Canon M3 vs T3
The Canon EOS M3 and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (labelled Canon 1100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2015 and February 2011. The M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the T3 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The M3 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the T3 provides 12.2 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 M3 and the Canon EOS Rebel T3? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon M3 and the Canon T3 are illustrated 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the T3 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3 is considerably larger (72 percent) than the Canon M3. Moreover, the T3 is substantially heavier (35 percent) than the M3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M3 nor the T3 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|2.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|3.||Canon T100||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|6.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|7.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|8.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|9.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|10.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|11.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|12.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|13.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|14.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|15.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|16.||Canon XS||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|17.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 34 percent) than the M3, 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 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the T3 is 3 percent smaller. 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.
In terms of chip-set technology, the M3 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the T3 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the T3 (12.2MP), but the M3 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 5.15μm for the T3). However, the M3 is a much more recent model (by 4 years) than the T3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon T3 are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
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 EOS Rebel T3 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
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"). Of the two cameras under review, the M3 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the T3 (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.8 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.
|6.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|9.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|11.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|13.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the M3 provides a higher video resolution than the T3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the T3 is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T3 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M3, the Canon T3, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|2.||Canon T3||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon T100||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n|
|6.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|8.||Canon 750D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n|
|11.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|13.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|14.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n|
|15.||Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|16.||Canon XS||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|17.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M3 has a touchscreen, while the T3 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M3 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the T3 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M3 and the T3 write their files to SDXC cards. The M3 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 M3 and Canon EOS Rebel T3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Canon T3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon T100||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon 750D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon T4i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon XS||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the M3 has a microphone port, which is missing on the T3. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the M3 and the T3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the M3 was followed by the Canon M6. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M3 and the Canon T3? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M3:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP) with a 40% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.2 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 130x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 129g or 26 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the T3 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (34 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2011).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M3 is the clear winner of the match-up (21 : 4 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 M3 and the Canon T3 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M3 or the T3 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|2.||Canon T3||..||80/100||..||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|3.||Canon T100||..||o||3/5||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|6.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|7.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|8.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|9.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|10.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|11.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|12.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|13.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|14.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|15.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|16.||Canon XS||..||82/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|17.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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. 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 M3 vs Canon T3
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 M3||Canon T3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2015||February 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 679||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M3||Canon T3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.0 x 14.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||323.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4272 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||5.15 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||3.76 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||72||62|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.8||21.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.8||11.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1169||755|
|Screen Specs||Canon M3||Canon T3|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M3||Canon T3|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||4.2 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M3||Canon T3|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon M3||Canon T3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||700 shots per charge|
111 x 68 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
130 x 100 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||366 g (12.9 oz)||495 g (17.5 oz)|
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