We are going to compare two compact mirrorless cameras from Canon, which are Canon EOS M3 vs M6. They both fall in the midrange category. However, Canon EOS M3 is an older model and is now available at a cheaper price. Canon EOS M6 is newer and slightly more expensive. So, which model is better for the money?
Continue reading below to learn further about:
– The image sensor and processor on each camera
– The design and features of each camera
– The video recording performance of Canon EOS M3 vs M6
– The comparison of their continuous shooting
– Which model that has a better battery life
– Which model that is more recommended for the money
Image Sensor and Autofocus
At first, these two cameras may seem similar, as they both sport 24.2MP APS-C image sensors. However, the sensors are actually different. Canon EOS M3 is based on the old sensor technology, whereas Canon EOS M6 is equipped with the new Dual Pixel technology which is supposed to be more accurate and able to improve the AF performance. See also: Canon EOS M50 vs Sony A6000.
Canon EOS M3 is actually pretty fast. It uses the Hybrid CMOST AF III system with 49 phase-detection points. The autofocus covers about 70% of the vertical frame and 80% of the horizontal frame. It works well in general use, but it sometimes has troubles when trying to lock on a distant subject in a low-light condition.
Canon EOS M3 vs M6 tends to overexpose images slightly, but you can easily fix this by adjusting the exposure compensation dial. In order to release the fullest potential of the M3 camera, you need to shoot in RAW, as the JPEG images suffer from too much sharpening and noise reduction. The M3 camera has an ISO range of 100 – 12,800, with an expanded upper value of 25,600. It can handle low-light scenes well with ISO 1,600 and ISO 3,200.
Canon EOS M3 offers improved autofocus performance, thanks to the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. The autofocus covers 80% of the vertical frame and 80% of the horizontal frame, so the overall coverage is better. The autofocus is much faster and more accurate, and is actually reliable for tracking moving subjects. In addition, this camera is equipped with the latest DIGIC 7 processor, which offers an increased image processing speed.
Canon EOS M6 can deliver detailed shots with accurate, impressive colors. However, the fullest potential is found in the RAW mode, as the JPEG still suffer from noticeable noise reduction. That said, the low-light performance is noticeably improved. You can make good shots with the M6 at ISO 3,200 with very minimal noise. The M6 has an ISO range of 100 – 25,600.
Screen and Optional Viewfinder
One similarity between Canon EOS M3 vs M6 is that they each have a 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD screen. The display screen has a resolution of 1,040k dots, so it is really sharp and detailed. The display screen is tilting; you can tilt it downwards when shooting from a high angle, tilt it upwards when shooting from a waist level, or turn it to the front for taking selfies or wefies.
Both Canon EOS M3 and Canon EOS M6 don’t have any built-in viewfinder. This can be a good thing, as it makes them ideal back-up cameras for finding interesting viewpoints. There is no eye sensor that may accidentally trigger when you are aiming the camera around, and you will be able to use the display screen in any position without any frustration.
However, you can attach a viewfinder to your M3 or M6 camera if you really want to. The company has released a new 0.39-inch viewfinder accessory that has a resolution of 2.36-million dots. However, when the viewfinder is attached, you won’t be able to tilt the display screen up.
Design and Connectivity
In terms of design, Canon EOS M3 and Canon EOS M6 are quite similar. They even have similar dimensions. They each measure 112 mm x 68 mm x 45 mm. Canon EOS M3 is just slightly lighter at 366 grams, whereas Canon EOS M6 is 390 grams. The weight difference is not really noticeable. Both cameras are very compact, lightweight, and easy to handle.
They have a minimalist control layout. The touchscreen control will appeal the casual photographers, but the direct-access controls will attract the enthusiasts. Nevertheless, the touchscreen control on both cameras is quite responsive, and is useful for moving the focus point quickly and easily.
Canon EOS M3 comes with built in Wi-Fi and NFC to allow you to connect the camera wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. This is primarily useful for transferring files, although you can also use it for controlling the camera remotely.
Canon EOS M6 also has Wi-Fi and NFC, but there is also built-in Bluetooth. It will allow you to set up a constant wireless connection between the camera and your mobile device. You can use it for transferring files as well as for remote-controlling the camera.
If we compare the video quality, there is an important improvement. Well, both Canon EOS M3 vs M6 still record videos in a maximum resolution of 1080p (Full HD), so there is no 4K, but the frame rate has been increased.
Canon EOS M3 is a bit disappointing as far as video recording is concerned, because it can only record 1080p Full HD videos at a maximum frame rate of 30fps. As the effect, some fast motions may appear to be blurry. That said, the image quality is actually pretty good. It delivers good detail and sharpness. Moire is sometimes a problem in certain conditions.
A nice feature of Canon EOS M3 is that it can snap still images while recording a video. This feature is really handy for creating high-quality screenshots without replaying the video. Furthermore, you can make adjustments while recording, so you can easily adapt the camera to face different lighting conditions and make creative effects.
Canon EOS M6, on the other hand, is one of the best consumer-grade APS-C cameras for recording Full HD videos. It is able to record in 1080p at a frame rate of 60fps. Hence, images and motions look much sharper and more detailed. Besides, the compact and lightweight design makes it really easy to handle when recording a video.
While still having similar video recording features like its predecessor, Canon EOS M6 also offers some advantages. First, the continuous autofocus works very well in videos. If you are making Full HD content, you will find that this camera is reliable for keeping the videos’ subjects in focus – even when they are moving.
Canon EOS M6 also performs satisfyingly with image stabilization – it has a built-in image stabilization, and is able to provide a 5-axis stabilization when used with an IS lens. As a result, the images can remain sharp even when your hands are trembling while holding the camera. There are other cameras with even better IS (and higher prices), but this one already performs a decent job.
Canon EOS M3 is not recommended if you need a high photo burst speed. It is not really good for sports and wildlife photography, in which the subjects are often moving fast. The M3 camera is only able to burst at 4.4fps in the Single AF mode, with the JPEG compression. On the positive side, the buffer can take an unlimited number of JPEG shots.
However, the continuous shooting speed drops to 3.9fps when you are shooting RAW images. The buffer can only take 5 RAW shots before pausing to process the data.
Canon EOS M6 brings a dramatic improvement in this aspect. This model is much more reliable for photo bursts, and it is actually a viable choice for sports and wildlife photography. The M6 is able to shoot continuously at 9fps with a locked focus point, or 7fps with Continuous Autofocus.
The buffer capacity has been increased as well. Although it can ‘only’ take 120 JPEG shots before pausing (as opposed to the unlimited JPEG shots of its predecessor), it is now able to take 17 RAW shots before the buffer is processed and cleared. This is a big improvement for people who need to photo-burst in RAW.
Canon EOS M3 has a pretty good battery life. It can take up to 250 shots per charge. This is good enough for a full day of work and short trips. Unfortunately, there is no battery grip available for this camera, so you can’t extend the battery life for long travels.
Canon EOS M6 has a slightly better battery life, but it is still not enough for long travels. It can take up to 295 shots per charge. Still, the increase in battery life is something to be appreciated.
Canon EOS M3 vs M6
Although the predecessor was a very good compact camera when it was released, Canon EOS M6 is now better and generally more recommended. The M6 brings improvements in almost every aspect. This model has a better autofocus, faster processor, and significantly better photo burst. The video recording performance is also much better. The M6 can utilize continuous autofocus and five-point image stabilization for video recording, and is able to record at a better frame rate.