(Pocket-lint) - It's been a long time coming, but Canon has finally unveiled the first compact camera with a DSLR-scale APS-C sensor size and an optical zoom lens.

The PowerShot G1 X Mark III updates the range by making the sensor larger than the Mark II predecessor and, as if by magic, the camera body is considerably smaller. It really is the best of both worlds.

The lens is a 24-72mm f/2.8-5.6 equivalent optic, complete with Dual Sensing IS for stabilisation, and pairs with a 24.2-megapixel sensor - the latter matching what you'll find in the company's EOS 80D DSLR.

The all-in-one compact, which is just over 5cms deep, features a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a vari-angle LCD touchscreen. If you're keen to use Canon's advanced flash guns then there's a hotshoe up top, too.

All this puts the G1 X III strides ahead of other APS-C compact makers, of which there are only a handful. We've seen the so-so Nikon A, back in 2013, while Ricoh makes the GR, which is decent but offers no optical zoom.

Add a built-in neutral density (ND) filter, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & NFC, full manual controls and the G1 X MkIII is a veritable feature fest in compact camera terms.

We've been using the camera ahead of its announcement, for our initial review follow the link below.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III will be released in November (precise date TBC), priced £1,149 in the UK.

Writing by Mike Lowe.