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Canon M6 versus Canon 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS M6 and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2017 and March 2012. The M6 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the 5D Mark III is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M6) and a full frame (5D Mark III) sensor. The M6 has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the 5D Mark III provides 22.1 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 M6 vs Canon 5D Mark III

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon M6 and the Canon 5D Mark III is provided 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. 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 M6 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon M6 vs Canon 5D Mark III
Compare M6 versus 5D Mark III top
Compare M6 and 5D Mark III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5D Mark III is considerably larger (132 percent) than the Canon M6. Moreover, the 5D Mark III is substantially heavier (144 percent) than the M6. It is noteworthy in this context that the 5D Mark III is splash and dust-proof, while the M6 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 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 M6 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the 5D Mark III can take 950 images on a single charge of its LP-E6 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 M6» 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon 5D Mark III« 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon M50« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
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 G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 M6 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 78 percent) than the 5D Mark III, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon M6 vs Canon 5D Mark III

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M6 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon 5D Mark III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5D Mark III is 160 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of chip-set technology, the M6 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the 5D Mark III (DIGIC 5+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon M6 and Canon 5D Mark III sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon M6 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 22.1 MP of the Canon 5D Mark III. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 6.25μm for the 5D Mark III). However, it should be noted that the M6 is much more recent (by 4 years and 11 months) than the 5D Mark III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

M6 versus 5D Mark III 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. 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon M6» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon 5D Mark III« Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
Canon M50« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p----Canon M50
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----Canon T7
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 SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-E3
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610

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 M6 provides a higher frame rate than the 5D Mark III. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the 5D Mark III is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon M6 vs Canon 5D Mark III

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 5D Mark III has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon M6 and Canon 5D Mark III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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 M6»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon 5D Mark III«optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
Canon M50« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 10.0 Y n Canon M50
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T7
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 SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-E3
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Nikon D610

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The M6 has one, while the 5D Mark III does not. While the build-in flash of the M6 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The M6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the 5D Mark III uses Compact Flash cards. The 5D Mark III features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M6 only has one slot.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon M6»YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon 5D Mark III«YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
Canon M50« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYCanon M50
Canon T7« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T7
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
Canon T7i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon T7i
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
Canon M3« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
Fujifilm X-E3« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm X-E3
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610

The M6 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 5D Mark III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 5D Mark III was succeeded by the Canon 5D Mark IV.

Review summary: Canon M6 vs Canon 5D Mark III

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M6 and the Canon 5D Mark III? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS M6:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 5+).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x68mm vs 152x116mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 560g or 59 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (78 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 5D Mark III launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 5D Mark III:

  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (950 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M6 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 9 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.

M6 14:09 5D Mark III

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the M6 and the 5D Mark III in practical situations. 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 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 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 M6»-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon 5D Mark III«HiRec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon M50« »Rec79/100--3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon T7« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
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 SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon 5D Mark IV« »HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
Nikon D610« »HiRec87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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