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Canon M3 versus Panasonic G7

The Canon EOS M3 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2015 and May 2015. Both the M3 and the G7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (M3) and a Four Thirds (G7) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 MP. 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 Panasonic G7

The physical size and weight of the Canon M3 and the Panasonic G7 are illustrated 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 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 – the M3 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon M3 vs Panasonic G7
Compare M3 versus G7 top
Compare M3 and G7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G7 is notably larger (42 percent) than the Canon M3. Moreover, the G7 is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the M3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M3 nor the G7 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.

Concerning battery life, the M3 gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the G7 can take 350 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 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)
Canon M3» 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Panasonic G7« 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i
Canon M50« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779 i i
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i
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 T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic GX850« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GF7« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i

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 G7 was somewhat cheaper (by 4 percent) than the M3 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 Panasonic G7

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. 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 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 Panasonic G7 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G7 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the M3 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G7 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon M3 and Panasonic G7 sensor measures

With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the G7 (15.8MP), but the M3 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.77μm for the G7). Moreover, the G7 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the M3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

M3 versus G7 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon M3» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Panasonic G7« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----
Canon M50« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p----
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
Panasonic GX850« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782

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 G7 provides a better video resolution than the M3. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon M3 vs Panasonic G7

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G7 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M3, the Panasonic G7, and comparable 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
(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
Canon M3»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Panasonic G7«2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Canon M50« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 10.0 Y n
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n
Panasonic GX850« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 10.0 Y n
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 9.0 Y Y
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 5.8 Y n
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n

Both the M3 and the G7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M3 was replaced by the Canon M6, while the G7 was followed by the Panasonic G85.

Review summary: Canon M3 vs Panasonic G7

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M3 and the Panasonic G7? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.8MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 125x86mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 44g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G7 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 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.

M3 04:06 G7

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 G7 handle or perform in practice. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon M3»rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Panasonic G7«HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i
Canon M50« »Rec79/100--3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i i
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic GX850« »Rec76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i
Panasonic G85« »HiRec84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GF7« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i
Sony A6000« »Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. 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. 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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