Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3 – Detailed Review

In this review, we will be comparing two entry-level mirrorless cameras: Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3.

If you need to make a really quick decision, the next three sections will get you the information you seek.

However, if you can, try to read to the end. In the last two sections, we tell you what customers who have used these cameras think about them, as well as what our take on them is.

Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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Table of Contents

Comparison Overview – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3

This section is divided into 4 major subsectors to help you better understand this summary. Without further ado, let’s zoom right in.


Where Do They Both Get It Right – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

First off, let us consider the maximum sensor resolution of these two cameras. While the Sony Alpha a5000 has a maximum sensor resolution of 20 megapixels, the Canon EOS M3 has one of 24 megapixels.

With either of these cameras, you can rest easy that your details will not suffer, even if they undergo severe cropping.

Next, both cameras under review come with moderate body weight, making them convenient to carry around.

Both cameras come with RAW support. With this feature, your images are stored in the most uncompressed form possible. 

Furthermore, filming people and shooting portraits is made easier with the Sony Alpha a5000 and the Canon EOS M3. This is because the two cameras come with the face detection autofocusing systems.

Another thing that these cameras got going for them is that they each come with a 3-inch sized articulating screen.

So, taking those creative shots is way easier, as the LCD on these cameras favor flexible shooting positions.

Now, to help with shooting in some of those low lighting conditions, both these cameras – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3 – were fitted with a built-in flash.

These two cameras are equipped with automatic exposure bracketing to assist with setting exposure when shooting in tricky lighting conditions.

Also, both cameras under review come with wireless connectivity. This makes sharing pictures online and with other devices easier.

Finally, the Sony Alpha a5000 and Canon EOS M3 can connect with compatible devices by simply touching each other because they have the Near Field Communication feature.


A Sony Alpha a5000 Demonstration Video – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3


Where Do They Both Get It Wrong – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

The first flaw spotted in these two cameras is the lack of a built-in viewfinder. Hence, you will need to rely on their LCD screens, where there is no option of an external viewfinder.

Another major flaw is the absence of a built-in image stabilizer. Neither of these cameras will automatically stabilize their lens against movements and vibrations in their positions.

The final flaw that will be highlighted here is the absence of environmental sealing on these cameras. This means that extra caution will need to be taken when shooting in tough weather conditions with either of these cameras.


How Do They Differ From Each Other – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

Concerning battery performance, the Sony Alpha a5000 offers you 170 more shots than the Canon EOS M3’s 250 shots per charge.

Although these cameras are of moderate body weight, the Sony Alpha a5000 is the lighter of the two. This is because it weighs 97 grams less than the Canon EOS M3.

Only one of these cameras is suitable for flash photography. This is because only the Canon EOS M3 has the required external flash shoe.

On ease of use, the Canon EOS M3 is the leader, in that, of the two cameras, it is the only one with a touch-sensitive screen.

These cameras also differ when it comes to the LCD screen resolution. While the Canon EOS M3 has an impressive screen resolution of 1040k dots, the Sony Alpha a5000 has an unimpressive one of 461k dots.

Also, the Canon EOS M3 provides 24 more focus points than the Sony Alpha a5000, which means better focused images.

Only one of these cameras was fitted with a microphone port. This gives the Canon EOS M3 an edge over the Sony Alpha a5000, especially, if you will be doing a lot of video recording.


A Canon EOS M3 Demonstration Video – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3


What’s The Price/Value Ratio Like – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

These cameras are affordable, but the Canon EOS M3, even more so. For us, the prices are very much justified for the value they each offer.

However, we believe that you will be getting a better price/value ratio with the Canon EOS M3.


Brand Strength – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3

The brands Sony and Canon are Japanese brands that have dominated the market considerably over the years.

It is a known fact in the photography community that Canon has been in the market for a longer time than Sony.

However, this does not, in any way, obliterate Sony’s portfolio as the world’s largest supplier of imaging sensors.

Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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Comparison Table – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3

  Sony Alpha a5000 Canon EOS M3
Announcement date 7 January, 2014 6 February, 2015
Weight 269 grams 366 grams
Sensor resolution 20 mega pixels 24 mega pixels
Touch-sensitive screen None Yes
ISO range 100 – 16000 100 – 12800
DxOMark Overall Score 79 72
External flash shoe None Yes
Flash coverage 4.0 meters 5.0 meters
Microphone port None Yes
Video formats MPEG-4, AVCHD H.264
Color depth 23.8 22.8
Dynamic range 13.0 11.8
LCD screen resolution 461k dots 1040k dots
Continuous shooting 4.0 frames per second 4.2 frames per second
Number of focus points 25 49
Automatic exposure bracketing range ±3 exposure value ±2 exposure value
Battery life 420 shots per full charge 250 shots per full charge
Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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Which Is Better Under What Circumstance – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

Sony Alpha a5000 Canon EOS M3
This camera is easily your better option for HDR photography.

It is also the better one for shooting sprees. Not the best in the market, but definitely the better of the two.    
The Canon EOS M3 is very suitable for daily photography.

Further, being the only one with an external flash hot shoe, this is also the better one for flash photography.

If you would be doing a lot of video recording, then this is your better choice, because it is the only one with an external microphone jack.
Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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What Do They Have In Common – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

Having given you a quick summary, from this point on, we will move headlong into more details.

In this section, we will focus on some of the features which Sony Alpha a5000 and Canon EOS M3 have in common.

While some of the features discussed here will be the same, others may differ slightly.


Amazing Sensor Resolution

Picture quality is usually attributed to a camera’s sensor resolution. So, it is understandable when sensor resolution is one of the most important things that is considered before deciding to purchase a camera.

However, it is important to remind you that the pixels of a camera comes into play basically when images will be blown out.

The high sensor resolution of a camera, for the most part, provides higher flexibility for cropping images or making large-sized prints without giving up details or image quality.

Both cameras under review have amazing sensors.

The Sony Alpha a5000 has a 20 mega pixel APS (23.2 by 15.4 millimeters) CMOS sensor and features the BIONZ X processor.

On the other hand, the Canon EOS M3 has a 24 mega pixel APS (22.3 x 14.9 millimeters) CMOS sensor and features the DIGIC 6 processor.


Moderate Body Weight

Looking at the weights of the two cameras under review, we can safely say that they will not be a burden to you.

The Sony Alpha a5000 weighs 269 grams, which proves to be even lighter than the Canon EOS M3 which weighs 366 grams.

It is important to point out that the average weight of mirrorless-type cameras is 423 grams. This means that both Sony and Canon got the weight thing right with these two cameras.


RAW Support

The RAW feature of a camera ensures that images can be stored as uncompressed files containing mildly processed image data from the camera’s image sensor.

This means that when you intend to carry out post-processing later, you will have images with no image data lost.

When you shoot in JPEG, on the other hand, the stored images are compressed, hence, you lose a lot of image data.

However, let us point out at this point that RAW files are usually larger than JPEG files. And you will also have to process the RAW files and convert them to JPEG or other suitable image formats before they can be shared online or printed.

The good thing is having a camera with RAW support affords you access to any of those formats whenever you need them. And the two cameras under review come with RAW support.


Automatic Exposure Bracketing

Setting the best exposure for your image in tough lighting conditions can be very tedious. It is in such circumstances that exposure bracketing becomes essential. 

Exposure bracketing entails shooting one image at a particular exposure and then adjusting the exposure for subsequent shots.

However, this can be automatically set up on cameras – like Sony Alpha a5000 and Canon EOS M3 – that come with the automatic exposure bracketing (AEB) feature.

This feature enables you to set the width of the three shots to be taken. In this way, the first shot taken will be in the set exposure, and the second shot will be underexposed by the number of stops set. While the third shot taken will be overexposed by the number of stops set.

Another usefulness of the automatic exposure bracketing is that it makes it easy for you to get beautiful HDR photos.

Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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Articulating Screen

An articulating screen is simply an LCD screen that is not fixed but can be turned in several directions independent of the camera body.

Each of the cameras in comparison here comes with a 3 inch articulating screen. This type of screen affords you flexible shooting positions.


Face Detection Focus

Cameras with the face detection autofocusing system, such as Sony Alpha a5000 and Canon EOS M3, can automatically set their focus and exposure for a shot once human faces are detected within the frame.

It is this feature that makes these cameras great choices for shooting portraits and for filming people.


Wireless Connectivity

With the built-in wireless connectivity present in both cameras, you can conveniently transfer images directly to compatible devices without using any external hardware.


Near Field Communication (NFC)

Seamless wireless connectivity is further promoted with near field communication. With this feature, file transfer between compatible devices is possible when they are simply touched against each other.


Smartphone Remote Control

These cameras come with the smartphone remote control feature which allows you to control them with your smartphone. This will make photography with these two a little more convenient and fun.


Continuous Shooting

Shooting in continuous shooting mode (or burst mode) helps you capture the best possible picture of the moment.

A camera with this feature will allow you to take several rapid shots within a set timeframe before the release of the shutter button.

While the Sony Alpha a5000 affords you 4.0 frames per second, the Canon EOS M3 allows you to take 4.2 frames per second.


Poor Battery life

Indeed, mirrorless cameras are not known to have very long-lasting batteries. And these have indeed shown characteristics true to their kind.

With 420 shots per charge, the Sony a5000 manages to do better than the EOS M3 which allows you just 250 shots.

Anyway, if you intend to go on a shooting spree with either of them, be sure to make plans for spare batteries.

Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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How Different Are They From Each Other – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

Here, we will look at some distinct features of both cameras. We will also look at what differentiates them in instances where they share a common feature.


Touch Screen

A touch-sensitive screen on a camera facilitates ease of use. Things such as changing menu settings become easy when using a touch screen.

Of the two cameras under review, only the Canon EOS M3 comes with this feature.

However, if you are familiar with the menu of the camera, the absence of this feature might not be much of a put off for you.


External flash shoe

As pointed out earlier, these cameras each come with a built-in flash. Still, you cannot rely on the built-in flash as a guaranteed solution to low-lighting issues.

So, it becomes needful to boost the lighting of images with external flash support.

Of the two cameras under review today, only Canon EOS M3 comes with an external flash shoe. This makes it better suited for flash photography than the Sony Alpha a5000.


Number Of Focus Points

It is the autofocusing system of a camera that guarantees the speed and accuracy of that camera’s focusing.

While the Sony Alpha a5000 offers 25 focus points to choose from, the Canon EOS M3 offers 24 more at 49 focus points.

This large gap will affect the quality of pictures from these two cameras to a large extent.


LCD Screen Resolution

Both the Sony Alpha a5000 and the Canon EOS M3 come with a 3 inch tilting LCD screen. However, the difference lies in the resolutions.

While the LCD on the Sony Alpha a5000 has a resolution of 461k dots, the one on the Canon EOS M3 is 1040k dots.

Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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What Are The Unique Pros Of Each Product – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?


What Are The Unique Pros Of The Sony Alpha a5000 – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

  1. With a 100 – 16,000 ISO range, Sony Alpha a5000 has a 25 percent higher maximum native light sensitivity than Canon EOS M3.
  2. The Sony Alpha a5000 allows you to shoot at Full HD 1920 by 1080 resolution. It is the only of the two cameras that come with AVCHD codec, which delivers impressive Blu-ray picture quality.
  3. This camera’s wider bracketing range makes it better at high dynamic range imaging than the Canon EOS M3.
  4. At 18.03 pixels per meter square, this camera has a 30 percent larger sensor pixel area than the Canon EOS M3.
  5. This camera has a higher color depth than the Canon EOS M3.

A Sony Alpha a5000 Demonstration Video – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3


What Are The Unique Pros Of The Canon EOS M3 – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

  1. This camera is the only one of the two that comes with an external viewfinder option, although both cameras come without a built-in viewfinder.
  2. Finding your way around the settings of the Canon EOS M3 is easier thanks to its touch-sensitive screen.
  3. The Canon EOS M3 has a higher sensor resolution (24 megapixels) than the Sony Alpha a5000 (20 megapixels). This means your very large prints will lack no detail with this camera.
  4. Of the two cameras we are comparing, flash photography enthusiasts can depend on the Canon EOS M3. This is because it is the only one of the two with an external flash hot shoe.
  5. With the Canon EOS M3, you are guaranteed better focused images, as it provides you with 24 more focus points than the Sony Alpha a5000.
  6. The Canon EOS M3 offers higher audio quality options with the provision of a microphone port.
  7. This camera’s flash extends a longer distance than that of the Sony Alpha a5000 by 1.0 meter.
  8. You will enjoy a better shooting experience by viewing your images on this camera’s LCD screen. This is because Canon EOS M3 offers 125 percent higher resolution than the LCD screen on Sony alpha a5000.

A Canon EOS M3 Demonstration Video – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3

Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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What Are The Unique Cons Of Each Product – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?


What Are The Unique Cons Of The Sony Alpha a5000 – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

  1. This camera comes without an external flash hot shoe. This limits its use in flash photography.
  2. You will have to rely on this camera’s LCD screen to compose your shots, as there is no external viewfinder option.
  3. You will need to learn your way around this camera’s menu settings, as it does not come with a touch-sensitive screen. A touch-sensitive screen would have brought some ease to changing the menu settings.
  4. Having a screen resolution of 461k dots is in no way impressive.
  5. You will be getting 19 percent fewer pixels in photos taken with this camera compared to those taken with the Canon EOS M3.
  6. The Sony a5000 comes with few focus points – 25. This is almost two times lower than what the Canon EOS M3 offers.

What Are The Unique Cons Of The Canon EOS M3 – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

  1. This camera comes with a not so wide automatic exposure bracketing range.
  2. With a 100 – 12,800 ISO range, the Canon EOS M3 has a 25 percent lower maximum native light sensitivity than Sony Alpha a5000.
  3. This camera’s color depth is not as high as that of the Sony Alpha a5000.

What Pros Are Common To Both Products – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

  Sony Alpha a5000 Canon EOS M3
High sensor resolution Sony Alpha a5000 allows you to shoot at a maximum resolution of 5654 by 3632 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9. This camera allows you to shoot at a maximum resolution of 6000 x 4000 pixels with aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9.
RAW Support With this camera, you can store images in RAW format. And this allows you to retain most image data.

This essentially affords you more freedom for post-processing.
The RAW support feature of the Canon EOS M3 enables you to store your images as uncompressed files.
Articulating screen This camera’s 3 inch fully articulating screen makes it very selfie-friendly. The Canon EOS M3’s 3 inch tilting LCD screen affords you flexible shooting positions.

This kind of screen is also great for framing low angle shots
Extend display The display of the Sony Alpha a5000 can be extended with the use of an HDMI cable. Same as the Sony Alpha a5000.
Face detection autofocusing This camera’s face detection autofocusing feature allows it to intelligently detect the human faces within the frame.

This makes it a great camera for portrait photography.
This feature is also present in the Canon EOS M3, also making it a great choice for shooting portraits and filming people.
Automatic exposure bracketing As this camera comes with automatic exposure bracketing, you can efficiently shoot in tough lighting conditions. In addition to tricky lighting conditions, this feature comes in handy when shooting high dynamic range (HDR).
Wireless Connectivity You can easily transfer photos to compatible devices without needing a physical connection, thanks to this camera’s wireless connectivity. Just like the Sony Alpha a5000, this camera also comes with built-in wireless connectivity.
Near Field Communication (NFC) The Near Field Communication feature of this camera facilitates easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices simply by touching them together. Same as the Sony Alpha a5000.
Smartphone remote control You can control this camera remotely from your smartphone. The smartphone remote control feature is also present in the Canon EOS M3
Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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What Cons Are Common To Both Products – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

  Sony Alpha a5000 Canon EOS M3
No environmental sealing Shooting with this camera in tough weather conditions will require extreme caution.

This is because it does not come with a weather-sealed body that usually provides added protection.

Continuous use of this camera in such conditions will lead to a reduced lifespan.
Extreme caution will need to be taken when shooting with this camera due to its lack of a weather-sealed body.

The use of this camera in tough weather conditions exposes it to moisture and dust particles.
No built-in Viewfinder You will need to rely entirely on this camera’s LCD screen to compose your images due to the lack of a built-in viewfinder.

Also, this camera does not come with an external viewfinder option.
Relying only on this camera’s LCD screen can become problematic when shooting under strong lighting. In the sense that the visibility of the screen becomes reduced.
No image stabilizer An image stabilizer helps to balance the lens of a camera.

Its absence in this camera might prove challenging when longish lenses are used without placing the camera body on a tripod.  
Shooting with this camera whenever there is a movement in the camera’s position can result in blurry images.
Poor battery life This camera’s battery life could have been better.

It will be wise to make backup plans to get optimum satisfaction.
The Canon EOS M3 has a battery life that is in no way impressive.
No built-in GPS You will not be able to geo-tag images with the Sony a5000. Same as the Sony a5000.

What Do People Think About Both Products – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

Sony Alpha a5000 Canon EOS M3
Due to its size and efficiency, many photographers appear to have agreed that the Sony a5000 is an excellent travel companion.

People could not hide their amazement at the shots produced by this little camera.

A whole lot of users pointed out that the camera was satisfying, and that its image quality was amazing for a camera of that price range.

Vloggers were very satisfied with some of this camera’s features. Features such as the camera’s high image quality, a fully articulating and touch-sensitive screen.
Users pointed out that the image quality this camera produces could pass for that of an SLR.

The size of this camera was a major favorite among users.

The pop-up flash of this camera was another feature that users were good with. They were also satisfied with its aesthetics and performance.
 The major complaint by vloggers was the absence of a microphone port and a horseshoe bay to connect an external microphone and headphones.

Another complaint is the absence of environmental sealing on the camera’s body.

Users were displeased because this restricted the use of the camera to capture picturesque moments in tough weather conditions.
A lot of users complained about the Canon EOS M3’s autofocusing system. They pointed out that they found it difficult capturing objects in motion, as it took an unnecessarily long time to shoot. Low lighting conditions magnified this issue.

We were not surprised that most users registered their displeasure at the battery performance of this camera.
Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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What’s Our Take On Them – Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3?

Sony Alpha a5000 Canon EOS M3
With its feature set, we feel this camera is a worthy choice for its price.

However, as we always emphasize, it all depends on what you want to get out of your photography.

If what you need a camera for is daily photography, vacation, vlogging, events photography, then the Sony a5000 is for you.
Looking at the feature set of both cameras, one might say that the Canon EOS M3 has a more favorable feature set.

Again, it depends on what you want in a camera.

This camera is for you if you are looking for a good camera for daily photography.    

PS: if you want to see how the Canon EOS M3 compares with another camera in the Sony Alpha series, check out our Sony a5100 vs Canon M3 comparison article.

Sony Alpha a5000 vs Canon EOS M3
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