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Canon's EOS M3 Packs a DSLR-size Sensor in a Mirrorless Body

Canon is taking its third stab at the mirrorless camera market with the EOS M3, a small compact device targeted at enthusiast photographers looking for something more portable than a full-size DSLR. The EOS M3 will be available in early October for $679 (body only). Could the third time be the charm with Canon, which has heretofore shown tepid interest in the mirrorless category?

Although Canon said as recently as last winter that the M3 was not coming to the U.S., the company apparently changed its mind. The EOS M3 has the same 24.3-megapixel image sensor and 49-point CMOS III autofocus system as the EOS Rebel T6s, the company's entry-level DSLR. That's a marked improvement over Canon's first two mirrorless cameras, the disappointing EOS M and M2. The M3 has an ISO range up to 12,800 (6,400 for videos) and can shoot 1080p video at 24, 25, or 30 frames per second.

MORE: How to Take Great Photos with a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera

The top of the M3 has two dials on the right, one for changing shooting modes, and the other for changing the exposure. An additional ring around the shutter button lets you adjust other settings. Other features include NFC and Wi-Fi for uploading photos via your smartphone.

While it lacks an electronic viewfinder, the M3 has a touch-sensitive rear screen that can angle outward as well as flip 180 degrees above the camera, great for when you want to capture those selfies. A pop-up flash should provide some additional lighting in dark situations, though you'd be better off attaching a flash to the M3's shoe.

In addition to the body-only price of $679, Canon will also offer the M3 with an EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM lens kit for $799, or with the EF-M 18-55mm IS STM lens and the EF-M 55-200mm IS STM lens for $1,049.

Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing the smart home, drones, and fitness/wearables categories. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine or some other cooking gadget.