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Canon M3 vs Sony A6300

The Canon EOS M3 and the Sony Alpha A6300 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2015 and February 2016. Both the M3 and the A6300 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon M3 versus Sony A6300
Canon M3 Sony A6300
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.2 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
250 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g 120 x 67 x 49 mm, 404 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M3 and the Sony Alpha A6300? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon M3 and the Sony A6300 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear 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 A6300 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Canon M3 vs Sony A6300
Compare M3 versus A6300 top
Comparison M3 or A6300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6300 is notably larger (7 percent) than the Canon M3. Moreover, the A6300 is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the M3. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6300 is splash and dust-proof, while the M3 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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.

Concerning battery life, the M3 gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the A6300 can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A6300 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Sony A6300 120 mm 67 mm 49 mm 404 g 400 Y Feb 2016 999i
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Sony A6400 120 mm 67 mm 50 mm 403 g 410 n Jan 2019 899 i
 
Sony A6500 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 markedly lower price (by 32 percent) than the A6300, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A6300 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (M3) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon M3 and Sony A6300 sensor measures

Even though the A6300 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A6300 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the M3), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the A6300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the M3, and its sensor might 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 Sony Alpha A6300 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.

M3 versus A6300 MP

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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A6300 offers substantially better image quality than the M3 (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 1.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
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
 
Sony A6300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183
 
Sony A6500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782

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 A6300 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A6300 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k 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. 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 Sony A6300, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Sony A63002359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
 
Sony A64002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A65002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony A60001440 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 A6300 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 A6300 does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A6300 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The M3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6300 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

Connectivity comparison

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 Sony Alpha A6300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Sony A6300YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony A6400YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Sony A6500YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the M3 and the A6300 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M3 was replaced by the Canon M6, while the A6300 was followed by the Sony A6500. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon M3 better than the Sony A6300 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (32 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A6300:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A6300 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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.

M3 05:10 A6300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M3 and the Sony A6300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the M3 and the A6300 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Sony A6300+85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999i
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon M5+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon M+..4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Sony A6400+85/1004.5/5..4/5 Jan 2019 899 i
 
Sony A6500+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon M3:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A6300:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? 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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Canon M3 vs Sony A6300

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M3 Sony A6300
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2015 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 679 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon M3 Sony A6300
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p 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 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 72 85
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8 24.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.8 13.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1169 1437
    Screen Specs Canon M3 Sony A6300
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M3 Sony A6300
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.2 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon M3 Sony A6300
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro 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
    Body Specs Canon M3 Sony A6300
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E17 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 111 x 68 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    120 x 67 x 49 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 366 g (12.9 oz) 404 g (14.3 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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