Hands-on with the Canon EOS M3

shunsai

EOS R5
Oct 15, 2011
241
144
dcm said:
So, did it arrive? Initial impressions? I'm considering this route if it doesn't appear on DigitalRev in the near future.
Kinda strange that no one else has chimed in yet to say whether they got theirs yet or not. I really wanna hear other people's impressions.
 
Jun 11, 2014
8
0
Just ordered my on Ebay today from Japan based supplier.

First time I've ordered anything camera-wise that I haven't tested extensively to see if I want to invest. But the specs on paper are what I'm after. Thought about sony but the lenses on review are turning up short from what I can see.

Bought the kit (22mm) with the EVF and an EF adaptor.....
 

smozes

M, M3, 6D
Apr 14, 2013
34
0
shunsai said:
dcm said:
So, did it arrive? Initial impressions? I'm considering this route if it doesn't appear on DigitalRev in the near future.
Kinda strange that no one else has chimed in yet to say whether they got theirs yet or not. I really wanna hear other people's impressions.
There are a bunch of buyers on the DPReview EOS M forum.

I got mine, ordered a kit from Amazon.co.jp and forwarded to the U.S.

It's a big improvement over the M, it handles much faster with no blackout. AF is improved in most scenarios. The tilt screen, EVF and focus peaking are very useful. I love it.
 

bf

EOS RP
Jul 30, 2014
249
13
smozes said:
shunsai said:
dcm said:
So, did it arrive? Initial impressions? I'm considering this route if it doesn't appear on DigitalRev in the near future.
Kinda strange that no one else has chimed in yet to say whether they got theirs yet or not. I really wanna hear other people's impressions.
There are a bunch of buyers on the DPReview EOS M forum.

I got mine, ordered a kit from Amazon.co.jp and forwarded to the U.S.

It's a big improvement over the M, it handles much faster with no blackout. AF is improved in most scenarios. The tilt screen, EVF and focus peaking are very useful. I love it.
Glad you like it. I'm still happy with my M and I don't have a plan for upgrade. On the other hand, I don't like the fact people are over reacting to M3's bugs in DP forum.
 

archiea

EOS 80D
Jan 17, 2013
161
9
Whoops, I haven"t posted here.

I got mine from ebay from Japan, $647 with the EVF (the price since has dropped to $599). It tooks almost three weeks to arrive. I've had it for about a week. I already trial-by-fire put it thru its paces in bars and such, my usual stopping grounds for my 5D. Note, I have an M1 but never really dared taking it to bar social settings in low light. The M1 got as use as a personal family camera where I'd stuff a 600 speed light instead of the 5D. This time I took it to a friends birthday party and I shot a band that I usually shoot my 5D with radio strobes with.

First, with the first impressions:

1)New Grip felt comfortable in hand.

2)It uses a different and slightly larger battery and a different charger than the M1

3)The body is plastic. I believe where the lens mount and and LCD latch to is metal frame but the exterior and the area around the handle and where the battery go is plastic. With the battery out I was able to compress the the battery compartment with my finger and thumb a little bit. I tried this because I heard the faintest of body creak when I handled the camera for a couple of days. I have to stress, it was the faintest of body creak sounds. Meanwhile the M1 is SOLID and I can't compress the empty battery compartment because its all metal. So it borrows from the powershot G16 in terms of body design. I did not read this at all as cheap. In fact the external texture is grippier than the M1, plus you have the actual grip. The camera feels solid. I'm just noting the different.

4) The LCD screen feels solid, well thought out and very easy to learn its articulation. The main frame accordions out while the screen slides slightly from a sprint armature,. Its how it sort of pops out. Tiny little details like putting tiny little feet around the screen allows you to put it on its back on the surface while not allowing the screen to touch the surface. I've already used the flip top selfie mode to take a selfie of a group of us. Not a gimmick, but very convenient and making it an intimate warm camera instead of a cold device.

5) The EOS menu has been dumbed down just a little bit, i.e. you can't put custom functions or the format menu item in the favorites section. Only SRGB color space. The M1 menu felt like a streamlined EOS menu. The M3 menu feels like its bridging a bit to the powershot world, just a bit. Meanwhile he G16'w menu feels more like it adopting a more EOS environment. Possible convergence here down the road. Lets hope the M platform doesn't get any dumber and the powershot just gets a little smarter.

6) New Button layout is good but is designed for LCD operation. The tactile quality fo the M!'s buttons were toned down to make them more flush with the camera, not sure why. Attempting to use it while using the EVF makes it clear that it wasn't to well thought out, i.e. e the magnify button rides high in the body, just under the playback button. With the flush design you will be hunting for that button while in the EVF.

7) New multifunction button is programmable except for zooming!!!! which is too bad since its in a good spot for zooming while in EVF viewing. Meanwhile canon does something really smart like allowing you to reprogram the video record button to be used for photographic purposes, but automatically reverts to its video funtion when in video mode.

8) dials on top: the mode button offers almost too many modes with the inclusion of these creative modes.

9) as far as the rotary dials, theres one under the shutter trigger and another on the thumb pad, either of which can be programmed for aperture or shutter. Tap the keypad up and it enables one of them to be iso. Tap the iso button again and it reverts back to being aperture/shutter. The LCD/EVF puts an icon for either button over the aperture/shutter/iso depending on what you currently have it enabled for. This is very helpful. Bravo Canon.

10) Tapping left on the thumb pad enables and disables Manual focus. With the Focus peaking enabled, you will see the toggle activating the FP when in manual, whole the menu talling you you are in manual focus mode. Or tap the left keypad and quickly switch to AF, and the FP is disabled. Set to AF + MF and you can override the auto focus. Just remember to keep the shutter half pressed or doing so again will make it AF again..

11) tracking and facial tracking have been combined into both either be on or off. This can be good or bad b/c at least that way you have both options at the ready at once.. Tap on an object to track or a face to track. This is fine while LCD viewing but not so with the evf on. You will have to remove your eye, let it switch automatically to the LCD screen, tap on a new target and then return to the evf.

12) in low light, I was able to focus more than the M1. The red LED in the front of the camera can be enabled for either red eye reduction and/or illuminating a subject for focus assist. Its really bright.

13) Pop up flash is a great addition. Within three feet I believe it can be used as a flash fill. In dark bars I tilted it upward and Created a soft Toplight for my subject. Since I shoot in bars at 1600 iso the camera is so sentive to light at that point that the little flash can bounce off the ceiling.

14) built in Wifi has been great. I use the EOS remote app and it allows me to remotely view and operate the camera remotely, include autofocus selection. You can transfer images to your phone even if you only shot RAW files. it seems to do a jpg conversion on the fly. The IQ at night at bars held up well. I used ISO's 1600-6400. Whatever NR it does on the fly seems to produce nice clean images shot at those ISO's.

15) evf is a great addition. Its a great way to just focus on framing.

16) new display modes allows you to create four programmable overlays for the LCD and EVF. You can toggle amonst them with the info button. So pop up the histogram, the tilt/level etc or leave it bare bones so that you can frame the image without overlays.

More to come, I hope this helpd.
 

longtallkarl

EOS M50
Dec 6, 2012
39
0
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
 

archiea

EOS 80D
Jan 17, 2013
161
9
longtallkarl said:
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
LongtalkKarl, tell me what you want on the M3 and what you want most improved on a M1 and I'll see what I can tell you. If you do pull the trigger, definitley get the EVF with it. it comes with a little grey bag to protect it when not on your camera. On its own its $240 on B&H, definitley worth it in Kit form
 

Luds34

EOS 6D MK II
May 15, 2014
919
0
longtallkarl said:
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
+1

Yes thanks for the details. I own two M1's (I use one as a mostly dedicated family home movie maker) and am very happy with the IQ (Canon's classic 18 MP crop sensor) in such a small package. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the M3, just wanting to see a little bit more commitment from Canon on some dedicated EF-M glass.

I was disappointed to hear about the plastic-ness as I like the metal of the original M.

Glad to hear good things about the EVF, was definitely on my wish list from the original.

Thanks again!
 

archiea

EOS 80D
Jan 17, 2013
161
9
Luds34 said:
longtallkarl said:
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
+1

Yes thanks for the details. I own two M1's (I use one as a mostly dedicated family home movie maker) and am very happy with the IQ (Canon's classic 18 MP crop sensor) in such a small package. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the M3, just wanting to see a little bit more commitment from Canon on some dedicated EF-M glass.

I was disappointed to hear about the plastic-ness as I like the metal of the original M.

Glad to hear good things about the EVF, was definitely on my wish list from the original.

Thanks again!
Don't let my comment of the plasticness discourage you. Its hard to spot. the Camera feels like money, not cheap. It is heavier because it has the addtion fo the meta frame for the LCD, heavier battery and extra components for the flash. So the tradeoff of metal for weight makes sense. Its doesn't feel like plastic in your hands. it has a really nice texture to it.
 

Luds34

EOS 6D MK II
May 15, 2014
919
0
archiea said:
Luds34 said:
longtallkarl said:
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
+1

Yes thanks for the details. I own two M1's (I use one as a mostly dedicated family home movie maker) and am very happy with the IQ (Canon's classic 18 MP crop sensor) in such a small package. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the M3, just wanting to see a little bit more commitment from Canon on some dedicated EF-M glass.

I was disappointed to hear about the plastic-ness as I like the metal of the original M.

Glad to hear good things about the EVF, was definitely on my wish list from the original.

Thanks again!
Don't let my comment of the plasticness discourage you. Its hard to spot. the Camera feels like money, not cheap. It is heavier because it has the addtion fo the meta frame for the LCD, heavier battery and extra components for the flash. So the tradeoff of metal for weight makes sense. Its doesn't feel like plastic in your hands. it has a really nice texture to it.
I appreciate you clarifying that. Good to know. Thanks again.
 

Rocky

EOS 6D MK II
Jul 30, 2010
922
33
archiea said:
Don't let my comment of the plasticness discourage you. Its hard to spot. the Camera feels like money, not cheap. It is heavier because it has the addtion fo the meta frame for the LCD, heavier battery and extra components for the flash. So the tradeoff of metal for weight makes sense. Its doesn't feel like plastic in your hands. it has a really nice texture to it.
Since the M3 shares the same sensor with the T6s and T6i, do you notice the same problem (white spots) on the sensor?
 

dswtan

EOS T7i
Sep 15, 2012
77
1
500px.com
I went the same route as archiea, following along on the really helpful (if sometimes nit-picky) community -- M3 by one of the well-rated Japan eBay sellers. Also completed my original M1 kit (which I immediately converted to IR as planned all along) with the 11-22 and 55-250. Really great summary by archiea, and I concur with pretty much everything. The plastic thing is a complete non-issue.

My nitpicks are few -- articulated screen feels a bit delicate to me. I used to be a big fan of the old G-series mechanisms. This seems more clunky and I feel I have to treat it more carefully. I don't regularly use the EVF (never have been a fan, but glad it's there), so the little plastic (;-)) cover in the hotshoe is kept in place, except it's not a tight fit and I keep knocking it out as I grab the camera out of a bag. It's also very annoying to have to carry two sets of batteries when I also have the IR M1 with me -- LP-E17 and LP-E12, argh.

But here's the kicker: I NOW GET MORE SHOTS!

I now have a totally awesome "travel" kit that I take on every hike and cycle ride, which with the 5D3 was just never going to happen. My G15 remains a daily pocket cam, but basically redundant with a good phone now. My 5D3 is for special occasions and intentional photography -- "art". The M3 is for fun, frequency and fabulous!

I now also have a backlog in my processing. :) I will post some recent results at my sites shortly.
 

sunnyVan

EOS 7D MK II
Apr 12, 2013
573
0
NYC
dswtan said:
I went the same route as archiea, following along on the really helpful (if sometimes nit-picky) community -- M3 by one of the well-rated Japan eBay sellers. Also completed my original M1 kit (which I immediately converted to IR as planned all along) with the 11-22 and 55-250. Really great summary by archiea, and I concur with pretty much everything. The plastic thing is a complete non-issue.

My nitpicks are few -- articulated screen feels a bit delicate to me. I used to be a big fan of the old G-series mechanisms. This seems more clunky and I feel I have to treat it more carefully. I don't regularly use the EVF (never have been a fan, but glad it's there), so the little plastic (;-)) cover in the hotshoe is kept in place, except it's not a tight fit and I keep knocking it out as I grab the camera out of a bag. It's also very annoying to have to carry two sets of batteries when I also have the IR M1 with me -- LP-E17 and LP-E12, argh.

But here's the kicker: I NOW GET MORE SHOTS!

I now have a totally awesome "travel" kit that I take on every hike and cycle ride, which with the 5D3 was just never going to happen. My G15 remains a daily pocket cam, but basically redundant with a good phone now. My 5D3 is for special occasions and intentional photography -- "art". The M3 is for fun, frequency and fabulous!

I now also have a backlog in my processing. :) I will post some recent results at my sites shortly.
I was initially troubled by the change of batteries. But then I realized they seemed to last quite a bit longer so I am glad canon upgraded it.

I have a slightly different approach than you in terms of what camera to bring. I bring both 5d mk3 and m3 wherever I go. M3 is mated to 11-22. Mk3 is for speed or low light. To me this is a very feasible two camera setup.
 

archiea

EOS 80D
Jan 17, 2013
161
9
dswtan said:
I now also have a backlog in my processing. :) I will post some recent results at my sites shortly.
Just to continue to what has been said with some updates:

I agree with Dswtan that when you look at the articulated screen all you do is think of the ways it can break! But as DSLR users have to remember: this isn't a pro body!! There's a reason why the xD series canons don't have articulated screens. In fact, I prefer the manner of the M3's folding screen rather than the articulating pivots of the Rebels that say "Yank Me!". Yeah the M1 felt like a pro body because it was all metal but it didn't have pro functionality: shutter, aperture and ISO were menu deep and if you break that screen there are no button redundancies. On a pro body you still have the LCD screen on top of the body and the info in the viewfinder, as long as the buttons work, for feedback.

As far as my note on the body creaks I do notice that if I lift the left hand side of the screen when its flush there is a little creak sound, and when I push lightly on the area of the rubber grip thats between the grip and the lens ( the front wall of the battery compartment i mentioned above) I hear a tiny creak. I think this is b/c its where the plastic body connects with the internal metal frame. I note this for users that have used the M1's movie mode and expected its non creaky body's silence when shooting video. I suspect that won't be the case with the M3.

It this a little bit of a let down coming from the original M1? I'd say so, but we have to understand that this was a reboot of the M after a perceived failure. And its a great reboot if you ask me considering that this isn't a world wide market for canon like other companies.. The small enthusiast. The power shot line saturates that as does the smaller rebels.. to have the M3 even as it is, I see as a minor miracle in a market centric vs vision centric world. Cameras are no longer cameras anymore, they are hardware-based film... So the heirloom quality that cameras used to have, that the M1 almost suggested, thats gone. They are little more than Dell or apple computers that take pictures now.. ;P

One thing that I would almost have fought for was keeping the nice feeling M3 grip off the camera (what1?). People complained that it felt like the camera would slip out. I'd say that the texture on the M3 body now helps but the grip gives it an SLR style quality.. The M1's svelte powershot look made it more stealth, especially coupled with native M mounted or Leica M mounted lenses. The grip may flag folks that its more pro.

I call it the most phalic canon on the market because women want to hold it and men want to know how many megapixels its got!

Keep in mind these are quibbles, I don't think they are deal breakers. I do caution people who are used to sony A6000 or Fuji's speed or the micro 4/3rd's eco system, this is different. I'll dedicate a little time to explain this.

I have a DSLR that started as a strong hobbiest, then became my work horse for work that I happened to tag along for personal use... decked out with L lenses, body straps, lens hoods, flashes, heck I even would bring a flash bender on occasion :eek: . To other photographers, this is normal. To the rest of the world I looked like the personal paparazzi to the family dinner event or whatever I was in. Family accepted it as if it was like a handicap or birth defect growing out of my chest and hands that they had to accept. But I wasn't enjoying myself. And it left members outside of my tribe a little weirded out that there was "full coverage" of Uncle joe's birthday dinner.

I think the problem is that we've had a boom in photography that has allowed a side economy of gadgets, thingies and stuff that makes our job easier, faster and more feature filled. Thats great. But what happened to photography? I think this is what mirror less brought back to photographers, a kinda more "back to basics". You see it with these retro bodies and lenses that have become popular. In some ways it slowed you down to stop and "smell the roses" in photography terms, which would be to think, choose & compose. If you don't catch my drift, go shoot a roll of film again. After you chuckle when you catch yourself "chimping" to the back of the film camera's film door, you suddenly realize how much photography was about planning and choosing rather than "spray and pray".

A better explanation of this is this great video of a pro photographer that shoot pro DSLR bodies, and Leica rangefinders!!! He explains the difference between the two:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZtj1o9oy4c

He articulates very well the problem of having "too many options", about how they become distractions. Yup, many have talked about, even BS'ed about the "Leica difference", but I think this guy does a great and authentic job of delineating the work of photography from the joy of photography. How part of that joy is the limitations and the tactile quality that comes with manual adjustments. When I see a DSLR reviewed there's always that moment when the reviewer turns on the motor drive to have a listen to the 10+fps of the camera as if to say that was part of the enjoyment. Its actually the work.. more work.. of loading all of those 10+fps images, sorting, selecting... all the stuff that should have happened at the shoot is now added to your post. Yes certain events like sports, wildlife and event shoots make this inevitable.. but you are working.. thats fine. What about the joy of photography? You take the DSLR to your next vacation and you get thousands of 10+FPS shots of your kids running around..... You're working again!! ;D C'mon, admit it, we all have..

I bring this long winded point up to bring a philosophy change when you approach the M3 that may make its "shortcomings" a feature to you photography.

I always called my M1 a really poor man's Leica. To me, the M3 brings that even closer. The focus peaking and the EVF and articulated LCE and WIFI, it brings some great high tech solutions to what Leica designers see as heresy to the rangefinder world. However I see it as a bridge that brings the convenience of modern, inexpensive, commoditized electronics to a rangefinder shooting philosophy thats decades old.

I'm hoping my next lens purchase will be the Voigtlander f1.5 50mm. Its an all manual Leica M mount lens that can be adapted to the EOS like many leica mount lenses. You think the M3's autofocus is slow? Wait until you see my "auto" manual focus! Suddenly the ef-m lenses seem like speed demons!! I always wanted a rangefinder style experience.. I've shot Leica's and Mamiya's before and I loved taking my time. With the M3 I can have the same philosophy, use the same glass!, but with the convenience of a consumer friendly tilt screen, EVF and WIFI connectivity. Plenty of sony a7 fans who are rolling like this.

Lastly, for amateurs who are on the fence but intended to get into studio photography. Keep in mind, many studio photographers shoot slow not motor shutter, and at F7.1 or the like (hence the ef-m 18-55 variable f-stop of 4-5.6 is a non issue) and use strobes. The M3 can use the canon's excellent radio strobes just like a 5Dm3! Not the same speed and you have a 1.6 crop factor, but you do get 24MP and access to some good Leica M mount primes that are under $1K new or less used.

I hope this helps put in better light, a more glass half full view of the EOS-M3. I've called it an albatross before because it defies the segregation of the pro and consumer product line.. and that often leads to a sell ability issue because it can't be parsed into a neat little marketing jingle. But the Japanese get it. Its big there, watch on youtube (I literally mean watch, they are all in Japanese!) the product promotion with Japanese photographers. They get it.

Thanks for reading.
 

troppobash

EOS M50
May 29, 2014
44
8
It seems the M3 has the same screen as the G1XMII
plus uses the same EVF. I find the screen quite sturdy
and easy to use.

The EVA is good too and I use it mainly when the sun
washes out the screen. Otherwise I use the screen as much as
possible to take advantage of the touch features especially
choosing where to focus via touch.

Also the M3 is now available in Australia for around $899AUD

Enjoy using the Ms
 

longtallkarl

EOS M50
Dec 6, 2012
39
0
archiea said:
longtallkarl said:
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
LongtalkKarl, tell me what you want on the M3 and what you want most improved on a M1 and I'll see what I can tell you. If you do pull the trigger, definitley get the EVF with it. it comes with a little grey bag to protect it when not on your camera. On its own its $240 on B&H, definitley worth it in Kit form
Whoops! didn't see this til now! yes - the main thing i'm interested in about the upgrade is the evf. i find my compositions are sloppier with an lcd at arms length than with an eye level finder. then there's the daylight issue. anyway - what are your impressions of the evf? does the image seem small like you're looking through a 20d, or larger like a 5diii? does it provide the same information as the lcd? and how does switching back and forth between the lcd and evf work, and is it fairly seamless? i assume various changes must still be made on the lcd even when shooting with the evf. how well does that work? many thanks!
 

Krob78

When in Doubt, Press the Shutter...
Aug 8, 2012
1,455
9
The Florida Peninsula
longtallkarl said:
archiea said:
longtallkarl said:
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
LongtalkKarl, tell me what you want on the M3 and what you want most improved on a M1 and I'll see what I can tell you. If you do pull the trigger, definitley get the EVF with it. it comes with a little grey bag to protect it when not on your camera. On its own its $240 on B&H, definitley worth it in Kit form
Whoops! didn't see this til now! yes - the main thing i'm interested in about the upgrade is the evf. i find my compositions are sloppier with an lcd at arms length than with an eye level finder. then there's the daylight issue. anyway - what are your impressions of the evf? does the image seem small like you're looking through a 20d, or larger like a 5diii? does it provide the same information as the lcd? and how does switching back and forth between the lcd and evf work, and is it fairly seamless? i assume various changes must still be made on the lcd even when shooting with the evf. how well does that work? many thanks!
LongtalkKarl, I have the M3 and the evf. I must say that I love the evf. It is bright and it's a very good size, Not sure that it's the same as my 5d3 but if not, it's very close and very bright. Outside it makes all the difference in the world. It works quite seamlessly when switching back and forth, actually, it's automatic on mine. There is a very slight lag time but when you put your eye to the evf, it's black for a moment then it turns on and the lcd goes black. (there's a sensor that is a trigger for that action, just like on the regular cameras. The only difference is there is a lag time, as the sensor on the other cams just blacks out the lcd, this one does that but takes a second for the evf to fire up. It's only a second, so it's not too bad. I wouldn't buy the M3 without it.. ;)
 

archiea

EOS 80D
Jan 17, 2013
161
9
longtallkarl said:
archiea said:
longtallkarl said:
thanks for the thorough report archiea!

i'm thinking long and hard about the m3, mostly for the evf. i've enjoyed the m1, but it would get used more if it had better af, an evf, and better iq - all things the m3 seems to have.
LongtalkKarl, tell me what you want on the M3 and what you want most improved on a M1 and I'll see what I can tell you. If you do pull the trigger, definitley get the EVF with it. it comes with a little grey bag to protect it when not on your camera. On its own its $240 on B&H, definitley worth it in Kit form
Whoops! didn't see this til now! yes - the main thing i'm interested in about the upgrade is the evf. i find my compositions are sloppier with an lcd at arms length than with an eye level finder. then there's the daylight issue. anyway - what are your impressions of the evf? does the image seem small like you're looking through a 20d, or larger like a 5diii? does it provide the same information as the lcd? and how does switching back and forth between the lcd and evf work, and is it fairly seamless? i assume various changes must still be made on the lcd even when shooting with the evf. how well does that work? many thanks!
LongTalkAri...

some things about the EVF:

the automatic handoff between the LCD and the EVF is slightly delayed but you get used to it. If you like you can disable the automatic handoff and use the button on the side of the evf to switch displays. It works regardless of the setting on the display handoff (auto/manual) in the menu. So just before putting your eye to the EVF you can tap that button.

You can program the trash can button on the DPAD to turn off the LCD. it will turn off the LCD but not the EVF when its on. You have to switch it back to the back LCD then hit the trashcan to turn it off. However once in LCD mode, you can just half press the shutter or press any button to "wake up" the display.

Press and hold the info button for two seconds and the LCD goes to 100 % brightness. This works well out in the daylight when you are under bright sunlight. The display is brighter than my iPhone 6's display.

OK, here's the tricky part when using the EVF and the "tradeoff you have since you loose the touch screen functionality...

The two extra dials that you get on the M3 (the one under the shutter and the rotating D-pad) function to operate the aperture and the shutter. In the EVF (and the LCD for that matter) it shows you which buttons do what with little button icons next to the f-stop and the shutter. Once the buttons are operated, a dedicated display of the assigned functions scrolls across the screen. Without looking, pressing up on the d-Pad activates the iso menu with the rotating of the D-pad allowing you to change the ISO. I've used this in the heat of battle and it works beautifully. SO you an do this all from the EVF or the LCD. This makes the M# way faster to operate than the M1.

Tap on the Q button and you get the quick menu to access drive, WB, modes, etc. This is normally touch but with the EVF, the touchpad operates it where up and down lets you scroll thru the menu but gong side to side OR rotating the Dpad operates the option of the selected menu. you get used to this quick. The whole time your eyeball can be crazy clued to the evf.

the info button toggles you thru 4 display options. Just to be clear, the dedicated Q button enables a fifth, the above quickmenu display. The dedicated menu button displays the system menu which would be the 6th screen. Getting back to the info button, it toggles thru 4 screens: 3 are HUDS, the forth is the old style checkerboard quick menu we've had since the rebel days. with the LCD this is all touch, but the D-pad operates it. This time, hitting up or down navigates you thru the different selections while rotating the d-pad adjust the settings of the selection. However for some reason, despite the redundant button use for the checkerboard quick menu, it does not display in the EVF, you have to look at the LCD. all other displays, including the menu, can be viewed in the EVF. really strange.

The three other HUD display toggles are a clear menu free display, one with the tilt viewer, the other with histogram (you select weather RGB or white in the menu)

Here's whats nice: in the menu you can disable any of the displays, with the exception of the empty one. In other words, you can disable from the display toggle the quick menu, level display and level + histogram display, leaving you just the clear display. Nicely optioned. Of course I tried living without a histogram option for about half a day.. what can I say, I'm a HUD junkie!!

So far it seems like a win win of the EVF/LCD combo, right? well almost..... the problem starts with a small minor issue like, I dunno, FOCUS!

AHHHHHHH!!!

what is it about the EOS-M and focus... its nuts.....

Touch focus, one of the great aspects of the rear LCD is gone... thats expected. but once your are in the EVF, you are the mercy as to what the EOS-m wants to focus on. you can toggle face detect on or off with the magnify button which switches function to focus mode when in automatic. What IS nice is that D-pad left button toggle manual focus. This is a nice change from the M1. Toggle manual that and guess whats comes up automatically (if programmed in the menu), the long sought after FoCuS pEaKiNg! !!!!! So your methodology should be that once you are in EVF, likely you want to manual focus. You an auto focus but you are now limited to either auto track or auto face detect.. you have no way of operating the location of the af tracker. You can toggle either single point or tracking with with either the quick menu or assigning that toggle to the MF button, or you can toggle wither face tracking or regular tracking with the magnify button which doubles as a focus mode selector when in AF.

it seems that in EVF mode it will always AF whats in center unless you enable facial tracking, so I guess its lock focus and recompose.

LCD-wise the focus is great. you can touch to focus or touch to focus and shoot. ... I find myself doing this on the 5D sometimes!!! ::) touch something to track and it tracks, be it a face or a detail that it can lock on.

Manual focus with the EVF (or LCD) and focus peaking is great, but magnify and it becomes tricky with the EVF. Unfortunately, the multifunction button that is right next to shutter can be programmed to do anything including the dishes and walk the dog, but NOT activate the magnify!!!! ??? I don't understand why. So you can't one hand operate and hit magnify!!!! Your thumb has to lift from the grip and hit the button just below the thumb rest!!!! It makes magnifying to focus a two hand operation JUST TO HIT THE BUTTON!!!! Simply adding magnify as a programmable function would have remedies this!!! I can see when operating the LCD , but even then having it assigned to the multiF button would help as you thumb remains gripping the camera!!!!1

ITs not a deal killer, its more of a WTF thing.. like what were they thinking.... its like some let over from the pre-EVF days.

the second problem with the the magnify is that once I magnify, i get focus, now how do I get out of magnify, let me press halfway on the shutter... no, let me hit the magnify button, nope it magnifies deeper... a feature that you and already do with the rotary buttons ANWAY!!!!! I have to press the magnify button, yup that button that makes me lift my thumb from the camera TWICE to get out of magnify!!!! I can understand this logic in the you select the magnify region on the LCD with you who composed, magnify, focus, then hit the shutter and the photo is taken with the composition you locked in. I do this with the 5D live view when I used lens babies. . Problem is that when you are in EVF mode, you have no preselection of the area.... you zoom, use the D-pad to navigate OR move your framing, manual focus, press the magnify button TWICE to exit zoom.. I dunno, this can be streamlined.

For instance, on the sony alpha 6000, with sony lenses, as soon as you touch focus of the lens, it zooms in.. brilliant!! you an program faces into the system and then recall which face you want to track. Clearly a 21st century AF system.

Either way, for me, I had planned to use some vintage manual glass on the M3 when I'm not using the canon ef-m lenses for snapshooting. the EVF and focus peaking were high on my feature list, but they have to make it so that the multiF button can be programmed for a quick magnify, leave the rotary buttons for zooming and then a quick tap of the multiF again to get out of focus... its the best way IMHO.

Either way, I still luv this little camera. I hope this helps.