Products

[Part 1] Complete Renewal of Mirrorless Model for Pro-level Users

In February 2015, Canon announced the release of the new mirrorless model, EOS M3. In this article, let's start by looking at features that have been upgraded. (Reported by: Ikuko Tsurumaki)

EVF and Mode Dial Even SLR Users Find Appealing

Further enhancements have been made to the APS-C size sensor, which has maintained its popularity since the EOS M, to increase the pixel count from 18-megapixel to 24.2-megapixel. The DIGIC 6 image processor processes images from the CMOS sensor at a high speed for beautiful results. Images produced have excellent gradation characteristics, achieving a higher level of quality with minimal noise even during shooting at a high ISO speed. Yet another major topic is that the AF speed is about 6.1 times that of the EOS M, thanks to the use of the Hybrid CMOS AF III.

Specs aside, what has attracted the most attention is probably its appearance and operability. While the body of the EOS M gives users a smooth impression, the EOS M3 has a firm grip. Also, with the three dials at the top, namely the Mode Dial, exposure dial, and the Main Dial around the shutter button, the EOS M3 offers a more authentic experience for your camera shots and operation. Not only so, the external flash is now built into the EOS M3. Of course, you can still attach a flash to the hot shoe. Also available is a tilt-type rear LCD screen that can be flipped 45 degrees downward or 180 degrees upward, thus making it easy for shots at different angles, such as high- or low-angle shots and selfies.

Brand new design added with a grip.

Dials are added to the top of the body.

Yet another exciting addition that SLR users are looking forward to is the electronic viewfinder (EVF, sold separately). With the viewfinder attached, you can look through it and capture a shot in the same way as SLR cameras. The camera has a weight and grip that fits nicely into the hands. A compact and lightweight model that offers an easy way to enjoy authentic photography, the EOS M3 is able to satisfy not only the beginners, but also the needs of SLR users.

AF Speed Faster by 6.1 Times with the Use of Hybrid CMOS AF III

Some major evolution has taken place from the EOS M to the EOS M3. In fact, they should be seen as two completely different cameras. What has attracted the most attention, among other features, is the high-speed AF. AF was regarded a weak point on the EOS M, but with the introduction of the Hybrid CMOS AF III, AF speed has increased by a maximum of 6.1 times compared to the EOS M. Hybrid CMOS is a combination of phase-difference AF and contrast AF to achieve high-precision and high-speed AF. Hybrid CMOS AF was introduced on the EOS M, and this has evolved into Hybrid CMOS AF III on the EOS M3. In addition, the maximum number of AF points has also increased to 49 on the EOS M3, which cover about 80% (vertical) x 70% (horizontal) of the area captured, thus helping the Hybrid CMOS AF III to demonstrate its potential more effectively. A higher AF speed widens your scope of photographic expression, and with the stronger ability to capture the right moment, the camera can be made use of in the same way as SLRs for all kinds of scenes, including snaps, sports events, and portraits. Added with the use of the EVF (sold separately), even your shooting style will be similar to that of an SLR camera.

22.3×14.9mm 24.2-megapixel CMOS Sensor

New 24.2-megapixel CMOS Sensor

An APS-C size CMOS sensor is built into the EOS M3. Combined with the DIGIC 6 processor, noise is reduced to a low level.

A: Horizontal Direction

Hybrid CMOS AF III

AF method that combines phase-difference and contrast AF. Compared to the Hybrid CMOS AF II, AF speed is higher during Live View shooting, while tracking by Movie Servo AF is also smooth.

Schematic representation of the Hybrid CMOS AF III. As it uses a sensor for detection in the vertical direction, the accuracy of phase-difference AF is enhanced by increasing the density in the horizontal direction.

The accuracy of phase-difference AF is enhanced on the Hybrid CMOS AF III with the higher density of the phase-detection sensor in the horizontal direction. Depending on the conditions, the combined use of contrast AF is not necessary, and focusing can be performed with phase-difference AF only. This enables a faster AF speed during Live View shooting, and Movie Servo AF is also smoother. Not only so, AF speed is further boosted by the advancement in the high-speed processing capability of DIGIC 6. Be it moving objects or street snaps, I am pleased that the EOS M3 is able to capture the fleeting moments.

The DIGIC 6 image processor, which processes information captured by the CMOS sensor at a high speed, reduces the noise level in high ISO speed shots to produce attractive images with more excellent gradation. Compared to the EOS M, the ISO speed range remains unchanged, and while there is a slight decrease in the maximum continuous shooting speed, depictions of the EOS M3 compare favourably to SLR cameras, making it useful as a sub camera to EOS SLRs.

AF Speed Increases by 6.1 Times

AF speed is now faster by a maximum of about 6.1 times compared to the EOS M. The accuracy of phase-difference AF is enhanced with a higher density phase-difference pixel sensors in the horizontal direction. Depending on the conditions, it is possible to make use of phase-difference AF alone without the need of contrast AF.

A: AF Start Position

B: Focusing Point

C: Hybrid CMOS AF III

D: Hybrid CMOS AF II

Schematic representation of how focus is achieved. It was difficult for the Hybrid CMOS AF II to establish focus with phase-difference AF alone. By making this possible, high-speed focusing can be achieved.

――Phase-difference AF ――Contrast AF

★1 Focus can be achieved with phase-difference AF only.
(* Contrast AF is used in combination depending on the shooting conditions and lens in use.)

★2 Control of contrast AF is also improved.

A new option, "HDR", is added to the Creative Filter effects, while the new "Creative Assist" shooting mode is also intriguing. Jargon used in photography is replaced with easy-to-understand phrases, such as from "Aperture" to "Blur-Sharpen", Exposure Compensation" to "Darker-Brighter", and "White Balance" to "Cold Tone-Warm Tone". You can obtain images as desired simply by moving the slider to adjust the parameter, a system that allows bokeh effects and colours to be controlled based on our intuition. When playing back images that are captured in this mode, you can switch to display the aperture value and white balance settings used, thereby helping to brush up your photography skills.

Many may have the impression that a mirrorless camera is used more casually than an SLR. However, not only can you enjoy casual photography with the EOS M3, it is also capable of offering an authentic photography experience with its high resolution and fast AF speed.

EOS M3
EOS M

Image sensor: CMOS sensor with approx. 24.2-megapixel

Image sensor: CMOS sensor with approx. 18-megapixel

Image sensor size: 22.3 × 14.9mm (APS-C)

Image sensor size: 22.3 × 14.9mm (APS-C)

AF method: Hybrid CMOS AF III (FlexiZone – Single, Face+Tracking)

AF method: Hybrid CMOS AF (FlexiZone - Single, Face+Tracking, FlexiZone – Multi)

No. of AF-point: 49

No. of AF-point: 31

Exposure control modes: Program AE (Scene Intelligent Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Food, Handheld Night Scene, Program), Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual Exposure

Exposure control modes: Scene Intelligent Auto, Creative Zone (Manual Exposure, Aperture-priority AE, Shutter-priority AE, Program AE), Basic Zone (Creative Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control)

Creative Filter effects: Grainy B/W, Soft Focus, Fish-eye Effect, Art Bold Effect, Water Painting Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Miniature Effect, HDR

Creative Filter effects: Grainy B/W, Soft Focus, Fish-eye Effect, Art Bold Effect, Water Painting Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Miniature Effect

Creative Assist: Available

Creative Assist: Not available

Continuous shooting speed: Max. approx. 4.2 shots/second

Continuous shooting speed: Max. approx. 4.3 shots/second

Rear LCD screen: wide 3" TFT colour tilt-type LCD screen/approx. 1.04 million dots

Rear LCD screen: wide 3" TFT colour LCD screen/approx. 1.04 million dots

ISO speed range: ISO 100 to 12800 (expandable to 25600)

ISO speed range: ISO 100 to 12800 (expandable to 25600)

Flash: With hot shoe and built-in flash

Flash: With hot shoe, no built-in flash

NFC: Available

NFC: Not available

Battery: Battery Pack LP-E17 (DC7.2V/1,040mAh)

Battery: Battery Pack LP-E12 (DC7.2V/875mAh)

Size: approx. 110.9 (W) × 68.0 (H) × 49.4 (D) mm

Size: approx. 108.6 (W) × 66.5 (H) × 32.3 (D) mm

Weight: approx. 366g (including battery pack and memory cards)

Weight: approx. 298g (including battery pack and memory cards)

* Those highlighted in red indicate the more superior specs.

* This article is created based on a trial model. Aspects such as the appearance and image quality may differ slightly from the actual product.

Ikuko Tsurumaki

Born in Tokyo in 1972, Tsurumaki started learning photography while working with an advertising agency, and became a photographer after her career as an assistant. She is currently engaged in activities including photo shoots for magazines, writing articles, and conducting photography lectures and seminars.

http://www.ikukotsurumaki.com/

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