Canon Upgrades and Improves EOS M3


A few years ago, Canon’s mirrorless camera, the EOS M3, was met with a collective, “meh.” That’s because the sensor in your phone is better than what they shipped. We all know that point and shoots died with camera phones and the benefits of mirrorless are image quality on par with DSLRs or better. So, it seemed Canon and Nikon have just had a mirrorless SKU instead of either a category leader or changer, like the Sony Alphas, Fuji Film, or even Olympus. The EOS M33 was updated in Europe and Asia and finally it’s shipped to the US. Imaging Resource  got a demo in and field tested it. Their conclusion, first with the Pros

  • Canon Rebel DSLR image quality and resolution in a mirrorless body
  • Improved dynamic range over its predecessor, but still not as good as competing models
  • Good high ISO performance for a 24-megapixel APS-C model, though not quite as good as some leading rivals
  • OLPF means potentially fewer aliasing artifacts, but at the expense of slightly reduced sharpness (could be a Pro or Con depending on perspective)
  • Excellent color and hue accuracy
  • HTP and ALO useful in high-contrast scenes
  • In-camera HDR mode
  • Very fast single-shot autofocus
  • Low prefocused shutter lag
  • Focuses fairly well in low light for a mirrorless model
  • Built-in flash
  • Much improved ergonomics with larger, more pronounced handgrip
  • Full PASM & Exposure Compensation dials
  • Tilting, touchscreen LCD screen is very handy
  • Responsive touchscreen with handy tap-to-focus
  • Despite CIPA ratings, battery life felt longer-lasting than expected
  • First EOS mirrorless with Wi-Fi & NFC

and the Cons

  • Below average battery life according to CIPA ratings
  • Sluggish power up, play to record and single-shot cycle times
  • Slow burst mode at only ~4fps
  • Shallow buffers (4 frames) when shooting RAW (not uncommon for its class, though)
  • Auto and Incandescent white balance settings too warm in tungsten lighting
  • Slightly soft JPEGs at default settings (yet with noticeable sharpening halos)
  • Below average dynamic range at low ISOs
  • No built-in EVF, but supports external add-on
  • Limited native lens selection
  • LCD is tilting only; no vari-angle articulation
  • No 4K and/or 1080/60p video options
  • No headphone jack

While a shorter list of negatives, it doesn’t seem like this is the mirrorless camera Canon fans were hoping for. Our take? Once Sony and Fuji Film gains more marketshare, expect much better mirrorless offerings from Canon and Nikon.

My daily shooter is Sony A1 with a vertical grip and various Sony lenses attached like the FE 20mm F1.8. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.