Canon EOS M3 Brief Review



  • 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Optical low pass filter
  • DIGIC 6 image processor
  • ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
  • Hybrid shutter with speed up to 1/4000
  • 49 point phase detection autofocus
  • Manual focus with focus peaking
  • Auto and manual modes
  • RAW and JPEG
  • 4.2 fps burst speed (up to 5 RAW or 1,000 JPEG)
  • 3” tilting touchscreen
  • Electronic viewfinder sold separately
  • 1080p HD video at 30 fps
  • Wi-fi
  • Li-ion battery rated at 250 shots (185 in low temperatures)
  • Weighs .8 lbs. (366g)
  • Release Date: 2015-08-26
  • Final Grade: 81 4.05 Star Rating: Recommended

Canon EOS M3 Review: Canon's best mirrorless camera still has room for improvement
After two rather disappointing mirrorless models (one not even available in the U.S.), Canon is improving their mirrorless game.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 2/22/2017

Hey! You should know that Canon has released a newer version of this product: the Canon EOS M6.

Canon's entry into the mirrorless market was both late and lackluster. The Canon EOS M was eagerly awaited, but had a disappointing autofocus that was helped some by a firmware update; the EOS M2 only released in Japan and China. But, Canon has made some big steps forward with the EOS M3, available in the U.S. beginning in October 2015. Despite the improvements, there's still some bad points mixed with the good.

The best part about the Canon EOS M3 is that the small body is housing the same sensor and processor as the T6i, so image quality is worthy of DSLR standards. It's equipped with manual modes and RAW for similar flexibility too.

Despite containing the same sensor as the T6i DSLR, the M3 is rather small, weighing less than a pound. The body is built mostly from stainless steel and magnesium alloy, so it doesn't feel cheap in your hands. There's a good amount of physical controls considering the small size. The three-inch touchscreen helps with adjusting the settings as well.

With a solid body and DSLR-like images, where's the bad? The M3 has a rather slow performance for the category. Burst speed is just 4.3 fps. Early reviews also indicate a slow autofocus, though it doesn't appear to slow down much when lighting is more limited. Time between single shots is on the slower side as well. Battery life is more along the lines of a point-and-shoot camera than a DSLR.

While Canon has a pretty good reputation for video, the kit lens included with the M3 doesn't perform the best in footage either.

The M3 has good images and a solid build, though lags a bit behind in performance. The price is just okay considering those features, however, at about $800 with the kit lens. The Fujifilm X-A2 is comparable--while it has a few less megapixels, it also eliminates the optical low pass filter for greater detail. The X-A2 is available in the kit for less than $550. The Sony Alpha a6000 is similarly priced, yet offers an 11 fps burst speed and a better autofocus with similar resolution.

Canon is headed in the right direction from their original mirrorless camera, but there's still a ways to go. If you can find a good deal on the M3, it looks to be a solid (albeit slow) camera, but it's currently hard to recommend when there are similar cameras for a lower price or a better camera for the same price.

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Canon Reviews

Top quality optics, dependability, and convenience of use are just some of the reasons that customers choose Canon digital cameras. One of the top makers of digital cameras in the world today, Canon has attained a reputation for creating some of the best digital cameras and digital SLRs available on the market. Canon cameras are inevitably on the camera wish list of any consumer that desires a high quality camera.

Canon is not generally a cheap brand by any means. In spite of this, Canon digital cameras have achieved the best buy status. This proves that you get great value for the extra money. In the past few years, Canon has begun releasing several types that are more inexpensive, without cutting quality.

Canon cameras come in two main types—the smallest is the Powershot line, compact, point-and-shoot cameras that still maintain a reasonable level of image quality. Canon Powershot cameras range from budget point-and-shoots like the ELPH 115 to an advanced compact with a 1.5” sensor, the G1X Mark II. Typically, if you are going to buy a point-and-shoot on nothing but the reputation of the brand, Canon is a pretty safe bet.

The second type of Canon camera is the EOS line—the DSLRs. The EOS line has a solid reputation as well for performance across the board, including video. Canon has a wide range of options available too, from top of the line full frame professional models to small, entry-level DSLRs.

While other manufacturers are concentrating on mirrorless models and packing more power into smaller cameras, Canon doesn't seem to be following that trend exactly. They've released some smaller DSLRs like the SL1, but haven't been putting time into mirrorless models. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of personal opinion, but the models that are out there are, more often than not, solid performers.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.