Canon PowerShot G3

I have been carrying my PowerShot G3 on my daily rounds and using it in as many situations as I can find. Nothing artistic; just daily stuff.  And I like this camera. Yes, it is chunky and the design is certainly not sleek, its features are limited and the file size is is not large by today’s standards. But I like this camera.

Because cameras have come so far we tend to think of the older models as not being very capable. That feeling is not based on anything; it is just a feeling that derives from the advertising blizzard we are subjected to which always puts down the older models. We have to buy the latest. And yet, with this one, and with other old cameras I have been playing with, I am finding charming little photo machines that are fun to use and very capable of producing fine photography.

Did I mention that I really like this camera. It is super simple to operate. You can leave it on auto and it’s a great “point-and-shoot”. But you can take it off auto and you are able to control it like a DSLR. P, AV, TV, Manual, they are all there. Any DSLR user will be right at home here and the learning curve will be real shallow.

I am not going to get into a techncal assessment of this camera. You can find a better one than I can do right here on DPReview.

The shooting experience is very pleasant. The camera is small enough that it is not in your way and light enough that you are not aware of its presence.

I didn’t test all of the features. I just carried it around like I would any camera to see how it fit into my routine. It was so much easier than a larger DSLR.

The shutter is almost silent. So much so that you wonder if you got the picture and you check the LCD to be sure. I set the shutter volume to the loudest setting but it was still very quiet.

The LCD is really small and that takes getting used to. But it is fully articulated like any advanced DSLR.

Canon PowerShot G3 camera
Canon PowerShot G3 camera

Unlike the G7 and later cameras, the lens on the G1 thru G6 do not retract fully into the body. This is as good as it gets.

Canon PowerShot G3 camera

The fully articulated back is nice. It works just like my 60D except the actual screen is smaller.

Canon PowerShot G3 camera

Most of the controls are here on the top of the camera. The layout is intuitive for a DSLR user. The hotshoe will function with Canon speedlites.

Canon PowerShot G3 camera

The BP-511 battery loads in the bottom. This large battery gives ample operating time on a single charge.

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But can it Take a Good Picture?

So what kind of a picture can you take with this camera. I didn’t go anwhere special so the pictures I took are of common scenes that I run into every day. And they surprised me.

First, the color is excellent. Secondly, the lens is sharp and so the pixels you get are good solid pixels. The image data is of high quality. Of course 4.0 mp is a small image and the print size will be limited. But for 4x6 prints, and even up to 8 x 10 prints, the quality is first class.

In the right hands, can this older 4 megapixel camera really take a better picture than my cell phone with its 12 megapixels? I think so. The images are sharp. The auto focus is accurate and the lens is well designed. You can see in these examples that this is a capable camera.

Train tracks in Richmond, B.C.
Starbucks Patio

Starbucks is a part of my daily routine and so we have a picture on their patio. It is fall now and people are not sitting outside so it looks a little deserted.

On the left is a picture of local railway tracks. You can see here just how sharp this lens is and the image quality possible.

Looking up into a Fall tree
Richmond City Street
Fall Leaves on the Grass

The fall in Canada is a beautiful time of year. In this season there are such warm vibrant colors for a few weeks before the black, white and grey of winter sets in. This image of fallen leaves tells the whole story of what this camera is able to do. As I said, I like this camera. I will try to come back to it in the future but there are so many to test and so many pictures to take. It may be a while.