Canon EOS M3: Has Canon Finally got it right this time?

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 –

Image Quality

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 M6 (Black) EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit

$699.00 $899.99 in stock
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8 used from $379.95
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Last update was on: August 1, 2023 7:52 pm

Canon EOS M3 (Black Body Only) - International Version

$522.00 in stock
5 new from $499.99
3 used from $328.00
Last update was on: August 1, 2023 7:52 pm

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.


7.5 Total Score

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.

Image Quality
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  1. Incredible camera for its price.

  2. The handling of the camera is greatly improved and the sensor is better.

  3. Good battery life. Just shot just over 600 pics one day and the battery was still going strong.

  4. Ergonomics and image quality are improved

  5. It is faster and sharper really happy with the M3.

  6. The camera is OK, the processor is not the fastest thing in the world and focusing are a bit laggy.

  7. Light weight and small while still retaining good image quality and features.

  8. The M3 body is very solid and kind of heavy, to be honest.

  9. The only think that I don’t like is the autofocus speed.

  10. Love this camera — it’s the perfect complement to my 5DM3.

  11. For me it lacks of native lens.

  12. I do wish the EVF was built in the body and not an add on that connects to the hot shoe.

  13. I love the small form factor, picture quality, canon lenses, and ease of use.

  14. The dials have a nice feel and solid body.

  15. This is a big improvement over the original EOS M.

  16. I am loving this small compact mirrorless camera, it complements my canon 70D well, and I can swap the lenses.

  17. I’m very impressed with this camera so far.

  18. Great image quality, however no view finder.

  19. Great camera. Nice successor to the original M camera.

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