Canon G1X Mark III Review – imaging resource
Canon G1X Mark III Review — First Impressions
By Jaron Schneider
Canon has added to their premium G-series compact cameras with the new G1X Mark III. Their new flagship PowerShot model, the G1X III brings several upgrades to the system including both an APS-C sized sensor and Canon’s excellent dual pixel autofocus technology. For Canon, these are both firsts for their compact camera category.
The G1X Mark III is touted by Canon as the most advanced compact camera they offer designed for both enthusiasts and professionals.
The G1X Mark III brings APS-C to PowerShot
Of immediate interest is the 24.3-megapixel APS-C sized sensor that the G1X IIIÂ now contains. It’s a serious upgrade from the 1.5-inch sensor in the previous iteration. Canon says that the larger size of the sensor will do much for the quality of both photo and video, and the ISO sensitivity should improve as well. The G1 X Mark III’s ISO range is 100-25,600, the same as is found in the and 80D. In fact, we’re told it is the same sensor as the one found in both the 80D and the EOS M5.
Because it shares the same sensor as those two cameras, it should then come as no surprise that the G1X Mark III packs Canon’s first foray at Dual Pixel CMOS AF in a compact camera. That Dual Pixel sensor is the main source of the camera’s autofocus, with 80-percent coverage horizontally and vertically, across the frame. Canon says that the autofocus speed of the G1X III is extremely fast, and will rival that of DSLRs and their recent M-series cameras.
That large APS-C sensor pairs with a 24-72mm-eq. f/2.8-5.6 3x zoom lens which has an integrated 3-stop NDÂ filter. Additionally, the PowerShot G1X Mark III features Canon’s Dual Sensing IS system which works with the lens’ optical image stabilization to achieve up to a 4-stop equivalence in image stabilization.
If you recall, the G1X Mark II had a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 lens. Canon decided to make a tradeoff with the G1X Mark III: bigger sensor, but with a shorter and slower lens.
New Feature: In-Camera Panoramas
Though some previous PowerShots had a panorama “stitch assist” feature, the Canon G1 X Mark III introduces in-camera stitching. Move the camera either vertically or horizontally in this mode, capture multiple frames and the G1X III will automatically stitch the images together in camera for a complete panorama.
The Canon G1X III is a Camera Designed to be Used
Canon packed a lot of features and design decisions into the G1X Mark III that make it clear that they intend the camera to withstand the daily grind of actual use. It is both dust and water resistant (no IP rating, but there is some weather sealing), and it’s compact size and vari-angle LCD make it ideal for getting into hard-to-reach places and shoot tough angles.
The viewfinder is a 2.36 million dot Organic LED EVF that provides customization options for nearly any shooting style or scene. The touchscreen LCD allows for tap or drag autofocus for a more intuitive experience in combination with the EVF. You can use the EVF and touch panel together to adjust focus targeting without looking away from the viewfinder, or you can use Smooth Zone AF to track subjects by tapping the screen. We expect it to work like this: you look through the EVF and use your thumb or finger to move the autofocus point to rack focus. When setting the camera up, you can select only a portion of the screen to function as the touch-and-drag area, or you can have the entire screen work like this. Though it will take time with the camera to see how well this system works, the description of what to expect is rather enticing.
The aforementioned tilt screen is a 3.0-inch vari-angle touch LCD monitor that is just the latest camera to receive this treatment. The same monitor can be found on many other Canon cameras and works well to give you multiple angles of view from any side of the camera, not just high or low angle shots. It’s far more versatile than other designs, but the only downside occurs if you want to see the screen while using it. Instead of a more natural eyeline that the flip-up tilt screens give, the vari-angle will force your eye right of the lens, which can be less ideal for vlogging or selfies.
The Canon G1X Mark III weighs 399 grams versus 553 grams for the G1X Mark II. It’s lighter, because the form factor is smaller than the G1X Mark II. It is a mixed metal and plastic construction, and you might notice that the dials and controls look similar to the G5X. It has the same control ring on the front, exposure compensation dial and a main control on the back of the camera. According to Canon, it will feel like you’re holding a DSLR.
Canon took time to tout a new shutter release, which they say ‘offers a sophisticated sense of operation, similar to high-end EOS models’ that is apparently very comfortable to hold during continuous shooting. We’ll dive deeper into this feature when we have a chance to test the camera for ourselves.
DIGIC 7 Processor
The Canon G1X Mark III not only shares the same sensor as the EOS M5, but also the same DIGIC 7 processor. That is a considerable amount of processing power packed into a small camera body. The processor allows the G1X III to offer improved face detection, better subject and scene detection, and better high ISO performance than its predecessor.
The camera can also fire quite fast according to Canon. In single-shot AF mode, the Canon G1X Mark III is capable of 9 frames per second. In Servo AF mode, that number falls just slightly to 7 frames per second.
So while the optic may not be as fast as the G1X Mark II, the other tech in the camera should make up for it, and then some.
Adds Bluetooth Connectivity
The G1X Mark III can connect to a multitude of smart devices through Wi-Fi, NFC and now Bluetooth, which facilitates easy sharing and access to images while on a mobile device. Use of these wireless features requires the Canon Camera Connect app, just like the rest of the Canon cameras with these wireless features.
Video: Continues Canon’s trend to only offer Full HD
Though it disappointingly does not offer 4K video recording, it does have the same video quality found in the 80D, with 1080p Full HD at up to 60 frames per second. Canon’s video autofocus should also be excellent, thanks to the Dual Pixel sensor. The aforementioned 5-axis mix of digital and lens IS will also help reduce the effect of camera shake when shooting handheld.
The G1X Mark III also offers a movie time-lapse mode, which is the same feature that Canon users will be familiar with in most modern Canon DSLRs. Canon says that the settings for creating a time-lapse are intuitive and easy to use, and let you quickly determine intervals and exposure.
Canon G1 X III Pricing and Availability
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is scheduled to start shipping in November 2017 for an estimated retail price of US$1299.00. In addition the Canon Lens Hood LH-DC110, Waterproof Case WP-DC56 and Deluxe Leather Case PSC-6300 for the PowerShot G1 X Mark III will be available for an estimated retail price of US$59.99, US$499.99 and US$99.99 respectively.