After a year of shooting...

Started Mar 15, 2019 | User reviews thread
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RLight Senior Member • Posts: 3,798
After a year of shooting...

Few notable former offerings I've either owned or extensively tested

PowerShot G1X II

Sony RX100 III (extensively tested)

G7X II (extensively tested)



Nikon 1J3

EOS M3, M5, M50

PowerShot S110

Ratings based on vs other point and shoots...

I'll say a couple things out the gate: This is "the" point and shoot to own. Period. It's not exciting with a 24-72 reach f/4.5-9 equivalence. However, it has the sharpest zoom optic for a point and shoot, coupled with the most capable sensor in a point and shoot combined with a rugged body in a very compact form factor with a touch capable fully articulating screen and EVF.

Who this is not for: Sports, bird-ers, portrait shooters. For those look to offerings like the RX10 series/G3X series and G1XII or LX100 series respectively. Those offerings either have the reach, or equivalence for sports or portrait work (however the G1X III does decent portrait work due to sharpness which it trumps the G1X II and LX100 series on, easily, as well as autofocus for candids. It has better tones/colors than the G7X or RX100 series too in regards to candids, which matter, in addition to the sharpness). Not for lean budgets; look to G7X or older RX100 series for bang for buck.

Who this is for: Backup or secondary (fun) camera for pros. Single camera solution otherwise (I used the G1X III for nearly a whole year exclusively, and honestly, it didn't hold me back, except for reach). Hostile environments (to cameras).

Image Quality: This is where this guy delivers. Stunning landscapes. Appealing colors and tones. Quality (not quantity) bokeh. SHARP as a tack. Best in class, hands down. This is why pros will want this little gem for personal use. 5/5.

Autofocus: DPAF is best in class with on-chip phase detection. Only the highest end Sony RX series have this otherwise. However, compared to a high end full frame DSLR or mirrorless, it's got room for improvement. I have to give it 5/5 for kids/pets for what it is (as there isn't something better that's a true point and shoot) but AI-servo in particular should not be relied on. DIGIC8 G series Powershots coming shortly should improve in this area, but aren't out as of this review. Also, disable continuous autofocus which is on by default, although it speeds up autofocus it produces AFMA issues due to loose AF lock thresholds employed. This won't match a DSLR in some situations like tracking, but in others like low light, it'll defeat most APS-C DSLR's indoors due to it's modern sensor, DIGIC7 processor coupled with a f/2.8 lens on the wide end. Best AF of a Powershot. Video AF is class leading with DPAF obviously.

Low Light: Once again, most places where you're going to find low light will be indoors. I have to give this 4/5 because the G1X II in particular does reach and low light better. However in virtually all other circumstances the G1X III stands above the rest at it's widest focal length which will most often be employed in these circumstances. It's IQ will hold better then the although faster equivalence, but not as well performing ISO LX100 series, the RX100 series with both slower equivalence (on the wide end) and smaller sensor.

Landscapes: With it's sharp lens and wide lens and modern APS-C sensor, this is cream of the crop, no pun intended.

Macro: It's decent. Although it's not as close focusing as other's, due to the lenses sharpness, I might actually pretty strongly recommend it surprisingly.

Portraits: Due to it's class leading AF, colors and skin tones, coupled with although not best in class equivalence, very close leading though, I actually give this guy 4/5, if not 5/5 depending on what you're doing in a point and shoot. Although there are other offerings like the X100 series with much faster equivalence, they don't have reach.

Video: No, it doesn't do 4K. And that's perfectly fine. This is one of those cameras that exceeds it's spec sheet here. Due to it's 24-72 reach, IS with Digital IS, DPAF, Canon colors, built-in ND filter and fully articulating screen, this is actually a REALLY good video camera. I take more video with this then my EOS R, my former EOS M's, former Powershots. And guess what? The video is usually better on this due to that ND filter and the lens. Astonishing, I know. Blasphemy too coming from a full frame owner. It gives me the best video results at the end of the day of any camera I've owned. Probably will continue to I might add even when newer cameras come out, even with 4K. Without a fully articulating screen, ND-filter and as sharp of a lens, it's still going to win even as more of Canon's own G series get 4K.

Compared to...

RX100 series: Formidable opponent. Cooler less true to life colors. Not as fun to use. Not as durable. Less sharp lens, touchscreen woes. If you're comparing a RX100 against the G1X III, forgive my bluntness, it's in the G7X class. The G1X III stands above it in both Canon's own marketing material and cost, for a reason. Only the RX100 VI would I say you should really consider, and consider it for reach. Apples to Apples, the RX100 V for example, only has size to it's advantage in my opinion, otherwise in use the G1X III defeats it considering it shares the same IQ of the RX100 III I've used in the past. 1" is 1" and APS-C is APS-C. It is that simple despite what online reviewers or others will tell you. And if not? Look at sample galleries, even DPR's own. Pretty obvious. You're comparing a 24MP APS-C against a 20MP 1". Softer lens, less resolution, less DR, less SNR. In a nutshell, less image quality, I'll just say it, on top of being less fun.

G7X/G5X Series: The sensible option. Much more bang for buck. More compact or more reach. Softer lens. No DPAF (for video). Not as good of skin tones. Not as good in low light. Not as good in landscapes. Not as good of autofocus. You do get what you pay for, and the G1X III is more expensive for a reason. But most folks, think G7X, RX100 or G5X, it's true. This is the middle of a curve, which encompasses the largest audience. But the G1X III, as I just mentioned bests it in all regards except reach. But, not by much.

LX100 Series: Probably the closest real competitor in a nutshell. 4/3 is a larger format than the 1"'s. Shows in image quality. But, it's still not APS-C. It's still contrast detection. It's not as rugged as many reports of dust in the lens. Doesn't have a fully articulating screen. The G1X III is still winning here in the image quality world, but the LX100 (II in particular) is very close.

G1X II: The III is better, across the board: IQ, Autofocus, video, size, etc etc etc. The G1X II however has the best lens for reach and low light. Period. If you're doing a lot of reach and low light, keep it, otherwise yes, the G1X III is an upgrade.

X100 Series: An alternative. Fixed lens though. Now we're talking APS-C though! And being a prime lens, this is the one camera that bests the G1X III in IQ, but once again, no zoom. It doesn't goes as wide making it less apt for landscapes and doesn't go as zoom for portraits. However, as an avid 35mm shooter myself, it's as I said, an alternative.

Leica Q or RX1 Series: Fixed lens. These are FF though, and it shows. But like the G1X III, I gather they are a best of the best for fixed lens in a point and shoot. However the price points do bring into question perhaps a EOS R, Nikon Z or Sony A7 with appropriate native mirrorless lens might've been smarter?

EOS M Series: By the same logic and hence the segue, the EOS M series is cheaper, can swap lenses and is APS-C and Canon DPAF at that for the newer offerings. This is arguably the G1X III's true enemy, if there is such a thing. But, an EOS M, is not as compact as a G1X III once a lens is attached, nor does it have a zoom lens that can match the equivalence or optical performance of the G1X III (f/2.8-5.6 vs f/3.5-6.3, does closer macro, smoother but not necessarily more bokeh, sharp vs the EF-M 15-45 or 18-150). I came from an EOS M5 to the G1X III as I wanted even more compact, with a general purpose zoom. But I think most people will probably land either on a G7X or EOS M offering that are considering the G1X III either due to price, size or lens swap considerations. Of note, the M system gets you really small, but not quite this small. It does matter. The G1X III won't get in the way of say vacation or an event, swapping lenses of an M, will. It's not as clear cut and dry of a choice in all honesty (M or G1X III) having owned both. Comes down to if you want lenses, or not when you travel.

Where the G1X III shines is for those already vested in say a full frame system that want a take it everywhere weapon. Those going on vacation. Family shooters (with lots of $$). You don't want to be lugging around optics for vacation, well some people do, sometimes I do. But I know it's wiser not to and to take the G1X III instead. Trust me, my wife's birthday, she hates the camera getting in the way, be it my R, or former Ms, I'll be bringing the G1X III to wine country, not the R.

Couple last thoughts:

Extra battery is smart.

Turn off continuous AF (if you didn't catch that tip) for best image quality

This has survived rain, sand and blows. It's tough. I do have Carepak on it, but have never used it.

The front dial is useless, in my book.

Panorama is useful though. I don't use it often enough.

I like the G1X III more than I did when I got it, always a good sign.

I switch screen names every now and again for various reasons, but here's a larger gallery I put up from it that's well rounded:

 RLight's gear list:RLight's gear list
Canon G5 X II Canon EOS R Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro
Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III
24 megapixels • 3 screen • 24 – 72 mm (3×)
Announced: Oct 16, 2017
RLight's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
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