Canon EOS M3 Review

The EOS M was Canon’s first small system or mirrorless system camera. On paper, it appeared to have a lot of potentials. Still, when it was initially released, it was somewhat pricey and suffered from a subpar focusing technology that was both sluggish and prone to wandering. Even though Canon released firmware updates that considerably improved the focusing performance, and the price dropped as more time passed, the harm had already been done.

Canon EOS M3 18-55 Black Mirrorless Camera Kit with EF-M 18-55mm Image Stabilization (is) STM Lens, Wi-Fi Enabled
C $658.00
3 used from C $658.00
as of June 8, 2023 3:12 pm

At least in the United Kingdom, we now have the M3. The M3 utilizes an APS-C format sensor, similar to that of the M, but this time the maker has opted for the same device that has 24.2-million-effective pixels as found in the new Canon 750D and Canon 760D cameras. In addition, it is equipped with the same DIGIC 6 technology found in the two new DSLRs.

This combination enables a natural sensitivity range that can be set anywhere from 100 to 12,800, and it also has an extension option that can go up to 25,600. That is the same as the first M, but the first M only had an effective pixel count of 18 million, so it will be fascinating to watch how the new camera handles noise.

Canon EOS M3 Build Quality

The appearance of the Canon EOS M3 falls between that of a G-series compact camera, such as the Canon G16, and that of an SLR, such as the Canon 100D. It has the rectangular design of the G16. However, the top plate is flatter. Additionally, it features a finger grip on its front that is ergonomically curved and more rounded.

The Canon M3 weighs 366 grams (with the battery and memory card), making it somewhat lighter than the Canon 100D. However, the camera gives the impression of being heavier than it is because of its deceptive density. Additionally, it has a great and sturdy feel about it. These two issues are probably caused by the stainless steel component included in the product’s manufacture, together with magnesium alloy and polycarbonate resin.

The thumb ridge on the camera’s rear is rather modest but serves its purpose exceptionally well. It is constructed from or at least coated in the same rubber-like substance that covers the finger grip on the front of the camera. It has a relatively fine texture and a bright, contemporary look, and it gives an excellent purchase, making the camera feel comfortable and safe in your hand. The front grip has a sharp, modern design.

Canon EOS M3 Performance

Although the Canon EOS M3 can gather much granular information, doing so is not always as straightforward as one would want. The focusing system is frequently the source of the issue, just as it was previously with the original M. It will focus the lens fairly quickly and precisely most of the time, but there will be occasions when it will suggest that the subject is sharp when it is evident that it is not.

During this test, there were times when the active AF area was filled with the intended target, and the box was green to indicate that the lens had been focused, but it was pretty evident that the subject was out of focus, and it was the background that was sharp. These instances occurred when the active AF area was filled with the intended target, and the box was green to indicate that the lens had been focused.

This didn’t occur once or twice but several times, and it happened when I was utilizing both the 18-55mm kit lens and the 22mm lens provided for this study.

Canon EOS M3 Image Quality

During this evaluation, the Canon EOS M3 captured photographs of exceptionally high quality. JPEG photographs taken with this camera are completely noise-free from an ISO setting of 100 up to ISO 1600; the first sign of noise appears at an ISO setting of 3200. The speedier settings of 6400 and 12800 exhibit quite little noise and are most likely appropriate for tiny printouts and photographs to be used on the web.

The JPEG photographs were a touch soft right out of the camera when using the default Picture Style. If you want them to look their best, you should sharpen them some more in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you may alter the option on the camera itself. The built-in flash did a fantastic job indoors, producing images free of red-eye and with enough exposure overall.

The nighttime shot turned out very well thanks to the camera’s maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and its Bulb mode, which enabled the photographer to catch sufficient light in any given environment. The wide variety of Picture Styles, the opportunity to build your own, and the large selection of digital filter effects, which may be seen before the photograph is taken, are also significant advantages of this camera.

Canon EOS M3 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 6
ISOAuto, 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points49
Lens mountCanon EF-M
Focal length multiplier1.6×
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeClearView II TFT-LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic (optional)
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesAuto, on, off, slow synchro
Continuous drive4.2 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p)
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E17 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)250
Weight (inc. batteries)366 g (0.81 lb / 12.91 oz)
Dimensions111 x 68 x 44 mm (4.37 x 2.68 x 1.73″)
Orientation sensorYes

Canon EOS M3 Verdict

Canon EOS M3 18-55 Black Mirrorless Camera Kit with EF-M 18-55mm Image Stabilization (is) STM Lens, Wi-Fi Enabled
C $658.00
3 used from C $658.00
as of June 8, 2023 3:12 pm

Although the M3 is a compelling camera, the 18-55mm kit lens drastically reduces the detail resolution, and the autofocus mechanism tends to focus on the backdrop instead of the photograph’s subject.

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