Canon has an ever-expanding range of mirrorless DSLRs. Like other camera manufacturers, Canon appears to be pushing the development of mirrorless cameras as they build in popularity. One such device is the interesting Canon EOS M3.
This is a mid-range mirrorless device that represents one of Canon’s earlier forays into mirrorless cameras. It has vast improvements over the original EOS M, and EOS M2, and sits somewhere in between the brilliant M5, and the basic M200.
In this Canon EOS M3 review, we look at what this fantastic mirrorless camera has to offer. The M3 provides an interesting insight into the evolution of Canon’s mirrorless devices, and it is a great, affordable camera for beginners.
Let’s first look at the main specifications. As an older mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS M3 does not benefit from some of the features that the newer models like the Canon EOS M50 and Canon EOS M5 have. However, it is still a well-rounded camera as seen below:
- Size: 110.09 x 68.0 x 44.4 mm
- Weight: 366g (body only)
- Sensor: 24.1MP CMOS Sensor
- Image Processor: DIGIC 6
- Max FPS: 7fps
- Max Video Resolution: 1080p HD at 30fps
- Connectivity: WiFi / Bluetooth
- Touchscreen: Yes
The 24.1MP CMOS sensor provides superb, sharp image quality, something that M series cameras have always been known for. One of the main drawbacks, however, is the DIGIC 6 processor. The current iteration used in the newer mirrorless camera models is the DIGIC 8.
Also, this camera does not have full 4K video like the EOS M50. Nonetheless, 1080p at 30fps is still impressive and you can produce fantastic video using this camera.
It does have a flip screen that can be flipped 180-degrees, and the LCD screen has full touchscreen capabilities. This somewhat makes up for the lack of an electronic viewfinder (EVF).
The Canon EOS M3 looks fantastic. It has an evolved design that looks more akin to a traditional DSLR camera. This is different from the original EOS M, which looked more like a point-and-shoot camera.
It has a tactile grip on the right-hand-side that makes it comfortable and easy to hold. Also, the buttons are logically placed – you can easily access the control dial and shutter release with your right-hand fingers.
In addition to this, the lens mount release button and mechanism is easy to use. Simply push the button on the left-hand side of the lens and it is released. You can then comfortably screw in different lenses onto the metal bracket.
As with other Canon DSLR cameras, the Canon EOS M3 has a simple, un-cluttered design as well as minimalist buttons and dials. One interesting thing to note is that it has an exposure dial – this has been removed in later versions to make room for the EVF.
Overall, it has a user-friendly design that also looks appealing.
As noted above, the Canon EOS M3 does not have a viewfinder. This is similar to previous mirrorless versions like the EOS M. This means that to focus and compose your shots, you must use the touch screen. Some people like this, whilst others prefer using an EVF.
Aside from having to use the touchscreen, the Canon EOS M3 is quite user-friendly. The autofocus function is simple – all you have to do is tap the screen on the object you wish to be in focus and the focusing square will turn green.
In addition to this, you can actually change the camera mode to touch to shoot – so when you focus, a photo is automatically taken.
Other features like ISO, exposure, and aperture can be changed quickly either using the right-hand control dial or again directly from the touchscreen. The Canon EOS M3 also has some great features for video recording including a cinematic pull-focus, and manual focus peaking.
This camera has the Canon EF-M lens mount. This means you can attach a range of the best Canon lenses for mirrorless devices like the fantastic Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM. It gives extra flexibility and means you are not limited to the standard kit lens.
If you want, you can also purchase an adapter ring which allows you to then use the full range of EF and EF-S full-frame lenses.
Canon EOS M3 vs. Canon EOS M50
So how does this camera compare to some of the newer Canon mirrorless devices? One of our particular favorites is the EOS M50. This is a newer release and a good comparison for the Canon EOS M3. We have created a basic specification table below:
|Canon EOS M3||Canon EOS M50|
|Processor||DIGIC 6||DIGIC 8|
|Video Quality||1080p||4K UHD|
|Dimensions||110 x 68 x 44mm||116 x 88 x 58mm|
As you can see, with a newer release comes newer technology. Although the Canon EOS M50 has the same sensor, it benefits from the latest DIGIC 8 processor. Furthermore, it has full 4K UHD video recording capabilities.
Whilst the Canon EOS M3 certainly isn’t lacking in quality, the M50 definitely has the edge in terms of raw power and high-end quality. In addition, the EOS M50 performs better in low-light situations and has a maximum ISO of 25,600.
Which camera is better for you is subjective – it depends more on your personal usage and requirements.
Is the Canon EOS M3 a Worthy Mirrorless Camera?
Although the Canon EOS M3 has been superseded by other mirrorless models like the M50 and M5, it remains a solid choice for beginners and hobbyists. Professionals would be better suited purchasing one of the newer models that benefit from the DIGIG 8 processor and improved design.
However, for general use, the Canon EOS M3 holds up well. You can create fantastic RAW images using this camera. Furthermore, you can utilize EF-M lenses.
This could be used as a second camera, or a camera that you take with you whilst traveling and exploring – where portability and compactness are more important than supreme quality.