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Canon M3 versus Canon M6

The Canon EOS M3 and the Canon EOS M6 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2015 and February 2017. Both the M3 and the M6 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon M3 vs Canon M6

The physical size and weight of the Canon M3 and the Canon M6 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the M3 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon M3 vs Canon M6
Compare M3 versus M6 top
Compare M3 and M6 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M3 and the Canon M6are of equal size. However, the M6 is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the M3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M3 nor the M6 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 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. 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» 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M6« 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M50« » 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon 77D« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon M100« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon M5« » 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon T6i« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« » 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon M« » 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Sony A6000« » 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 M3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the M6, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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: Canon M3 vs Canon M6

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M3 and Canon M6 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the M3 and the M6 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the M6 is much more recent (by 2 years) than the M3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

M3 versus M6 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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 M6« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M50« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p----Canon M50
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
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 G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
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 A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000

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 M6 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 Canon M6

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The M3 and the M6 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. However, optional viewfinders – the EVF-DC1 for the M3 and the EVF-DC2 for the M6 – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M3 and Canon M6 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon M3»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon M6«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M50« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 10.0 Y n Canon M50
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
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 G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
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 A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n Sony A6000

The M6 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. 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 Canon M6

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M3 and the Canon M6? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2015).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M6:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (295 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the M3 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M6 emerges as the winner of the match-up (4 : 2 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 02:04 M6

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M3 or the M6. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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 M6«-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M50« »Rec79/100--3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
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 G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
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 A6000« »Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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 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 the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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