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Canon M3 vs G7X Mark II

The Canon EOS M3 and the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2015 and February 2016. The M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the G7X Mark II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M3) and an one-inch (G7X Mark II) sensor. The M3 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the G7X Mark II 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 Mark II
Canon M3 Canon G7 X Mark II
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 (125-25600)
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 8 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge265 shots per battery charge
111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g 106 x 61 x 42 mm, 319 g

Body comparison: Canon M3 vs G7X Mark II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon M3 and the Canon G7 X Mark II 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 size dimensions 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 side – the M3 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon M3 and Canon G7 X Mark II
Compare M3 versus G7X Mark II top
Compare M3 or G7X Mark II 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 Mark II is notably smaller (14 percent) than the Canon M3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M3 nor the G7X Mark II 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 M3 gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the G7X Mark II can take 265 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

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, 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 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 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 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 G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 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 G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

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. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon M3 vs G7X Mark II

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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M3 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G7 X Mark II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G7X Mark II 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.

Technology-wise, 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.

Canon M3 and Canon G7 X Mark II sensor measures

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 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 Mark II are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-25600..

M3 versus G7X Mark II MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 Mark II« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
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 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 G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 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 G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G7X Mark II 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 Mark II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M3 and the G7X Mark II 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 M3 and Canon G7 X Mark II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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 Mark II«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
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 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 G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 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 G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
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 Mark II write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison: Canon M3 vs G7X Mark II

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 Mark II 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 Mark II«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M50« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYCanon M50
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon G5 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV

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

The G7X Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the M3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M3 was succeeded by the Canon M6.


Review summary: Canon M3 vs G7X Mark II

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M3 and the Canon G7 X Mark II? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • 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.
  • 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).


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.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M3 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (106x61mm 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 modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M3 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 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 12:08 G7X Mark II

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M3 or the G7X Mark II handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Canon M3 vs G7X Mark II

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed 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 Mark II«HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
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 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 G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 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 G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon M3 vs Canon G7 X Mark II

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M3 Canon G7 X Mark II
    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 February 2016
    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 125-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 DIGIC 7
    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 8 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 charge265 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 111 x 68 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    106 x 61 x 42 mm
    (4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 366 g (12.9 oz) 319 g (11.3 oz)

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