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Sony A7R II vs Canon 5D Mark III


Mirrorless cameras come with many advantages compared to the other types of cameras, starting with the lightweight construction, compactness, faster and better video performance, and so on. But in most cases, this comes with a drawback, since mirrorless cameras have access to fewer lenses and accessories, whereas DSLRs have the advantage in lens selection and an optical viewfinder that is better for low light, but of course, they come at way more heavier and complex construction.

Now, if you didn’t get the memo, a mirrorless camera is different from a DSLR camera due to the fact that it doesn’t have a reflex mirror like a DSLR does, instead, the light goes directly through the electronic viewfinder. A full-frame mirrorless is an interchangeable-lens camera that packs a digital sensor with the same size as 35mm format film.

As for this article, I’m going to try to make a head-to-head comparison for two cameras that you guys have asked about for so long. As a start, let’s just mention that they are highly-rated cameras and highly-reviewed in Amazon, while they are widely being used by many professionals, travelers, photography and videography enthusiasts worldwide. I’ve also seen these cameras in action for commercial applications, nonetheless, depending on what you need the camera for, at the end of this article, hopefully, you’ll know which one of these meets your requirements the most.

As far as you’re concerned about the prices, well, it’s important to point out that the Sony A7R II comes at a way more expensive price than the Canon 5D Mark III, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the A7R II is better than 5D Mark III, well, it probably has more features, but what about performance and specs? We’re about to see in just a bit, so let’s get straight to the details and see what do these cameras offer.

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Head To Head Comparison

Sony A7R II

The Sony A7R II is a high-end full-frame mirrorless camera that comes with a massive resolution, improved sensitivity, dynamic range, processing speed and much more. It is a highly-rated camera on Amazon, just as I mentioned in the beginning, while it is also a top-option for photography and videography enthusiasts worldwide. There’s really a lot to talk about this camera, and we will try to cover everything and briefly explain why this camera could be the ideal choice for you, so let’s get started.

Design-wise, the Sony A7R II comes with refined controls with a unique design which is very user-friendly with easy operation and a decent grip for your hands. I really like how the manufacturer has placed the buttons in easy-to-reach spots, while the camera can be operated one-handed, and you’ll be provided with comfortable handling nonetheless, due to the decent size, and mostly the textured handgrip on the side which not only delivers comfort, but also gives a great look to the overall aesthetics.

Now, when it comes to the LCD screen, it’s simply amazing. As it is common for most cameras, the Sony A7R II has a 3-inch 1.228k-dot LCD screen, while it has a flip-out design which makes it easier for photographers to shoot from different angles and viewing positions, but that’s not all, the XGA OLED electronic viewfinder supports a field coverage of 100%, which means that you won’t be missing any details from the subject, since the entire frame is usable.

However, I’m truly disappointed that Sony hasn’t implemented touchscreen capabilities in this camera, which is a pretty common feature even for low-price cameras nowadays.

Next, let’s move on to the performance.

First, let’s just point out that the Sony A7R II has a 42.4megapixel sensor which makes it a perfect camera for architecture, landscape, studio, fashion, product, and macro photography, while it has a native ISO range of 100-25,600, and a boosted ISO sensitivity of ISO 50, 50,200-102,400.

But that’s not all since this camera also includes 5-axis in-body image stabilization, which means that you’ll have stunning image quality with vibrancy, details, and sharpness.

What’s makes this camera really special is the autofocus system, having a 399-point phase-detect fast hybrid AF, this camera boasts incredible tracking capabilities which means it will maintain focus even with fast-moving subjects. Although, I’m not really impressed with the continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second, since I’ve seen many other cameras at cheaper prices output more fps than this, but nonetheless, it’s still great.

Now, in terms of video recording, the Sony A7 R II can shoot at Full HD 1080p, but that’s not all, since you also get to shoot at UHD 4K in XAVC S format, so for those videographers, this camera would be the ideal choice since it also comes with many premium features besides these specs.

One of the most appealing features of the Sony A7R II is the PlayMemories Camera Apps which allows you to add new features to your A7R II, while you can find apps that fit your shooting style with everything from time-lapse, motion shot and more. You can also use apps that shoot, share and save photos to your smartphone, but of course, using Wi-Fi, which makes it easy for you to post photos directly to your favorite social media site or backup images to the cloud without going through the trouble of connecting to a computer.

Overall, the Sony A7R II is a reliable full-frame mirrorless camera that packs high-end features and top-notch performance, but let’s see now what the Canon 5D Mark III offers, shall we?

Sony A7R II Sample Footage:


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Canon 5D Mark III

Now, if you’ve been reading my other reviews, then you probably know that I’ve used the Canon 5D Mark III for quite some time, which is also why I decided to compare it with a camera of a much higher price. However, just as many professionals say, the price doesn’t necessarily mean that one camera is better than the other, you must see what features are you after for, and for what purpose you need the camera, is it still photography, commercial applications, video, portrait photography, macro photography, landscape, and so on.

First, I’ll start with the design just as I always do, later on, we will continue with the specifics and performance, so let’s get to it.

Unlike our first camera, the Sony A7 R II Full-Frame Mirrorless, the Canon 5D Mark III is a DSLR camera which means that it has a relatively bigger body than A7R II, it’s bulkier and a tad heavier. However, it has a user-friendly button layout just as the Sony A7R II, while I particularly like the textured spots on the body which aid in delivering comfort, and a small impact on the camera’s design.

Now, when it comes to the LCD screen, if you were hoping for touchscreen capabilities or a tilting design, the Canon 5D Mark III has none of them. Thus, it has a 3.2-inch 1,040,000 dot screen which is great overall, but the lack of these two essential features can immediately change a lot of customers’ minds about this camera.

Okay, enough said about the design, let’s get more into the specifics now and see how this camera can truly perform.

For starters, this camera features a 22-megapixel sensor that is able to deliver dazzling image quality with plenty of details, sharpness, and vibrancy. It runs the DIGIC 5+ image processor while it has a native ISO range of 100-25,600, and with the combination of all of these remarkable specs, the camera can shoot continuously at a speed of 6 frames per second. Well, it has a way much cheaper price than Sony A7 RII, but nonetheless, it boasts the same fps as A7R II, which is why we say price doesn’t really matter much.

Although, the same as the Sony A7R II, the 5D Mark III has a 100% viewfinder coverage, which means that no details from the subject will be missing or whatsoever.

Furthermore, let’s not forget to mention the autofocus system which is pretty impressive, having a 61-point AF system, with up to 41 of them being cross-type points, this camera has some serious tracking and a unique way of maintaining focus with moving subjects. Now, you can’t really compare it with the 399-point phase-detect Hybrid AF of the Sony A7R II, but considering the fact that the 5D Mark III is a DSLR camera, these specs are pretty impressive, and the fact that uses an optical viewfinder instead of an electronic viewfinder is something that posses an advantage of the 5D Mark III over the Sony A7R II.

Regarding the video quality, the Canon 5D Mark III can shoot Full HD at 1080p, while when it comes to 4K video, the manufacturer didn’t really include 4K until the 5D Mark IV, but I’ve seen people shoot 4K with the Canon 5D Mark III using some kind of hack, and you can find how to do this all across the web since many people have done tutorials on how to achieve it.

In terms of connections, the 5D Mark III has no built-in Wi-Fi or whatsoever, but there is a way to connect wirelessly using the wireless adapter, but personally, I’d prefer a built-in Wi-Fi so I can connect my smartphone for easier sharing and file transferring, but I guess we don’t have that in this camera.

To conclude, the Canon 5D Mark III delivers great value for money, while it is a perfect all-rounder, and I’ve said this before, but it is a remarkable full-frame DSLR especially for people who want to upgrade from their current camera to a DSLR, and for those photography enthusiasts that want a better image quality.

Canon 5D Mark III Sample Footage:

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Sony A7R II vs Canon 5D Mark III Feature Comparison

  Sony A7R II Canon 5D Mark III
Camera Type Full-Frame Mirrorless Full-Frame DSLR
Megapixels 42.4 22.3
ISO Range 100-25,600(102,400) 100-25600(50-102,800)
Flip-Out Screen Yes No
AF Points 399 AF points 61 AF Points
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen No No
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size Full-Frame Mirrorless Full-Frame CMOS

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This article is the perfect example of how a good full-frame DSLR and full-frame Mirrorless camera should be like. However, as we got the comparison table out of the way, now we can safely conclude which one of these cameras is best, nonetheless, in some cases, the other can be better.

For instance, the Sony A7R II is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a full-frame Mirrorless camera for architecture, landscape, studio, fashion, product, and macro photography, while it also has 4K capabilities which simply makes this camera a great all-rounder. On the other hand, due to the compact and lightweight construction, this particular camera is also great for people who intend to use it on their travels.

However, the Canon 5D Mark III comes at a way more cheaper price but still shares similar specs and performance as Sony A7R II, well, in most ways. I would recommend the 5D Mark III to everyone looking for a camera for portrait photography, still photography, events, and weddings.

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