Canon r6 vs Sony a7iii [The Ultimate Comparison]
So you’ve decided to buy a new camera. Congrats!
But now the question is, which one?
In this post, we’ll compare the Canon r6 vs Sony a7iii to help you make your decision.
We’ll break down the specs of each camera and talk about what each one is good for.
By the end of this post, you should have all the information you need to choose the right camera for you.
Let’s get started!
Canon r6 vs Sony a7iii Quick Comparison
- Canon EOS R6 Main Specs
- Sensor: CMOS sensor with 20.1MP in 35mm size.
- Mounting system for the lens: RF-mount
- Yes, it is weatherproof.
- Yes, there have been internal stabilization (5-axis)
- Autofocus is provided by a Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with 6,072 points.
- Continuous shooting at 12 frames per second or 20 frames per second with the e-shutter
- ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 102400. (pull 50, push up to 204800)
- Bulb shutter speeds range from 1/8000s to 30s.
- 3.69 million dots on a 0.5-inch OLED display with 23mm eye point and 0.76x magnification.
- Rear monitor: 3.0′′ multi-angle LCD (1.62M dots) with touch sensitivity (rear monitor only).
- 4K video recording at up to 60 frames per second and 340Mbps, Full HD video recording at up to 120 frames per second, 10-bit C-Log and HDR PQ.
- There is no built-in flash.
- WiFi, Bluetooth, bracketing, tethering, time-lapse, and dual SD card slots are some of the additional features.
- The following are the dimensions: 138.4 x 97.5 x 88.4mm
- 680 grams in weight (including battery and memory card)
- The version of the firmware: 1.2.0
- Date of publication: 2020
A7 III Main Specs
- Sensor: BSI Exmor CMOS sensor with 24.2MP in 35mm format.
- E-mount is the lens mounting system.
- Yes, it is weatherproof.
- Yes, there has been internal stabilisation (5-axis)
- With 693 phase and 425 contrast points, the autofocus system is a hybrid.
- Continuous filming at speeds ranging from 3fps to 10fps
- ISO Sensitivity Ranges From 100 to 51200 ISO (pull 50, push up to 204800)
- Bulb shutter speeds range from 1/8000s to 30s.
- In-camera viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED with 2,360k dots and a 23-millimeter eye point, with 0.78x magnification.
- 3.0′′ tilting LCD (0.92k dots) with touch sensitivity on the back of the vehicle
- 4K video recording at up to 30 frames per second and 100 megabits per second, Full HD video recording at up to 120 frames per second, S-Log and HLG color.
- There is no built-in flash.
- WiFi, Bluetooth, bracketing, tethering, FTP transfer, and dual SD card slots are among the other features.
- It measures 126.9 by 95.6 by 73.7 millimeters.
- 650 grams in weight (including battery and memory card)
- A version of the firmware: 3.10
- Date of publication: 2018
Canon r6 vs Sony a7iii Comparison Video
With the announcement of two highly interesting cameras, Canon’s full-frame mirrorless system has finally reached its climax after years of sluggish progress and development. In the prosumer segment, one of them, the Canon EOS R6, competes with cameras such as the Sony A7 III, Nikon Z6 II, and Panasonic S5 among others.
Given the popularity of the A7 III, it’s difficult not to draw comparisons between the A7 III and this new camera. Although it is more than a decade old and costs far more, the EOS R6 is a direct competitor to the E-mount camera and its prospective successor. So let’s take a look at what these two products have in store for us.
The R6 is offered with a suggested retail price of $2499 for the body-only configuration. Also available as a kit with the 24-105mm F4L lens for roughly $3599, or as a kit with the 24-105mm F4-7.1 STM IS lens for approximately $2899.
When it comes to video recording, Sony has some remarkable numbers on its side. It is capable of shooting 4K full-frame video*, which is very remarkable. Even while it is a quality product at the $2,000.00 price range and is excellent for hobbyists, it falls short in several areas, such as frame rate settings, that experts would notice, which is unfortunate.
Because it includes specifications that filmmakers have been waiting for, the EOS R6 represents a significant step forward for Canon.
The Canon camera is capable of recording 4K video at up to 60p at full pixel readout (oversampling) and with just a tiny sensor crop of 1.07x, thanks to the use of oversampling. With the High Speed option, you may record at up to 120 frames per second in Full HD.
Despite the fact that the A7 III also records in 4K, the highest frame rate is 30p with a 1.2x reduction on all images (24p and 25p use the full width of the sensor however). Like the R6, it has the ability to record at 120 frames per second in Full HD, and you can select whether to utilize the Q&S mode (which produces a slow-motion effect directly in the camera, similar to the R6) or to record in standard mode with sound (the slow-motion effect needs to be done in post).
Among the many advantages of the EOS, R6 is the fact that it can record internally in 10-bit four-by-two color (using the H.265 codec) with either the Canon Log gamma or the HDR PQ profile. The A7 III features two log profiles, HLG, and various other settings that allow you to customize the image, however, it is only capable of shooting in 8-bit internally and externally (HDMI output).
In addition, the R6 has a greater bitrate. It has a maximum download speed of 120Mbps in 4K up to 30p and 230Mbps in 50/60p. It is possible to record with C-Log or HDR PQ and increase the bitrate by 170 and 340 Mbps, respectively. The A7 III has a maximum bitrate of 100Mbps while recording in 4K.
Both cameras have a maximum recording time of 30 minutes per clip on both models. The EOS R6’s High-Speed mode (1080p/120p) is limited to a maximum of 7 minutes in duration.
Another difference is the ISO sensitivity range: the EOS R6 has a narrower standard range (100 to 25600) than the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, while the extended values go up to 204800 ISO on the Canon EOS R6. With the A7 III, you get the same exact ISO range for photography and video as you had with the A7 II: 100 to 51200, with expanded values up to 102400.
Both cameras are equipped with microphone input as well as a headphone output.
The EOS R6 features an additional stabilization setting called Digital IS, which, in addition to the sensor and optical IS, provides electrical stabilization to further improve the outcome. This setting is available in addition to the sensor and optical IS. However, as a result of this, the sensor is cropped.
You may find a concise summary of all of my findings in the section below. For a more in-depth comparison, see the video above.
The A7 III has a little improvement in sharpness while using the default settings. If you play around with the R6’s parameters, you can get a result that is comparable.
On the Canon, 1080p is a little sharper than 720p.
Color variations are comparable to what I’ve described with the SOOC JPGs in terms of brightness and contrast (although the Picture Styles have a bit less contrast in video mode on the R6)
Color correction and other image properties can be fine-tuned with the A7 III’s Picture Profiles, which provide more advanced settings.
With the default settings, the Canon Log profile has more saturation than the other profiles.
Even while Canon’s 10-bit recording stores more color information, the H265 codec, depending on your configuration, can be computationally demanding.
Just as with JPG stills, the R6 has more controls for controlling dynamic range (highlights in particular), while the A7 III has higher DR when used with S-Log3 when compared to the R6.
The R6 has similar performance up to 12800 ISO, beyond which it shows greater noise, but unlike the Sony, you can regulate Noise Reduction in four steps instead of just one.
The performance of C-AF in extremely low light is comparable (unlike for stills where the R6 is superior)
With C-AF and Face/Eye Detection, the Canon is a little faster and more exact than the Nikon.
The A7 III does not have Eye AF for video; instead, it relies on face detection, which can be inaccurate in some situations, such as when the subject is wearing a hat.
When shooting fixed shots or panning, the R6 provides improved stabilization; nevertheless, when walking, the R6 creates sudden vertical motions.
When shooting video, the A7 III has a less noticeable rolling shutter (unlike for stills, where the R6 does better with the electronic shutter)
In my side-by-side comparison, the R6 overheated twice during a recording session lasting an hour and a half at a room temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
3. Aspect Ratio Dynamic Range
The sensor construction is different as well: the Sony chip is of the BSI type (back-illuminated), which collects light more efficiently than the typical sensor structure.
On paper, this should provide the A7 III an advantage in terms of dynamic range and high sensitivity over its predecessor. The Canon sensor, on the other hand, is more recent, and the results, as you can see below, are very similar.
When we look at the darker regions of the photograph (in this case, the bottom corner), we can see that they both have some color artifacts.
In our second example, we make an attempt to reconstruct the high points of the video. Both cameras retain a similar degree of information, with the R6 only edging out the R5 by a hair’s breadth in this category.
When it comes to the JPGs taken directly from the camera, the R6 provides extra options for controlling the dynamic range:
The Highlight Tone Priority setting protects more details in the bright portions of a photograph (the minimum ISO value becomes 200)
Automatic lighting optimization improves shadow detail; nevertheless, it is less effective than the DR Optimiser feature available on the A7 III.
One more tool accessible on the EOS R6 is the HDR PQ format, which saves 10-bit HEIF images and is compatible with the camera (JPG is 8-bit). In my experiments, I discovered that it was effective at helping me keep more highlights (with the Highlight Tone Priority setting enabled).
However, not all software, including Lightroom and Photoshop, is compatible with this new format (although they can handle HDR photographs taken with an iPhone, so it’s presumably just a matter of extending the compatibility of the various versions of these programs).
The remedy is to either utilize the built-in HEIF to JPG conversion in the camera (which does not support batch processing) or the Canon Digital Professional 4 software to convert the images. When converting the files, there is a reduction in saturation in both cases. I think we aren’t quite at the position where HEIF will replace JPG as the standard image format.
In order to achieve this level of accuracy, the two cameras use a phase detection autofocus technology, which means that each focus point is operated by two minuscule sensors that detect and read the incoming light. The phase difference between the two sensors tells the camera how much correction is required to bring the subject into sharp focus on the sensor in front of the subject.
The methods by which the two corporations have produced this technology, on the other hand, are quite different.
Each pixel on the Canon sensor is made up of two photodiodes, which work together to form a single unit. In order to create an image, the camera employs both of them simultaneously, and separately to analyze the phase difference and acquire focus. Canon refers to this as Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, where II refers to the newer version that was launched with the R6 camera (and R5).
The pixels on the Sony sensor are each made up of a single photodiode, but a small number of them contain the phase difference sensor, which is used by the camera to analyze and obtain focus. It is just for autofocus that phase detection points are employed; they are not used to make the photo itself.
In particular, the Canon solution provides a distinct advantage: AF tracking can be used across the full sensor surface, and Canon claims that when face/eye detection and the Tracking AF mode are engaged, there is 100 percent coverage. If you choose the other AF area settings, the horizontal portion is 90 percent horizontal and the vertical portion is 100 percent vertical). When employing a single AF point, you have the ability to shift it across more than 6000 different positions.
The A7 III phase-detection coverage on the sensor is 93 percent, which isn’t too shabby in this day and age. When it comes to low light situations, there are 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points to help you out.
Both cameras concentrate quickly while in Single AF mode (with the R6, this is referred to as One-Shot AF). The Canon appears to be a little faster, although it’s only a slight difference. When using older lenses, such as the FE 55mm 1.8, the A7 III can be a little sluggish when changing the lens elements from one position to another. This does not occur when the camera is in C-AF mode.
5. Low-Light/Low Illumination
The EOS R6 autofocus has a minimum sensitivity of -6.5EV when using an f/1.2 lens and a maximum sensitivity of -5EV when using an f/2 lens. With an f/2 lens, the A7 III is capable of shooting down to -3Ev. In low light, this means that the Canon is two stops more sensitive than the Nikon.
This advantage was particularly obvious in my low-light test, in which the subject walked towards the camera in an almost pitch-black living room, highlighting the need of good lighting. What is particularly striking is that the EOS R6 is able to focus on the subject’s eye even when she is entirely obscured by darkness.
To make the test even more difficult, I used two 24-105mm f4 zoom lenses. Only four photos were captured by the Sony camera throughout the incident, and three of them were out of focus. As a result of taking 26 photos, the R6 was able to adjust focus more fast and keep up with the subject more closely. It had a success rate of approximately 75%.
Of course, it’s important to emphasize that this was an extreme test, and you’re unlikely to find yourself in a situation like this again. With a little more light, the A7 III can deliver respectable results, but this particular test was the most ideal for demonstrating the difference.
6. A comparison of the two bodies
The following side-by-side comparison demonstrates the physical dimensions and weight of the Canon R6 and the Sony A7 III cameras, respectively.
The two cameras are listed in the order in which they are most closely connected to one another in terms of physical size. It is possible to view the scene sequentially from three different perspectives: from the front, from the top, and from behind. Without exception, all measurements are presented in millimeters unless otherwise noted.
In terms of aggregate size, the Sony A7 III is significantly smaller (10 percent) than the Canon R6 when the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is considered. Furthermore, the A7 III is 4 percent lighter than the R6, which is a significant advantage. It is important to highlight that both cameras are splash and dust resistant in this context; as a result, they can be used in severe weather conditions or in difficult environments.
Notably, the above size and weight comparisons are somewhat skewed due to the fact that they do not take into consideration the interchangeable lenses that are required by both cameras. As a result, you may wish to research and compare the specs of the lenses that are now available in order to get a complete image of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Battery life varies depending on the camera model. The R6 gets 360 photos out of its LP-E6NH battery, while the A7 III can capture 610 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. It is possible to charge the battery packs of both cameras using a USB cable, which can be extremely useful when traveling.
Within the following table are listed the primary physical characteristics of the two cameras as well as a more comprehensive list of alternatives. To display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-separator app, which allows you to choose your camera combination from among a vast number of available possibilities.
The price of any camera will, of course, have a significant impact on the decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices provide an indication of the camera’s position within the manufacturer’s lineup as well as the larger market. The A7 III was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the R6, making it more appealing to photographers working on a restricted budget. Typically, street prices remain close to the MSRP for the first few months, but after a few months, the first discounts begin to surface. Further discounting and stock clearance sales are commonplace later in the product cycle, particularly when the successor model is ready to be introduced.
As a result, the camera price is frequently reduced by a significant amount. Then, after the new model is introduced, very attractive prices on previously owned vehicles may regularly be obtained on the used market.
7. Sensor vs sensor comparison
The size of the sensor included within a digital camera is one of the most important factors influencing image quality. Smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technology generation will typically have superior low-light sensitivity, a wider dynamic range, and a richer color-depth than bigger pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. The photographer will also have greater control over the depth-of-field in his or her shot, which will allow him or her to better isolate a subject from the backdrop when working with large sensor cameras.
Larger sensors, on the other hand, are more expensive and result in larger and heavier cameras and lenses, which are less portable.
Both of the cameras under consideration have a full-frame sensor, however, their sensors are slightly different in terms of physical size. The sensor area of the A7 III is 2 percent less than that of the A7 II. They both have the same format factor, which is 1.0, however. The native aspect ratio (the ratio of the sensor width to the sensor height) of both cameras is 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A7 III has a greater resolution of 24 megapixels, compared to the R6’s 20 MP. This is a significant improvement over the R6. It is necessary to trade off this increased megapixel count for a higher pixel density and a lower size of the individual pixel (pixel pitch of 5.94m, as opposed to the R6’s 6.57m).
Also worth noting is the R6’s more recent release (by 2 years and 4 months) compared to the A7 III, and as a result, its sensor will have benefited from technological advancements during this time that has increased the light gathering capacity of its pixels even further. The higher resolution of the Sony A7 III allows for greater flexibility in cropping shots and the potential of printing larger images.
In order to achieve high quality output (200 dots per inch), the A7 III can print at a maximum size of 30 x 20 inches (76.2 x 50.8 cm), very good quality (250 dpi) at 24 x 16 inches (61 x 40.6 cm), and excellent quality at 30 x 20 inches (77.6 x 50.8 cm) (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches (50.8 x 33.9 centimeters) Using the Canon R6, the corresponding dimensions for good quality prints are 27.4 x 18.2 inches (69.5 x 46.3 cm), very good quality prints are 21.9 x 14.6 inches (55.6 x 37.1 cm), and excellent quality prints are 18.2 x 12.2 inches (46.3 x 30.9 cm). The Canon R6 has a maximum resolution of 27.4 x 18.2 inches (69.5 x 46.3 cm).
The Canon EOS R6 has a native sensitivity range of ISO 100 to ISO 102400, which can be expanded to ISO 50-204800 with the use of a third-party extension card. With the Sony Alpha A7 III, the appropriate ISO settings range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the option to raise the ISO range to 50-204800.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has provided sensor performance measurements that have been derived through the use of a standardized methodological approach. Color depth (“DXO Portrait”), dynamic range (“DXO Landscape”), and low-light sensitivity (“DXO Sports”) of camera sensors are all evaluated and scored by this service. An overall camera score is also published by this service.
The A7 III has a far higher DXO score than the R6, with an overall score that is six points higher. This will translate into significantly superior image quality than the R6. A deeper color depth of 0.8 bits, 0.4 EV of additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of additional low light sensitivity are all factors contributing to the advantage. The physical sensor features and sensor quality findings are summarized in the table below, and they are compared across a group of cameras that are similar in design.
8. A comparison of connectivity
It is possible that the ability of a camera to communicate with its environment will be an essential consideration in the camera selection process for some imaging applications. The table below summarizes the connection of the Canon EOS R6 and Sony Alpha A7 III, as well as the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transmission. The cameras (and selected comparators) are grouped according to their connectivity.
Both the R6 and the A7 III are newer models that are now available in the company’s product line-up for purchase. Its predecessor, the Sony A7 II, was superseded by the A7 III, while the R6 did not have a direct predecessor. The official Canon and Sony websites provide additional information on the two cameras (including user guides and manuals) as well as related accessories.
9. Recognition of faces and eyes
Face and eye detection are available on both cameras. When it comes to this type of technology, the Sony Eye AF mode is often regarded as the gold standard. Indeed, the one on the A7 III is both quick and dependable in operation.
With software revisions for the original EOS R, Canon has increased the accuracy of its face and eye detection. A new algorithm is introduced for the R6, which should make the camera faster and more precise while also allowing the camera to recognize smaller faces in the picture when the subject is further away from the camera.
When I tested the subject in my second session, she walked back and forth and then walked while turning 360 degrees. The purpose of the latter experiment was to see how well the cameras could track the individual even after the face was no longer visible to the cameras.
The R6 produced an excellent 95 percent keeper rate (a total of 60 shots for each stroll), with only one shot out of focus and two shots that were slightly soft. As soon as the subject turned around, the performance remained the same. The only thing I noticed was that, when the person was facing around 45 degrees away from the camera, the camera would sometimes concentrate on the furthest eye rather than the nearest eye.
The A7 III took fewer shots than the A7 II, mostly because it had more difficulty changing focus rapidly, and it had a lower keeper rate of 63 percent than the A2.
It’s important to note that the A7 III took fewer photographs since I set it to focus priority, and because the camera was a little slower at keeping track of the subject, it captured fewer images as a result. I set the burst speed for both cameras to the medium setting, which is 6 frames per second.
In this second test, the Canon has a distinct advantage in terms of speed and accuracy, but in settings where the subject does not move much (like in a traditional portrait position), they are about equal in terms of speed and accuracy. It is interesting to note that if the subject is wearing a hat, the Canon can become more confused and focus on the brim rather than the subject’s eyes.
The way you configure and use the face/eye AF technology on the two cameras is different. It is necessary to select the Tracking AF method on your Canon camera, and the camera will automatically focus on the eyes when they are detected (if the option is enabled). When there are numerous people in the screen, you can use the AF joystick to prioritize the left or right eye, or a specific face.
On the A7 III, you have two options: you may activate Face/Eye AF, which means that the camera will identify your face and eyes at all times when you engage focus, or you can disable Face/Eye AF. Alternatively, you can turn off Face/Eye AF and set Eye AF to a function button, allowing you to concentrate on the eyes only when necessary (I prefer the second option). However, you are unable to specify left or right eye, which is inconvenient.
10. Continuous shooting speeds are important.
The Canon EOS R6 has a maximum frame rate of 12 frames per second, or 20 frames per second if you use the electronic shutter. Even at 20 frames per second, continuous autofocus and exposure tracking are still operational.
The Sony A7 III does not meet these requirements, with the greatest frame rate being 10 frames per second (with AF and AE tracking).
Curiously, when the e-shutter is engaged, the R6 always shoots at 20 frames per second, regardless of whether the burst speed is set to Medium or Low. Just like the Sony, you can shoot at 8 frames per second, 6 frames per second, or 3 frames per second with the mechanical shutter.
Instead of displaying live view when shooting at the maximum speed of 12fps or 20fps, the EOS R6 displays a quick succession of the most recent photographs taken (the A7 III does the same at 10fps.). This indicates that what you are seeing is a snapshot in time rather than a representation of reality. However, while working at 20 frames per second, the sequence is so quick that this was rarely a problem, even when dealing with birds in flight. Aside from that, the shutter lag of the camera is really short.
When traveling at a slower pace, both cameras provide live view with blackouts. The latter is a feature that may be enabled on the R6 with the latest firmware version 1.2.0. It is possible to stop the mixing of live view with the image that has just been acquired (essentially, the camera “covers” the blackout with the recorded image). While the goal is to create a smoother sequence in the LCD or viewfinder rather than having the black frame interrupt the flow all of the time, this is a concept that I have never been a fan of (the EOS R does the same). As a result, there is a strange lag effect where the sequence constantly freezes before resuming movement. It can be really distracting, which is why I’m grateful that Canon included the option of true blackout with the firmware update.
While employing the electronic shutter, both cameras have the potential to generate distortion when panning at high rates of speed. The more quickly you move, the more noticeable you become (this phenomenon is known as rolling shutter). As you can see in the video below, the R6 has a faster sensor readout and hence suffers less from it.
I’ve used the electronic shutter on the Canon to photograph birds in flight, and the distortions were not too noticeable, perhaps because the animal’s shape was more intricate than the typical bird photograph. Keep in mind, however, that while shooting RAW, the bit-depth for both cameras reduces from 14 to 12-bit, which is not ideal.
The Canon also has a larger buffer, which allows it to shoot at 12ps at full speed for approximately 20 seconds with RAW files (equivalent to approximately 240 files) or more than 60 seconds with JPGs (equivalent to approximately 1000 files) before taking small breaks to clean the buffer.
When shooting at 20 frames per second with the electronic shutter, the R6 can shoot at maximum speed for approximately 5 seconds with RAW files (100 frames), or for more than 30 seconds with JPGs (600 frames).
The A7 III is capable of shooting RAW photographs at 10 frames per second for around 9 seconds (90 frames) before slowing down. It can last up to 17 seconds when using JPGs (170 frames).
Our Final Thoughts
Since its introduction, the Sony A7 III has established itself as the industry standard in the full-frame mirrorless category, because to its great mix of price, functionality, and build quality. It quickly rose to become one of the most widely used full-frame cameras in history. Despite the fact that it has a fantastic full-frame sensor and a reasonable price, it remains a very competitive package today.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is there a camera that outperforms the Sony A7III in terms of quality?
The Nikon Z6 II is Nikon’s response to the Sony A7III, and it is a good alternative for Nikon shooters who are committed to the brand. In addition to having a superb dynamic range, the 24-megapixel full-frame sensor also boasts a phase-detect focusing technology that is among the best I’ve used. In addition, the Nikon Z6 II is the most comfortable camera to handle out of all the cameras on this list.
Is the R6 Canon a good investment?
This camera has a lot going for it: it produces good image quality, shoots at high speeds, and has impressive image stabilization technology. Although it is not the best stills and video camera on the market, it is an excellent photographer’s camera.
Which Canon camera is most similar to the Sony A7III in terms of performance?
With a higher resolution, 30.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor (36x24mm) and a DIGIC 8 processor, the Canon EOS R is the same size as Sony’s a7 III, which features a 24.2MP full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor (35.6×23.8mm) and a DIGIC 8 processor, but with a lower resolution. Both sensors are equipped with a low pass filter.