Canon M vs Rebel
The Canon EOS M and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (labelled Canon 300D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2012 and August 2003. The Canon M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the Rebel is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon M has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Rebel provides 6.3 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 EOS M and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel? 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 M and the Canon Rebel. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the Rebel is only available in silver.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon Rebel is considerably larger (95 percent) than the Canon M. Moreover, the Rebel is substantially heavier (118 percent) than the Canon M. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon M nor the Rebel 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.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|1.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|3.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|5.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|6.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|8.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|9.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|11.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|13.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|14.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|15.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|16.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The Canon M was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the Rebel, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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. 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.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the Rebel is 3 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Canon M offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the Canon Rebel. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, it should be noted that the Canon M is much more recent (by 8 years and 11 months) than the Rebel, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Canon M for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon Rebel are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon M has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS M has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Digital Rebel are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the Canon M has a notably higher overall DXO score than the Rebel (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 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.
| DXO |
|7.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|15.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|16.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The Canon M indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Rebel does not. The highest resolution format that the Canon M can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the Rebel has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Canon M relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon M and Canon Rebel in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|7.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The Canon M has a touchscreen, while the Rebel has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Canon M writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the Rebel uses Compact Flash cards.
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 M and Canon EOS Digital Rebel and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|7.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the Canon M and the Rebel have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Rebel was replaced by the Canon XT, while the Canon M was followed by the Canon EOS M3. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M or the Canon Rebel – 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.
Advantages of the Canon EOS M:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 6.3MP) with a 69% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 118k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x66mm vs 142x99mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 351g or 54 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 8 years and 11 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2003).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Canon M is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 4 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 M and the Canon Rebel place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Canon M and the Rebel 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Canon Rebel||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|3.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon T7i||4.5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|5.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|6.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|8.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|9.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon T5i||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|11.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Canon XT||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|13.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|14.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|15.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|16.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon M vs Canon Rebel
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 M||Canon Rebel|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2012||August 2003|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M||Canon Rebel|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.7 x 15.1 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||342.77 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||27.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||6.3 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||3072 x 2048 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||7.38 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||1.84 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||55|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||21.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||827||544|
|Screen Specs||Canon M||Canon Rebel|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||1.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||118k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M||Canon Rebel|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4.3 shutter flaps/s||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M||Canon Rebel|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 1.1|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon M||Canon Rebel|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
109 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
142 x 99 x 72 mm
(5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||298 g (10.5 oz)||649 g (22.9 oz)|
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