging in a wide range of scenarios, along with Intelligent IS, for limiting camera shake at longer shutter speeds and focal lengths.

Speed is no issue for the G3 X, with a High-Speed AF system capable of locking focus as fast as 0.14 seconds. It uses 31 AF points for wide coverage in the frame and works wonderfully with a 5.9 fps continuous shooting speed. And, there is no buffer time, so users can shoot continuously for as long as they like.

Operation is benefitted by a selfie-ready tilting 3.2" 1,620k-dot capacitive touchscreen LCD and a continuous control ring on the lens. It also has a physical exposure compensation dial, mode dial, front dial, and controller wheel for intuitively changing settings. The body itself is dust- and water resistant, as well, for keeping it working in hostile weather conditions.

Making this camera appealing for video shooters is a plethora of advanced features that have been implemented in this model. Primarily, it offers full HD 1920 x 1080p video at 60, 30, and 24 fps. Audio is improved with both microphone and headphone jacks for using external devices to record and monitor during recording. Finally, manual control lets users create images as they want, instead of relying on the camera to make decisions for them.



 

In our increasingly mobile world, the G3 X features built-in Wi-Fi with NFC for connecting directly to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. Users will be able use the Canon Camera Connect app to share images quickly on social networks. This setup also grants compatibility with the CS100 Connect Station for wirelessly transferring and storing images for backup and remote access. Then, to top it all off, a new feature called Star Mode has been added to enhance capture of stars and the night sky. All of these features combine to make one extremely versatile, compact camera.



 


 

Canon has also announced a couple of accessories for the G3 X in the form of the PSC-6200 Deluxe Leather Case for travel and protection, as well as a Lens Hood and Filter Adapter Kit, which will block unwanted light from entering the lens and permits the use of 67mm threaded filters.

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Question: will it takes as sharp a photo as my Canon 50D ?

We haven't had a chance to test it in house or view any real world sample images, but considering how far we've come since the 50D there is a good chance it will.  Once the camera is available to the general public and users start posting real world sample shots we'll be able to better answer that.

Buyers who hope to use the camera's video features with an iOS device should be forewarned that (1) the description does not indicate that video controlling is possiblem, only photo control and (2), that there is probably no hope for resolving that defect. 

For instance, my Canon Vixia G30 camcorder's manual offers close to 20 pages of instructions for enabling interaction between the G30 and iOS devices.  That does not happen, as the iPad treats the incoming information as photos, and goes into photo editing mode, making it impossible to control the camcorder remotely via the iOS device.  Neither Canon nor Apple Tech Support had a clue about fixing the problem when I conferred -- at length -- with them.  

I imagine that that situation remains unchanged, but experience with Canon products convinces me that they may be a bit misleading in their sales literature, not clearly indicating that the iOS capability is specific to photos, and not video.  

What about a viewfinder?

Anonymous wrote:

What about a viewfinder?

There is no built-in viewfinder on the camera.  It is however compatible with the Canon EVF-DC1 Electronic Viewfinder which is an optional accessory for it. 

G'day Shawn, Thanks for the information on this new piece of kit.  

A couple of questions that I haven't been able to get answers from Canon on, perhaps you have better contacts.

1. Does this camera have 'remote capture' or remote tethering' capability via the USB cable?  

2. And if it has, does the software come on the supplied disc as with earlier  models like the G10?

3. Is there an option for d.c. power input via a dummy battery and/or AC plugpack from 240 or 110volts?

Many thanks

Garry

1,2) For the first two questions, Canon has unfortunately not listed this specification or published any details yet on that.  We'll have to wait until the camera is released and they publish the instruction manual to confirm.  In theory as with other tether-capable models, if it does have the feature the camera will be supplied with the necessary software to to operate the camera with. 

3) Yes, there is an AC power adapter that will allow you to power the camera, it is multi-voltage and comes with a USA type outlet lead, but can be used in any outlet provided the user adds a plug-tip adapter to fit in foreign outlets.  See the link below for details on this AC adapter:

http://bhpho.to/1e665Gk

From what  I have  heard on other Forums,  is that if you put the camera in focus tracking mode, the frames  for per second goes from 5.9 frames  for second to 3.2. Is this true? I shoot  JPEG. I would really be  interested  in  this camera  if that was the  case . thanks

Lowell
 

At this point Canon has not published any specific details regarding the burst rate decreasing when in continuous focus mode.  Until the camera is released and they post the instruction manual online,  we will not be able to confirm.  Based on other cameras and focusing systems it seems consistent with how a continuous AF tracking system would work, but again, I have no reliable or credible information to directly comment from at this point. 

I am very interested in this camera , but I have  a  few concerns about  it. From what I have read on other Forums is that in  normal shooting mode it is 5.9 frames per second but put the camera in tracking continuous mode it goes down to 3.2 frames a second. I do some  bird photo shooting , and I would like the 5.9 frames per second in tracking continous mode. Is this true about the camera? Also, I do think the EVF optional view finder is quite expensive. Don't know why it does not come with the camera.

At this point Canon has not published any specific details regarding the burst rate decreasing when in continuous focus mode.  Until the camera is released and they post the instruction manual online,  we will not be able to confirm.  Based on other cameras and focusing systems it seems consistent with how a continuous AF tracking system would work, but again, I have no reliable or credible information to directly comment from at this point. 

In regards to the optional Electronic View Finder:  As you noted it is a bit pricey. Canon opts not to include it with the camera, as not everyone personally prefers using one or requires one, and for them to include it with the camera would offset the price of the camera to a higher price-point, and in their aim to appeal to as many customers as possible, leaving it as optional allows the camera to be sold at a lower, more approachable price-point.  Those who prefer using it can opt to purchase it as an extra accessory.

Does it have shutter lag?  That is the only thing that keeps me buying a camera in this class.  

That's what I'd like to know also. Does it shutter lag match that of a high-end DSLR?

Canon has not yet published any details on the shutter lag time frame, and the camera is not yet available for us to handle and test ourselves.  Once it is released we will be able to comment on that. 
 

Is it full frame?

For sure not a full frame. 

If it's a 1" it's even smaller than an APS (22x17mm). 

Have you any idea how enourmous should be a 24-600mm F:5.6 if suitable for a real full frame 36x24mm?

Infact its zoom is in reality 8.8mm-220mm

So the image sensor should be approximately 13x10mm

An interesting mid-point between compact and APS camera

Michael, for your information 1" is larger than 22mm

No it is not, it has a 1" CMOS sensor.

Is the zoom manual or electronic?

Looking at the images there is the zoom switch T-W around the shutter pushbutton, then it's for sure electrically actuated. The barrell around the lens is a different way to command it (electronic encoder) by your finger, but it's not a real mechanical barrel 

The zoom is electronically adjusted using the switch by the shutter button. 
 

Costs too much for basically a non-DSLR point & shoot. Asking $1000 for this is just absurd.

1" inch sensor seems a good compromise point between the advantage of the compact cameras (large depth of field, small size of camera and lenses) and image quality of the APS format.

A very interesting product, I hope the designers do not kill this advantage on DoF limiting the minimum aperture to F:8 like Panasonic did in the FZ1000, so my first question is: what is the minimum aperture (closest diaphragm) at extreme focals of the zoom? Canon declare only the the Max aperture F:2.8 Wide and F:5.6 Tele, but not the minimum (closest) aperture

Any news about remote control via USB (yes? no?) and how to implement it should be readable on the Canon SDK web pages, like the https://www.didp.canon-europa.com/

Unfortunately SDK is updated months after any new camera model introduction 

Unfortunately they have not published the entire aperture range of the camera nor have they commented about tethered shooting.  We'll have to wait for Canon to publish further details including the instruciton manual or wait until the camera has actually been released to confirm. 

Does this camera have Remote Capture like DSLR cameras? 

Yes. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables seamless and instant transferring of photos and videos to mobile devices, home computers, and to select social networking sites. Linking Android devices to the camera is aided through the incorporation of NFC, which facilitates connection simply by tapping the two devices. A dedicated Mobile Device Connect Button is available too, to further establish a simplified means for linking both iOS and Android devices. Additionally, Automatic Switching via the Image Sync function works to automatically sync images with any discovered and linked PC within a designated network or, alternatively, images are temporarily sent to the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY for later transferring.

When connected, the mobile device can also be used to remotely control and release the camera's shutter, self-timer, flash, and zoom from a distance, as well as display a live view image on the linked device's screen. This connectivity also enables compatibility with the CS100 Connect Station for transferring files for backup and remote access.

Can the filter adapter be purchased separately?

According to the Accessories tab on Canon USA's website, the Canon Lens Hood LH-DC100 may be purchased separately, but the Canon FA-DC67B Filter Adapter can only be purchased in the combined Canon LH-DC100 / FA-DC67B Kit.  It is not currently listed as a separate accessory from Canon at this time.

any of you have thoughts on how well this unit will do in low light shooting? I try to get long range shots of my Grandchildren in school in gymnasiums and such where the lighting is dim. 

Shooting events in a school gymnasium is of the toughest type of conditions to shoot in even for seasoned pros.  It’s a combination of poor lighting and active subject matter.  While I’ve not seen any image results or tests etc from this camera, my guess is that if you’re sitting in the middle/back of the gym (as is common for plays and events etc), with the camera set to the highest ISO ( to allow the most light in) is that the camera would perform average at best.  Its highest ISO setting is 25,600 which is high but not as high as other models which are better suited for low light go.  If you were sitting in the front or close up to the action, it likely would give you some nice useable shots, but using a telephoto setting in that kind of situation is expecting a lot from this type of camera.