Camera test 56
Photography News | Issue 53 | photographynews.co.uk
With an APS-C size sensor, expectations were high for a good ISO performance – and the G1 X Mark III didn’t disappoint. For this test all in-camera noise reduction was switched off and the exposure for the ISO 100 shot was 1/10sec at f/11. The Raws were processed through Lightroom with default noise reduction. Digital noise levels are impressively low as you progress through the ISO range, and even at ISO 800 there wasn’t much around. Look at smooth mid-tone areas and you can see graining but it isn’t too heavy; noise reduction in editing smooths it out. Noise levels are more evident as you venture further up the speed range, which is what you’d expect. You can still get big prints at ISO 1600 with no problem, and you might even be happy with ISO 3200 shots if you don’t over- enlarge the files.
AT ISO 6400, you get plenty of black grain so it looks film-like, but at ISO 12,800 and above the noise picks up colour, and fine detail looks poor. In sum, then, you get good quality noise performance out of the G1 X Mark III, typical of an APS-C format camera.
The G1 X Mark III’s 15-45mm f/2.8-5.6 zoom (24mm to 72mm in the 35mm format) is a fixed entity, so there wouldn’t be much you could do about it if it wasn’t any good. Fortunately, that isn’t the case, and the lens delivers the level of quality you would expect from a Canon camera – although it needs using at its optimum apertures to get the best from it. We took test shots at three focal lengths with a tripod mounted camera, and at each aperture value, then processed the Raw files with default sharpening in Lightroom.
Lens quality at the widest setting was good, especially in the centre, even at f/2.8, and stopping down to f/4 and f/5.6 delivered more impressive sharpness. That tailed off, though, so by f/16 the images was softer than the lens at f/2.8. Edge performance showed a similar pattern, although it did start from a lower base compared to centre performance. F/5.6 gave the best all-round performance, with impressive sharpness. With the exception of f/16, where diffraction had a significant impact on sharpness, the 25mm setting delivered a high level of performance
across the frame from f/4.5 onwards. However, it is fair to say the centre was consistently ahead of the edges in terms of contrast, crispness and overall sharpness. At the 45mm end, the maximum f/5.6 aperture might be modest but image quality was impressive across the frame at that setting and at f/8, but tailed off at f/11 and f/16, again due to diffraction. In summary, the lens on the G1 X Mark III is a capable performer, especially when used at f/4.5 or f/5.6. It’s also decent at the wide aperture settingsbut stoppedright down is less impressive.
Features Headline is the APS-C sensor but there is a lot to appreciate Performance 24/25 Autofocus and autoexposure work impressively Handling 23/25 Lovely to use, fine monitor, good customisation potential Value formoney 23/25 Not cheap but you get a lot of camera for your money Overall 94/100 If you are in the market for a premium compact, give this Canon a serious look Pros APS-C sensor image quality, speedy AF, customoptions Cons Modest maximum aperture at long end, modest performance at f/16 There is no doubt that the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is every millimetre a premium camera with a feature list that wouldn’t look out of place on a DSLR, in particular the APS-C size sensor. Of course, it is priced at £1150 so you would expect a high degree of sophistication and spec – and that is exactly what you get. I really liked the handling (a few minor points excepted) but where you want the camera to really sing is in the results it delivers, and there are no worries on this score. Picture quality is very good especially at its lower ISO settings, and even at the higher ISO speeds you can shoot confident in the knowledge you are going to get good results. Whether you are after a class compact to replace your heavier DSLR or want a portable back-up, the PowerShot G1 X Mark III offers a compelling option, and one worth checking out. 24/25
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