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Panasonic G7 versus Canon M3

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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G7 and the Canon M3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 G7 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic G7 vs Canon M3
Compare G7 versus M3 top
Compare G7 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 notably smaller (30 percent) than the Panasonic G7. Moreover, the M3 is markedly lighter (11 percent) than the G7. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7 nor the M3 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 G7 gets 350 shots out of its DMW-BLC12 battery, while the M3 can take 250 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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
Panasonic G7» 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Canon M3« 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
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 M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
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 M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699- i Fujifilm X-E2S
Olympus E-PL8« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Panasonic GX800« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX800
Panasonic GX80« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
Panasonic G5« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic G5
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic G7 vs Canon M3

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G7 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon M3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M3 is 48 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.6. The sensor in the G7 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M3 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic G7 and Canon M3 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). It is noteworthy in this context that 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 pixel-units.

G7 versus M3 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 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
Panasonic G7» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
Canon M3« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Fujifilm X-E2S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X-E2S
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
Panasonic GX800« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673Panasonic GX800
Panasonic GX80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX80
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
Panasonic G5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Panasonic G5
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756Panasonic G3

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G7 provides a higher video resolution than the M3. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic G7 vs Canon M3

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. 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 Panasonic G7, the Canon M3, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or 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
Panasonic G7»2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
Canon M3«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
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 M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Fujifilm X-E2S« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n Fujifilm X-E2S
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
Panasonic GX800« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 10.0 Y n Panasonic GX800
Panasonic GX80« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX80
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
Panasonic G5« »1440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Panasonic G5
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the G7 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the G7 and the M3 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

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
Panasonic G7»YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
Canon M3«YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
Fujifilm X-E2S« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-E2S
Olympus E-PL8« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10
Panasonic GX800« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX800
Panasonic GX80« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX80
Panasonic GM5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Panasonic GM1« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
Panasonic G5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G5
Panasonic G3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3

Both the G7 and the M3 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: Panasonic G7 vs Canon M3

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic G7 or the Canon M3 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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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.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the M3).

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 125x86mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 44g or 11 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G7 emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 5 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.

G7 07:05 M3

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G7 or the M3. 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 table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews 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
Panasonic G7»HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Canon M3«rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
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 M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Fujifilm X-E2S« »-77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Fujifilm X-E2S
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Panasonic GX800« »Rec76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX800
Panasonic GX80« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GM1« »Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
Panasonic G5« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic G5
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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 locate and add the respective data to the application.

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