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Canon M3 versus Canon G7 X Mark II

The Canon EOS M3 and the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2015 and February 2016. The EOS 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 (EOS M3) and an one-inch sensor. The EOS M3 has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the G7X Mark II provides 20 MP.

Body comparison

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. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 EOS M3 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Canon M3 vs Canon G7 X Mark II front
EOS M3 versus G7X Mark II top view
EOS M3 and G7X Mark II rear side
Body view (EOS M3 on the left)

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. Cameras that are intended for semi-professional or professional use are sometimes a bit bulkier in order to provide them with the necessary ruggedness. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the EOS 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 build in, whereas the EOS M3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon M3 (⇒ rgt) 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 no 2015 679discont. check
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft) 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 no 2016 699 latest check
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 no 2017 779 latest check
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 no 2016 979 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 no 2015 529discont. check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 no 2015 499discont. check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 no 2015 749discont. check
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 no 2015 849discont. check
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 no 2015 799 latest check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 no 2014 699discont. check
Nikon D5600 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 no 2016 699 latest check

The listed 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

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 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.

Canon M3 and Canon G7 X Mark II sensor measures
Sensor size

With 24MP, the EOS M3 offers a higher resolution than the G7X Mark II (20MP), but the EOS 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 EOS M3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

EOS M3 versus G7X Mark II MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon M3 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.8 11.8 1169 72
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p - - - -
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.4 12.4 1262 77
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.5 12.3 495 63
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.2 11.4 753 65
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 22.7 12.0 919 71
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.6 12.0 915 70
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p - - - -
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 23.0 12.7 556 71
Nikon D5600 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 24.1 14.0 1306 84

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

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The EOS 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. 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. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon M3 (⇒ rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.2 5 no
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 8.0 7 no
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 9.0 5 no
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.2 1620 tilting YES 4000 9.0 5 no
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 6.0 6 no
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.6 5 no
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 2000 5.9 7 no
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 6.5 7 no
Nikon D5600 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.2 1037 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no

The G7X Mark II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the EOS M3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the EOS M3 was succeeded by the Canon M6.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M3 or the Canon G7 X Mark II – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Faster shutter: Has a higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • 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 EOS 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 build in (unlike the EOS M3).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G7X Mark II comes out slightly ahead of the EOS M3 (6 : 5 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.

EOS M3 05:06 G7X Mark II

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 EOS M3 or the G7X Mark II handle or perform in practice. 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 summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon M3 (⇒ rgt) reviewed 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2015 679discont. check
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft) HiRec 81/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2016 699 latest check
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4/5 2017 779 latest check
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4/5 2016 979 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 529discont. check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - reviewed 4/5 2015 499discont. check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 749discont. check
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 849discont. check
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 78/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 799 latest check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2014 699discont. check
Nikon D5600 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 79/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2016 699 latest check

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 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 comparisons

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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