Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Detailed Comparison

In this review, we’ll be seeing a detailed Sony a5100 vs Canon M3 comparison. One pretty interesting thing to bear in mind is that both cameras are mirrorless. We say it is interesting because Canon does produces more of DSLRs while mirrorless cameras are Sony’s thing.

What Camera
Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3
Get the Sony a5100 now!Get the Canon M3 now!

So, we are basically going to see how Canon performs in what could be called Sony’s turf. We’ve compared the features of both cameras and pointed out what we consider their good and not so good points.

Also, immediately after this you’ll see a comparison overview section and a comparison table section. The idea of those two sections is to provide you with quick information to make a quick decision.

However, we do recommend that you read through the entire article to get a grasp of certain concepts, especially if you’re new to the whole photography thing. And for an even wider frame of reference, you could check out some of our other Sony-Canon comparisons like the Sony a5100 vs Canon 70D.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Comparison Overview

Here is a quick rundown of the basic ideas of this review:

Overall Rating Of The Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3

Both cameras were introduced to the market as entry-level cameras and they both fit the bill. They are both pocket-sized cameras that take really good photos and record decent videos.

Rating Of The Features Of The Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3

Both cameras happen to have a lot of features in common. First off, they are both mirrorless cameras that do not have a viewfinder. We do have to mention, though, that the Canon M3 has a viewfinder port so that you can make use of an external viewfinder with it. Hence, the ‘optional’ you’ll see in the comparison table when we mentioned viewfinder.

Furthermore, they both have a tilting screen that is also touch sensitive. They also both have an inbuilt wireless connection, a Near Field Communication connection and can be controlled using a smartphone. There is also the 24 megapixel resolution and Auto Exposure Bracketing that they both have.

It’s not all good news, though, as both cameras neither have any kind of weather protection nor the in body image stabilization feature. However, both cameras do have a number of optical stabilization lenses that do the same thing as the in body kind.

Now about the Sony a5100. The Sony a5100 doesn’t exactly have any feature that you won’t find on the Canon M3. However, there are places where it does better like in focus points (179 as against 49), maximum ISO (25600 as against 12800), continuous shooting rate (6 as against 4.2 frames per second) and battery life (400 as against 250 shots per charge.

The Canon M3, on the other hand sports a couple of features that you won’t find on the Sony a5100 like a microphone port and an external flash port. However, it doesn’t really do better than the Sony a5100 in those features that every camera has except maybe with the screen resolution (1040k dots as against 922k dots).

Price/Value — Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3

Both cameras are really affordable as they should be. And we believe you’ll be getting value for your money whichever of these cameras you decide to go for.

About The Brands

Sony

As the leading producer of mirrorless cameras, Sony has been known to produce cameras that have really good sensors. However, they are yet to be known for having a decent battery life.

Canon

The Canon brand is the leading producer of DSLR cameras, alongside Nikon. Generally, Canon has a wider collection of lenses and other accessories than Sony. However, because it doesn’t produce mirrorless cameras primarily, it doesn’t have a very extensive accessory arsenal for mirrorless cameras.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Comparison Table

 

Sony a5100

Canon M3

Weight 0.6 pound 0.8 pound
Dimensions 4.3 by 2.5 by 1.4 inches 4.4 by 2.7 by 1.7 inches
Microphone Port No Yes
Viewfinder None Optional
Continuous Shooting 6 frames per second (fps) 4.2 frames per second (fps)
Battery Life 400 shots per charge 250 shots per charge
External Flash Port No Yes
ISO Range 100 to 25600 100 to 12800 and can be expanded to 25600

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – A Comparison Video

What Camera
Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3
Get the Sony a5100 now!Get the Canon M3 now!

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Which Is Better For What?

Sony a5100

Canon M3

The Sony a5100 has the better low light performance of the two cameras. On the other hand, this camera is better at flash photography. This is because it has an external flash port to which you can attach an external flash. And an external flash is a better tool for flash photography than the inbuilt flash.
Also, this camera is probably better at shooting fast moving subjects. We say this because, while both cameras have the same maximum shutter speed, this camera has a slightly higher continuous shooting rate. Also, despite the fact that both cameras have the same video resolution, this is actually better at recording videos because it has a microphone port. An external microphone is always better at recording good audio than the inbuilt microphone.
What Camera
Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3
Get the Sony a5100 now!Get the Canon M3 now!

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Common Features

1. Mirrorless

Chief among the similarities between the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 is that they are both mirrorless cameras. The implication of this is that both cameras work in very similar ways, basically in the way that light is distributed throughout the camera.

With DSLRs (which are kinda like the opposite of mirrorless cameras), the light that passes through the lens is distributed by getting bounced off from a mirror to wherever it is needed.

However, because mirrorless cameras do not have any kind of mirror, light passes through the lens and heads on straight to the sensor. The sensor then sends a digital image to the electronic viewfinder (if there is one) or the LCD screen.

Now, because mirrorless cameras do not have mirrors, they are usually lighter than DSLRs while being as functional as they are. However, mirrorless cameras have been known to have a not so impressive battery life, unlike DSLRs.

2. Weight

Yes, we know that the weight of a camera isn’t exactly a feature but it is something important to consider before you get a camera. You don’t want to have to lug around a heavy camera on your energy exhausting activities.

That said, both cameras are smaller than 1 pound with the Sony a5100 0.6 pound and the Canon M3 weighing 0.8 pound. So, both cameras are lightweight and portable and are easy to transport from location to location.

Furthermore, both cameras have an APS-C sensor. The implication of this is that for the same focal length and aperture, both cameras will use lenses of the same weight and size. So, attaching a lens to both cameras will not affect the weight difference.

3. Sensor Resolution

While a camera’s sensor resolution could have a thing or two to do with the quality of photos shot, it is more important in determine what that quality will be after it has been cropped or blown out.

So, if you have a camera whose sensor resolution is just OK, you might actually be able to take really good photos, provided other factors are good. However, if you’ll be doing a lot of cropping or will be blowing up the photos to print them large, you will need a camera with a really good sensor resolution.

The thing is, when you crop your photo, said photo loses some of its details and invariably its quality. Now, having a good sensor resolution will not stop your photos from losing those details. However, it does ensure that irrespective of what is lost, there is enough details left to guarantee good quality photos.

That said, both the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 have a 24 megapixel sensor resolution. And yes, 24 megapixels is really good.

4. Auto Exposure Bracketing

This is mode that allows your camera to automatically take a single shot in different exposures. You’d want to use this mode at those times when determine the right exposure for your photo is pretty tricky.

Without the Auto Exposure Bracketing (AE) mode, you’d have to go through the cycle of picking an exposure and shooting until you get it right. The AE mode allows the camera to pick what it considers the appropriate exposure (usually about 3) and then you can now decide to keep the exposure that is most fitting.

Thankfully, both the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 have this Auto Bracketing Mode.

5. Articulating Screen

Basically, an articulating screen is that kind of screen that can be turned or angled in certain directions without moving the camera body. And the idea of this kind of screen is for one to be able to take shots from some somewhat impossible angles and with ease too.

There are different kinds of articulating screens. Cameras with the full-flex screen could be used to record oneself by oneself because the screen can basically be rotated.

The tilting articulating screen, on the other hand, can only be moved upward and then back down. You might not be able to use it to take selfies, but it will afford you those overhead angles. That said, both the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 have a tilting screen.

Finally, you need to know that both cameras have a 3 inch screen that is touch sensitive.

6. Wireless Connection

Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 have an inbuilt wireless connection. As a result, you’ll be able to gain access to the internet without having to get a special device for that. And via this connection, stuff can be downloaded from and uploaded to the internet.

Furthermore, both cameras have the Near Field Communication (NFC) connection. This one is another wireless connection, howbeit, offline. The NFC connection will only offer you connection access to another device (usually a smartphone) that is also NFC enabled.

This is basically a means of transferring stuff out of your camera without having to bother with wires and even an internet connection.

Finally, both cameras can be smartphone controlled. This is a feature you’ll really love if you are shooting in dangerous places or places you shouldn’t be in. You’ll just place the camera where it will see the subject then go somewhere safe or comfortable to shoot.

Because the remote is your smartphone, you’ll be able to see what your camera sees right there on your phone screen. Bear in mind, though, that you must have downloaded the camera app on your phone and established a connection between phone and camera for all that to happen.

What Camera
Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3
Get the Sony a5100 now!Get the Canon M3 now!

7. ISO

Here we talk about something very important to taking a great picture and that is how much light gets into the camera. Lighting is absolutely very important to shooting and too much or too little lighting could be a problem.

Now, ISO is one of the features that helps take care of the lighting issue. You can set your camera to let in little light (by using a low ISO) or set your camera to let in a lot of light (by using a high ISO).

Furthermore, sometimes it isn’t exactly that the lighting is bad but that you are looking for a particular kind of dark or light effect; the ISO will also come in handy here. Anyway, knowing this, you’ll agree with us that it is a good thing for a camera to have a decent ISO range that affords one room to maneuver.

The Sony a5100 has an ISO range that is between 100 and 25600 while the Canon M3’s is between 100 and 12800. However, the reason we’ve added this to our common features is because that of the Canon M3 can be expanded up to 25600.

8. Maximum Shutter Speed

From the term speed, you probably have an idea that maximum shutter speed refers to how fast the camera is. It basically tells you the limit of how fast you camera’s shutter can ‘blink’ and it is measured in fragments of a second.

Now, with a fast shutter speed, you are better able to capture details of fast moving subjects without blurring the photos. On the other hand, if you slow down your camera’s shutter speed, you could create an illusion of speed with the photos blurred.

That said, both the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 have the same shutter speed of 1/4000 second. This is pretty decent and as a result, you’d be fine using either camera to shoot really fast moving subjects.

9. Inbuilt Flash

The inbuilt flash is a camera’s quick fix for those times when you shoot in dark places. When you put on the flash, you get a quick burst of light as you click your shutter button and that might be enough light for your photo.

Now, we have to say that the inbuilt flash isn’t always the best idea for shooting in dark places. However, we like for a camera to have one because it is always available. Plus, it doesn’t affect the weight of the camera, so, sometimes, you can decide to go without the external flash.

10. Video Resolution

Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 have a 1920 by 1080 video resolution. So, whichever of these cameras you decide to get, you can be sure that you’ll be getting decent video quality.

However, they differ slightly in that the Sony a5100 shoots 60p (basically 60 frames per second for videos) while the Canon M3 shoots in 30p.

11. RAW Support

Both the Sony a5100 and the Canon M3 can shoot in RAW. And this is good news because shooting in RAW allows your photos to save in their original state without compressing them.

Compressing is what the jpeg format does in order to reduce the size of the photos. Just to put it out there, jpeg photos are not terrible quality. However, they are certainly not professional quality and could get worse if you try any form of editing.

This is why you need a camera that also shoots in RAW (basically every camera shoots in jpeg). You might not be doing anything remotely professional now you never can tell when that quality will be needed.

12. Face Detection

Finally, both cameras have the face detection feature. That is, both cameras can recognize human faces just by detecting certain facial features like eyes, nose and that sort of thing.

When a camera does this, it is able to make the detected face the center of focus in the photo you’re shooting. This is why photographers who do a lot of portrait shooting look out for cameras with the face detection feature.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – A Sony a5100 Demonstration Video

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Unique Features

1. Viewfinder

Typically, mirrorless cameras have an electronic viewfinder which is why the sensor sends it a digital image. However, unlike DSLRs, not all mirrorless cameras have an inbuilt viewfinder. And with those that do not, there are two options, both of which are represented by the two cameras.

In the comparison table, we noted that the viewfinder is optional for the Canon M3. The reason for this is that this camera has a viewfinder port and so you can decide to or to not get an external electronic viewfinder.

We suggest that you get the viewfinder because it is better at framing than the alternative. The Sony a5100 doesn’t have this viewfinder port and as a result, you’ll be stuck with the alternative which is using the LCD screen.

Using the LCD screen is alright. However, you’ll struggle to see what’s on the screen if you’re shooting in a place that’s really bright like out in the sun.

2. Continuous Shooting

Just like the shutter speed, continuous shooting speaks about how fast a camera. However, this one doesn’t necessarily tell us how fast the shutter speed is but how many shots the camera can take in one second.

Fast continuous shooting is actually an asset for those who shooting in places where time in of the essence whether because the subjects move around a lot or because they’ve been given a limited time to shoot. Wildlife photographers, sports photographers and even paparazzi are in this category.

That said, neither camera has an exceptionally fast continuous shooting rate. However, that of the Sony a5100 is 6 frames per second which is pretty decent while that of the Canon M3 is 4.2 frames per second which isn’t very impressive.

3. External Flash Port

Of the two cameras, only the Canon M3 has a flash shoe and we are here for it. We already said something about the inbuilt flash and how it won’t solve all your bad light problems. Just to put things in perspective, the Sony a5100’s inbuilt flash has a 4meter coverage while that of the Canon M3 has a 4 meter coverage.

So, you already know you need something extra and this something extra is the external flash. Also, if you’ll be doing a lot of flash photography, consider getting a camera that has an external flash port because the external flash is better for that kind of thing than the inbuilt flash.

What Camera
Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3
Get the Sony a5100 now!Get the Canon M3 now!

4. Microphone Port

While both cameras have the same video resolution, the Canon M3 has a slight edge over the Sony a5100 because of its microphone.

Both cameras have an inbuilt microphone. However, the inbuilt microphones of most cameras do not offer great quality, hence, the need for something better.

So, while you can just easily attach an external microphone to the Canon M3 for quality audio recording, you’ll practically have to jump through hoops to use an external microphone with the Sony a5100.

5. Battery Life

Both cameras are mirrorless so they both do not have the most impressive battery life. However, the Sony a5100 actually manages to do better than the Canon M3. With the Sony a5100 you can get 400 shots before it needs to be charged while the Canon M3 only offers 250 shots per charge.

6. Available

Finally, the fact that mirrorless cameras isn’t Canon’s turf really shows in the number of lenses the Canon M3 has. The Sony a5100 has 102 lenses available to it while the Canon M3 can only boast of 20.

Furthermore, the Sony a5100 has 23 optical stabilization lenses available with it while the Canon M3 has only 4 of those. Now, the reason you need optical stabilization lenses is because neither camera has the in body image stabilization feature.

As a result, photos taken with either camera could come out looking burry if the camera is jostled mid-shot. The optical stabilization lens ought to take the place of the in body image stabilization.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – A Canon M3 Demonstration Video

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Unique Pros

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Pros of The Sony a5100

  • First off, without expanding, the Sony a5100’s ISO goes higher than that of the Canon M3.
  • Furthermore, this camera has a slightly better continuous shooting rate than the Canon M3.
  • This camera also has way more focus points (179) than the Canon M3 (49). As a result, this camera will focus faster and more accurately than the Canon M3.
  • The Sony a5100 has a better color depth (23.8) than the Canon M3 (22.8).
  • Furthermore, this camera has a better dynamic range (12.7) than the Canon M3 (11.8).
  • This camera has a better low light ISO (1347) than then Canon m3 (1169).
  • The Sony a5100 has a wider sensor pixel area than the Canon M3.
  • Finally, this camera has way more lenses available with it than the Canon M3.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Pros Of The Canon M3

  • First off, you can use an external flash (which is a better light source than the inbuilt flash) with the Canon M3. And this invariably makes this camera the better option for flash photography.
  • Furthermore, this camera has a better screen resolution (1040k dots) than the Sony a5100 (922k dots). And this is something to really pay attention considering that both cameras do not have an inbuilt viewfinder.
  • This camera also happens to have the better flash coverage 5 meters as against 4 meters) of the two cameras.
  • While the Canon M3 doesn’t have its own viewfinder, we do acknowledge that it has a provision for you to attach an external viewfinder.
  • Finally, an external microphone (which offers better audio quality than what the camera comes with) can be used with this camera. And this kinda makes the Canon M3 the better camera for recording videos.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Unique Cons

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Cons Of The Sony a5100

  • First off, the Sony a5100 doesn’t have a viewfinder and also doesn’t have a provision for an external one to be used.
  • Furthermore, this camera doesn’t have a provision for an external flash to be used. You’d miss this especially when you want to do flash photography.
  • Finally, without a microphone port, you cannot use a microphone with this camera. As a photographer you probably won’t miss it but as a videographer you definitely will.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Cons Of The Canon M3

  • First off, the Canon M3 doesn’t have very many focus points.
  • Also, this camera doesn’t have many lenses available with it.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Common Pros

 

Sony a5100

Canon M3

Wireless Connection The Sony a5100 has an inbuilt wireless connection which allows you connection access to the internet. Via this connection, you can download interesting apps off the internet and also upload your photos and videos. Furthermore, because of the Near Field Communication connection, this camera can also connect with and send photos and videos to another device (usually a smartphone) that is also NFC enabled. Finally, you can operate this camera using your smartphone. Same as the Sony a5100.
Auto Exposure Bracketing The Auto Exposure Bracketing mode will save you the stress of having to find out what the correct exposure is at those times when it is difficult to tell. Same as the Sony a5100.
Articulating Screen The Sony a5100 has a tilting screen with which you can shoot from certain interesting angles such as overhead. Same as the Sony a5100.
Touch Screen In addition to be articulating, the Sony a5100’s screen is also touch sensitive. Using a touch screen to navigate menus and functions is usually swifter and more fluid than buttons. Same as the Sony a5100.
Inbuilt Flash The Sony a5100 has an inbuilt flash. And while this isn’t the solution to all your shooting in the dark problems, we like having it around because one can always be sure of its availability. Plus, it doesn’t add to the weight of the camera. Same as the Sony a5100.
Sensor Resolution 24 megapixel sensor resolution is pretty impressive. So, whether you crop your photos or blow them up (to a certain extent, of course) you ought to still have enough detailing for a great photo. Same as the Sony a5100.
Weight The Sony a5100 is a really lightweight camera. It is also portable and can fit in so many different small places. Carrying it along with you won’t be an issue. While the Canon M3 is heavier than the Sony a5100, it is still pretty lightweight and portable.
RAW Support The Sony a5100, in addition to shooting in jpeg, can shoot in RAW. RAW saves your photos in their original uncompressed form. Same as the Sony a5100.
Face Detection Finally, this camera is able to detect and focus on faces, making them the major attraction of the photo you’re shooting. This feature is very handy for shooting portraits. Same as the Sony a5100.
What Camera
Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3
Get the Sony a5100 now!Get the Canon M3 now!

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Common Cons

 

Sony a5100

Canon M3

Image Stabilization First off, this camera does not have the in body image stabilization feature. So, without the optical stabilization lenses, the photos you should could come out looking really blurry if the camera is jostled or shaken as you shoot. Same as the Sony a5100.
Weather Sealing Also, this camera does not have any sort of protection against weather elements such as dust and water. As a result, you’ll have to be really careful when and where you use this camera in order not to damage important stuff. Same as the Sony a5100.
Viewfinder Finally, this camera does not have its own viewfinder and one cannot always trust the LCD screen as to much light could prevent one from seeing what is on the screen clearly. While this camera has a provision for one to attach an external viewfinder to, it comes at an added cost.

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – What People Think About Both Cameras

Sony a5100

Canon M3

It looks to us like a lot of people actually like this camera. One of the recurring things that people heap their praises on is the wireless connectivity. A good number of people like that they can shoot their photos and immediately upload it to the different social media platforms. The tilting screen has also had its share of the spotlight and most of the people that have put it there are vloggers; basically people that do a lot of their shooting and recording on their own. A good number of people have also said that the camera takes really good pictures. The fact that the camera is light and portable while offering all these looks to be really welcome by users. The Canon M3 has also had its share of praises. Chief among the things about this camera that have received these praises is the size. People seem to really like that the camera is small and light and so can be easily moved from place to place. A lot of people are also excited about the quality of images that this camera is able to produce. Also, a few people have mentioned that this camera has a quick autofocus, quicker than some DSLRs, apparently. Fewer people mentioned that the camera records good videos. And one customer said they were satisfied with the quality of audio the inbuilt microphone recorded.
In fact, not many people seem to miss the viewfinder. There have actually been more complaints about the battery life than about the absence of a viewfinder. Just like with the Sony a5100, not many people seem to miss the viewfinder. However, some people have complained that navigating through the camera menu takes some getting used to.
What Camera
Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3
Get the Sony a5100 now!Get the Canon M3 now!

Sony a5100 Vs Canon M3 – Our Take

Sony a5100

Canon M3

We like the Sony a5100 and consider it a good place to start if you’re looking to move up from a point and shoot. It isn’t heavy, so its weight won’t come as a surprise. Also, it is pretty easy to navigate your way through the menu and let’s not forget that it gives good quality photos. We also consider the Canon M3 a good step-up from a DSLR. It might not be the easiest to figure out but once you do, you’ll like the way things work. The touch screen is also a nice touch. Plus the camera takes really good photos and has a microphone port so that you can record god quality audio too.
Maybe a few things could have been added or improved on. However, we believe that those features that the camera does come with make up for a lot. Agree with us? Get the Sony a5100 now! A few things could also have been added or improved upon. However, we also do believe that those features that this camera comes with make up for a lot. Agree with us? Get the Canon M3 now!

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