(news & commentary)
Canon continues to work at polishing their mirrorless camera option, with the EOS M3 being the latest version. New to this generation are a 24mp APS sensor, pop-up flash, multiple control dials (Mode, exposure compensation, front/back command), a tilting rear LCD that can be used for selfies, a bit more hand grip on the right side, and an optional EVF (EVF-DC1). Overall, the M3 is still recognizable as evolved from the original M, retaining but refining the original soap bar style while adding a more significant right hand grip.
The optional EVF is the same one used for the PowerShot G1 X, featuring a 2.36m dot tilting display that mounts to the camera’s hot shoe. While we’ve got new dedicated controls, the others remain very compact-camera style, with the usual emphasis on the Direction pad overload to provide “more buttons.” Unfortunately, we get a new battery with the camera, and it has grown slightly in size and weight from the EOS M1/2.
The question everyone will be asking is: is it there yet? Canon still seems to be stepping gingerly into mirrorless. While supporting existing EOS DSLR customers with an adapter, Canon seemed reluctant with the original M and the M2 to get too close to DSLR features, controls, and performance. That continues with the M3, what with the optional EVF and still recognizably compact-style design. The camera has moved upscale, though. In essence, where before the M was competing with the bottom of Olympus’ m4/3 line, now it’s closer to the middle. Of course, Olympus themselves has a difficult time selling that range of cameras.
Those hoping that Canon would move the bar significantly for mirrorless cameras will be surprised that Canon didn’t really move any bar at all. An APS-sized mirrorless camera with mostly compact controls, an external EVF, and a tilting LCD happened quite some time ago (both Olympus and Sony being the leaders in that). So the EOS M3 seems like a pretty conservative step for Canon.
Plus there’s this: Canon won’t be bringing the EOS M3 to the United States.