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 – Screen and viewfinder

Canon EOS M3 tiltscreen

The articulated touchscreen can tilt upwards, forwards, and 45° downwards

With no built-in viewfinder, most M3 owners will rely on the rear LCD. Thankfully, this is sharp and detailed, with pretty accurate colour rendition. The on-screen displays are clear and offer plenty of exposure information, and it’s possible to cycle through various levels of detail, along with an SLR-like control panel display showing the main settings on an otherwise-blank screen that works best when using the EVF.

At its standard brightness setting the screen is a bit too dim for shooting in bright sunlight, but turn it up to maximum and it works just fine. In low light you get the opposite problem, as the screen doesn’t adjust down in brightness, making images look brighter than they really are. It is therefore wise to pay heed to the live histogram as a guide to whether you should apply any exposure compensation. Unfortunately, while Canon includes a very useful RGB histogram display, it takes up so much on-screen real estate that your actual subject becomes difficult to see. This is a pity, as the histogram screen also displays a two-axis electronic level, which isn’t shown on any others.

Canon EOS M3 EVF

The optional EVF-DC1 slides onto the hot shoe

For those who prefer an eye-level finder, it’s possible to use the EVF-DC1 that costs £250 separately or can be bought in kits with the EOS M3. It slots onto the hotshoe, can tilt 90° upwards and has an eye sensor for automatic switchover from the LCD. The 2.36-million-dot OLED panel is sharp and detailed, and the view is a decent enough size, similar to the optical finders of APS-C DSLRs or the built-in EVFs in mid-range CSCs. The deep, hard rubber eyecup is great at shielding the eyepiece if you don’t wear glasses, but can be a little awkward if you do.

  • 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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