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Introduction

Full-frame cameras are all the buzz these days, and most of the professionals and enthusiasts are looking to add one into their arsenal. These cameras deliver not a cropped image of the scene, unlike most cameras that use at least a 1.6x crop, in turn, they utilize a larger sensor size, capable of delivering excellent performance in low light scenarios, and lower noise in high ISO levels. Overall I can say that these are the best of the best, but this doesn’t mean that anyone can get better photographs with a full-frame camera, and it also will not improve your photography skills.

If you have decided to buy a full-frame camera you are faced with two choices when it comes to the type of camera, digital single-lens reflex or mirrorless cameras, both have their own advantages and both perform excellently. This time around I have two excellent full-frame cameras, of which one is mirrorless and the other is DSLR, both from big-name manufacturers, Sony and Canon, while they are pretty much excellent in their own right, there are some specs and features that make them different, apart from the obvious natures of the cameras.

The Sony A7 is a full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was released in October 2013. When it was first released it was one of the most exciting cameras, delivering amazing new technologies and a pretty compact and aesthetically pleasing body. One of the major features of this mirrorless camera is its compatibility with a large range of lenses.

Next up we have the Canon 6D, a full-frame digital single-lens reflex camera that was released on November 2012. It is a little older than its competitor today, however, it is an amazing shooter. While it is an old camera, this device is still relevant even today, thanks to its reliability amazing image processor and its image quality.

Since you are introduced to our competitors by now, let’s see if any of these amazing full-frame cameras come on top. Without further ado, let’s get on with it.

Head To Head Comparison

Sony A7

In 2013 Sony announced three futuristic cameras with a new line the A7, it delivered three models the base A7, the A7R, and the A7S. They were Sony’s first go at the full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens segment, and oh boy, did they do a fantastic job with it. While the more advanced models are great machines, the base A7 has made quite a name for itself as an introductory to the full-frame mirrorless world, and it has been the norm.

Sony has been a synonym for innovation in the camera business, as it always has been pretty bold with its implementation of new technologies. This device has received some price drops in recent years and it has solidified its spot as the entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera, however, even if it had a higher price, I couldn’t realistically complain about this camera. This is equipped with a great autofocus system, an amazing full-frame sensor, a brand new image processor that is pretty quick and a lot more features that make it relevant even in today’s saturated market.

The Sony A7 is an indirect successor of the NEX cameras with the APS-C sensors, but it is a little larger than that, however, when you compare it to other full-frame mirrorless cameras, this looks tiny. The company has managed to utilize a perfectly deep grip that delivers amazing ergonomics and even one-handed operation. It has a pretty aesthetically pleasing design, using a boxy look, a little retro in my opinion resembling Fujifilm cameras, which are the best in that aspect. This camera weighs just 474 grams in total, a little heavier than your smartphone.

This small camera has a 3-inch LCD on its rear with a 4:3 aspect ratio and 1.23 million dots, it is extremely sharp and even at moderate brightness settings it is visible outdoors, it can be tilted upwards by 84 degrees and downward 45 degrees. In the viewfinder department, it utilizes an OLED XGA electronic piece, that is large and has 0.74x magnification on top of its 2.4 million dots. In addition to this, it has a large number of controls and dials that are conveniently placed and deliver the utmost comfort, plus some customizability.

This amazing camera is equipped with an impressive hybrid autofocus system that utilizes 117 phase-detect and 25 contrast-detect autofocus points. This is one of the biggest selling points of this camera as this system makes the camera achieve not directional focus, but distance focus as well, which makes it faster as a result. It also makes the continuous autofocus better, and delivers perfect videos, without losing focus of your subject.

For image quality, the Sony A7 uses a 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with OLPF which captures amazing photographs with great sharpness and vivid colors. The biggest selling point of this camera is its Bionz X image processor, which does a little more sophisticated processing. To be exact it delivers better detail reproduction which is more subtle and comes with better sharpening.

The Sony A7 is also a pretty fast shooter, delivering 5 frames per second in burst shooting mode and in large JPEG files it does not need to buffer, and it can shoot to your card’s capacity. However, the battery life of this camera like all of the mirrorless cameras is pretty poor, capable of capturing just 340 photographs per charge.

Sony A7 Sample Footage:

Canon 6D

The Canon 6D, despite being a pretty old model by now is a great enthusiast-level full-frame DSLR camera that is equipped with many features and amazing performance, it is one of the most flaw-free cameras in the market. As I said it is more dedicated for enthusiasts as the aforementioned Sony model and delivers amazing image quality coupled with a great selection of controls. It is smaller and lighter than the company’s other full-frame DSLR models, however, it delivers just as much performance and image quality. It is equipped with amazing features such as WiFi and GPS, and the amazing Canon photography prowess. Let’s take a closer look.

Design and aesthetic wise, the Canon 6D really follows the footsteps of the whole EOS series and generally has adopted the looks of the 60D. It has the classic DSLR aesthetic with its black body and is quite durable indeed, employing a plastic top plate and magnesium alloy shell in the other parts, and on top of that the whole body is sealed against dust and splash, while it is not as durable as its high-end models, it can withstand some abuse. The whole device weighs about 770grams making it a little larger and heavier than the Sony A7, but as a whole, it is lightweight for a full-frame DSLR.

The Canon 6D is equipped with a 3-inch LCD screen that is covered with hardened glass and anti-reflective coating, which makes it useful outdoors. It isn’t touchscreen however, it is easy to control thanks to the multi-controller. The optical viewfinder is a bit deep inside delivering not the cleanest look, and on top of that, it is not as easy to clean. In the controls department, it is the same business with all the Canon EOS cameras, a little more enthusiast-oriented, but if you have tried a camera from the EOS line you will not feel strange at all.

The Canon 6D is equipped with an 11-point autofocus system and they are spaced so far apart, but then again from the spec standpoint, it is a lot less than its competitor today. It was pretty quick though, delivering a pretty consistent experience, and it had amazing sensitivity going pretty down to about -3 EV. This was record-breaking for its time, and it is still capable today, in addition to this the AF system delivered an amazing performance in low-light scenarios, the same quick and consistent, despite having few AF points.

This full-frame DSLR camera is equipped with a 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor with an ISO sensitivity that spans from 100 to 25,600 and can be expanded up to 102,400 if the need arises. It is a homegrown sensor that is capable of delivering amazing images, and on top of all this, the camera is perfect at handling noise, not so aggressively that it looks artificial but just perfect and natural.

In terms of speed, this camera is decent capable of shooting 4.5 frames per second in burst shooting mode. However, it didn’t lose focus at all, but that number is still pretty low for a full-frame DSLR. It excels in the battery life department, since it is capable of shooting about 1000 shots in a single charge, and it charged pretty quickly.

Canon 6D Sample Images:

Sony A7 vs Canon 6D Feature Comparison

Sony A7 Canon 6D
Camera Type
Full-Frame Mirrorless
Full-Frame DSLR
Megapixels
24.3
20.2
ISO Range
100-25,600(50-51,200)
100-25,600(50-102,400)
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
No
AF Points
117 AF points
11 AF points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
No
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
Full-Frame CMOS
Full-Frame CMOS

Conclusion

If you take a pretty close look these cameras offer pretty much the same qualities, both mirrorless, approximately the same MP and ISO range. What divides both of these cameras is that the Sony A7 has a more sophisticated 117-point autofocus system and the mirrorless nature that makes it lighter and smaller.

It is worth mentioning that the Sony A7 is significantly cheaper, in comparison to the Canon 6D. While the image quality is mostly the same, to get the most for your money, the Sony model is your best bet.