Canon G7 X Mark II vs M3
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2016 and February 2015. The G7X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G7X Mark II) and an APS-C (M3) sensor. The G7X Mark II has a resolution of 20 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G7 X Mark II 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 views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the G7X Mark II is only available in black.
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 larger (17 percent) than the Canon G7 X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7X Mark II nor the M3 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X Mark II has a lens built in, whereas the M3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the G7X Mark II gets 265 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the M3 can take 250 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack. The power pack in the G7X Mark II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|2.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749|
|4.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299|
|5.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|6.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|7.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|8.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|9.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|10.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|11.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|12.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|13.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|14.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|15.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G7 X Mark II features an one-inch sensor and the Canon M3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M3 is 186 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of chip-set technology, the G7X Mark II uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the M3 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the G7X Mark II (20MP), but the M3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 2.41μm for the G7X Mark II) due to its larger sensor. However, the G7X Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the M3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
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 G7 X Mark II are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M3 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G7X Mark II provides a higher frame rate than the M3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the M3 is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G7X Mark II and the M3 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. 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 G7 X Mark II and Canon M3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX430||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|8.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n|
|12.||Canon SX410||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|15.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n|
The Canon G7 X Mark II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G7X Mark II 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.
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 PowerShot G7 X Mark II and Canon EOS M3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon SX430||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon SX410||-||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the M3 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G7X Mark II does not feature such a mic input.
Both the G7X Mark II and the M3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M3 was replaced by the Canon M6, while the G7X Mark II was followed by the Canon G7 X Mark III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G7 X Mark II or the Canon M3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 6).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M3 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (106x61mm vs 111x68mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M3).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the M3).
Advantages of the Canon EOS M3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G7 X Mark II and the Canon M3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G7X Mark II and the M3 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|2.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||..||Jul 2019||749|
|4.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299|
|5.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|6.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|7.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|8.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|9.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|10.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|11.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|12.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|13.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|14.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|15.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1300D vs Canon G7 X Mark II
- Canon 800D vs Canon M3
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Olympus E-M10
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Olympus E-M10 III
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Panasonic GX1
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Sony A5000
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Sony NEX-5
- Canon M3 vs Canon T4i
- Canon M3 vs Fujifilm X-Pro1
- Canon M3 vs Leica S-E Typ 006
- Canon M3 vs Olympus E-500
- Canon M3 vs Ricoh WG-6
Specifications: Canon G7 X Mark II 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 Model||Canon G7 X Mark II||Canon M3|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-100mm f/1.8-2.8||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2016||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 679|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G7 X Mark II||Canon M3|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||72|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1169|
|Screen Specs||Canon G7 X Mark II||Canon M3|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G7 X Mark II||Canon M3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||4.2 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|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 G7 X Mark II||Canon M3|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon G7 X Mark II||Canon M3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||265 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
106 x 61 x 42 mm
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
111 x 68 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||319 g (11.3 oz)||366 g (12.9 oz)|
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