Canon EOS M3 Compact System Camera Review

The EOS M3 is quite similar to a Rebel T6s packed into a compact body that echoes the company’s PowerShot models. It employs the same Hybrid CMOS AF III 24.2MP CMOS sensor as the T6s as well as a Digic 6 processor, touchscreen LCD and Wi-Fi with NFC. Unlike the Rebel and EOS DSLRs in general, EOS M bodies use the EF-M lens mount, though EF lenses can be used via an optional adapter. The M3 sits at the higher band of Canon camera’s with the younger sibling the M10 representing the budget option.

Canon EOS M3: Design

The last year or so has witnessed compact system cameras try more lifestyle-orientated characteristics. That means slicker style, slimmer design and more colour options. However, the Canon EOS M3 doesn’t play that game. It looks and feels more like what you’d get if you took an EOS DSLR, took all the bits out that separate CSCs from DSLRs and trimmed the body down accordingly. All of the eye-catching design is left at the door here, you get a very standard body that is made of brilliant materials, and as a result actually looks better than other CSC’s that really just try too hard, whether that be from their fake look colour options to cover up the simple plastic body, or their quirky gimmicks.

Construction is much stronger than a solid entry-level Canon DSLR, though. It has a steel inner shell while the outermost layer is aluminium, getting you a cool and hard feel. Of course, what you’ll touch the most is the grip, which has a faux leather finish like many of Canon’s cameras. So what you’re getting is a very premium designed camera that doesn’t cut any of the corners that other compact system cameras try to get away with.

Canon EOS M3: Handling

One thing that some compact system cameras seem to get wrong on a regular basis is the handling and grip positions. For me, the Canon EOS M10 was a very difficult camera to hold in the way that you would with a fully functional DSLR. However the Canon EOS M3 is a serious winner here, it has a very chunky grip that while it doesn’t compare to a DSLR is very acceptable for me. However on the other end of the spectrum some may find that out of all compact system cameras this is a bit more on the chunkier side, there has to be a fine barrier between a CSC and a DSLR and I think this really takes it to the line.

We see equal sizing when looking at the cameras other identifying feature, the lens. the 18-55m lens is gigantic for many, and with other manufacturers such as Sony adopting slimline lenses.

Canon EOS M3: Image Quality

The Canon EOS M10 provided images of outstanding quality during our review. This camera performs noise-free JPEG images at ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 1600 and with some post-processing even beyond, However, you will notice noise first appearing at ISO 3200. We wouldn’t advise applying the extended setting of ISO 25600 though. The JPEG images were a slight soft right out of the camera employing the default Picture setting and ideally need some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop or lightroom, or you can change the in-camera configurations. The built-in flash performed well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and the Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in all situations.


The Canon EOS M10 has a lot more in familiar with the original EOS M compared to last year’s more enthusiast-focused EOS M3, yielding the same 18-megapixel sensor and simplified control layout as Canon’s first compact system camera. It also inherits some of the EOS M3’s key enhancements, embracing a much faster AF system and wi-fi/NFC connectivity. We can also justify the omission of a viewfinder, flash hot shoe, second control dial, exposure compensation dial and handgrip, given the camera’s entry-level status. Perhaps the biggest step forward is the inclusion of the new EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM collapsible standard zoom lens, which makes the overall package much more compact than before.

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