This text was initially revealed in 2017 as a part of our ‘Throwback Thursday‘ sequence.

It is arduous to imagine that the Canon G-series is nearly 17 years previous, and whereas know-how has actually marched ahead, ‘G cameras’ have constantly been a favourite of lovers and even professionals. (OK, there was that complete kerfuffle when the G7 dropped Uncooked help, however Canon noticed the error of its methods and corrected course with the G9.)

Nevertheless, via all of the years, there’s one mannequin specifically that at all times stands out in my reminiscence: the PowerShot G3. Partly, that is absolutely because of the truth that it is one of many cameras that helped me make the transition to digital, however I do not assume I am alone on this. The G3 was launched proper across the time that a whole lot of photographers had been making the identical transition, and the digital camera provided a quick lens and all of the handbook controls you can need. Its ‘rangefinder’ look undoubtedly appealed to aesthetic tastes as effectively.

Taking the PowerShot G3 to the summit. North Cascades Nationwide Park, Washington.

Photograph by Dale Baskin

It is predecessor, the PowerShot G2, was already a well-liked digital camera, however the G3 improved on it in plenty of vital methods.

Most notably, the G3 featured a 35-140mm equal F2.0-3.Zero lens that maintained a comparatively quick aperture all through the vary (which wasn’t fairly as quick because the G2’s 34-102mm F2.0-2.5 lens, but it surely supplied much more attain). Though it had a bent to exhibit some purple fringing in excessive distinction scenes, it by no means caught out as a horrible drawback to me. To make good use of the lens, Canon added FlexiZone autofocus and the power to manually choose from over 300 focus areas across the display screen

Crossing the Dome Glacier.

Photograph by Dale Baskin

It was additionally one of many first (if not the primary) compact digital camera to get an inside impartial density filter, a characteristic that continues on G-series cameras – and lots of different compacts – to this present day. It made the digital camera usable at broad apertures even in vivid daylight, and allowed for lengthy exposures to create movement blur, akin to with transferring water.

In fact, the factor most individuals cared about was picture high quality, and the G3 did not disappoint. In Phil’s unique evaluation, he praised the G3, saying ‘The Tremendous-Tremendous JPEG choice delivers nearly TIFF-like picture high quality with no JPEG artifacts or lack of element.’

Lantern gentle close to Juneau, Alaska.

Photograph by Dale Baskin

What appealed to me had been the G3’s Uncooked recordsdata. Though it had the identical 4MP decision because the G2, the G3 may seize 12-bit Uncooked recordsdata, in comparison with the G2’s 10-bit recordsdata. Whether or not this truly made an actual world distinction in photographs from these older, smaller sensors, I do not know. But it surely sounded good. (Enjoyable truth: again when the G3 got here out, DPReview even made certain to inform readers what number of Uncooked photographs would match on a 1GB Microdrive. The reply is 272, for those who’re curious.)

One characteristic that hasn’t carried via to modern-day ‘G cameras’ is the optical viewfinder. The G3 had an ‘optical tunnel’ viewfinder with about 84% protection, and starting at reasonably broad angles the lens blocked the decrease left nook of the picture. But it surely was an precise viewfinder, making it simpler to take footage in vivid locations, like on prime of a glacier. With observe I grew to become very adept at utilizing it.

Sundown descent. Cascade Mountains, Washington.

Photograph by Dale Baskin

As I look again on the G3 now, I understand that it was a digital camera designed to attraction to SLR customers who wished to go digital, however who weren’t prepared to interrupt the financial institution on an EOS D60. Apart from interchangeable lenses, it had all of the options you can need: Uncooked photographs, viewfinder, prime plate LCD, PASM modes, E-TTL scorching shoe, command dial on the grip, handbook focus level choice, and even the power to make use of filters with a bayonet adapter. And it additionally seemed just a little extra like a conventional digital camera than the extra curvy G2.

Between its comparatively compact measurement, massive characteristic set, and glorious Uncooked recordsdata, the G3 was a digital camera I may carry alongside on adventures, assured that I might have the ability to get the photographs I wished. And it did simply that, accompanying me to the tops of mountains, via nationwide parks, and to a couple international nations. Simply enjoying round with it whereas writing this text makes me need to go use it once more.

Ah, nostalgia…

Learn our Canon PowerShot G3 evaluation

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