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Panasonic GX800 versus Canon M3

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX800 (called Panasonic GX850 in some regions) and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2017 and February 2015. Both the GX800 and the M3 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (GX800) 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 GX800 vs Canon M3

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX800 and the Canon M3 is provided 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. You can also toggle the display 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 GX800 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic GX800 vs Canon M3
Compare GX800 versus M3 top
Compare GX800 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 larger (9 percent) than the Panasonic GX800. Moreover, the M3 is substantially heavier (36 percent) than the GX800. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX800 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 GX800 gets 210 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the M3 can take 250 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 GX800» 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX800
Canon M3« 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M50« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
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
Panasonic GX80« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Panasonic GF7« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
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 GF6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GF5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5

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 GX800 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 19 percent) than the M3, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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: Panasonic GX800 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 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. 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 Panasonic GX800 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 GX800 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M3 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic GX800 and Canon M3 sensor measures

With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the GX800 (15.8MP), but the M3 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.77μm for the GX800). It is noteworthy in this context that the GX800 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GX800 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The M3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in relatively fast and reliable autofocus acquisition during video recording.

GX800 versus M3 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. 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 GX800» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673Panasonic GX800
Canon M3« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon M50« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p----Canon M50
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
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
Panasonic GX80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----Panasonic GF7
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 GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GX800 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 GX800 vs Canon M3

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GX800 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. 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 GX800, 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
Panasonic GX800»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 10.0 Y n Panasonic GX800
Canon M3«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon M50« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 10.0 Y n Canon M50
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
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
Panasonic GX80« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 5.8 Y n Panasonic GF7
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 GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the GX800 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 GX800 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 GX800»-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX800
Canon M3«YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon M50« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYCanon M50
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
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
Panasonic GX80« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
Panasonic GF7« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GF7
Panasonic GM5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GM1« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GF5« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5

The GX800 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the M3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M3 was succeeded by the Canon M6.

Review summary: Panasonic GX800 vs Canon M3

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GX800 and the Canon M3? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX800:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 97g or 27 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (19 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 10 months after the M3).

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • 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 M3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 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.

GX800 08:11 M3

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the GX800 and the M3 in practical situations. 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 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). 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 GX800»Rec76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX800
Canon M3«rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M50« »Rec79/100--3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
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
Panasonic GX80« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Panasonic GF7« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
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 GF6« »HiRec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GM1« »Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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