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A - Digital Camera - Canon EOS M3

Discussion in 'User Reviews' started by Benchista, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I've been a fan of the original M for a while - it provides decent quality in a tiny body that accepts all my lenses - but have just got hold of an M3. This review will be in several parts - a system overview and first impressions right now, and a fuller review in a couple of weeks when I've got used to it.

    So, first up, the M system. The M3 is the 3rd model in the range, oddly enough, but only this and the original M were imported to the UK. The original model has been a more or less constant companion for me for some time - it has a great touchscreen interface, image quality is perfectly good enough, it fits (with the pancake lens) into a large pocket, and weighs almost nothing. Sure, AF is pretty slow, although vastly improved since the major firmware update, and there are a few other niggles, but mostly it's just great.
    A lot is made in reviews of the limited native lens range for the M series - just 4 lenses. Entirely true, but they're very decent lenses, and cover off everything from ultrawide to respectable tele, plus that lovely little 22mm f2 pancake. That and the 11-22 are outstanding lenses, the tele's not far behind, and the standard zoom is no slouch - but the least interesting of the 4. The big strength of the system for me is that it will take all my EF and EF-S lenses via an adaptor, which means an M has been the perfect backup body for me as well as being great for travelling light.

    So to the M3. First impression is it's not quite as elegant as the original model - it's very slightly bulkier, and has more controls on it. It also has quite a chunky handgrip - personally, I never had a problem holding the original model, but this does make it easier and more comfortable. The tilting screen also spoils the looks a touch, but it is adding quite a bit of practicality. It's gained a pop-up flash that's rather like the one on the Pentax Q - pops up quite a way to reduce redeye, but looks a bit fragile.
    Major changes are on the top plate - what was a three position mode switch around the shutter release on the original model is now the main input dial; it's sprouted a separate mode dial and exposure compensation dial. These have a very reassuring feel to them. There's a cover for the hotshoe, which is also used to attach the accessory EVF. There's also an M-Fn button up there. The back has sprouted a couple of extra buttons, too - dedicated exposure lock, and an AF point control button, which looks like the solution to the belly touch problem, whereby the focus point keeps being moved if the camera is on and being carried.

    Overall feel is pretty good, and it feels a lot more traditional than the original model thanks to the extra controls - personally, I never had an issue with the touchscreen control on the M, but this is fine, too - and miles better for manual exposure. Focus seems to be quick and accurate.

    One thing the camera has been criticised for is not having an EVF built-in - personally, I'm delighted it doesn't, because I have a balance condition that makes EVF use impossible, so I'm very happy not to have to pay the extra cost for such a thing, and to miss out on the extra bulk. Because the whole point of the M series is DSLR quality in a compact body - no need for it to be bigger than in has to be.

    So first impressions are pretty encouraging - now I need to actually use the thing.
  2. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Nick.

    I have the Eos M, the kit zoom lens, and the EF-M 22 F/2 which appears to be modelled on the old 35 F/2 FD with the concave front face.

    Were you able to buy the M3 without lens?

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