Just a few years ago, consumers had to choose between an advanced compact or a camera with a big zoom, but that's certainly not the case anymore. Joining the likes of the Olympus Stylus 1, Sony RX10 II and Panasonic FZ1000, the Canon G3 X impresses with an even bigger 25x zoom.
The larger the camera sensor is, the harder it is to add a good zoom. While the RX10 II and Stylus 1 only have zooms of around 10x and the FZ1000 16x, it's still impressive considering the big sensors behind them. The Canon G3 X's 25x zoom makes the others look rather paltry though, and it still sports a 1" sensor. That big zoom lens also has a f/2.8-5.6 maximum aperture' that's solid at the wide-angle, but a bit dark when at full zoom. Both the RX10 II and Stylus 1 have f2.8 zooms throughout their zoom range, though they have much less zoom. A two-inch macro mode makes the G3 X pretty versatile.
The G3 X will hit almost 6 fps, which isn't the fastest around but is certainly sufficient--that large sensor and big zoom may even make the camera a good option for capturing Little League and other amateur sports.
True to Canon's reputation, video should be pretty solid as well. There's no 4K, but the 1080p HD video can be shot at a very smooth 59 fps.
While the lens makes the camera quite deep, the body portion of the camera is small considering. It weighs 1.6 pounds, a bit less then the RX10 II and FZ1000. The Stylus 1 is still the lightest among the small group, however. There's a tilting LCD screen, but unfortunatley, no viewfinder. Users can add one, but that will get pretty pricey.
The Canon G3 X is a welcome addition to a growing group of advanced compact zooms. It has the biggest optical zoom among them so far, yet still doesn't sacrifice sensor size. We'd like to see Canon venture into 4K, and we're a bit sad this doesn't have a built-in viewfinder or a lens that can achieve an f/2.8 at the long end. Of course, the larger zoom comes at a price too--The Canon G3 X is listed at just under $1,000.