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Canon XC10 versus Canon M3

The Canon XC10 and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2015 and February 2015. The XC10 is a fixed lens compact, while the M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (XC10) and an APS-C (M3) sensor. The XC10 has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the M3 provides 24 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 XC10 vs Canon M3

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XC10 and the Canon M3. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. 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 XC10 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon XC10 vs Canon M3
Compare XC10 versus M3 top
Compare XC10 and M3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M3 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Canon XC10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XC10 nor the M3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XC10 has a lens build in, whereas the M3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

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)
Camera
Model
Canon XC10» 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499- i Canon XC10
Canon M3« 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
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 G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549 i i Canon SX60
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100

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. 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 XC10 vs Canon M3

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XC10 features an one-inch sensor and the Canon M3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M3 is 170 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.75 and 1.6. The sensor in the XC10 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M3 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon XC10 and Canon M3 sensor measures

With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the XC10 (12MP), but the M3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.20μm for the XC10) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

XC10 versus M3 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 XC10» 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----Canon XC10
Canon M3« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X30
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100

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 XC10 provides a higher video resolution than the M3. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the M3 is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon XC10 vs Canon M3

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The XC10 and the M3 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XC10, the Canon M3, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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 XC10»- n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 2000 3.8 n Y Canon XC10
Canon M3«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X30
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100

Both the XC10 and the M3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M3 was replaced by the Canon M6, while the XC10 was followed by the Canon XC20.

Review summary: Canon XC10 vs Canon M3

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XC10 and the Canon M3? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon XC10:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the M3 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 125x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 3 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.

XC10 03:06 M3

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the XC10 or the M3. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. 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 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 XC10»-80/100--- Apr 2015 2,499- i Canon XC10
Canon M3«rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i i Canon SX60
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 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.

 

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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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