When we compare the EOS-M and EOS 650D directly, the scores are very close. Canon states the cameras share the same sensor and we see no reason to doubt that. The EOS-M’s slightly higher Sports and slightly superior Color Depth scores will be barely noticeable in real world use.
The EOS-M is targeting compact camera users trading up, whereas the pricier NEX-6 with its manual controls and EVF is aimed at enthusiasts. However, in terms of sensors, the Canon adopts an 18MP imager, and the Sony a 16MP unit. Even with a lower pixel count the NEX-6 sensor performs similarly to the 24MP NEX-7, suggesting some sensor design differences between them but either of those two models’ sensors outperforms the Canon’s in each of our three Use Case Scores. The most revealing is the maximum 2Ev benefit in DR at base ISO, allowing users considerable leeway with exposure errors, but it’s fair to say the Canon sensor performs as well from ISO1600.
The Canon sensor in the EOS-M also has slightly higher chroma (colour) noise than the Sony chip in the NEX-6. Our Color Sensitivty tests indicate a maximum of 2 bits at low ISO in favor of the Sony, that’s close to a one-stop improvement at base ISO.
In our third comparison, we’ve chosen the Nikon 1 J2, a camera that has been designed to appeal to a similar group of users. There’s a 10 point lead in the DxO Mark sensor scores to the EOS-M. But, when viewed in context, the Nikon 1 J2 adopts a 1-inch type BSI sensor that has a considerably smaller surface area than the Canon’s put it at a distinct disadvantage.
As a result, the EOS-M’s APS-C size CMOS sensor is a better performer; the smaller Nikon chip has both higher noise levels and a lower dynamic range. However, while the EOS-M has a one-stop advantage in our low-light ISO and color depth scores, the dynamic range of the Nikon is not far behind the Canon.