Canon EOS M3 review

April 28, 2015

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS M3

  • Features:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Metering:
  • Autofocus:
  • AWB Colour:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • LCD viewfinder:


  • - Compact, portable design
  • - Excellent controls and user interface
  • - Impressive image quality


  • - Relatively slow continuous shooting and focusing
  • - No built-in viewfinder
  • - Limited native lens range



Price as Reviewed:

£599.00 (with EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens)

The EOS M3 is Canon’s first CSC to be aimed squarely at enthusiast photographers. Andy Westlake finds out whether it hits the mark

Canon EOS M3 – Features

Canon EOS M3 top

This top view shows the main controls, including the exposure compensation dial

With a solid, but not exactly class-leading specification, Canon seems to have decided that the EOS M3 should keep prospective buyers reasonably satisfied without treading too much on the toes of its DSLR range. That 24.2MP sensor offers a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 25,600. Shutter speeds run from 30secs up to 1/4000sec, and continuous shooting operates at 4.2fps with a five-image raw buffer (although unlimited shooting in JPEG). This isn’t too bad, per se, but it’s worth noting that the similarly priced Samsung NX500, that was announced around the same time, trumps the M3 in every specification.

It’s much the same story in video. The M3 is capable of recording full HD 1920 x 1080-pixel movies at 30fps, 25fps or 24 fps, with built-in stereo mics and the added bonus of a 3.5mm jack for an external microphone. A focus-peaking display is available for manual focusing, which is displayed during recording to aid pulling focus from one subject to another. However, there’s no overexposure-warning display.

The M3 has a 3in, 1.04-million-dot rear touchscreen that is hinged to tilt 45° downwards, upwards or fully forwards. However, while other brands automatically turn on useful ‘selfie-assist’ modes with face detection and short self-timer delays, Canon has no truck with any of this new-fangled nonsense, so you have to set the camera up yourself. There’s no built-in viewfinder, but an optional EVF is available (more on this later).

Other features include the now-obligatory built-in Wi-Fi for connection to a smartphone or tablet, allowing remote control and image sharing. An NFC chip in the camera’s base enables easy pairing with compatible devices. One nice touch is that the M3 also has an IR receiver in the handgrip, for a more traditional take on wireless remote control.

  • Sensor: 24.2-million-pixel, APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Output size: 6000 x 4000 pixels
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-M
  • Focal length magnification: 1.6x
  • Shutter speeds: 30 - 1/4000sec
  • ISO sensitivity: 100-12,800 standard, 25,600 expanded
  • Exposure modes: PASM, auto, scene
  • Metering System: Evaluative, partial, spot, average
  • Exposure compensation: ±3EV in 1/3 steps
  • Drive mode: 4.2 fps
  • LCD: 3in, 1.04-million-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: Optional EVF-DC1
  • Autofocus: 49-point Hybrid CMOS AF III
  • Video: Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) at 30fps, 25fps or 24fps, built-in stereo mic
  • External Mic: Yes, 3,5mm stereo
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Power: LP-E17 rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Battery Life: Approx 250 shots
  • Dimensions: 110.9 x 68 x 44.4mm
  • Weight: 366g (with battery and card)

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