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Andrew Reid

Canon EOS M3 Review - new sensor, new video quality?

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(Bonus feature - watch the above video to the end for a shootout between the EOS M3, Sony A6000, Panasonic LX100 and GH2)

The EOS M3 features Canon's new flagship 24MP APS-C (Super 35mm) sensor, the flag bearer for future Canon APS-C DSLRs such as the 760D.

Now released in Europe and Asia but not in the US, does the M3 rage against the dying of the light or go quietly into the night?

More footage and tests

Read the full review

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

This was my initial 760D impressions: I compared it to a 70D quickly in a store. (the only difference you found was moire/aliasing, I found it pretty much gone compared to the 70D). The first think noticed was hey this is a new better sensor finally and the images match d5300/a6000.

The good:


-The hedious aliasing/moire are finally almost gone, it's on d5300/7dii/5diii level at that area


-Lowlight performance is about a stop above last gen. similar to 7Dii. Interestingly this only applies to video not raw stills so better processing is the reason not cleaner sensor. 


-Overall video quality is identical to 5Diii and 7Dii, i.e., clean of artefacts but quite soft compared to the 4k competetion. 


-T6s HDR mode works brilliantly, much better than expected. It gives a really high DR at 720p resolution (which is not a big hit from 1080p as both are softish anyway) 


-Lossless 3x crop mode is back as in the t3i, giving a clean almost s16 crop mode. 


-Hybrid AF III (or whatever they call it) is almost identical to Dual Pixel AF in video AF. So it's very organic in motion, locks accurately and works better than any other system on the market. Really good video AF here. 


The bad: 


-Again, quite soft. Think a bit better than 5D/7D


-No 1080p at 60p, and the 60p 720p shows some aliasing, so not a great slomotion camera for a professional (fine for casual use) 


-No headphone jack 


-No peaking/zebras (while strangely both implemented in the new mirrorless Eos M3)


-No clean HDMI output or Timecode like on 7D mk II 


Conclusion: The T6s body is overally a joy to use as a stills/video hybrid, much more sophisticated than all entry level cameras and previous rebels, and the video performance now matches the Nikon counterparts, just not really great for hardcore purist video shooters like us, so move along, get an nx1 or something. This is a great camera for someone discovering photography/videography giving pro results with a cheap lens selection, it's really a lovely body especially with the 10-18mm IS + 18-135mm STM, 50mm 1.8 + 55-250mm IS STM and and those cheap high performers. 


In brief, recommend it to your 15 year old niece bitten by the photography/videography bug, she can do anything with it, but for yourself as a pro video shooter, get an nx1 or GH4 or A7s or something and tinker with manual vintage/cine glass and adapters. Better for you overally especially in how sharp your end result will look. You can't afford to deliver soft video now when every one else is sharp/HD, bad for your image/business.


The body again is a complete joy to use, the buttons, the LCD, the size the weight, the firmware & menus, the speed, just better than every other Sony/Panasonic/nikon out there. It just needed a small push to be king of budget SLRs, like headphone jack & clean HDMI & peaking. But will, its Canon...

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I have the M1 and absolutely love it... Of course I am poor so this is my main camera for the time being. I found the M1 to be a no budget filmmakers wet dream, especially if run and gun is your style. With that said, it is missing some key things that I wish it had... First and foremost... Focus peaking so I am happy to hear it is integrated into the new model but the problem is... If I upgrade, I am not going to upgrade to M3... Why would I?

But Andrew, I would like a little clarification. When you say that it goes to auto exposure mode... Are you saying from still mode? Or is there no manual exposure in any movie mode?

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

LX100 is a fixed lens camera. Smaller sensor, much more noise at higher ISOs, and again, it's a fixed-lens camera! That alone disqualifies it for 90% of cinema use.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

So do you think it takes the crown for the best s35 video camera under 1000$ compared to the D5300 and A6000 (the only two alternatives)?

better than d5300 for adaptable mount, evf option, mirror less and smaller, peaking and great AF,

and better than a6000 for the Canon colour science, usable AF, better faster UI, native Canon lens compatibility, 

while still having the same 1080p resolution and overall video quality as both the d5300 & A6000 as far as I can see.

If it also has a stop better lowlight peformance than both as I saw with the t6s it'd be the clear s35 video shooter for those on a budget. Can you confirm the lowlight performance Andrew?

I always recommended the D5300 as the s35 video camera under 1000$ but this seems to take the spot now.

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So do you think it takes the crown for the best s35 video camera under 1000$ compared to the D5300 and A6000 (the only two alternatives)?

better than d5300 for adaptable mount, evf option, mirror less and smaller, peaking and great AF,

and better than a6000 for the Canon colour science, usable AF, better faster UI, native Canon lens compatibility, 

while still having the same 1080p resolution and overall video quality as both the d5300 & A6000 as far as I can see.

If it also has a stop better lowlight peformance than both as I saw with the t6s it'd be the clear s35 video shooter for those on a budget. Can you confirm the lowlight performance Andrew?

I always recommended the D5300 as the s35 video camera under 1000$ but this seems to take the spot now.

Perhaps, but only in the sense that they are all pretty rubbish.

Get a NX1.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Perhaps, but only in the sense that they are all pretty rubbish.

Get a NX1.

But it's 800 dollars more :/ 

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Like many others have stated, the LX100 doesn't have interchangeable lenses. I wonder if a GM5 is a better alternative for a stick-anywhere/corner/crevice camera for people looking at an M3. A GM5 with a speedbooster is still smaller than an EOS M3 (though no mic port). Do you plan to review the GM5 (especially vs the LX100)? It doesn't seem to be getting as much love out there as the GM1.

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I completely disagree that the D5300 has a rubbish image. I've seen some amazingly filmic stuff shot on the crop sensor Nikons, and very much appreciate their strong color science, great low light capability, sharp 1080p, and surprisingly good dynamic range/highlight roll off. I would never own one, but that's because I can't put my FD or Minolta glass on it, not because of its video quality.

Very encouraged the EOS M III's improved performance. It's not up to GH2 level--not by a long shot--but it's decent, and features that Canon color science everyone raves about (and I just like for certain projects). My enjoyment of the original hinged mostly on it being a great pocket cam with the 22mm f/2 (an exquisitely good pancake lens) and that it's a Canon sensor I could finally use my glass on. Once we see what can be done with this puppy on proper projects, I'd definitely consider picking one up...or an LX100. :D

Cheers!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Better to spend an extra 800 than waste 800 completely!

​Well most don't have the extra 800$.  You get for 700$ a super 35mm 1080p camera with film-like DOF, sharp video, great colours, great flipping screen, and 24mp high end stills, ability to any lenses, fast AF, Great IS, a package anyone can pick up and shoot a full feature on, or a documentary and make it look a milion dollars, what a waste of 700$ :D

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​Well most don't have the extra 800$.  You get for 700$ a super 35mm 1080p camera with film-like DOF, sharp video, great colours, great flipping screen, and 24mp high end stills, ability to any lenses, fast AF, Great IS, a package anyone can pick up and shoot a full feature on, or a documentary and make it look a milion dollars, what a waste of 700$ :D

​The same exact things can be said for the Samsung NX1, except you get a 28MP sensor and 4K. Why isn't that the relevant competitor?

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Remember these Canon lenses:

-22mm F/2 pancake prime 250$

-35mm F/2 prime for 150$

-50mm F/1.8 super sharp prime 100$

-18-135mm IS STM all around ENG lens, sharp and has great IS for 350$

-10-18mm IS Ultra-wide angle for 250$ (only way to get this fov on a sony/nikon is 800$+ lenses, so instead of buying a tokina you can buy an m3 camera+10-18mm!)

-55-250mm IS STM super sharp telephoto with great IS for 250$

The budget Canon lens line-up is something to applause for. They are incredibly underrated and perform on a level of optical quality of Zeiss and Canon L lenses! 

Having a Canon body opens this world of excellent lenses but until now I wasn't satisfied by their sensors that don't make much use of them, with the eos m3/760d the orld has opened or shooting video on these lenses (which mostly on't work with any other camerasespecialy the stm ones that require electonics to even change focus manually, not to mention STM motor, IS and AF. This move by turning all their new great lenses to full electronic driving is probably made by Canon to lock you into their sytem)

​The same exact things can be said for the Samsung NX1, except you get a 28MP sensor and 4K. Why isn't that the relevant competitor?

But it's 800 dollars more :/ 

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​Because it costs twice as much and requires a lengthy transcode to use the footage?

​Sorry, I meant the Samsung NX500 - costs the SAME, and has all the features of the EOS M3, except the soft video, and it has a 28 MP sensor and a 4K option. There is a transcode...

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