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Canon EOS M3 review

April 28, 2015

Overall Rating:

4

Canon EOS M3


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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

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 – Image quality

Canon EOS M3, ISO 6400

Even at ISO 6400, detail and colour is maintained very well

This is the first time we’ve seen Canon’s latest 24-million-pixel sensor in action, and on the whole it gives good results. Unlike some other recent high-resolution APS-C sensors, it still uses an anti-aliasing filter, so it doesn’t reach the same heights of resolution, but equally it’s less prone to artefacts.

Noise performance is pretty good, and even ISO 6400 is quite usable, especially if you’re prepared to process from raw. The in-camera processing does a good job of maintaining its vibrant colour output as the ISO is ranged too.

The one area where Canon still lags behind the best in class is dynamic range – don’t expect to be able to push shadows very far without seeing noise. However, on a more positive note we’ve seen no sign of banding when making extreme adjustments in post-processing, which has been a problem with some Canon cameras in the past.

Resolution

At ISO 100 the EOS M3 resolves around 3000l/ph, which is much what we’d expect from a 24MP sensor with a low-pass filter. Detail is smoothly blurred beyond this point, with no visible moiré or aliasing artefacts. There’s little loss of resolution due to noise at sensitivities up to ISO 800, at it’s only at ISO 1600 that it drops to about 2800l/ph. It doesn’t drop too much further at the highest settings, with about 2600l/ph achieved at ISO 6400, and 2400l/ph at ISO 12800.

Below are 100% crops taken from our resolution test chart, shot in raw and converted using Adobe Camera Raw 8.0 with default noise reduction parameters. The black arrow marker represents our estimate of the extinction resolution at each ISO. Multiply the marked numbers by 200 to give the resolution in lines/picture height.

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO100

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO100

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO200

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO200

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO400

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO400

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO800

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO800

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO1600

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO1600

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO3200

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO3200

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO6400

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO6400

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO12800

Canon EOS M3 resolution ISO12800

  • 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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