Canon G7 X Mark III vs M3
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2019 and February 2015. The G7X Mark III is a fixed lens compact, while the M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G7X Mark III) and an APS-C (M3) sensor. The G7X Mark III 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 III 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G7 X Mark III and the Canon M3. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The G7X Mark III can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the M3 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, white).
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 (18 percent) than the Canon G7 X Mark III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7X Mark III nor the M3 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X Mark III 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 III gets 235 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 III 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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark III||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749||amazon.com|
|2.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony ZV-1||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|16.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|Note: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G7 X Mark III 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 III uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) 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 III (20MP), but the M3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 2.41μm for the G7X Mark III) due to its larger sensor. However, the G7X Mark III is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 5 months) than the M3, and its sensor will 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 III 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 III 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.
In terms of underlying technology, the G7X Mark III is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the M3 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||583||65|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||583||65|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|9.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|11.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|16.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.3||478||64|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G7X Mark III provides a higher video resolution than the M3. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, 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 III 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G7 X Mark III and Canon M3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3/s||n||n|
|13.||Fujifilm XF10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||n||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the G7X Mark III is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Canon G7 X Mark III 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 III 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 III 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 III||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Fujifilm XF10||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the M3 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The G7X Mark III does not feature such an accessory-socket.
The G7X Mark III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the M3 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M3 was succeeded by the Canon M6. Further information on the features and operation of the G7X Mark III and M3 can be found, respectively, in the Canon G7 X Mark III Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon M3 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G7 X Mark III better than the Canon M3 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 6).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (30 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- 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 (105x61mm 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.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 5 months of technical progress since the M3 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- 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.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2015).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G7X Mark III is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 8 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 III 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G7X Mark III or the M3 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 III||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||..||Jul 2019||749||amazon.com|
|2.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony ZV-1||4/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|16.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 450D vs Canon M3
- Canon 500D vs Canon G7 X Mark III
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Nikon D5500
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Nikon Z5
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Olympus E-620
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Pentax K-S1
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Sony NEX-5
- Canon M3 vs Canon SX710
- Canon M3 vs Leica X1
- Canon M3 vs Olympus TG-4
- Canon M3 vs Sony A7S II
- Canon M3 vs Sony H200
Specifications: Canon G7 X Mark III 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 III||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||July 2019||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 749||USD 679|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G7 X Mark III||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||4K/30p 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 8||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 III||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 III||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||30 shutter flaps/s||4.2 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/25600s||no E-Shutter|
|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 III||Canon M3|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon G7 X Mark III||Canon M3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||235 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
105 x 61 x 41 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 in)
111 x 68 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||304 g (10.7 oz)||366 g (12.9 oz)|
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