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Canon PowerShot G3 X

20.2-megapixel digital camera with 25X optical zoom and Wi-Fi®

Overview

Our take on the Canon PowerShot G3 X

I have a number of old photos in which you can kind-of, sort-of make out the deer in the underbrush, or the gorgeous sailboat in the harbor. That's because all my old photos were taken with low-zoom cameras. Canon's premium PowerShot G3 X camera helps bring distant objects into the foreground with 25X zoom. Built-in optical stabilization keeps the image steady, and the camera's large CMOS sensor and speedy image processor will make sure you can snap clear images quickly — up to 5.9 frames per second in burst mode.

The 180° tilting LCD screen on Canon's PowerShot G3 X is selfie-ready.

Stay "selfie-ready" with the 180° tilting LCD screen on Canon's PowerShot G3 X camera.

Zoom 25X closer to your subject

I have a number of old photos in which you can kind-of, sort-of make out the deer in the underbrush, or the gorgeous sailboat in the harbor. That's because all my old photos were taken with low-zoom cameras. Canon's premium PowerShot G3 X camera helps bring distant objects into the foreground with 25X zoom. Built-in optical stabilization keeps the image steady, and the camera's large CMOS sensor and speedy image processor will make sure you can snap clear images quickly — up to 5.9 frames per second in burst mode.

Selfie-ready LCD touchscreen

The PowerShot G3 X camera's LCD screen can tilt up 180°. That means that you can turn the screen toward you to help frame selfies, or see what the camera is focused on while holding it over your head (useful any time you're in a crowd) or down low. In essence, you can choose the most artistic or practical angle to shoot from, and then tilt the screen toward your eyes so you can make sure you're getting the shot you want.

Save and store photos and video

Once you've taken a few great photos, you won't want to wait to share. The Canon PowerShot G3 X features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC touch pairing with compatible Android™ devices, so you can upload images and video to a smartphone or other connected device in a flash. In the meantime, the camera can store hundreds of high-quality photos on optional SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.

Product Highlights:

  • 20.2-megapixel effective recording
  • large 1" high-sensitivity CMOS image sensor for top-notch image quality
  • 3.2" color LCD touchscreen with 1.62 million-dot resolution
  • 25X optical zoom (4X digital)
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 24-600mm
  • 5.9 fps (frames per second) in burst mode at full resolution
  • Intelligent IS (image stabilization) analyzes camera movement and applies the best shake correction method for the shooting situation
  • DIGIC 6 image processor delivers superior image quality and fast camera response
  • easy Wi-Fi® connectivity with built-in NFC touch-pairing
  • weather- and dust-resistant design
  • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards
Shooting Modes and Settings:
  • face detection automatically sets focus, exposure, flash, and white balance for better portraits
  • star shooting mode helps capture stunning images of the night sky
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
  • variable ISO (film speed equivalent) settings, including a high sensitivity setting for better low-light shooting
  • exposure compensation settings
  • custom white balance settings
  • manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority exposure modes
  • manual control capability in movie mode
Dimensions:
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery (NB-10L)
  • battery charger
  • neck strap
  • lens cap

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (black)
  • Lens cap with cord (installed)
  • Accessory shoe cover (installed)
  • NB-10L Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.4V 920mAh 6.8Wh)
  • CB-2LC Battery charger
  • Neck strap
  • Getting Started booklet
  • Warranty card
  • Online registration card
  • Wireless printing promo card
  • Connect Station promo card
  • Important Safety Instructions (for battery charger)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
LCD Screen Size 3.2"
Adjustable-angle LCD Yes
Wi-Fi Built-in
Touchscreen Yes
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled No
Lens 35mm Equivalent 24-600mm
Optical Zoom 25x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Memory
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Image
Sensor Size 1"
Megapixels 20.2
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 5472 x 3648
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Dimensions
Width (inches) 5-3/16
Height (inches) 3-3/16
Depth (inches) 4-3/16
Weight With Battery (ounces) 25.92
Warranty
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features
Play, Edit, and Print Functions
Battery Information
Input and Output Notes
Software

Features

Multi-angle Touch Panel LCD Monitor: The Canon PowerShot G3 X has a 3.2" TFT color, capacitive touch panel LCD monitor featuring a resolution of approximately 1,620,000 dots with approximately 100% picture coverage. The touch-sensitive panel gives you easy access to operations, menus, and controls. Using Touch AF, you can set the focus point and activate the shutter release with the touch of a fingertip. Like modern smart devices, you can also utilize the swipe and pinch actions on the LCD panel for other functions. The multi-angle LCD monitor can be tilted up 180° so you can take pictures at nearly every angle, including self-portraits. You can manually adjust the LCD monitor's brightness.

Optional Electronic Viewfinder: You can attach an optional electronic viewfinder to the camera if you prefer to frame your photos at eye level. The EVF-DC1 (sold separately) attaches to the camera's hot shoe.

Canon's HS System: The PowerShot G3 X employs the HS System by combining the 1", 20.2 Megapixel High-sensitivity CMOS Image Sensor with the new DIGIC 6 Image Processor to produce spectacular images with minimal noise:

  • Image Sensor: For excellent image quality, the camera uses a 1" CMOS image sensor with approximately 20.9-million total pixels and 20.2-million effective pixels, giving your shots added depth and detail. The 1" image sensor is nearly twice the size of the 1/2.3" sensor used in most point-and-shoot digital cameras.
  • Image Processor: The G3 X features Canon's latest generation DIGIC 6 Image Processor. The new processor offers improved light sensitivity for higher resolution with less noise when shooting in dark conditions. It also allows high speed continuous still image recording at full resolution.

Built-in Wi-Fi: The camera's built-in Wi-Fi lets you wirelessly connect to and send images to computers or smartphones, upload images to social networking sites, photo and video-sharing websites, or use in emails, using the Canon iMage Gateway application. You can also send images to other cameras or wireless printers. With the CameraWindow app, you can use Near-Field Communications (NFC) to easily pair the camera with your NFC-compatible Android phone (using OS 4.0 or later) by touching the two devices together at the "N-mark" on the bottom of the camera. You can also shoot images remotely via your smartphone.

Mobile Device Connect Button: The PowerShot G3 X has a dedicated Mobile Device Connect button for instantly connecting the camera to your mobile device or computer. Once connected, you can transfer images to your smartphone, tablet, or computer on the same wireless LAN.

Geotagging: GPS data recorded on a smartphone using the CameraWindow app can be added to images taken by the G3 X. Location information, such as latitude, longitude, and elevation, can be used to identify the precise location where your photos are taken, and display the photos on a map.

Recording Media: The camera records still images or moving images with stereo audio on SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards, including support for high-speed UHS-I memory cards.

File Formats: The G3 X records still images and movies in the following file formats:

  • JPEG: JPEG images are processed inside the camera for optimum image quality and compressed. There are two compression ratios to choose from: Super Fine and Fine. You can record JPEG images in Large, Medium 1, Medium 2, and Small in 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, and 1:1 aspect ratios.
  • RAW: The RAW file format records the image data as captured by the camera imaging element without further processing. The images show almost no deterioration in image quality, and are a higher quality than JPEG images. To view RAW images on your computer, you must use the Digital Photo Professional software (downloadable from the Canon website). Using the software's image processing function, you can broadly adjust the images without deterioration, and then convert the image to a JPEG, TIFF, or other type of image in line with your intended use. You can choose to record RAW files or JPEG files alone, or you can record RAW files and JPEG files simultaneously. RAW images can be recorded in any aspect ratio.
  • Movies: Using the dedicated Movie button, you can record movies in High Definition or Standard Definition with stereo sound in MP4 format: Image Data: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264; Audio Data: MPEG-4 AAC-LC. HD Movies are recorded at 1920 x 1080 at 60, 30, or 24 frames per second and 1280 x 720 at 30 fps. SD Movies are recorded at 640 x 480 at 30 fps. In addition, the camera can record iFrame movies, Miniature Effect movies, and Star Time-Lapse movies to show movement of objects in the night sky.

Image Sizes: The camera can record in the following image sizes and aspect ratios for JPEG still images:

Image Size 16:9 3:2 4:3 1:1
Large 5472 x 3080 5472 x 3648 4864 x 3648 3648 x 3648
Medium 1 4320 x 2432 4320 x 2880 3840 x 2880 2880 x 2880
Medium 2 1920 x 1080 2304 x 1536 2048 x 1536 1536 x 1536
Small 720 x 408 720 x 480 640 x 480 480 x 480
Note: RAW images are recorded in Large image size only.

25x Optical Zoom Lens: The PowerShot G3 X is equipped with an f/2.8-f/5.6, 25x Optical Zoom lens with a focal length of 8.8-220mm (35mm film equivalent: 24-600mm. The 4x digital zoom extends the camera's telephoto capabilities to a total zoom of 100x. The lens has a 9-blade aperture to provide beautiful blurred backgrounds, even at full-range zoom. The focusing range differs depending upon the focusing mode:

  • Normal/Auto: 2" - infinity (W), 2.8' - infinity (T)
  • Macro: 2" - 1.6' (W)

Digital Tele-Converter: Using the built-in Digital Tele-Converter, you can increase the focal length of the lens by approximately 1.6x or 2.0x. The focal length when using the 1.6x digital tele-converter is 38.4-960mm. When using the 2.0x tele-converter, the focal length is 48-1200mm. The Digital Tele-Converter cannot be used together with the digital zoom.

Preset Focal Lengths: You can shoot at preset focal lengths from 24mm to 600mm (35mm equivalent). This "Step Zoom" feature allows you to shoot at the angle of view of those focal lengths to replicate the use of various prime lenses at the same focal lengths.

Optical Image Stabilizer: Optical (lens shift type) Image Stabilization allows you to minimize the camera shake which results in blurred images when you shoot distant subjects that have been magnified or when you shoot in dark conditions. Intelligent Image Stabilization (Intelligent IS) automatically selects one of four modes of image stabilization depending upon the shooting conditions: Normal, Panning, Macro (Hybrid), and Tripod. For Video recording, the camera chooses Dynamic, Powered, Macro (Hybrid), and Active Tripod modes.

Star Shooting Modes: The G3 X features new Star Shooting modes to help you take photographs of stars in the night sky. Each of these modes requires a tripod to prevent camera shake. Other functions, including Night Display, Color Adjustment, and Star Emphasis, help you make your nighttime photos better. The Star Shooting modes include:

  • Star Nightscape: Lets you capture impressive shots of starry skies above night scenes. The stars are automatically enhanced to make them more visible.
  • Star Trails: Streaks created by the movement of stars through the sky. You can set a shutter speed and the number of shots, and the camera shoots continuously, over an extended period (around two hours).
  • Star Time-Lapse Movie: Still images are captured continuously at a specified interval and over a certain, and combined to create a movie. During playback, you can view the movement of stars through the sky in a short time.

AF-Assist Beam: The AF-assist beam will sometimes emit when the shutter button is pressed halfway to assist focusing in certain conditions, i.e. dark conditions. The AF-assist beam can be turned off. If animals are your subject, turn off the beam when shooting in the dark to avoid startling them.

Focus Lock: If it becomes difficult to focus on the subject due to low contrast to the surroundings, close up and far away subjects in the same shot, or quickly moving subjects, you can choose to lock the focus or auto focus on an object at a similar distance, then shoot the picture after recomposing the shot.

Focus Bracketing: The camera automatically takes three shots; one at the manual focus position, and one each with focus positions preset farther and nearer. The three shots are taken at the same interval as continuous shooting. The farther and nearer focus positions can be set in three steps.

Drive Modes: The Canon PowerShot G3 X features Single, Continuous, and Self-Timer Drive modes:

  • Single Shot: The camera captures a single image each time the shutter button is fully pressed and released.
  • Continuous Shooting Mode: You can use this mode to shoot successive frames while the shutter button is fully pressed. The camera records approximately 5.9 images per second, and the focus is fixed on the original subject distance.
  • Self-Timer: The self-timer can be used to shoot a group photo that includes the photographer. The camera will activate approximately 10 seconds after a preset time after shutter button is pressed to allow the photographer time to get into the shot. A 2-second self timer is also available if you want to avoid camera shake. The camera features a custom self timer, allowing you to set the time delay (0-10, 15, 20, or 30 seconds) and the number of shots taken (1-10 shots). In addition, the camera features a Wink Self-Timer (shoots 2 seconds after a wink is detected), Smile Self-Timer, and a Face Self-Timer (shoots 2 seconds after the camera detects a new face in the frame, presumably when the photographer has entered the picture).

Shooting Modes: Using the Mode Dial on the top of the camera, you can select from numerous shooting modes:

  • Smart Auto: Advanced Canon technology intelligently analyzes your situation and shooting conditions, and automatically selects an appropriate setting.
  • Hybrid Auto: You can make a short movie of the day while shooting still images. The camera records 2-4 second clips of scenes just before each shot and combines them into a digest movie.
  • Creative Shot: The camera determines the subject and shooting conditions, automatically applying special effects and recomposing the shot to emphasize the subject. Six still images are recorded for each shot, each with a different effect, including Auto, Retro, Monochrome, Special, and Natural.
  • Sports: Lets you shoot continuously as the camera focuses on moving subjects.
  • Program AE (P): The camera automatically sets both the aperture and the shutter speed.
  • Shutter Speed Priority (Tv): When you set the shutter speed, the camera sets the aperture according to shooting conditions. The shutter speed can be set between 1/2000 and 250 seconds.
  • Aperture Priority (Av): When you set the aperture, the camera sets the shutter speed according to shooting conditions. The aperture can be set between f/2.8 and f/11 (wide angle) and f/5.6 and f/11 (telephoto), depending upon the zoom position.
  • Manual (M): The aperture (f/2.8-11 (W) or f/5.6-11 (T)) and the shutter speed (1/2000 to 15 seconds) are manually set.
  • Custom Mode (C1/C2): You can register commonly used shooting modes and settings to your preference and store them in one of 2 Custom mode positions.
  • Movies: You can set the camera for standard or iFrame movies, and configure the settings. The camera has a dedicated movie button to start and stop movie recording.
  • Creative Filters: You can add a variety of filter effects to images when shooting. Filters include Super Vivid, Poster Effect, High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Background Defocus, Soft Focus, and Monochrome.
  • Scene Modes: Appropriate settings for specific scenes and shooting conditions: Portrait, Handheld NightScene, Snow, and Fireworks.

Exposure Compensation: When shooting against a bright or dark background, you may need to correct the exposure so that the subject is correctly lit. You can adjust the exposure from -3 to +3 in 1/3-stop increments using the top-mounted dial.

Locking the Exposure Setting (AE Lock): You can set the exposure and focus separately. This is effective when the contrast is too strong between the subject and background, or when a subject is backlit.

Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): In this mode, the camera automatically changes the exposure within a set range to take three shots at the same interval as continuous shooting. The images are shot in the following order: standard exposure, underexposure, and overexposure. You can set the amount of under- or over-exposure from -2 to +2 in 1/3-stop increments.

Metering Modes: You can select from the following metering modes:

  • Evaluative: Used for standard conditions. The area within the frame is divided into several zones and light is measured based on subject position, brightness, direct light and backlighting.
  • Center-Weighted Averaging: Averages the exposure from the entire image, but places more weight on the subject at the center.
  • Spot: Meters the area within the spot AE point at the center of the LCD monitor.

ISO Settings: The PowerShot G3 X features Auto and Manual ISO. The higher the ISO, the greater it reduces the effects of camera shake and sharpens subjects in low-light situations. ISO speed settings can be adjusted in 1/3 EV increments. The settings include Auto, or manual settings between ISO 125 and ISO 12800.

Built-In Flash: The PowerShot G3 X has a built-in, pop-up flash. You can select Auto (flash fires in low light), On (flash always fires), Slow-Synchro (flash timing is adjusted to slow shutter speeds) or Off (flash doesn't fire). The built-in flash has a range of 2' to 22' in Wide Angle and 2.8' to 10' in Telephoto. You can adjust the flash timing (1st curtain/2nd curtain), and flash exposure compensation (+/-2 stops in 1/3 stop increments). In the menu, you can add the following flash functions when the flash is set to On or Auto:

  • Red-Eye Correction: You can automatically correct red-eye that occurs in images taken with the flash.
  • Red-Eye Reduction Lamp: The red-eye reduction lamp lights in order to reduce the red-eye effect that occurs when shooting in dark conditions with the flash.

Optional External Flash: The camera has a hot shoe that enables you to add an optional external flash unit for advanced flash photography. Optional Canon Speedlite EX-series units include: 90EX, 270EXII, 320EX, 430EXII, and 600EX.

ND Filter: The ND filter reduces light intensity to 1/8 (3-stops) of the actual level, allowing for slower shutter speeds and smaller aperture values. Use of a tripod is recommended with the slower shutter speeds to prevent camera shake.

White Balance: You can choose from the following white balance settings:

  • Auto: The camera sets the white balance automatically according to shooting conditions.
  • Daylight: For recording outdoors on a bright day.
  • Shade: For shooting in the shade.
  • Cloudy: For recording under overcast, shady or twilight skies.
  • Tungsten: For recording under tungsten and bulb-type 3-wavelength fluorescent lighting.
  • Fluorescent: For recording under warm-white, cool-white or warm-white (3-wavelength) fluorescent lighting.
  • Fluorescent H: For recording under daylight fluorescent, or daylight fluorescent-type (3-wavelength) fluorescent lighting
  • Flash: For when recording with the flash.
  • Custom: Allows you to manually set the white balance and store the settings.

My Colors: Using My Colors you can easily change colors in an image when it's taken. My Colors offers several options:

  • Vivid: emphasizes contrast and color saturation to record bold colors
  • Neutral: tones down contrast and color saturation to record neutral hues
  • Sepia: brownish tint
  • B/W: black and white
  • Positive Film: makes blue, green or red colors more intense
  • Lighter Skin Tone: makes skin tones lighter
  • Darker Skin Tone: makes skin tones darker
  • Vivid Blue: emphasizes blue tint
  • Vivid Green: emphasizes green tint
  • Vivid Red: emphasizes red tint
  • Custom Color: manually adjust the contrast, sharpness, and color saturation
  • My Colors Off: records normally with this setting

Display Overlays: You can display a variety of guides and overlays in the LCD to aid you in shooting images. These include shooting information, grid lines, an electronic level, and a histogram.

Wind Filter: The Wind Filter suppresses noise during audio recording when the wind is strong.

Play, Edit, and Print Functions

Review: After an image is recorded, it will appear in the LCD monitor for a preset number of seconds for reviewing. You can select the review time from Quick, 2 seconds, 4 seconds, 8 seconds, or Off. It will also display until you press the shutter button halfway to focus your next shot (Hold).

Focus Check Display: Focus Check display allows you to check the focus of image taken and allows you to easily check facial expressions and whether a subject's eyes are closed. This feature can be set to allow you to check the focus of an image taken right after shooting the subject.

Jump Images: When you have a lot of images recorded onto a memory card, you can use the Jump feature to speed up your search for the image you want to view. You can choose from the following categories:

  • Favorites: displays images tagged as favorites
  • Shot Date: displays the images shot on a specified date
  • Jump 10 Images: jumps over 10 images at a time
  • Jump 100 Images: jumps over 100 images at a time

Index Replay: This feature allows you to view 6, 12, 42, or 110 images at once on the LCD monitor so that you can search for an image quickly.

Image Magnification: When viewing a still picture in Single Image Replay mode, you can magnify the image up to 10x to get a closer look at the detail. You can also maneuver around in the magnified picture by using the multi-purpose control dial.

Slide Show: Images stored on a memory card can automatically be displayed one-by-one using the Slide Show function. Each image displays for approximately 3-10, 15, or 30 seconds. You can choose whether you want a fade transition effect or not.

Movie Playback: In addition to normal playback of your video clips the camera features slow-motion, fast-forward, rewind and frame-by-frame playback.

Cropping: You can crop a portion of a recorded image and save it as a new image file. You can also trim the beginnings and ends of recorded movies in one-second increments.

Resizing Images: You can resize images to a lower pixel setting and save the resized image as a separate file.

Protecting Images: The protect feature allows you to protect important images from accidental erasure.

PictBridge/Wireless Printing: You can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compatible printer of any brand with an optional USB cable and print photos without having to connect it to a computer. You can also connect the camera wirelessly via an access point or directly.

Battery Information

Power Requirements: The Canon PowerShot G3 X powered by the supplied NB-10L rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack (7.4V / 920mAh / 6.8Wh). The battery pack can be charged in the supplied CB-2LC battery charger in approximately 1 hours and 50 minutes. For long periods of continuous use, or when connected to a computer, it is recommended that the camera be connected to the optional ACK-DC80 AC adapter kit. The typical performance of the battery is as follows:

Still Images Screen On: Approx 300 shots
Eco Mode: Approx. 410 shots
Movie Recording Typical Screen On: Approx. 65 mins
Continuous Screen On: Approx. 125 mins
Playback Time Screen On: Approx. 6 hours

Eco Mode: To save battery power, the screen darkens when the camera is not used for approximately two seconds, then turns off after another ten seconds. The camera shuts itself off after three minutes of inactivity.

Input and Output Notes

Digital Terminal: The PowerShot G3 X has a Mini-B USB 2.0 Hi-Speed terminal to allow you to connect the camera to a compatible computer or compatible printer via a USB cable (not included).

Mini HDMI Output: The PowerShot G3 X features a mini-HDMI (Type C) output for connecting the camera to your HDTV.

Remote Switch: The camera has a 2.5mm sub-minijack for connecting the optional RS-60E3 Remote Switch. The 25" Remote Switch helps prevent camera shake when taking photographs using a tripod.

Microphone Input: A 3.5mm input terminal is provided to connect an optional external microphone.

Headphone Output: You can plug a pair of headphones into the 3.5mm headphone output to monitor audio as it is captured as you shoot, or during movie playback.

Software

Software: The PowerShot G3 X does not come with software in the box. The following software programs are available for download from the Canon website:

  • CameraWindow: import images and change camera settings
  • Digital Photo Professional: browse, process, and edit RAW images
  • Image Transfer Utility: set up Image Sync, receive images

Operating Systems:  The software is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows: Compatible with Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7 (SP1)
  • Macintosh: Compatible with OS X 10.9 and 10.8

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