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Canon is giving mirrorless cameras another shot

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The EOS M3 reboots a struggling series

Canon has announced the EOS M3, the third in its line of mirrorless cameras. The M3 has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity, and 49-point hybrid phase-detection autofocus, but perhaps more important are the design changes. This looks to be by far the most photographer-friendly mirrorless camera yet from Canon.

While the prior two EOS M cameras had very few physical controls, relying almost entirely on the touchscreen, the M3 adds a dial for traditional PASM modes as well as another for exposure compensation. The grip appears much more substantial, and there's support for an optional electronic viewfinder.

Canon has been slow to pay much attention to mirrorless

Although Canon is the market leader in DSLRs, it's been slow to pay much attention to mirrorless. The EOS-M3 won't be a direct competitor to more pro-focused models like the Sony A7 II, Fujifilm X-T1, or Olympus OM-D EM-1, and Canon needs to play serious catch-up with its lenses for the compact system. But for Canon shooters wanting a smaller, lighter, and more convenient alternative to a DSLR, this is a welcome sign that the camera giant hasn't bailed on the category altogether.

It's unclear, however, whether the EOS M3 will make it to North America at all — its predecessor, 2013's M2, did not.

g3x

Canon also announced first details of a new premium compact camera currently under development, the PowerShot G3 X. It has a 1-inch sensor, like Sony's RX100 line and Canon's own G7 X, but the standout feature is a hugely versatile 24-600mm-equivalent 25x zoom lens. No other specs, pricing, or release details are available, but Canon will soon show off a prototype model in Japan.