First Impressions: Canon G1X Mark III

The Canon G1X Mark III is a camera that we’re really surprised at

Canon announced the G1X Mark III last week: their high end compact camera that features a large APS-C sensor, built-in EVF, 3x optical zoom lens with an F2.8-5.6 aperture, and weather sealing. In many ways this is a point and shoot sibling to the Canon EOS M5, complete with touch functionality and all that jazz. We had a chance for some hands-on time with the camera during Photo Plus Expo 2017, so we are here with some initial thoughts for you.


This is a point and shoot, let’s not forget; Canon has designed the G1X Mark III to be semi-pocketable. In our experience we could get it to fit into some dress pants with larger pockets, but really for most people this will not be pants pocketable. However, a hoodie or sweater, and definitely a coat, will surely be able to accommodate the G1X Mark III.

As far as how it fits in the hand, the G1X Mark III is a little small, as you would expect a point and shoot to be, but in terms of what you expect out of a point and shoot this is fairly well thought out. The grip on the back of the camera gives you an easy rear anchor point for your thumb, and overall, despite its size, the G1X Mark III was a pleasure to use from an ergonomic standpoint.

Built Quality

You would expect the best from a ‘high end’ top of the line camera, and that is exactly what you get here in Canon’s top of the line point and shoot camera. The G1X feels incredibly solid in the hands, the flip out touch screen folds out smoothly and maintains its position. Buttons and dials are all solid and have good resistance. Nothing to complain about with the build quality of the G1X III as far as we are concerned.

Auto Focus

We were not able to shoot with the G1X Mark III outside of a press briefing room, so we were not able to test the AF real thoroughly. But in terms of point to point focus within the confines of a room, it seemed to be quick and snappy. We will definitely be having a more thorough look at this in the review.

Image Quality

We were not able to shoot any images with the G1X Mark III here at Photo Plus 2017. But stay tuned for our full review and we will for sure have a bunch of sample images for you to check out.

Ease of Use

If there is one thing you need point and shoot camera to be, it has to be easy to use, and thankfully for Canon, they got it right in this case. If you have ever used a Canon point and shoot you will be able to pick this up and use it with no problem. But beyond that, you will be able to customize this camera in ways that can make this even easier to you, making the functions important to you faster to access.

Wrap Up

Most other premium compact cameras in this range feature fairly wide prime lenses, like Fujifilm’s X100 series. In a lot of ways the Canon G1X Mark III offers features and functionality those cameras don’t match, but in other areas, such as the lens specifically, the G1X Mark III finds itself at a disadvantage when it comes to having a fast lens unless you’re the person that prefers a zoom. But this has been Canon’s MO of late, giving us really great cameras up to only a certain point, and then leaving out seemingly simple features for arbitrary reasons, making what would have been an incredible product into one that is good, but misses its potential.

We will wait for our full review to share our final thoughts on the Canon G1X Mark III, but what was clear from our limited time with the camera was that for many people this will be a great tool for a wide variety of uses. But for others, it simply misses the mark when it didn’t really have to – and that, that is a real shame.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.