Canon EOS M3 Review

Canon EOS M3 Review: Canon continues the EOS-M mirrorless system with the EOS M3 – More resolution, grip and speed

For a long time it was quiet around the mirrorless EOS-M system from Canon, the M2 did not even come to Germany. But now Canon is bringing a much more advanced model onto the market with the EOS M3. The M3 has an APS-C sensor with 24 megapixel resolution and the improved Hybris CMOS AF III, which is said to be six times faster than the rather slow autofocus of the first M. Canon has also improved the ergonomics, the screen is now foldable and the hot shoe has a viewfinder connection.

With the EOS M3, Canon wants to make a lot of things better that weren’t so well received on the market with the EOS M. For example, the still very compact housing now has a small grip bead that not only improves the grip of the camera, but also the shutter release placed on it is more ergonomically accessible. He is still surrounded by an adjustment ring. Something has also changed on the back: the 7.5 cm touchscreen can now be folded down and up, and the 180-degree swivel range even makes it possible to shoot selfies with the EOS M3, while the monitor can be tilted down 45 degrees. Thanks to the intuitive touch operation familiar from EOS DSLRs, the essential shooting parameters can be adjusted very easily. But if you like, you can also use the buttons, even the second dial on the back is still there. Many of the keys can be individually assigned. A new feature is the ability to slide an electronic viewfinder into the TTL system hot shoe, the same viewfinder as on the PowerShot G1 X.

The Canon EOS M3 has a touchscreen that folds down 45 degrees and up 180 degrees with the intuitive operation familiar from EOS DSLRs. [Photo: Canon]

However, there have also been some changes on the inside. The Digic 6 is now used as image processor. The APS-C sensor now has a resolution of 24 megapixels and offers phase detection sensors for the much-accelerated Hybris CMOS AF III, which, with 49 measuring points, works six times faster than the admittedly slow autofocus of the first EOS M. The phase sensors are used for rapid control of the focal plane, while contrast measurement ensures precise fine adjustment. Those who want to focus manually are now supported by a peaking function that highlights contrasting edges in the plane of sharpness.

But the Canon EOS M3 also offers buttons, some of which are configurable, and dials for adjusting shooting parameters. [Photo: Canon]

The video function of the EOS M3 works with Full-HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080) at either 24p, 25p or 30p (frames per second). Data is stored in MP4 format on the SD memory card. The Hybrid CMOS AF III is designed to guarantee exact focus tracking, with touch AF allowing for focus shift at any time during shooting. In addition, the EOS M offers the option of connecting an external microphone and allows you to control the aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity for video and still images. By the way, the new sensor allows a maximum sensitivity of 12,800 ISO.

Thanks to built-in WLAN and NFC, the EOS M can be easily connected to a smartphone or tablet. With the new Camera Connect App, Canon combines the two old apps for the EOS and compact camera system. The app allows remote control of the camera including live image transmission and setting of various recording parameters. Since 2015, the Canon EOS M3 is available at a price of almost 750 euros new. Used devices are much cheaper.

Canon EOS M3 data sheet


Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 22.5 x 15.0 mm (crop factor 1.6
)24.5 megapixels (physical) and 24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 3.7 µm
Photo resolution
6.000 x 3.376 pixels (16:9)
5.328 x 4.000 pixels (4:3)
4.320 x 2.880 pixels (3:2)
4.320 x 2.432 pixels (16:9)
4.240 x 2.832 pixels (3:2)
4.000 x 4.000 pixels (1:1)
3.840 x 2.880 pixels (4:3)
2.880 x 2.880 pixels (1:1)
2.880 x 1.920 pixels (3:2)
2.880 x 1.616 pixels (16:9)
2.560 x 1.920 pixels (4:3)
2.304 x 1.536 pixels (3:2)
2.048 x 1.536 pixels (4:3)
1.920 x 1.920 pixels (1:1)
1.920 x 1.080 pixels (16:9)
1.536 x 1.536 pixels (1:1)
720 x 480 pixels (3:2)
640 x 480 pixels (4:3)
480 x 480 pixels (1:1)
Image formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard (version 2.0), IPTC
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 29 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 59 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 25 p
Maximum recording time 29 min 59 sec
Video format
MP4 (Codec H.264)
Audio format (video) WAV


Lens mount
Canon EF-M


Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 49 sensors
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AFL function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier (10x)
Sharpness control Live view

Viewfinder and monitor

Monitor 3.0″ (7.5 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, non-reflective, brightness adjustable, tilts 180° up and 45° down, with touch screen


Exposure metering Center-weighted integral metering, matrix/multi-field metering over 384 fields, spot metering (metering over 10% or 2% of the field of view, AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (Automatic
) Bulb function
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Shutter automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 3 shots, 1/3 to 2 EV increments, HDR function
Exposure Compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 12,800 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, infrared trigger, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Scene modes Landscape, night scene, close-up, portrait, sports/action, full auto, 0 other scene modes
Picture effects Fisheye, HDR effect, miniature effect, monochrome, softer, toy camera, b/w filter in yellow/orange/red/green, b/w tint effects in blue/violet/green, 4 additional image effects
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, White balance bracket, Fine tuning, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Manual 1 Memory
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 4.3 fps at highest resolution and max. 5 stored photos, or 5 RAW images
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram


Flash built-in flash (flip up
)Flash shoe: Canon, standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync speed 1/200 s
Flash code Guide number 5 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, high-speed sync, slow sync, flash on second shutter curtain, red-eye reduction, flash exposure compensation from -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV


Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
GPS function GPS external (Smartphone as GPS logger)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Canon LP-E17250
images according to CIPA standard Canon
ACK-E17 power supply
Playback functions Red-eye retouching, cropping, image rotation, image protection, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier, image index, slide show function with crossfade effects, zoom out
Voice memo Voice memo (WAV format)
Face recognition Face recognition
Image parameters Sharpness, contrast, color saturation, noise reduction
Special functions Grid fade-in, Orientation sensor, Live View
Connections Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (Type: B, G, N)
NFC: available
AV Connections AV output: HDMI output Mini (Type C
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin))
Supported direct printing methods Canon Direct Print, PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″
Special features and miscellaneous DIGIC 6 image processor, phase AF sensors on the image sensor, sensor cleaning system, contrast optimization (4 levels)

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 111 x 68 x 44 mm
Weight 366 g (ready for operation)


standard accessory Canon IFC-400PCU USB cableCanon
LC-E17 Charger for special batteriesCanon
LP-E17 Special batteryCanon
RF-3 (case cover)
Lithium-ion battery, charger, USB cable, CD-ROM, operating instructions, case cover
additional accessories Canon ACK-E17 AC AdapterCanon
EVF-DC1 (electronic viewfinder)
Canon RC-6 Infrared Remote Control (Infrared Remote Control)
Lens Adapter EF-EOS MIR Remote Control

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