Sony G3

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3 front
  • 10MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3.5" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 640 x 480 video
  • 35-140mm (F3.5-10.0) lens
  • 185g - 97 x 59 x 22mm
  • Announced January 2009
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony G3 overview

Sony G3 is Sony's Small Sensor Compact camera first released on January of 2009. The camera uses a 10MP, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a peak resolution of 3648 x 2736.

The G3 places at #170 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras & all around #1101 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. You can check our Smart camera filter to find camera rankings based on your personal criteria.

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Here is a diagram of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony G3 Pros and Cons

Here is a selection of upsides and downsides of the Sony G3 based on things that are often seen as important in a camera.

built-in flash
built in image stabilization (Optical)
good resolution screen (921 k dot)
good zoom range (35-140mm 4.0 x zoom)
has HDMI port
has touchscreen
manual focus
screen larger than average (3.5")
very good min ISO (80)
display is not selfie friendly
does not have phase detect autofocus
does not have RAW format
lack of shutter priority mode
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
low fps (2.0 frames/s)
low resolution (10 megapixels)
max shutter speed is low (1/1,000s)
missing external mic port
missing headphone port
missing Time Lapse function
no aperture priority
no external flash support
no manual mode
no moving screen
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
sluggish at full zoom (f10.0)
video resolution low (640 x 480 pixels)
wide angle not fantastic (35mm)
Photography Glossary

Sony G3 Sensor specs

The dimension of the sensor in the Sony G3 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 3648 x 2736 pixels using aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera features Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is better than digital stabilization as the latter can lead to cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 10 megapixels and supports a native ISO range of 80 - 3200. Sadly, RAW files are not supported therefore you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below illustrates the G3's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The G3 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is showcased in green.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3 sensor size Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony G3 dimensions

Sony G3 weighs around 0.41 lbs (185 gr or 6.53 oz) & the physical size of the camera is 97mm x 59mm x 22mm (3.8" x 2.3" x 0.9"). The weight of general Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 gr so the Sony G3 is very similar compared with its rivals.

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Listed below is a pic of the Sony G3 besides a softdrink so you're able to get a feel for its size.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3 dimensions scale

The top view below will provide the button layout on the G3.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3 topview buttons dials

Sony G3 Lens details

The G3 is equipped with a built in lens having a focal range of 35-140mm making it a 4.0 x zoom which is not great however it can be very helpful in certain circumstances.

At it's widest 35mm, the lens features an aperture of f3.5 which will be quite sluggish and not great for low light situations and you will likely find it difficult to get a shallow depth of field. You will also have to increase your ISO setting causing noisy files. With the long end, 140mm comes to f10.0 making it fairly sluggish and you might have to choose slow shutter speeds.

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Sony G3 Connectivity

The G3 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras which have NFC and Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You can transfer pictures and sometimes adjust camera settings without connecting directly with the camera.

Some apps also provide a Liveview and press the shutter whenever you aren't close to the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it can easily be attached to an external monitor. Many cameras will allow you to charge the battery using the USB socket.

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Sony G3 Video details

The highest video quality in the Sony G3 is 640 x 480 and you can record in Motion JPEG format. 480p is low for today's requirements. You really should try to get a minimum FUll HD quality for good video. The body doesn't include a microphone and headphone jack which means that you have got absolutely no control over the sound. It is probably a better idea to get a different camera if you want better sound for your video clips.

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Sony G3 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing in the Sony G3 so you have to be cautious in rainy or dusty conditions.

Sony G3 Display and Viewfinder

The Sony G3 houses a 3.5" fixed screen having a resolution of 921k dots.

Moreover the screen is touch friendly which means you can shift focus point plus adjust settings by using your finger.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3 screen and viewfinder Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone

The ViewFinder specifications for Sony G3 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

For bright outdoor conditions that make the camera screens washed out and challenging to see, viewfinders can be particularly valuable.

Sony G3 Shutter details

Sony G3 has the capability to shoot continuously at 2.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/1000 seconds.

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Sony G3 Flash and Hot shoe details

Sony G3 features just integrated flash lacking external flash ability.

Sony G3 Autofocusing details

Sony G3 features only Contrast Based Autofocus & doesn't have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot quicker and accurate as compared with Contrast Based autofocusing.

The Sensor boasts 9 focus points to select from. Sony G3 features manual focusing if required during low light situations or you require more precise control on focusing.

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Sony G3 Battery life

The typical Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 offers the highest (470) battery life within this group of cameras.

Underneath is a list of Small Sensor Compact cameras that have the strongest battery life:

Sony G3 for various styles of photography

The following bar chart indicates a summation of the Sony G3 for various styles of photography. To view more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Sony G3 as a Portrait photography camera

The Sony G3 has a points total of 26 which is horrible, and means the camera is just not very good for portraits. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor dimension, support for RAW photos in addition to the capability to work with off-camera flash.

Photography Glossary
you can focus manually
manual mode not possible
can't use external flash
resolution not great (10MP)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Sony G3 as a Street photography camera

Getting a reasonable points total of 56, the Sony G3 is fairly suitable to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera has a good balance of image quality plus portability.

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has image stabilization (Optical)
screen does not articulate
small sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW files

Sony G3 Sports photography highlights

A horrible sports photography rating of 23 indicates the Sony G3 is just not very good for shooting sports. A camera should have excellent tracking plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

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has image stabilization (Optical)
maximum shutter speed is a little low (1/1,000 seconds)
low fps (2.0 frames per second)
no shutter priority
resolution not great (10 megapixels)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
doesn't have phase detect autofocus

Sony G3 Travel photography features

Weight is very important in getting a camera for travel. On the whole, the Sony G3 gets a moderate 50 for a travelling camera which makes it fairly appropriate to purchase for your trips.

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built-in flash
lack of Timelapse recording
MP count low (10MP)
display isn't selfie friendly
wide angle not great (35mm)
slow max aperture (f3.5)

Sony G3 as a Landscape photography camera

For anyone who is looking to buy a digital camera for landscape photography, the most vital factor will no doubt be image quality. The Sony G3 with it's horrible grade of 36 as a landscape camera is just not very good compared to its competition.

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has manual focus
screen larger than average (3.5")
image stabilization (Optical)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
wide angle not fantastic (35mm)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
manual mode not possible
megapixel count low (10MP)
small sensor (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format
no Time Lapse function

Sony G3 as a Vlogging camera

A vlogging camera really should offer a articulating screen, microphone input and preferably image stabilization. Considering everything, the Sony G3 is just not very good as a vlog camera as it gets a horrible score of 27.

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touch screen
built in image stabilization (Optical)
wide angle not good (35mm)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.5)
display isn't selfie friendly
video resolution low (640 x 480 pxls)
missing mic socket

Sony G3 Alternatives

If you are trying to find replacements to the G3, below is a list of the highest scored cameras which fall in to the class of Small Sensor Compact.

The line graph followed below gives you an overview of the G3 versus it's top ranked rivals mentioned above.

These are some more cameras you might see as alternatives. To review a complete comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3
Small Sensor Compact
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
10 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
3648 x 2736
RAW images
Highest native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Total focus points
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
35-140mm (4.0x)
Highest aperture
Crop factor
Display type
Fixed Type
Display size
Resolution of display
921k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Lowest shutter speed
1 secs
Highest shutter speed
1/1000 secs
Continuous shooting speed
2.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
4.30 m (Auto ISO)
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video file format
Motion JPEG
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
185 grams (0.41 pounds)
97 x 59 x 22mm (3.8" x 2.3" x 0.9")
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo, Internal
Storage slots
Cost at launch