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Pro or Amateur? Two photographers review the PowerShot G3 X

As the high-end compact camera war picks up pace, Canon introduced a new member into its enthusiast-oriented PowerShot G-series lineup - the Canon PowerShot G3 X, offering a lot more zoom reach than its counterpart the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II. We approached a professional and an amateur photographer to give the compact camera a test run. (Reported by: Natalie Koh, Photos by: Adrian Seetho)

f/4.0, 1/2000s, ISO 125, FL: 24mm

What professional photographer Adrian Seetho loves about the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

Expert Manual Control

The PowerShot G3 X offers full manual control over the camera settings and features a dedicated mode dial and exposure compensation dial on its top plate.

The 3-inch touch-screen LCD has an EOS-like interface and ensures excellent colour accuracy, image clarity and contrast. Its touch interface also enables more intuitive control - pinch zoom capability in review mode and Touch AF for instant selection of focus points. This is an extremely helpful feature for video push-pull and focusing.

Quick access to advanced manual controls and settings is made easy thanks to a dedicated mode dial, an exposure compensation dial and a customizable, smooth, Lens Control Ring that gives user control over subtle focus adjustments - the Lens Control Ring also allows you to adjust settings such as aperture and shutter speed.

f/4.0, 1/80s, ISO 1600, FL: 35mm

1/80s, f/4.0, ISO 1600, FL: 35mm

Incredible Zoom Range

The PowerShot G3 X sports an equivalent 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 zoom. That's a ton of zoom! This makes the PowerShot G3 X an excellent choice for photographers looking for a large reach, thanks to its one-inch sensor and fixed long-range zoom lens. Despite its powerful lens, the Canon PowerShot G3 X is actually pretty compact, making it handy for carrying around while enjoying an incredible zoom range. If you want a large, enthusiast-grade image sensor and the maximum possible zoom range, you’re likely reaching for your wallet already!

1/160s, f/4.0, ISO 640, FL: 24mm

Social Media Companion

In recognition of the social media phenomenon, Canon packs two important features into its Canon PowerShot G3 X - a tilt screen for selfie lovers and an inbuilt Wi-Fi. This definitely pleases social media fanatics like me. The Wi-Fi connectivity allows wireless transfer and quick image sharing, along with NFC technology to speed up connection to NFC-enabled smartphones and tablets. Talk about instant Instagram and Facebook sharing!


I think that Canon has produced some of the best compact cameras to date. The 1-inch 20.2 megapixels sensor, 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 zoom lens and reliably solid Canon style controls makes the Canon PowerShot G3 X a superb choice for someone looking for a more pocketable alternative to their Digital SLR. Something I would definitely love to bring around as my everyday companion.

1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 400, FL: 600mm

What professional photographer Adrian Seetho loves about the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

Compact Design

Significantly more compact than your full-bodied DSLRs, the Canon PowerShot G3 X makes for an excellent travel companion. Weighing just 733g and measuring 123.3 x 76.5 x 105.3mm, the PowerShot G3 X fits nicely in a travel bag. And with a wide-range 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 zoom, it certainly saves you the hassle of bringing along a separate zoom lens, as you often have to do with a DSLR.

The built-in retractable flash also allows you to angle your light source to bounce off a nearby surface instead of using hard lighting from a direct flash. When shooting portraits, there was nary an instance of red eye, perhaps due to the placement of the flash, which definitely gives its usability as an all-rounded, everyday camera a boost.

Tilt Screen

Selfie lovers would love the 180-degree tilt of the PowerShot G3 X's screen. That aside, it also allows for shooting at high and low angles without losing sight of your framing. The tilt screen more than makes up for the lack of a built-in viewfinder though an electronic add-on is available.

In addition, the tilt screen comes in extra handy when taking video footage. On that note, the video features are pretty nifty, offering focus peaking to ease your manual focusing efforts. The presence of a microphone socket and headphone jack will satisfy more serious videography needs as well.

Ease of use

For such a compact camera, the allowance for full manual control is certainly impressive. DSLR users will feel at home with its top-mounted control dial, which makes the PowerShot G3 X stand out from previous G series models.

In addition, the camera offers a comfortable grip and thumb rest along with a top-mounted zoom and power control, which makes it a lot easier to have a firm grip of the camera while shooting. The trade-off is that the PowerShot G3 X might look a little bulkier than the usual compact camera, though I personally feel it looks a tad more professional.

All photos are taken by Adrian Seetho with the Canon PowerShot G3X.

Adrian Seetho

A wedding and street photographer based in Singapore, Adrian loves quirky moments and interations, and documenting them raw as they are. Unlike most who regard film photography as a relic of the past, he embraces it as a way of true self expression and the only tangible method of documenting a moment and keeping it carefully stored for future generations. His work is about capturing the goodness and beauty of all that is created, and believes that doing wedding photography offers the single, most-frequent opportunity for him to witness the pinnacle of all creations – Love.

Natalie Koh

Passionate about fashion, food, travel and writing, Natalie has had her work published in national publications since the tender age of 19. Though focusing her efforts on the written word, she dabbles in photography every once in a while. Her interests are constantly piqued by inspiring individuals including up-and-coming artists, established photographers and other inspiring human beings dedicated to making the world a better place with their skills and craft.