Canon’s late entry into the mirrorless interchangeable lens market has already been a blunder for the company (Considering the rate at which the ILC market is growing). They entered the market in 2012 with their EOS M, which had major issues in its auto-focus and hence, turning away many customers. It was later fixed with a firmware update but the damage had been done. The second of the series, EOS M2 was only released in some parts of Asia, mainly Japan and China. Now the entire weight of carrying the company forward in this new market lies on the next camera in this series, EOS M3. But, has Canon got it right this time? Let’s see –
Having a 24.4 megapixel sensor along with a Digi 6 image processor, M3 is comparable to Canon’s Mid-Segment dSLR’s equipped with APS-C sensors. Its image quality is almost identical to Canon’s 750D, which sports same sensor and image processor. You’ll notice good clarity and crisp sharpness through ISO 800, over which you might see some smoothing in out of focus areas. By the time you reach ISO 3200, some conspicuous degradation is quality would creep in due to noise. The colors show good amount of saturation but the white balance tends to shift more towards purple. If you use video feature frequently, then you’ll notice that video is not really a thing for M3. Even though it manages to do a good job at auto-focusing and tracking moving subjects, the kit lens struggles to perform. To get most out of the auto-focus feature, you might want to resort to one of those stepper motor lenses.
Canon EOS M3 Mirrorless Camera Kit with EF-M 18-55mm Image Stabilization (IS) STM Lens - Wi-Fi Enabled (Black)19 used from $399.95
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to H: 25600) and DIGIC 6 Image Processor can help capture photos and videos with stunning detail even in challenging lighting situations
- Hybrid CMOS AF III helps provide fast and accurate focusing for stills and videos
- Front Dial and Exposure Compensation Dial help provide full manual control and offer customizable functions as well as improved operability and ease of use
8 used from $299.00
- 18.0-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 processing
- 4.6 FPS high-speed burst, 3-inch touchscreen LCD display
- 8% reduction of body size than older models, remote operation of the smartphone
- Hybrid CMOS AF II system, Sensitivity: ISO 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 25,600
- 1080p full HD video, Movie Servo AF continuous subject tracking
Canon EOS M3 24.2MP 1080P Wi-Fi Camera with EF-M 15-45mm IS STEM Lens (White) (International Model No Warranty)
2 used from $478.00
- 24.2-megapixel sensor DIGIC 6 Processor 3.0" 180° tilt touchscreen
- Full HD movie recording with Touch AF Hybrid AF system (6.1x faster than the EOS M)
- Wi-Fi with NFC EVF-DC1 Electronic Viewfinder Built-in flash / Hotshoe
- 4.1 fps burst shooting Mic input Solid build, larger grip, additional wheel dial
- Ergonomic, manual controls Creative Assist - Be creative, adjust blur and colour EF-M lens mount
Functionality and Design
The build quality of M3 is solid and the vulcanized rubber reminds me of Canon’s dSLRs. The magnesium alloy body does not make any cracking sound or compresses like plastic cameras when griped firmly. The button placement is also ergonomic. The ISO sensitivity pad is located at the thumb and the camera have dedicated dials for shutter speeds and aperture. Its touchscreen is sharp and responsive to input. The tilt and rotate feature allows you to tilt the screen to various angles which are a boon for street photographers, especially for taking those tricky photos from above or simply taking a selfie by rotating the screen by 180 degrees. Those who are familiar with Canon’s menu and interface would find it extremely easy to navigate through the options. A quick access button at the top right corner allows easy access to frequently used features such as AF, aspect ratio, self-timer, image size, etc. and comes in handy.
You can also remote shoot using Canon’s EOS Remote app. It is available on Android and iOS, but there is no news regarding any Windows phone version yet. Pairing M3 with your android phone is pretty straightforward and you just have to use NFC spot of your phone to pair the two. However, things get a little tricky on iOS and you would have to go to your phone’s Wi-Fi settings. But the functionality of both the versions is same and you can preview your images, set auto-focus point or control exposure using the app.
Overall, M3 is a good camera and competent enough to keep Canon in the market but it’s not really outstanding enough to make me recommend it over any other camera in its segment. Build and image quality is nice but it lags in terms of performance and features. There are many contenders which provide better performance and more features at similar price point. The scenario could have been different if it was a little cheaper, the lack of lens selection with M3 does not help either. However, I must say that if you are out to buy a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, Canon’s EOS M3 is worth considering.
The Cannon EOS M3 is incredibly well-designed mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera and offers dSLR high-quality photos, but the function is average, performance is actually slow and it is pretty high price tag.