Canon Canon G1X III: Finally, a huge step forward for the G X series ...

Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
The last Canon camera I used was the S95. My daughter still has it, but unfortunately has sidelined it for her iPhone 8.
After reading Miguel and Matt's comments in this thread, I am considering this as replacement for my Coolpix A.
That camera is getting a bit old and has a problem with internal dust which has now settled onto the sensor.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos on this camera.
There are so many subjective things that go into the choice of a camera, as you know, Don --- but for me one of the big ones is (and always has been) the combination of physical controls and menu-based-controls (as well as, recently, touchscreen controls on a number of cameras). I used and truly enjoyed the Coolpix A for a long time but one of the minor sticking points for me, I think, was that previous to my Coolpix, I had never really shot much with Nikons - so both the logic of control placement and the menu philosophy never quite jelled with me. Possibly if it hadn't been for that, I would have kept it. I think I was fortunate in that I never had any dust or sensor issues.

The G1x3, conversely, seems to have a simple-but-powerful-and-logical (to me at least) menu system which I have taken to. Shooting with it seems easy (and easier, as time goes on), especially with the front-mounted click wheel which is used to set or change apertures in Aperture mode, my preferred shooting mode. But the EVF is truly the icing on the cake for me. I had the tiny clip-on analog finder for my Coolpix and though it was a cool (pardon the pun) piece of photographic kit, its shortcomings were ever-present.

The more I shoot with the G1x, the more I find myself liking the ability to zoom. I tend to favor wider angles but the G1xIII's zoom covers most of what I tend to like. Admittedly as some critics have pointed out, the electric zoom is on the slower side (and nowhere near as satisfying as the feel of a turn-by-hand semi-manual old-school zoom ring, for me at least) - but it gets the job done and I suspect the compact size and design of the lens made a manual zoom impractical or more likely impossible.

Incidentally the touch-screen controls are actually useful and give the Panasonic/Lumix touchscreens - which had been up to date the best (and most usable) in my experience, a run for their money.

It's not quite as pocketable as the Coolpix A but it has that same heavy well-built feel to it, which is a good thing. I haven't shot with it in rain or inclement conditions yet but I suspect it will live up to its weatherproof billing.

For me, it's been a satisfying replacement for my former Coolpix A. Here's another shot - a quickie snatched on the road from a recent trip to the Oregon coast - shot in RAW but lightly processed in LR with some help from VSCO. The Canon colors are slightly different than the Nikon Coolpix palette; I like both but am enjoying what this camera can do, quite a bit.

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Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Just one additional thought. Years earlier, I shot for quite awhile with the 28mm FOV lenses of 3 cameras - the Ricoh GR, the Coolpix A and the X70 - and wound up liking the focal length which felt almost normal to me (as opposed to the more classic 35mm Field of View). The G1xiii is significantly wider at its wide end - and there is of course slight distortion - but the more I shoot with it, the more the UWA (ultra wide angle) appeals to me.

You wind up slightly readjusting how you look at things, for framing potential images. I remember actually that when I was shooting with the Ricoh GR, I was tempted to buy Ricoh's auxiliary screw-on (and reputedly very high quality) wide-angle lens, which converted the 'normal' 28mm view to an ultra-wide 21mm view. I never did buy it - but the G1x3 seems to be satisfying some of my long-dormant wider-angle obsessions :)

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Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I've been doing work-related traveling, not too much time for image-making lately, but I thought I would check back in with a few images from my G1x Mk III, which....still continues to impress and delight me. It also, thanks to its diminutive size - and weather sealing - is proving to be possibly the best travel camera I have ever taken with me anywhere.

First, a shop window (in Durango, México)

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And then an impromptu portrait of some of the gentlemen who are working with us down here on a television project -

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The pictures I think speak for themselves. And my metaphorical hat is off again to the Canon engineers who designed and implemented the zoom lens for my G1x; while some have faulted it as too slow, it's eminently fast and usable for pretty much everything I have tried it on.

And, yes, for those wondering: the relatively small EVF really is quite usable - and a pleasure to have on those insanely sunny days when the rear screen just washes out.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
124
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
I tip my hat to those of you getting great images from this camera. I had hoped it would be a great one-camera solution, so I rented it right after it hit the market, but it just didn't work for me. Perhaps I got an early "consumer Beta" camera, or perhaps my own skill wasn't up to the camera.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I tip my hat to those of you getting great images from this camera. I had hoped it would be a great one-camera solution, so I rented it right after it hit the market, but it just didn't work for me. Perhaps I got an early "consumer Beta" camera, or perhaps my own skill wasn't up to the camera.
Well, I think with any camera it takes some time to figure out how to get the best out of it - and I know it took me some time to figure out the G1x Mk3's quirks. In fact I've had the camera for almost 2 years now and am still figuring out some tricks. I love the EVF and use it frequently - it's large enough to feel like a real viewfinder - but I have also discovered that the rear LED screen can be used for touch focusing-and-shooting - which is incredibly convenient when shooting wide open with a (relatively) limited depth of field.

The more I learn about the camera, the easier it is to use. But, I think that's probably true of any good camera :)
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
I tip my hat to those of you getting great images from this camera. I had hoped it would be a great one-camera solution, so I rented it right after it hit the market, but it just didn't work for me. Perhaps I got an early "consumer Beta" camera, or perhaps my own skill wasn't up to the camera.

I have been amazed by some of the photography from these compacts on this forum but I've never been happy with my own shots. I don't know how people do it.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
I bought an LX10 early last year and attempted to use it alongside my Leicas when I travelled to Japan, and also brought it along to one of the weddings I shot. I just couldn't make the LX10 shots work with the shots from my Leicas. It's a completely different mindset.
That's why I like the G1X III so much - it's none of those 1" wonders, it's just(!) a good camera! Its viewfinder lets you shoot comfortably at eye level, and the images have a character that's very close to what's coming from my Leicas (I tried that out in Scotland last year with great success!) - not quite as crisp and vibrant, but close enough, and the files are very nice to work with in post, RAWs as well as JPEGs. Canon did the right thing with the lens, too - not super-fast, but a reliable performer; better than any kit lens, but not too ambitious. I also still own the LX100 (though it'll be gone in a few days), and while I've always loved the camera for what it was, it always remained "nothing but" (a premium compact that tried to appear more than it was). With the G1X III, I just forget about that fact that it's a compact (except when putting it in a pocket or bag - then, it's very welcome). There's one single annoying oversight I've found (the zoom rocker can't be set to do step zoom - why?), and of course a few quirks that would also be fixable in firmware, but in use, the camera is a real photographer's tool, no major misses. Not even the venerable GR does give me quite the same level of satisfaction (that's why I move it on as well).

But I think that the price and the - at first glance - rather modest spec sheet puts people off this camera, either altogether or at first contact; they think they are entitled to expect more - instead of appreciating what's there. The G1X III is all about *practicality* - and that's a rare commodity these days. Think Sony RX100 line (the VII!): In many cases, it's just about maxing out on a concept - the new G5X II being another case in point: Canon trying to outdo Sony and failing ... again.

The G1X III doesn't play that kind of game. It's more a case of "reduce to the max". Small size, but really good handling (I'm looking at you, Sony), fluid operation, very useful feature set, including fast, reliable autofocus (I'm looking it you, Ricoh - though the GR III still delivers on many aspects!), great build quality, including a usable level of sealing (so, no dust!) - and, as mentioned, very solid images, even SOOC. And that's *before* we talk about the fact that it also shoots decent video with very dependable face detect autofocus ... It fits my hand like a glove and doesn't try to escape my grip like the Sony RX100 (and Panasonic LX and TZ/SZ, and now also the G7X III and G5X II) series do, the LX100 and of course the GR gracefully excepted at this point (that's another reason I've kept them for so long - they *feel* right, especially the GR). When I switch on the Canon, it's ready to shoot as soon as I have lifted it up to my eye - not like the RX100 VI or LX100 (and LX100 II!) that make me wait another second before complying.

I took off the lens cap, replaced it with a high-quality filter, and since then just pick up the camera and use it - because the fun bit is: The G1X III is a far more usable and useful camera than any other of its class in my experience - including powerhouses like the GR III and the Fujifilm X100F, gorgeous or incredibly capable though they may be. That said, I'm still going to get the GR III - Ricoh finally got their act together and created a modern camera with lots of useful(!) features and good low-light usability; and it remains tiny!

The Canon G1X III isn't a demonstration of state of the art technology, let alone a style icon - instead, it's a camera. Is it a set of ompromises? You bet. Is it a damn fine one? You bet.

M.
 

serhan

All-Pro
May 7, 2011
124
NYC
This camera did not get the attention it deserved with all the smaller 1" cameras and initial price was high. Thanks to your review/shots, I got a used one last winter after 3 LX100 II trials (one used one had dust on the sensor). I am happy with GX III. The lens is sharp though it has a good amount of digital correction and also the camera is sealed. I have not shot much since my computer crashed last Spring, but a few shots that I posted here in different posts:
https://cameraderie.org/threads/show-reflections.252/page-12#post-347874
B&W: Words/No Words
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
I just looked up the specs. I didn't realise it had an APS-C sensor.

Why is it better than the Fujifilm X100 series?
I didn't say it was better - I said it was more useful which, of course, could be considered subjective. But still, here goes: It's got a stabilised zoom lens, it's got a standard sensor (so, no controversy about which post processing software will work best), it's got an articulated screen you can fold away, it's weather-sealed (to a degree), it's smaller and lighter, has a grippier grip (sorry, couldn't resist that one), touch implemetation is loads better, AF considerably so, and it's clearly the better video camera (not that I care, much), and these are only the obvious things ... The only thing you could argue (apart from the fact that many, many people love Fuji's JPEGs best) is that the lens isn't quite as good as - and certainly slower than - the 23mm f/2 on the X100F, and possibly low-light performance is about one stop weaker - again, only the most glaring "disadvantages", and to me, they're mostly academic, i.e. I don't care; e.g. I don't do low-light shooting with a compact if I can avoid it, and if push comes to shove, the G1X III's files are good enough up to ISO 3200 as far as my needs and expectations go - which is plenty.

But honestly, I don't mean to put down the X100 series or GR series in any major way because they're great cameras and have a huge following for a reason (though one might ask why a tool should have a fan base, but that's a different matter altogether). I've just allowed myself to rave about a camera that fulfills my personal needs much better than I dared hope and has replaced the venerable LX100 (a camera still praised by many) in my collection, without reservation. That's no small feat - after all, the LX100 was my daily driver for almost three years. As to the GR, that camera still holds up after all these years in good light - but it's frankly marginal in low light; even the GX9 does considerably better in such cases, and the FZ1000 (yes, a 1" superzoom!) is at least on par with the GR above ISO 400. That's why I'm opting for the GR III to finally replace a camera that is enormously rewarding in use, but has reached its EOL in my kit. The G1X III and GR III don't have the same use case for me, anyway (one's a universally useful EDC, the other is a highly enjoyable street shooter).

Of course, much of what I said is nothing but my personal opinion - I'm not trying to promote this camera, I just really, really like it and the results I get from it. As far as I am concerned, pick your poison - and never start to believe that other people's opinions and judgements should matter more than your own. If the Fuji does it for you, great! But for me, the G1X III (and GR III) are the way to go.

M.
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
I didn't say it was better - I said it was more useful
That's what I was asking - why.

You subsequently explained it well actually.

I started in photography right here on this forum 10 years ago when it was called Serious Compacts. I bought a Panasonic LX5 and took a ton of photos with it. I always stuck with the widest angle, never zoomed in. I loved it, but felt that I was starting to need something better.

I bought the Canon 7D but just could not adapt to the size, the clunkiness, the overheating issue (albeit Canon released a firmware update to alleviate it not long after the 7D's release).

Then I had a huge tax return that year and I jumped on the Leica M8.2 on eBay. Never looked back from the Leicas since then. And for some reason I simply cannot handle wide angles anymore. I'm almost strictly a 50mm photographer now.
Then I bought the LX10 last year and I only ever use it at its widest angle, never ever zoomed in at all.

It's a totally different mindset when I use the Leicas vs the LX compact.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Two more from an afternoon wandering about Mexico City....where I stopped in a small museum-slash-art-gallery associated with the UNAM university.

First, a detail from a ceramic sculpture...a Harlequin's head ---

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And then, from the rooftop 'terraza' of the museum, another standing sculpture - of an urban monster -

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The G1x M3 is small enough to fit into the larger pockets of whatever I'm wearing...and I keep on being happy to have it with me.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
These were taken in the old historical town center of Durango, México.

An antique sewing machine for sale (the sign says: "I am Original" - which means I am the real thing, not a copy) -

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A dead leaf on the sidewalk (note the bokeh effect of this supposedly slow lens) -

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Part of an old typewriter which is part of the eclectic décor of a wonderful coffee shop -

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And one of the ubiquitous older 'vaqueros' or cowboys, who populate this northern and largely rural Mexican state -

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It (the G1x Mk III) is a fine travel camera.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
One of the interesting - and to me, quite useful, aspects of the G1xMkiii, is its touch-screen-shutter release. I discovered the fascinating joys of touch-screen shutter shooting with my diminutive Lumix GM1 - but it took me some time to realize - and understand - that the G1x3 has an equally useful way of shooting. It comes in really handy, in my experience, in street shooting - the ability to preset aperture (I often shoot in Aperture Priority mode), then frame and touch the spot on the screen where I want my focus and voilà! the damn little camera takes the picture for me -

And most times it seems to do a good job of giving me what I thought I wanted.

The following series I shot earlier today, wandering around the old downtown area of a smaller city in Mexico -

A pair of nuns fighting off the hot weather with ice cream -

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A balloon display which magically catches the eye of every passer-by under 10 -

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Mariachi musicians checking text messages in between gigs -

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An enthusiastic salesman selling....something at a bargain price -

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And last but not least some friendly quadrupeds -

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