The strong growth of mirrorless cameras in recent years shows users' tastes, when compact and good enough cameras can meet the majority of demand.
Previously, writers have used and used many Canon DSLRs for a long time, from the small and basic 500D to the affordable 6D full frame. These cameras all meet my business needs, but their size and weight are not very suitable for travel needs.
That's why I want to find a compact, mirrorless camera for the last trip. After reviewing many options, I found that a Canon M series will save me a lot of money with Canon lenses available. With a price range of less than 15 million, I have two options: the EOS M3 and M10, but then decide to choose M3 because this machine has better control and options, even if the model came out first.
And after nearly a month of use, Canon EOS M3 has left me with many unforgettable impressions.
Compact design, easy to use
Compact body is a great advantage when using M3 during long trips
The first thing I decided to choose M3 was in a compact design. With a body weight of 366 grams and a thickness of more than 4cm, when fitting the M3 kit, it is small enough to put in any bag or backpack that I carry around, even ignoring a woman's small handbag. You might think that the difference between the M3 and a basic DSLR, like 800D, for example, is only about 300 grams. However, when you travel often or walk for hours, you will see how much a few hundred grams of significance is mitigated.
Since the M3 can be used with all types of bags, you will also have more options when arranging furniture, no need to buy specialized and bulky bags.
Holding a small device like M3 on hand, the walk is more relieved. Obviously, when the body is free, your mind will also fly up and come closer to your favorite photos.
It is more rugged and rugged than some cheap DSLRs
M3 is a high-end mirrorless when released, so of course it is equipped with materials as good as magnesium alloy and steel, giving a very firm grip.
The number of revolutions and control buttons on M3 are sufficient for quick operation when familiarized
About the control buttons, the M3 is more than M10 in the light compensation dial (EV), convenient to adjust when shooting in semi-automatic mode such as Av or Tv. The number of buttons on the device is enough to operate quite quickly when used, the options to assign rich function buttons.
The M3 can mount EF / EF-S mount lenses via adapters, but is best suited for compact Fix tubes
M3's 3-inch touchscreen rotates up to 180 degrees and leans 45 degrees. This screen many times helped me get a strange angle from a very low angle close to the ground or high-angle corners, and even take a selfie easily. If you want to get familiar shooting experience like DSLR, M3 to add electronic viewfinder, but for me, this feature is not necessary because the M3 screen is spacious enough and bright to use in most situations.
The convenient flip screen makes it possible to get fancy shots
"Selfie" easily thanks to the ability to flip the screen 180 degrees upwards
Overall in terms of design and usability, M3 meets most of today's popular needs. The body is robust, the controls are more reasonable and convenient than the low-priced EOS M10, though it is still slightly worse than the most advanced EOS M5, the most recent mirrorless Canon introduced last year.
Experience of use and image quality
Photo taken from M3 brings a nice, gentle, medium-sized, eye-catching color of Canon. I personally like such neutral tones because it is easy to edit and if you want more special colors, just need a few operations to set the color profile available on the device.
With the advantage of a wide range of light, M3 expresses the advantages when using in trips, picnics, far-away trips, especially in cases where light is not ideal, the sky is dim or the sun is too harsh. Especially M3 RAW images get a lot of information, making it easy for me to "save" unsolicited photos.
Another photo taken at night at ISO 1600, noise is still acceptable
When shooting, with 49 phase focus points, covering almost the entire frame, I rarely have to use focus lock and frame translation techniques. Rich number of points is one of the great advantages of mirrorless cameras like M3. With portraits, I also often use facial recognition and tracking features on the M3 because of the effect it brings.
Sometimes it is necessary to focus manually, if before on DSLR I would be very hard to determine if the image is sharp or not, for the M3, the MF Peaking feature makes things much simpler. To what extent, the screen will display red borders on the subject to indicate, really fast and convenient.
Canon's tones are relatively comfortable. Many people will prefer the richer colors, but for me, Canon's colors will be easier to edit
Speed and accuracy when M3's focus is quite good. Focusing machine is fast and effective when shooting static objects, moving slowly in favorable lighting conditions. When the light weakened, M3 was more difficult but still at a good level.
The attached lens (15 – 45 mm f / 3.5-5.6) of M3 is sufficiently sharp to meet most basic needs. The worthwhile point on M3 is that you can take advantage of Canon's very rich lens repository through switching mounts.
I tried 28mm f / 1.8 and 60 mm f / 2.8, even 70-200 F4L. They all work perfectly on the M3, all features like autofocus, anti-shake are supported.
The fastest shutter speed of the device is about 4 frames per second, when single focus and JPEG images are turned on. For me, this speed is enough for street shooting, landscape photos when traveling. However, the speed of focusing and processing of the device can make it difficult for you to capture children when they are constantly running and jumping.
WiFi connection is a must for modern cameras, and it's good that the M3 also has this feature. When connecting to a smartphone via WiFi, I can view and shoot with my phone, especially useful when I need to shoot myself without anyone. I am also quite familiar with the operation of transferring photos to smartphones to edit and upload to social networks, while ensuring better image quality than smartphones but still not take much time to post photos "like sentences". The M3 itself also supports uploading photos to some popular social networks like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter …
When connecting to WiFi, you can view and adjust, take photos from smartphones
Taking photos and editing, uploading to Facebook is also very convenient
It is impossible not to mention the effect of this machine on the job, particularly when I need to record video. The compact, touch screen supports touch focus, the ability to adjust the parameters and have the mic slot are advantages when using M3 to record movies. 30 fps Full HD resolution can meet video reviews online.
The M3 itself also supports uploading photos to some popular social networks
According to Canon, M3 can capture 250 images in a single charge. In fact, I have achieved more than that number, capturing about 270 types and saving in RAW format during an event visit.
With what I have shown, I can say that I am completely satisfied with what Canon EOS M3 has to offer. With the current price of about 11.4 million VND for the body that comes with the EF-M 15-45mm lens, M3 despite being more than 2 years old, it is still one of the mirrorless options worth considering. It is compact, easy to use, familiar, especially for women. Good image quality, agile performance, convenient WiFi connection, meet many photography needs from portrait, landscape, street, travel or work …
The special advantage of M3 compared to other mirrorless machines is the full support of Canon's lens range when using the mount adapter. You will easily equip or borrow quality lenses thanks to the large community of Canon camera users in Vietnam.