February 6, 2015

Is Canon Finally Taking Mirrorless Seriously with the New EOS M3 Camera?

Canon EOS M3 Front with Lens
Besides the new 5DS and the new T6s/T6i cameras, Canon also introduced another camera worth taking a look at for video folks: the EOS M3. 

While Canon's previous EOS M and M2 were simply Canon dipping their feet into the mirrorless waters, the new APS-C sensor M3 is a bit more grown up (we have an optional EVF now). Compared to offerings from Sony and Samsung (like the 4K NX500), however, these still have a long way to go. It also looks like at least for the time being that North American shooters won't be able to get their hands on one, as Canon, just like they did with the M2, has not chosen to release it on this side of the Atlantic. 

Here are some videos taking a look at the M3:

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6raSxmk3_4c

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2HpYidTEqk

Essentially the M3 got most of the guts from the T6s/i cameras, so expect still and video quality to be pretty similar. Here's what the specs look like for the EOS M3:

  • 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS
  • Digic 6 Processor
  • 1080p 29.97 / 25 / 23.98
  • ISO 100-12,800
  • Tilting 3" LCD and Optional EVF that slides into the Hot Shoe
  • Hybrid CMOS AF III providing continuous AF during video (Touch AF)
  • Remote camera control and image sharing via Wi-Fi
  • Availability: April 2015
  • Price: £599.99 / €769.99

Images from The Verge showing the optional EVF on the camera:

Canon EOS M3 Front
Canon EOS M3 Back

It certainly looks like they are taking mirrorless more seriously than they were with the first two models. At the moment, though, this entire product range still feels a bit like an experiment, especially since there are only a handful of native M-mount lenses. You can adapt EF lenses to the M cameras, but it starts to defeat the purpose of having a small camera. 

Unlike some of the other Japanese companies that have embraced mirrorless in their higher-end models, Canon has again stuck with mirrors for their pro cameras. If they were worried about native lens compatibility with a professional camera, they could very easily keep the EF flange distance the same on a higher-end mirrorless model and still have a relatively small camera. I said a long time ago the EOS M mount would have worked well with a lower-end Canon cinema camera, just like Sony has done with their lower-end FS cameras that have an E-mount. This would have given many more options for lens adaptability.

Either way, it doesn't seem like the EOS M cameras are really showstoppers just yet in the mirrorless segment. A high-end EOS M with more lenses and good video features (maybe even 4K) would sell pretty well, but we aren't there yet. We'll see what Canon does with this model in North America, but for now, the rest of the world will be able to get their hands on the M3 in April.     

Your Comment


This is a very good specs camera.....but for 2011 :)

February 6, 2015 at 8:09AM

Slobodan Milivojevic

The answer to your question, Joe, is an emphatic, "NO". They are not taking mirrorless seriously enough at all. This camera would be full-frame if they knew what Sony was doing to them in sales this past year. Sony's A7S makes Canon look like a joke. If the A7S didn't have such bad rolling shutter problems and shot raw video, I would already own two.

February 6, 2015 at 12:13PM

Harry Pray IV
Director of Photography/Lighting Technician/Colorist

Harry, what is it that you are trying to communicate?

Saying Canon is behind on mirrorless, we can all agree to that statement. It is in Joe's writing as well.

The comparision of the Sony A7 with this camera is irrelevant. The A7 is about 3.5 times more expensive. What are you comparing?
Finally, you break down this A7, because of rolling shutter problems and lack of RAW capability.

Next time, think before you comment.

February 7, 2015 at 1:21AM


WTF? Are you serious? Next time, think before you reply. My reply is perfectly valid. So tired of internet trolls.

February 7, 2015 at 2:36PM

Harry Pray IV
Director of Photography/Lighting Technician/Colorist

Amazon just had a lightning deal on an NEX-5t for $289, which I ordered. I've been loyal to Canon since I started shooting, but this line makes no sense to me. Either way, I'll have to add an adapter for my EF lenses, and for a lot less money I can have 1080/60p.

February 7, 2015 at 12:18PM


The only thing which interests me here is the price. At this price, and a new mirror-less offering from canon i would love to experiment with it.

February 7, 2015 at 11:40PM

Aakash Goswami