The Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III does a lot different to its predecessor models. The sensor has grown even more, the same 24 megapixel resolution APS-C sensor is used as in the EOS cameras. But the zoom range and the light intensity of the lens shrank. It is thanks to the fact that the camera is more compact than the G1 X Mark II – and that, although now even an electronic viewfinder and a swivel and rotatable touchscreen are used. In the test, we clarify whether the innovations bring benefits, especially against more compact and brighter 1 “sensor cameras.
Ergonomics and workmanship
Considering the sensor size and the resolution of 24 megapixels, the PowerShot G1 X Mark III is indeed the new compact camera flagship from Canon. In addition, it weighs just under 400 grams more than 20 percent less than the G1 X Mark II and the dimensions have shrunk dramatically. This is made possible by a clear compromise on the lens: it forfeits 50 mm telephoto focal length and an aperture of light intensity. Thus, it zooms only from 24 to 72 millimeters in the small picture equivalent and skin with a light intensity of F2,8-5,6 nobody off the stool. Although the camera has become much more compact, it can not keep up with a current 1 “sensor camera such as the RX100 III and upwards from Sony, with the Sony even offering the much brighter lens with F1.8 to 2.8. The comparison in image quality should be so exciting, at least as far as the low-light capabilities, because the Canon you have to ISO sensitivity to 1.3 to two steps higher in comparison to the Sony. But more on that in the relevant section.
In fact, we find the size of the G1 X Mark III very pleasant. It is compact and easily disappears in a jacket pocket, but it is not so tiny that you do not know how to hold it securely. She is exactly right! The housing consists of a mix of metal and plastic parts, which have an extremely high-quality finish. In addition, generous rubber covers provide the necessary grip, even if the material used is likely to be a bit more non-slip. A relatively small Griffwulst improves the ergonomics something else, but it might also be a bit bigger in view of the further protruding from the housing lens. According to Canon, the case should even have a splash and dust protection. Unfortunately, we can not detect any seals at the bottom of the battery and memory card slots. One should not necessarily wantonly challenge it.
Less successful is the arrangement of the front wheel, but at least it snaps nicely. The ring on the lens, however, operates continuously, which is not pleasant in every function that you can do with it. This is useful for continuous zooming or manual focusing, but not when the step zoom function is on the ring (the ring switch on the shutter button can continue to zoom continuously) or the ISO sensitivity, iris, or other discrete set point function. The thumbwheel also plays a central role in the operation. It is arranged on the back around the Vierweibippe around and looks a bit fipsig. It can still serve passable, because it is grippy and rotates easily resting well, without necessarily inadvertently running the four-way function.
In contrast to the somewhat tiny four-way controller, the buttons on the back are slightly larger, but very recessed. That looks noble, but they do not feel good. You only notice the slightly smoother texture compared to the surrounding rubber, that it is a button. The compact housing does not leave much room for controls. All buttons are rich in contrast, though perhaps a bit too small for some, with the default function printed. Right away, we lack an ISO button here, even a Fn button does not exist. A few keys can be reprogrammed, such as the assignment of the three dials and the function of the video key and the focus area button.
The touchscreen proves to be very useful in practice, as it can also be used for operation. Here, the ISO sensitivity can be touched directly, in order to then also adjust it via the touch screen or classic with buttons. The same applies to the exposure parameters Aperture and Exposure time. Exposure compensation, on the other hand, is controlled by a dominant, large, fixed-focus dial on the top of the camera. An accidental adjustment is not impossible, but occurred only rarely with us. Incidentally, the wheel is completely without function in fully automatic mode, so an inexperienced photographer can not unknowingly “screw up” the exposure.
Furthermore, the menus can be operated via the touchscreen, if desired via the corresponding button. The menus are divided into a few main categories and therein into numbered tabs. This allows a quick scrolling, but after some function you have to look for something. Since the customizable “My Menu” is very useful. The quick menu can even be called up as an alternative to the button directly via a touch button and can also be adjusted to your own needs by sorting as well as fading in and out functions.
In addition, the touch function is of course extremely practical for setting the focus area. Instead of tediously moving the focus point over the screen with buttons, simply type in the subject detail that should be in focus. The screen resolves with a million pixels at a diagonal of 7.5 centimeters sufficiently fine. The maximum brightness of just over 700 cd / m² is just enough to recognize something in bright environments, but that is no longer really comfortable, especially details in darker areas of the subject may be difficult to recognize. We already had much brighter displays with other cameras.
Since the screen is held in 3: 2 aspect ratio, the same as the shooting sensor, there are no black mourning borders in live image mode, but the displays hide part of the live image. These can be faded out with the info button, just as a spirit level or grid grid can be displayed. There is also a live histogram and an exposure preview, which automatically disables when using a flash so you can see your subject in dark flash-lit situations. Extremely practical is also the swivel and hinge of the screen. It can thus be optimally positioned for all possible shooting situations or folded upside down for protection against the camera.
The electronic viewfinder has a handy proximity sensor that works a bit too sensitive. Not even a fold down deactivates the screen. Especially with the touchscreen operation of the screen, it can happen that the monitor suddenly goes dark because one finger is too close to the sensor. That would be understandable, one could use the touchscreen, for example, folded sideways, while looking through the viewfinder as a touchpad, but this is not. The viewfinder itself resolves fine enough with 2.36 million pixels, but it’s not too big. Unfortunately, Canon does not indicate the magnification, it should be at or just over 0.5 times compared to the small picture. In addition, wear glasses have trouble seeing the viewfinder without shadowing. Here, if necessary, the diopter correction helps. Otherwise, the viewfinder image shows the same information as the monitor image, even the menus can be used in the viewfinder. This relativizes the not very bright screen, because in sunny environments you can fall back on the viewfinder.
Much too small is the battery. With only 4.5 Wh, the NB-13L is downright fabulous, and the juice runs out quickly. Just 200 shots according to CIPA standard are possible. If you dispense with the use of the already low-performance internal flash, there are a few more shots. Fortunately, the battery can be recharged in the camera via the micro USB interface, for example from a power bank. In addition, Canon comes with an external charger, so that you can even charge both with the purchase of a second battery (one external, one in the camera). The G1 X III is also not picky about the USB charger.
In the battery compartment on the bottom of the camera is also the SD card, SDHC and SDXC swallows the Canon also complain, only UHS II is not supported (corresponding cards then work in the slower UHS-I mode). With a write speed of a good 75 megabytes per second, the card interface is also sufficiently fast, so that there is hardly any waiting time with a correspondingly fast memory card.
Unfavorably placed is the tripod thread. It does not sit in the optical axis, but next to the battery and memory card slot. Even very small quick release plates block access to the battery and memory card. The other interface equipment is not too lush. In addition to the micro-USB port, there is also a micro-HDMI jack and a cable remote release connector (mini-jack) behind a slightly windy rubber cover on the handle side. A stereo microphone for video recordings, however, can not be used. After all, the wireless connectivity with NFC, Bluetooth and WLAN is exemplary (more on that later).
The program dial looms to the left of the viewfinder on the top of the camera and is locked against accidental adjustment. Here, the Canon offers not only a fully automatic mode with scene recognition, but also some selectable scene modes and creative filter effects. Both the pan panorama and HDR functions are only available via scene modes. Exposure bracketing in the P, A, S, and M creative programs, where the photographer can choose to control the exposure parameters, takes only three pictures with a maximum of two EV exposure distances, which is not for an HDR image created on the computer a lot of.
Even otherwise, the Canon is sufficient, but not necessarily lavish equipped. For example, the depth of field can be controlled by tapping the shutter button in the live image. The focus can be decoupled from the shutter button on the AEL button and manual focus is supported by the focus magnifier and a switchable focus peaking function. The minimum focusing distance, which varies depending on the focal length between ten centimeters in the wide angle and 35 centimeters at almost full zoom and 30 centimeters at full zoom, together with the large sensor does not exactly for a good macro fitness. The field of view in the wide-angle as well as in the telephoto is about 13.5 times nine centimeters, which corresponds to a magnification of 1: 6 or 1: 3.75 in the small picture equivalent.
After all, thanks to the 37mm filter thread, you can use close-up lenses to improve the macro skills a bit. Also, for example, polarizing filters can be used so easily. A neutral density filter offers the camera even without accessories, it can be activated via the quick menu and swallows three stops light. This enormously expands the creative scope. The ability to fade to F16, gives a lot of creative scope, because so much is revealed: Too strong, the diffraction of F16 does not yet book.
The autofocus works fast, within 0.23 to 0.28 seconds focused the G1 X Mark III from infinity to two meters and triggers. The pure shutter lag with pre-focused subject is even just 0.05 seconds. The camera works with a hybrid system of phase and contrast measurement. The dual-pixel architecture of the image sensor makes this possible, because each pixel consists of two parts that can be used for focusing or for measuring focus. The triggering itself is almost noiseless, because it comes a central closure used. The shortest exposure time is limited to 1 / 2.000 seconds. After all, this can be controlled from the open panel, which is really not self-evident with the central shutter.
Thanks to the hybrid car’s focus, the Canon can shoot with seven frames per second including focus tracking. Without giving Canon even nine bursts per second. We reached 8.7 in JPEG and even 9.4 in Raw, but the maximum number of frames in Raw at 16 was a little behind the promised 19, while in JPEG even one picture more than the promised 24 pictures was possible. Thereafter, the burst rate drops to 4.5 frames per second in JPEG or 1.9 frames per second in Raw; this speed is then maintained until the memory card is completely filled. You should not save on the memory card, because with up to 75 megabytes per second Canon writes for the UHS-I standard neatly fast. Noteworthy waiting times hardly occur after long series of pictures.
The integrated flash is slightly puny with a guide number of just over six, good range it achieves only with significantly increased ISO sensitivity. In addition, the flash must be opened manually, a folding can not be said in view of the tiny mechanics. After all, the flash offers a slow sync, an optional ignition at the end instead of at the beginning of the exposure and an exposure compensation, but manually it offers only three power levels. Thanks to the central shutter it flashes even at the shortest exposure time. The System Flash Shoe allows you to use Canon’s large Speedlite flashes directly on the camera. Wireless flash is only possible with a corresponding control unit on the camera, the internal flash is unfortunately not able to do so.
In the video function, the Canon hangs behind the present and remains with a maximum Full HD resolution in the past. 4K still seems to be hardly an issue for the Japanese manufacturer. Too bad, because here gives away the camera, as well as the missing microphone connection, potential. The Full HD videos are of good quality, with up to 60 frames per second they are even extremely fluid. The distinction between the offered refresh rates after PAL and NTSC setting in the camera are also outdated. There is nothing to complain about the quality of the videos, the optical zoom can be slowed down (zooming sounds, albeit quietly, can reach the soundtrack),
In playback mode, the Canon offers some editing options for photos, even creative filters can be applied later. On the other hand, videos can not be edited. The integrated raw data converter is exemplary.
Interesting and diverse are also the wireless functions. Thanks to NFC, the chip is tucked away on the bottom of the camera, making it easy to connect to the corresponding devices. Bluetooth provides a power-saving permanent connection with a smartphone or tablet, whose GPS signal can also tap the camera by the way. With the help of faster Wi-Fi connection photos can be transmitted wirelessly, a camera remote control is possible. More details can be found in the photo tip in the following links. The Canon Connect Station CS100 is also supported. It can store photos and retrieve them from other devices.
As mentioned earlier, Canon is focusing on a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor in the G1 X Mark III, setting it apart from the mass-market competition, which relies on the smaller 1 “sensor, as a compromise, the lens comparatively zoom – and faint, what one or the other advantage of the larger sensor mathematically consumed again.
In order to study the image quality accurately, we have tested it not only in practice, but also in our measuring laboratory. The detailed laboratory test with all diagrams, on which the following considerations are based, can be called up over the further links for a small fee. We also offer time-limited prepaid flat rates for accessing the entire lab test archive with over 1,700 lab tests. This makes it easy to compare other cameras with the Canon. Even those who are not interested in the lab test itself, but would like to reward this free camera test to support our editors, can do this the easiest way to buy a lab test.
The image quality of a camera stands and falls with the lens. If you can not switch this one to another like a compact camera – like the G1 X – this is even more important. In fact, the lens convinces in practice with high contrasts and good light resistance. In the laboratory measurement, it shows only a slight marginal darkening, which rises very gently towards the edge of the picture. The distortion is excellently corrected and color fringes can hardly be measured appreciably. These optical errors are now all reduced electronically in part, which manifests itself as a negative effect in a reinforced edge blurring, especially the distortion correction is notorious for it.
The lens of the G1 X Mark III resolves very high even at open aperture in the image center with almost 60 line pairs per millimeter (lp / mm) in the small picture equivalent at 50 percent contrast. The zoom setting does not matter, the lens is very good at every focal length. Only the diffraction slows the resolution when dimming slowly, but even with F11 the resolution in the image center is over 50 lp / mm, even with F16 it is still 45 lp / mm and more. The edge resolution is also surprisingly high. At each measured focal length, it is clearly more than 40 at open aperture and even more than 50 lp / mm at long focal length. Thus, the lens shows less edge resolution loss than the competition, which fights especially in the wide-angle with significant loss of resolution at the edge of the image. It does not matter.
Furthermore, the large APS-C sensor ensures a good signal-to-noise ratio at least at ISO 100 and 200 of over 40 dB. Only above ISO 1600 does it fall below the critical limit of 35 dB. The noise itself is fine-grained and thus does not tend to form blocks. From ISO 3.200, it appears as a slight brightness noise, but remains at a low level up to ISO 12,800. Color noise plays virtually no role. However, the noise reduction already above ISO 200 reduces the texture sharpness, so fine details are also ironed out with the noise, above ISO 1.600 is also clearly visible.
Compared to the smaller 1 “sensor, the Canon can not settle with it, but we already know that from the 1” sensor cameras from Canon, which lag behind the quality of the competition by at least one ISO level. Here, in case of doubt, only the grip on the raw data format remains, in order to get even more out of the sensor at higher sensitivities. In any case, the JPEG, especially in view of the faint lens in JPEG draws no advantage from the larger sensor in shooting situations with low ambient light, here are even more likely the cameras with a smaller sensor at an advantage. As long as the light is sufficient or you can use a tripod, the image quality of the Canon is clearly better and looks more natural.
The G1 X Mark III scores very well in terms of input dynamics. At ISO 100, it is well above twelve f-stops, even at ISO 1600 it is still well over eleven f-stops, so high contrasts are processed very well. Only above ISO 6,400 does the input dynamics break significantly. The tone curve is significantly faster for a crisp, high-contrast reproduction, while the sharpness artifacts are kept relatively low. They appear, but are not too strong, so that the pictures look detailed, but not artificial. If you like to shoot in JPEG, you should also take a look at the image styles in the menu, because they can be adjusted with respect to sharpening, contrasting and color reproduction extremely fine and rich in parameters.
The output tonal range is almost perfect at ISO 100, because almost all 256 brightness gradations available are also used. The tonal range decreases almost linearly with increasing ISO sensitivity. Up to ISO 1,600, the value of more than 160 gradations is still good, but already at ISO 3200 only 128 levels are used. The manual white balance is extremely accurate and the automatic is good, with ISO 100 differentiating up to about eight million colors, an excellent value. Up to ISO 1,600 it is a very good four million and more colors. With the color fidelity however it does not take the Canon so exactly. Although the deviation is low on average, some shades are visibly off the mark. Yellow is slightly shifted to the green and also desaturated like the greens, Purple, on the other hand, tends to magenta and reds are very oversaturated. Whether one finds this color reproduction beautiful is a thoroughly subjective matter of opinion, the practice shows in any case that an absolutely neutral color reproduction in a measurement may be desirable, but the viewer is not necessarily considered in practice as “beautiful colors”.
The Canon PowerShot G1 XMark III is a completely successful, if not perfect, camera that can be recommended without hesitation. Although she has a little over 1,100 euros a not too cheap price, but also the consideration is correct. It is compact and of high quality, without being too small for a decent ergonomics. She works fast and has everything you need on board what you need for daily photography, even if the extras are a bit frugal. The video function is very good, even if the 4K resolution is missing. In the image quality, it stands out pleasantly from the competition. This is not only due to the good APS-C sensor, which also delivers a high resolution in practice, but above all the very good lens, which dissolves high over a large aperture range and also at the edge of the picture in contrast to the 1 “.
The large sensor gives you a very good picture quality with sufficient light. If the light shrinks, the Canon can barely stand out from the 1 “competition, not only because of the slightly weak sensor above ISO 1600, but also because of the not too fast lens Even those who buy a DSLR or system camera only because of the large image sensor, but do not want to change lenses, receives with the Canon PowerShot G1 Mark III X a worthwhile alternative, because this image quality in combination with the compactness is not to get in the interchangeable lens sector, a camera with cheap standard zoom can not compete.