Canon G1X Mark III Preview - Review

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The long awaited Canon Powershot G1X Mark III has finally been announced although only for Pre-order. We can expect suppliers to carry them early to mid November 2017.

What are the Pros and Cons of the G1X Mark III ?  

Canon initially had success with their first generation of the G1X as it boosted a much larger sensor then what the standard compact cameras had at that time or a 1.5 inch size sensor.  However with the 1 inch sensor that Sony introduced in their Sony RX100 things changed.   Sony offered the RX100 with a 1 inch size sensor in a much smaller form factor and with a lens focal length of 24-100mm and Aperture of F1.8-4.9.     Soon Sony introduced the the RX100m2 with an improved sensor and same focal length. Then they introduced the RX100m3, they decided to provide a faster lens F1.8-2.8 which meant that they had to cut the focal length to 24-70mm to keep the similar size of the lens.  Then came the RX100m3 which seen the Hot Shoe removed and instead we got a Pop Up EVF.   Then came the RX100m4 which again introduced an improved 1inch sensor and now 4k recording.   In 2016 we seen the release of the Sony RX100 V which addressed a bit the overheating issues in 4k but also introduced a new sensor with Phase Detect points for better tracking focus.

The Canon G1X was introduced in 2012 with a 1.5 inch sensor and focal range of 28-112mm F2.8-5.8.    In 2014 Canon released the G1X M II with a 1.5 inch sensor and a new lens with focal range of 24-120mm F2.0-3.9.  In 2017 Canon releases the G1X M III with an APS-C size sensor and lens with focal range of 24-72mm and aperture of F2.8-F.6,

The form factor has changed much over the 3 models. The G1X M I did have an Optical Viewfinder vs the G1X M II did not come with a Viewfinder.  The G1X M III now has an Electronic View Finder (EVF).    The original G1X was 496g and the G1X M II was 588g but the new G1X M III is down to 399g.

With the introduction of the 20MP 1 inch sensor and the rapid technology improvements Sony has made on it means the image quality has improved and low light ability and dynamic range have surpassed the 1.5 12.8MP Canon sensor.  Given the size and weight of the Canon G1X M II vs the Sony RX100 V or Lumix LX10 or Canon G7/5/9X many have ignored the G1X M II and opted for a smaller body with 1 inch sensor.   

The highlights of the G1X M III are 

  • APS-C size sensor 
  • DPAP - Dual Pixel Auto Focus 
  • Compact size and only 399g weight 
  • Touch LCD -   with Touch Focus and Touch menu and Display functions
  • Wi-Fi · Bluetooth · NFC installed
  • Continuous shooting: Approximately 9 frames per second, about 7 fps with tracking focus
  • Articulating LCD 

Many might not write home about the looks but they seem functional.  Canon is really copying the style from the Canon G5X which introduced an adjustment wheel on front of the camera.  Not a bad idea although it affects the looks quite a bit but maybe there was no space inside the body for a more of a traditional scroll wheel.  My take is more manual controls are typically always better.   It is interesting that the G1X M III is about the same size as the G5X which has a 1 inch sensor but of course longer focal range of 24-100mm the same as the G7X/M II.

The points one many will bring out as negatives will be 

  • No 4k
  • Slow lens for a short lens -  F2.8-5.6 which means less out of focus blur and not as good in low light 
  • No Mic Input or Headphone output for audio during video recordings
  • Lens does not include auto lenscap - users have to manually remove lens cap 

Many Vloggers are still wafting for the ideal Vlogging camera, one with good Tracking Focus, 4k video, articulating LCD, Mic input, fast lens yet compact.  

The G1X M III offers the ideal LCD which is articulating and is a touch LCD  and a sensor with DPAF - Phase Detect for tracking focus.    However fails to deliver Mic input for audio as well as no 4k video.  This is a big disappointment for Vloggers which many use the Sony RX100 V which has Phase Detect but has no Mic input.  Some √Loggers use the Canon D80 as it has Mic input but arguably a large body to do Vlogging with. 




General Specs

  • APS-C CMOS sensor (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
  • Dual pixel CMOS AF
  • Number of effective pixels: 24.2 million pixels 
  • Lens: Focal Range  converted 24 – 72 mm F 2.8 – 5.6
  • Video engine: DIGIC 7
  • Video: Full HD 60p   - No 4k 
  • Continuous shooting: Approximately 9 frames per second, about 7 fps with tracking focus
  • ISO sensitivity: 100-25600
  • EVF: 0.39 type 2.36 million dots
  • Display: 3.0 type 1.04 million dot touch panel Bali angle angle liquid crystal
  • Wi-Fi · Bluetooth · NFC installed
  • Battery: NB-13L
  • Number of storable pictures: 200 pictures, eco mode 250 pictures
  • Recording medium: SD / SDHC / SDXC card
  • Size: 115.0 x 77.9 x 51.4 mm
  • Weight: 375 g (body only), 399 g 



Is the G1X M III for you?   Yes size and weight has come down and now it sports an EVF and articulating LCD with an APS-C size sensor with DPAF for faster tracking focus.

The fact still remains that the size and form factor does not lend it self to every pocket so truly not quite a pocket size camera like the Canon G7X or Sony RX100 V or the Lumix LX10 which all sport a 1 inch size sensor with a faster lens of F1.4 - 2.8 in the case of the Lumix LX10 or F1.8-2.8 in the RX100 V and the Canon G7/5/9X models - 

So the advantages of the G1X M III  larger APS-C size sensor deminess with the slower lens for low light gathering and out of focus blur.  

If you own the G1X M II and are looking to upgrade then you might consider and look into some of the 1 inch size compacts like the Canon G5X which is almost $600 less but same form factor but has longer focal length of 24-100mm F1.8-2.8.     Yes dynamic range will not be quite as good and of corse you will not have Dual Pixel DPAF fast tracking auto focus -  If you do not need fast tracking auto focus  (DPAD or Phase)  then the G5X might be fine.   However you might also want to look at the Sony RX100 V which  has an EVF and fast tracking focus (Phase) and has 4k video and a smaller form factor for around $300 less.

The Canon G1X M III will give you nice image quality and good HD video ( No 4k ) in a small form factor.    

Something to consider - The Canon D80 which has the same sensor with a kit lens 18-55mm and 55-250mm lens can be had for about $100 more or just with the 18-55mm kit lens for $1250.   

For many who need fast tracking focus but like a small form factor the Sony RX100 V for around $1000 will be their choice - for those who do not necessarily need fast tracking auto focus but like small form factor the Canon G7X m II or Lumix LX10 or Canon G5X might be their choice for about $700.   If you are a Canon person and budget not the main concern  and looking for a bit better dynamic range and small form factor for APS-C size sensor the the G1X M III might be your choice 


Tags: Canon Camera and Lens Reviews, Canon Camera and Lens Rumors