Sony A7 II vs Canon 5D Mark III

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Introduction

The Sony A7 II and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II are two, exceptionally cameras that have share multiple things in common, although the A7 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, whereas, the second is a DSLR camera. One of their similarities is a full-frame sensor which will guarantee you nearly flawless performance, and let you enjoy the given versatility of the camera.

If we go beyond their characteristics and differences, in order to find out which one could be considered as a better option for you, I’d suggest getting into action right away and reveal their advantages and disadvantages, so that you will have a better insight regarding their capabilities!

Head To Head Comparison

Sony A7 II

The Sony A7 II features a classy, all-black body that feels solid due to the fact that the body is entirely made of a magnesium-alloy material, which will also play a huge role in the camera’s ability to withstand daily use, so that even if you’ve been using this camera for years, you would unlikely notice a significant decrease regarding its look!

Also, Sony has implemented a weather-sealing as added defensive mechanism against moisture and dust, hence, you as a photographer, would never feel restricted in terms of shooting because you can absolutely try shooting in different environments and weather conditions!

Furthermore, although the A7 II has a compact and lightweight body, because it measures 3.8 x 5 x 2.4″ (HWD), and weighs around 1.2 without a lens, it is kind of thicker than the other A7 cameras, and has a very large handgrip on which you can rely completely, since your hands will be naturally positioned and throughout your shooting sessions, the camera will always sit steadily.

I’d also like to mention that this camera is fairly easy to use as well, thanks to its nicely organized control layout that grants you access to adjust the controls depending on what you want to achieve in a specific moment.

Namely, on the top plate, the left side is completely free of buttons, there’s a multi-interface hot shoe set on the center, whereas, on the right, you will find two dials that sit beneath the two customizable C2 and C1 buttons, and a shutter-release button with an On/Off switch located close to the grip.

On the rear, most of the controls are positioned on the right-handed side of the unit, since you will find only two buttons located in-between the viewfinder such as the Menu and the customizable C3 button.

Since I’ve mentioned the viewfinder, I’d like you to know that has a resolution of 2.4 million dots, it is as big as 1/2-inches, and packs a field coverage of 100% and a magnification ratio of 0.71x with the intention to provide you the best possible view of the objects you intend to capture!

Slightly below, there’s a 3″ 1,228k-dot display which is mounted on a hinge, so that you’d be able to adjust its position according to your preferences and shoot from different angles easily and effectively! The display is bright as well, outputs strong visuals, but, my remark is its lack of touch capabilities because if Sony made it touch-enabled, that would be indeed superb! Either way, I like it!

Moving on, the connection options housed by this camera is a micro-HDMI port, micro-USB port, single memory card slot that supports both, SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Duo card formats, as well as it is Wi-Fi and NFC enabled which by default means that with a simple tap on a button you’d be able to share your photos and videos to compatible devices.

Now, let’s speak about the performance.

Well, the Sony A7 II utilizes a 5-axis in-body image stabilization, 24.3MP full-frame image sensor, it is powered by a powerful BIONZ X image processor that boosts the camera’s capabilities to the highest levels by enabling a burst shooting speed of 5 fps, and a greater control over the noise through the ISO range of 100-25,600, and let’s not forget its impressively fast hybrid AF that packs 117-phase detection points and 25 contrast-detection points for your ultimate user experience!

In practice, the Sony A7 II handles the noise indeed well, in both cases, whether you shoot JPGs or RAW format images.

For example, JPGs shot through ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 look amazing because they are filled with vibrant and accurate colors, details are strong and the clarity is excellent. At ISO 12,800, things get a bit worse, because noise starts to get prominent, but don’t worry, images are still usable until you reach the ISO 25,600 where the noise does really overcome the image quality.

The same can be said regarding RAW format images, although the details are better at the upper ISO sensitivity range such as the ISO 12,800, however, once you go to ISO 25,600, noise is indeed heavily pronounced, and I’d advise you to avoid this level.

Before we end, there’s one more thing I have to mention and that’s regarding the video performance. The Sony A7 II lacks 4K, but for casual videography is great because it records 1080p videos at 24p/30p/60i/60p and 720p videos at up to 120fps which makes it a perfect candidate for casual video recording, because the footage is crystal clear and I really think that you will be satisfied.

Canon 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III features a weather-sealed, stylish all-black magnesium alloy and polycarbonate body that is accompanied by a textured rubber-like coating grip which ensures that the photographer will have a secure hold of the camera and would be able to shoot comfortably under a variety of diffrent environments and weather condition. Hence, both cameras deserve equal treatment here, and both of them receive credits from me, so, the result is a tie!

In comparison to the Sony A7 II, since this is a DSLR camera, the EOS 5D Mark III is chunkier and weighs more than its opponent ( 6 x 4.6 x 3″ (HWD) and weighs around 30.3-ounces), but either way, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have a convenient shooting experience!

Moreover, on the top, the control layout is kept simple and you can notice a single Mode dial with an On/Off switch located on the left, a hot shoe that sits on the center, and a monochrome information LCD screen that is surrounded by 4 dedicated buttons ( WhiteBalance, AF*Drive, ISO and a lightbulb for turning on the screen) as well as an M-Fn button that sits above the shutter release button who is located on the grip.

If you take a look from the rear, you will likely like the way Canon has organized the buttons. On the left-handed side, there’s an array of buttons, a Menu and Info button that sit on the top next to the viewfinder, as well as multiple buttons that stretch from top to the bottom on the right-handed side.

For your information, the viewfinder has a pentaprism design, covers up to 100% of the field, has a magnification ratio of 0.71x, and although it is dimmer in comparison to the Sony A7 II, still, it will offer you a clear view of the environment and of the subjects you opt to shoot!

When it comes to the LCD screen, the EOS 5D Mark III holds a large, 3.2″, 1040k-dot screen that is covered with an optical gel with the intention to help you have an undistracted view even if you’re shooting or previewing your images outdoors in bright sunlight, however, the Sony A7 II is better because it is more flexible, whereas, the one of this camera is fixed. What both cameras lack is the touch sensitivity though.

Speaking of the connection ports, the EOS 5D Mark III has a single USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, dual memory card slot that support CF and SD cards, and unfortunately, it doesn’t have a built-in Wi-Fi, so you’ll have to invest in an optional W-E1 adapter. Hence, the A7 II clearly wins at this point.

Performance-wise, the EOS 5D Mark III packs a 22MP full-frame CMOS sensor, has a continuous shooting speed of 6 fps, 61-point AF system, ISO range of 100-25,600 which is expandable up to 50-102,800, a built-in low-pass filter and a DIGIC 5+ image processor that boosts the camera’s capability to have a greater control over the noise and to allow a truly blazing-processing speed performance!

As was the case with the A7 II, this camera does also captures JPG and RAW format images, and throughout the ISO range, the EOS 5D Mark III keeps the noise as low as possible.

Namely, at ISO 800, JPGs look sharp and noise levels aren’t high, whereas at ISO 3200, noise starts to appear, but still, JPGs are noise-free in-general, and look absolutely clean!

At higher levels, or better said, beyond ISO 25,600, blur starts to overcome the image and honestly, I wouldn’t recommend you go between ISO 51,200 and 102,400.

RAW images remain strong up to ISO 25,600, but of course, increasing the ISO sensitivity brings more noise although details are better in comparison to JPGs.

In the end, the EOS 5D Mark III lacks 4K as the A7 II, so, you will be left to record 1080p videos at 24/25/ 30 fps, however, the A7 II is better because it records 1080p videos at 60 fps, and may offer you the better experience if you opt to try yourself as a videographer.

Feature Comparison

Sony A7 II Canon 5D Mark III
Camera Type
Mirrorless
DSLR
Megapixels
24.3
22.0
ISO Range
100-25,600
100-25,600;50-102,800
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
No
AF Points
117 AF Points
61 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
No
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
Full-Frame
Full-Frame

Conclusion

Finally, before I announce the winner after such an intense fight, let’s quickly reveal the areas where the A7 II outperforms the EOS 5D Mark III and vice-versa, so that your final decision would be the most accurate.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III on the contrary to its opponent, has a brighter framing, a faster continuous shooting speed, better battery life ( ~950 vs ~350), and larger screen.

The A7 II has a better AF system, records 1080p videos at 60 fps, has a better dynamic range, more detailed and flexible LCD screen, weighs less and it is more compact, it allows you to share your content easily due to its built-in Wi-Fi and NFC support, comes equipped with a built-in image stabilization and has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.

In my honest opinion, I’d go for the Sony A7 II, because it is a better, all-round camera!