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Gear Announcements

Canon Announces EOS M3… In Europe/Asia, Shuns US Market Again

By Anthony Thurston on February 6th 2015

As has been rumored for a couple of weeks now, last night Canon announced the new EOS M3. The only thing that wasn’t really expected was that the company decided again not to release the new mirrorless camera in the US or Canada, opting instead for European and Asian markets only.


While I am not too disappointed, given the lackluster specs, this points to a somewhat troubling trend being set by Canon here. It reminds me of a small child sitting in the corner rocking back and forth with its eyes squeezed shut and hands over its ears mumbling, “There is no such thing as mirrorless, there is no such thing as mirrorless…” over and over and over again.

[REWIND: Canon Announces 5Ds & 5Ds R 50MP Monsters]

I mean really, how long does Canon think it can ignore the mirrorless market here in the US? Companies like Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus are all introducing new and exciting mirrorless options, and by the time Canon comes out with ANYTHING it will be too late in my estimation.


At any rate, here are the specs for the EOS M3, which if you live in the US, you can purchase via Ebay.

Canon EOS M3 Specs

  • 24.2MP Sensor
  • 49 AF Points
  • Hybrid CMOS AF (6x faster than original EOS M)
  • 3″ Tilting LCD
  • WIFI Built In
  • Optional EVF Add-on


The new EOS M3 will be available for £599 ($675 US) Body Only and £799 ($900 US) in the kit.

What are your thoughts on the new EOS M3? How do you feel about Canon not selling the camera in the US again? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Derek Schwartz

    So, my beloved little EOS M took a serious tumble a couple of weeks ago, and I decided to take the plunge and buy a Japanese market EOS M3. At first blush, despite what the specs might suggest, it’s really an incredibly better camera than the mk1. AF is very fast with native of EF-mount glass, and focus peaking is perfect (I’ve only tested so far with vintage Nikkor Ai glass, which I adore). As a side note, the RAW files out of the camera are soooo much better than my 7D – higher resolution and better noise reduction. 3200 is a little noisy…but much better than 3200 in my 7D.

    Granted, I’m, blushing at first use with a basis of comparison with the mk1 M. I’ve played with the Fuji, Sony a5000 and a6000 and Samsung nx5000 mirrorless cameras, but never done any real shooting with them. So, YMMV, but I wanted to add this to the discussion here anyway.

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  2. John Priest

    Am I the ONLY photographer with multiple camera types/systems… I mean come on CANON!
    I think they are paranoid of the wrong things…. just like when cameras went from FILM to DIGITAL…
    Things change over time and having the confidence to make changes (following/predicting the market) is
    part of that COURAGE that made you #1. Lose the courage to make the change, stay the same and watch
    the world pass you by.

    It takes COURAGE and commitment to make a significant change…. You divorced people know what Im talking about! ;)

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  3. Graham Curran

    A bit disappointed in this. I know that this is the RRP but it seems expensive.

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  4. Dave Haynie

    I think the problem here is that, at least at last count, mirrorless just hasn’t sold in the USA. Maybe this is changing. Yes, there’s lots of talk and excitement about mirrorless (even here on “SLR” lounge), but most of these cameras are selling in Asia. And more in Europe than here, at least based on the numbers I read from mid-2014. Canon may just be looking at this as a non-starter in the USA. I think we also cornered the market on M-series jokes… the original EOS M was pretty universally mocked. Maybe we hurt their feelings :-(

    On the other hand, I’m not sure what this is really about. It’s interesting to see that ALL of the traditional SLR companies haven’t exactly punted on mirrorless, but they’ve made it non-threatening. Ok, not Sony, but you can also guess that Sony was never really behind the Minolta SLRs they bought, and after moving to pellicle mirrors and other tricks, finally threw in the towel and have gone whole-hog mirrorless.

    The M-series is in some ways the most serious attempt by a traditional SLR company, at least in that it’s using an APS sensor. Nikon as supported the 1-system better, with more lenses and bodies (even one that over 50% of users report to actually be water resistant), but its 2.6x sensor factor, and Apple-like marketing, tells you it’s primarily aimed at hipsters, not traditional photographers. And Pentax’s Q system is basically just a ILC-P&S, with that same horrible 1/2.3″ sensor that’s not even found in the better P&S cameras anymore.

    Keep in mind that, at least based on recent tallys of the ILC market, all of the mirrorless are fighting for a piece of that 25% of the market that’s not Canon or Nikon. Maybe this is changing in a measurable way, and I think that’s the only thing that’ll get Canon or Nikon off the couch. Olympus’ return to higher-end cameras (OM-D) really got me — a former OM system shooter — jazzed about mirrorless, in ways their 4/3 DSLRs never could. They’re doing exactly what they did very well in the 70s and 80s, making a pro-quality system smaller than anyone else’s. Panasonic was never really in the DSLR game — same issue with 4/3 DSLRs going nowhere. Now they’re besting Canon in the still-ILC-for-video category. As is Sony. Plus, as long-time camcorder leaders, Panasonic and Sony would seem to find mirrorless a more natural fit than DSLR. Samsung’s getting serious too, leveraging their in-house tech (2nd largest semiconductor company in the world based on price, number 1 based on volume) to offer some serious competition, even if mostly in the Asian market. Olympus and Fujifilm have also done something totally unexpected: they made still ILC cameras that actually seemed to enhance the still photographer’s experience. Nikon followed that lead on the Df, Canon… not so much.

    None of this is really a surprise. When you’re on the top of a hill, every direction you look can seem to be going down. So Nikon and Canon, leading the market, have that same problem every market leader has. They can’t alienate the competition. Given that going mirrorless means a new lens line — even when adapters are possible — going too whole hog into mirrorless both takes away their home-field advantage and makes the other guys seem more legit.

    There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that people are dumping traditional DSLRs for mirrorless. Not sure it’s big enough numbers, yet, to get the big boys interested in taking this seriously.

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  5. Ryan Venedam

    I’m sure Canon has done a lot of market research before releasing this. While mirrorless cameras are gaining popularity, they are more profitable in Europe and Asia, and so they must not see a point to shipping a limited number to America and hoping they sell.

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  6. Christian Flamm

    While I’m at it… Is this Sony’s 24MP sensor the one known from some Sony and Nikon Cameras or is this just a rumor? I wonder why they’d introduce a new (also higher resolution) sensor at pretty much the bottom end of their lineup. Cheers!

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    • Jean-Francois Perreault

      From what I’ve read this is a 100% Canon designed sensor.
      The only thing I’m not entirely sure of is if it’s manufactured by Sony as the rumor said.

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  7. Michael Burnham

    Really Canon? Dis’n the North American market again? You are really still bitter about the reception of the original EOS M a couple years ago? But let’s face it you rushed that product to market before it was fully ready. It’s almost like you launched it as was to prove that mirrorless was not marketable. Kind of like what GM did with the Saturn EV1 electric car. You practically had to put a Saturn salesman in a headlock to get them to let you sit in the display model, and I don’t even want to talk about what you had to do to allow a test drive.

    This camera looks like a solid evolutionary upgrade but definitely not revolutionary. It’s clear they are mindful of Sony because they are using a 24MP sensor and not the 20 MP 70D sensor. But it does seem that Canon USA is content to leave the growing mirrorless segment in North America to Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, and Olympus. That is really a shame for Canon shooter that want a Canon mirrorless camera that can give them full function with their EOS lens collection as well as having a selection of compact EOS M lenses for those times when traveling light is the most important thing. (Hint: me me me!) Hopefully they will change there mind.

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    • Derek Schwartz

      Fwiw, you could buy M2 bodies via eBay almost immediately. Yes, it took a while to ship to the U.S., but waiting is better than not having, IMO. I would bet the same thing will happen with the M3.

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    • Phil Bautista

      Given how slow auto focus is with adapted lenses anyway, you might as well just get any mirrorless and a compatible adapter and be done with it. Brand loyalty isn’t worth it when using different platforms.

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  8. Jean-Francois Perreault

    Canon is only in for the money. Let’s not forget that. That’s what big companies do.
    They stated in their press release that the Rebel line was their most popular. That’s where the money is.
    So as long as the Rebel line keeps selling well, they are in no rush of releasing anything new. And that’s exactly what they did. They released another couple of Rebels with minor updates and they’ll sell a ton of it to beginners.

    Add to that Sony’s pricey lenses and still anemic system, Fuji’s great X-T1 but too expansive for beginners and we see why Canon’s strategy isn’t completely stupid.

    Canon already has all the knowledge, experience and technology (DPAF) to show us a great mirrorless but they chose not to because there’s no rush yet. Once their Rebel line will show a significant decline in sales, then they’ll release a hopefully interesting mirrorless. That could take another couple of years.
    For now, my guess is that the numbers Canon sees in Rebel sales justify their decision.

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  9. Kim Farrelly

    Cool, I’m in Europe wonder if I can finally get a M+22mm kit for €250?

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  10. Christian Flamm

    Hey guys. Can anyone explain to me why this camera has “49 AF Points”? Couldn’t you just touch on any spot on the screen to focus wherever you wanted with the previous models? Did this change in any way? Thx, Chris.

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  11. Kevin Cucci

    The AF speed increase and EVF look very appealing. I wish I could add them to my M. I’d be very content with that.

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  12. Michael Old

    Maybe Canon realize that releasing a “lackluster” product in the North American market would hurt them more than help and have another announcement on the way???

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I doubt they have anything else on the way specifically for the NA market. The specs itself on the camera are not bad, but I still don’t understand why they don’t put the Dual Pixel AF on these cameras, it makes so much sense its beyond me why Canon would leave it out. Add the DPAF and a real EVF built in and this would be a great option on the NA market.

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