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Canon 100D vs M3

The Canon EOS 100D (called Canon SL1 in some regions) and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2013 and February 2015. The 100D is a DSLR, while the M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 100D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the M3 provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 100D
versus
Canon M3
Canon 100D   Canon M3
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF-M mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
4.9 shutter flaps per second 4.2 shutter flaps per second
380 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g 111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 100D and the Canon EOS M3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 100D and the Canon M3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, white).

Size Canon 100D vs Canon M3
Compare 100D versus M3 top
Comparison 100D or M3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M3 is notably smaller (29 percent) than the Canon 100D. Moreover, the M3 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the 100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 100D nor the M3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the 100D gets 380 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the M3 can take 250 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549 i
2.
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i
5.
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i
6.
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
7.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
8.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
9.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
10.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699 i
11.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
12.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
13.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
14.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599 i
15.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
16.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 100D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 19 percent) than the M3, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the M3 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the 100D (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 100D and Canon M3 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the M3 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 100D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 16 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the M3 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.31μm for the 100D). However, it should be noted that the M3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the 100D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Canon M3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 100D are 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The Canon EOS M3 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

100D versus M3 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the M3 has a markedly higher DXO score than the 100D (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.3843 63
2.
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.81169 72
3.
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
4.
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.41041 79
5.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
6.
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.41262 77
7.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
8.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.81082 70
9.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
10.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.7556 71
11.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
12.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
13.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
14.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.2827 65
15.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
16.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.5639 61

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 100D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 100D and Canon M3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
2.
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
3.
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
11.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
13.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
15.
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
The M3 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 100D does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 100D and the M3 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 100D and Canon EOS M3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereomonoYYmini3.0---
9.
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
13.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-

It is notable that the M3 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 100D does not provide wifi capability.

Both the 100D and the M3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 100D was replaced by the Canon 200D, while the M3 was followed by the Canon M6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 100D and the Canon M3? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 100D:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (19 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2013).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 5).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 117x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M3 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

100D 05:11 M3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 100D and the Canon M3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 100D and the M3 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 100D4/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549 i
2.
 
Canon M34/5o75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 200D4/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i
5.
 
Canon M6....80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i
6.
 
Canon M54/5+82/1004/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
7.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
8.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+84/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
9.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
10.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699 i
11.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
12.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
13.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
14.
 
Canon M3/5+..4/54/5 Jul 2012 599 i
15.
 
Canon 600D3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
16.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +..5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 100D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon M3:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 100D vs Canon M3

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 100D Canon M3
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF-M mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2013 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 679
    Sensor Specs Canon 100D Canon M3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 3.72 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 7.22 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 11.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 843 1169
    Screen Specs Canon 100D Canon M3
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 100D Canon M3
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.9 shutter flaps/s 4.2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon 100D Canon M3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon 100D Canon M3
    Battery Type LP-E12 LP-E17
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 91 x 69 mm
    (4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    111 x 68 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 407 g (14.4 oz) 366 g (12.9 oz)

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