The EOS R represents Canon's initial foray into the mirrorless camera market and many may be wondering how it stacks up against Sony's feature-packed, budget-priced a7 III.
If you fall into that group, read on as we compare these two cameras.
Sony a7 III & Canon EOS R Shared Primary Features
Primary Advantages of the Sony a7 III:
- Mirrorless camera technologies
- Metering Range: EV -3 to EV 20
- Shutter Speed Range: 30-1/8000, Bulb
- 4K Video Recording: 4K (16:9) 3840 x 2160 at 30p
- USB 3.0, HDMI mini out (Sony: Type D, Canon: Type C) , External Microphone In / Line In (Stereo mini jack), Headphone socket (Stereo mini jack)
- Operating Environment: 32–104°F / 0–40°C
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS R:
- Compatible with more native-mount lenses
- Sensor Stabilization: 5-axis Optical In-Body Image Stabilization vs. 5-Axis Movie Digital IS Image Stabilization
- Tracks eye in Single-Shot and Continuous AF vs. One Shot only *
- More Metering Zones: 1200-zone vs. 384-zone
- Higher ISO Setting: 204800 vs. 102400
- Better Dynamic Range
- Wider Exposure Compensation: +/- 5 EV vs. +/- 3 EV
- Faster x-sync: 1/250 sec vs. 1/200
- Faster Burst Shooting: 10 fps vs. 8 (One Shot mode), 5 with AF Tracking
- No crop-factor in 4K vs. 1.75x crop
- Better Slow Motion Video: 1920 x 1080 at 120 fps with sound/AF tracking vs. 720p at 60 fps with no sound/AF tracking
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC vs. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth only
- Dual Memory Cards: Memory Stick/SD (UHS-I) + SD (UHS-II) vs. SD (UHS-II) only
- Higher Battery Life: 610 shots vs. 370
- Slightly Smaller: 5.0 x 3.9 x 3.0" (126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7mm) vs. 5.35 x 3.87 x 3.32" (135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4mm)
- Lower cost
Who should opt for the Sony a7 III?
- Higher Resolution: 30.4 MP vs. 24.2
- More AF Points: 5,655 points vs. 693
- More Sensitive AF: EV -6 to +18 vs. EV -3 to +20
- Faster AF in One Shot mode
- Wider Auto ISO Range: ISO 100-40000 vs. 100-12800
- Higher Resolution Viewfinder: 0.5" (1.27cm) OLED EVF, 3.69m-dots vs. 0.5" (1.3cm) OLED Tru-Finder EVF, 2.36m-dots
- Larger, Higher Resolution LCD: 3.15" Touch Screen (8.01cm) Clear View LCD II, 2.1m-dots vs. 2.95" (7.49cm) Touch Screen TFT, 921.6K dots
- Vari-angle LCD vs. tilt only
- Top LCD vs. none
- Higher Bit-Rate 4K Video: 480 Mbps (ALL-I) vs. 100 Mbps
- Larger RAW Buffer: 47 RAW images vs. 40
- Manual focus guide/focus peaking vs. focus peaking only
- Better performance with adapted lenses
- Better/more intuitive menu system
- Better grip
If you're looking to upgrade to a full frame camera and don't already have a large collection of Canon lenses, or otherwise want to get more serious about photography and prefer to skip on an APS-C sensor body, the Sony a7 III has a lot to offer, including a very reasonable price tag.
Sony's IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) technology enables up to 5-stops of camera shake compensation with any lens that's mounted to the camera
and represents huge advantage for the a7 III.
Those shooting static subjects in low-light situations or when using a narrow aperture to obtain a desired depth of field, especially when a non-stabilized lens is mounted to the camera, will greatly appreciate the a7 III's sensor stabilization.
Are you a wedding photographer? The a7 III's dual memory card slots can protect once-in-a-lifetime images from being lost due to a corrupted memory card, and the camera's higher dynamic range could come in handy for events needing great exposure latitude.
Another a7 III features that wedding/event/festival photographers will surely appreciate include is its significantly longer battery life compared to the EOS R.
Fast action shooters will be able to capture a higher percentage of peak-action shots with the a7 III's 10 fps burst rate with AF tracking compared to the EOS R's 5 fps under the same circumstances, while the camera's eye tracking AF will ensure that the subject remains properly focused. Note:
The a7 III's continuous burst rate drops to 8 fps with viewfinder Live View (for easier subject tracking) in use.
Videographers who want to shoot slow motion video can utilize the a7 III's 120 fps Full HD frame rate to capture smooth, slow motion video with sound and AF tracking. The EOS R's resolution at 120 fps tops out at 720p and sound recording/AF tracking is not supported.
Want to get the most out of your high quality, wide angle lenses when shooting in 4K?
The a7 III samples the entire width of the full frame sensor when shooting in 4K, meaning your wide angle lenses produce an uncropped field of view, perfect for capturing expansive views.
Recording in 4K on the EOS R, on the other hand, results in a 1.75x crop factor for your lenses. That means that a 16-35mm lens mounted to the EOS R produces a full frame equivalent field of view of 28-61.25mm in 4K mode.
Who should opt for the Canon EOS R?
If you're highly invested in the Canon EOS system but want to give mirrorless a try, getting the Canon EOS R will allow you to gradually build up a mirrorless kit, taking full advantage of the new RF lenses coming down the pipeline, while being able to fully utilize your existing DSLR lenses in the meantime.
Speaking of lenses, at this time, Sony has 43 FE lenses that can natively fit on the Sony a7 III. Of those, 25 cover the entire full-frame sensor.
Other lenses (such as Canon EF) can be used on Sony cameras via adapters, but adapted lenses don't perform nearly as well as their native counterparts on Sony alpha-series cameras.
However, while the currently announced pool of Canon RF lenses is small by comparison, Canon's EF-EOS R adapters allow nearly full functionality with EF/EF-S/TS-E and MP-E lenses (EF-S lens use results in a cropped recorded image).
With Canon EF-series lenses performing similarly to RF lenses on the EOS R, the pool of lenses available for EOS R customers considerably increases.
In fact, if you add up all the different EF/EF-S/TS-E and MP-E lenses which have been produced since the EF mount was introduced and add the announced RF lenses, you'd have more than 175 lenses to choose from, 149 of which cover the entire full frame sensor.
From an ergonomics perspective, the EOS R features a deeper grip and raised buttons that are easier to find without having to look at the body.
The new Multi-Function Bar may take some getting used to (some may not like it), but many photographers will find the Control Ring found on the new RF lenses helpful for changing a preferred setting.
For those used to glancing at a top LCD to check camera settings, the EOS R has you covered.
Landscape photographers can enjoy the benefits of the Canon Drop-in Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R
with their EOS R to enable a circular polarizer or variable ND filter to be used with any of their EF-series lenses.
With most ultra-wide angle lenses being incompatible with front filters, the Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter will prove to be a vital component of many landscape shooters' kits.
If you're a portrait shooter, you'll likely prefer the EOS R's faster AF performance in One-Shot mode compared to the Sony a7 III which defocuses/refocuses with every shot even if your subject hasn't moved.
Those shooting portraits will also enjoy the bokeh-accentuating, shallow DOF (Depth of Field) capabilities that Canon's RF and EF mounts offer, including lenses featuring extremely wide f/1.2 apertures.
Vloggers and those shooting self-portraits will find the EOS R's vari-angle LCD much better for self-framing compared to the a7 III's tilt-screen.
* Canon claims a future firmware update will enable Eye AF with AI Servo mode.
The Canon EOS R and Sony a7 III are both incredible cameras at good-value prices and either can be a great option for most needs.