Canon M3 vs T7i
The Canon EOS M3 and the Canon EOS Rebel T7i (labelled Canon 800D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2015 and February 2017. The M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the T7i is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
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 T7i? 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 T7i 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the T7i 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 T7i is considerably larger (74 percent) than the Canon M3. Moreover, the T7i is substantially heavier (45 percent) than the M3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M3 nor the T7i 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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|3.||Canon T8i||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||387 g||305||n||Oct 2020||599|
|5.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|6.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|7.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|8.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|9.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|10.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|12.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|13.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|14.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|15.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|16.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The M3 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the T7i at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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.
Technology-wise, the T7i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the M3 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the M3 and the T7i have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the T7i is much more recent (by 2 years) than the M3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
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 T7i are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the T7i provides a faster frame rate than the M3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the M3 is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T7i 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M3 and Canon T7i along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|2.||Canon T7i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon T8i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.5||Y||n|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon T7||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|8.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n|
|10.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n|
|12.||Canon T6i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|13.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|14.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|15.||Canon T5i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|16.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M3 and the T7i write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 T7i 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 T7i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon T8i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Canon T7||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon 77D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon T6i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Canon T5i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the M3 and the T7i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M3 was replaced by the Canon M6, while the T7i was followed by the Canon T8i. 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 T7i? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M3:
- More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 131x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 166g or 31 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2015).
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i:
- 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).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the M3 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T7i is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 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 when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 T7i 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the M3 and the T7i in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 T7i||4.5/5||..||3.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|3.||Canon T8i||4.5/5||+||3/5||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||4/5||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||3.5/5||Oct 2020||599|
|5.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|6.||Canon T7||..||o||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|7.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|8.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|9.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|10.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|12.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|13.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|14.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|15.||Canon T5i||..||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|16.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. 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, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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.
Specifications: Canon M3 vs Canon T7i
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 T7i|
|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 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 679||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M3||Canon T7i|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||DIGIC 7|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||72||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.8||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1169||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon M3||Canon T7i|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M3||Canon T7i|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||4.2 shutter flaps/s||6 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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M3||Canon T7i|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M3||Canon T7i|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||600 shots per charge|
111 x 68 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
131 x 100 x 76 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||366 g (12.9 oz)||532 g (18.8 oz)|
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