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[Part 2] A Rich Variety of Shooting Features & Accessories

The PowerShot G3 X comes with a rich variety of shooting features ideal for serious photography, such as bulb exposure and the ability to customize button operations. In the second installation of this review, we check out some noteworthy functions and accessories that will expand the range of shooting possibilities available to you. (Reported by: Masakatsu Nagayama)

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The camera, fitted with the external electronic viewfinder, EVF-DC1 and optional Lens Hood LH-DC100 & Filter Adapter FA-DC67B (which allows you to mount 67mm filters), all sold separately.

Includes Full HD movies, Wi-Fi transmission and even Creative Shot

AF is carried out through the contrast detection method, and AF speed moves sufficiently fast on both the wide-angle and telephoto ends of the zoom. If street photography is what you're looking at, the AF will not disappoint.

The PowerShot G3 X can take up to around 5.9 shots per second in continuous shooting mode, when the AF mode is set to ‘One Shot' and the recording file format is set to JPEG.

Movies can be recorded at a maximum image quality of 1,920 × 1,080/60p Full HD in MP4 format. During movie shooting, in addition to the optical image stabilizer, there is also an electronic image stabilizer that can correct camera shake caused by movement parallel to the camera, as well as the correction of distortions caused by horizontal and vertical rotation.

Besides all that, the camera also comes with various other features such as Zoom Memory, which can remember zoom and focus positions; an internal ND filter which reduces light intensity by 3 stops; Star mode, which can capture a starry sky in the form of star trials; and Creative Shot, which can record 6 still images for one shot, 5 of them with different special effects applied. Wi-Fi and NFC compatibility also mean that you can carry out remote shooting from another device such as a smartphone.

This is the first time the bulb exposure feature has been made available on a Canon compact camera. Shots may be exposed up to a maximum of 256 seconds.

During manual focus, you can magnify the display up to 4x as well as show peaking. The design of the menu screens is similar to that of EOS cameras.

Custom functions can be assigned not just to the dials and wheels, but also to the rear shortcut buttons, Movie button and the MF button on the lens barrel base among others.

Besides turning off the image display after shots, you can also change the length of time the image is displayed to ‘Quick', ‘2 sec.', ‘4 sec.', ‘8 sec.' and ‘Hold'.

The camera has a small, built-in manual pop-up flash. You can also attach an external flash or an external flash transmitter to the hot shoe.

The camera records on SDXC/ SDHC/ SD memory cards, and uses NB-10L lithium ion batteries. It can take approx. 300 shots based on CIPA measurement guideline. In Eco Mode, it can take approx. 410 shots.

Selfie-friendly tilting LCD screen

The 3.2-type TFT LCD monitor, with an effective pixel count of approximately 1.62 megapixels, can be tilted up to 180 degrees upwards and 45 degrees downwards and is fitted with a capacitive-type touchscreen panel. The LCD screen is adequately bright and has high definition, which makes it easy to check even when outdoors.

The tilt-type LCD screen is useful for shooting from low or high positions. By rotating it 180 degrees upward, you can even take a selfie.

There is no electronic viewfinder, which is instead available as an optional accessory. For times where you desire stability during shooting, you'll want to have the EVF-DC1 on hand.

With the optional accessory EVF-DC1 on the hot shoe. This makes it easier to secure and frame shots during telephoto shooting.

The EVF-DC1 can be tilted up to 90 degrees. Its built-in eye sensor allows automatic switching to and from the LCD monitor.

High-power, high-functionality and suitable for a wide range of scenes

All in all, I felt that this was a camera that allowed an extremely large degree of photographic freedom. On top of its wide optical zoom range, said to be 25 times, it has a wide range of features ranging from auto to manual, that make it suitable for all sorts of uses.

That the electronic viewfinder is available only as an optional accessory will probably split opinions. Even so, the camera's competition-busting compact, lightweight size can also be said to be a result of making the viewfinder an external accessory.

The biggest appeal of the PowerShot G3 X lies in how it has managed to make 600mm-equivalent photography, somehow a hurdle for DSLRs, as enjoyable as taking snapshots. As for how much its effective 20.2-megapixel pixel count, 1.0-inch type CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 processor manage to deliver on image quality—we'll let you know in the separate, test-use review series.

Masakatsu Nagayama

Runs an advertising studio, and started being a freelance photographer in 1998, where he has been active mainly in the advertising scene, shooting for magazines and online media. His speciality lies in snapshots of city life.

Digital Camera Watch

Delivers daily news related to topics such as digital cameras and peripheral devices, and imaging software. Also publishes articles such as reviews on the use of actual digital camera models and photo samples taken using new models.