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Canon M3 vs G7X

The Canon EOS M3 and the Canon PowerShot G7 X are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2015 and September 2014. The M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the G7X is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M3) and an one-inch (G7X) sensor. The M3 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the G7X provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Canon M3   Canon G7 X
Canon M3 Canon G7 X
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12800 (100-25600) ISO 125-12800
Viewfinder optional No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
4.2 shutter flaps per second 6.5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge210 shots per battery charge
111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g 103 x 60 x 40 mm, 304 g

Body comparison: Canon M3 vs G7X

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M3 and the Canon G7 X. 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. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the M3 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon M3 and Canon G7 X
Compare M3 versus G7X top
Compare M3 or G7X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G7 X is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Canon M3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M3 nor the G7X are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X 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 M3 gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the G7X can take 210 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon M3» 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G7 X« 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon M50« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

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. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon M3 vs G7X

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M3 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G7 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G7X is 65 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M3 and Canon G7 X sensor measures

With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the G7X (20MP), but the M3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 2.41μm for the G7X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the G7X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The M3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Canon EOS M3 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 PowerShot G7 X are ISO 125 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

M3 versus G7X 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon M3» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon G7 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon M50« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p----Canon M50
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II

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, but the G7X provides a faster frame rate than the M3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the M3 is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon M3 vs G7X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M3 and the G7X 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 M3 and Canon G7 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon M3»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon G7 X«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon M50« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 10.0 Y n Canon M50
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M3 and the G7X write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison: Canon M3 vs G7X

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 M3 and Canon PowerShot G7 X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon M3»YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon G7 X«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon M50« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYCanon M50
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon G5 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 II

It is notable that the M3 has a hotshoe, while the G7X does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the M3 and the G7X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G7X was replaced by the Canon G7 X Mark II, while the M3 was followed by the Canon M6.


Review summary: Canon M3 vs G7X

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M3 or the Canon G7 X – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie 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 (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (250 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 4 months after the G7X).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G7 X:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M3 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (103x60mm vs 111x68mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the M3).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M3 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

M3 10:08 G7X

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M3 or the G7X handle or 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.

Expert reviews: Canon M3 vs G7X

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon M3»rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G7 X«HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon M50« »Rec79/100--3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon M3 vs Canon G7 X

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M3 Canon G7 X
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8
    Launch Date February 2015 September 2014
    Launch Price USD 679 USD 699
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 13.2 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6 2.7
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12800 ISO 125-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 DIGIC 6
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional No viewfinder
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.2 shutter flaps/s 6.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E17 power pack NB-13L power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge210 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 111 x 68 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    103 x 60 x 40 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 366 g (12.9 oz) 304 g (10.7 oz)

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