It's no secret that Sony has dominated the full frame mirrorless game these past couple of years with its unmatched autofocusing and dynamic range. Unfortunately, Canon and Nikon were late to the game coming out with their first mirrorless cameras back in 2018. Now, two years later, Canon has made huge strides forward with the release of the EOS R5 and R6 cameras, closing the gap on Sony.
When the EOS R came out, many Canon DSLR shooters were still wary of switching over to the mirrorless ecosystem. But it's a whole new ball game with the launch of the EOS R5 which has loyal Canon users jumping at the latest mirrorless system.
Let's take a look at the two high megapixel mirrorless powerhouses of 2020—the Canon EOS R5 vs. the Sony A7R IV. It's almost impossible to find a camera that meets the needs of every photographer, but for high resolution full frame still cameras, these two come pretty close.
Canon EOS R5 vs. Sony A7R IV Specification Chart
|Canon EOS R5||Sony A7R IV|
|Release Date||July 9th 2020||July 16th 2019|
|Mount Type||RF Mount||E-Mount|
|Sensor Resolution||45 MP||61 MP|
|Sensor Size||36 x 24mm||35.7 x 23.8mm|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||No|
|Sensor Pixel Size||4.40µ||3.76µ|
|Image Size||8,192 x 5,464||9,504 x 6,336|
|Image Processor||DIGIC X||BIONZ X|
|In-body Image Stabilization||Yes||Yes|
|Max Buffer Capacity (Rated, RAW)||180 images (CFexpress)||68 images (UHS-II)|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||100-51,200||100-32,000|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||50-102,400||50-102,400|
|Dust Reduction/Sensor Cleaning||Yes||Yes|
|Viewfinder Type||(Electronic) EVF||(Electronic) EVF|
|Viewfinder Resolution||5.76 million dots||5.76 million dots|
|LCD Articulating Screen||Full||Tilting|
|Storage||2x SD (CFexpress + UHS-II)||2x SD (UHS-II)|
|Continuous Shooting Speed (Mechanical)||12 FPS||10 FPS|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 to 30 sec||1/8000 to 30 sec|
|Auto Focusing System||Dual Pixel CMOS AF II||Hybrid Phase-Detection|
|Number of AF Positions||5,940||567|
|Low Light Sensitivity||-6 to +20 EV||-3 to +20 EV|
|Video Max Resolution||8K RAW 30 FPS||4K 30 FPS|
|1080p Video Max Frame Rate||60 FPS||120 FPS|
|Internal Recording||4:2:2, 10-bit||4:2:2 8-bit|
|Audio Recording||Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone||Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone|
|LCD Resolution||2,100,000 dots||1,440,000 dots|
|Pixel Shift||No||Yes, 241MP|
|Bluetooth||Yes, 5.0||Yes, 4.1|
|Battery Type||LP-E6NH (320 shots)||NP-FZ100 (670 shots)|
|Shutter Durability Count||500,000||500,000|
|Weight||1.63 lbs||1.46 lbs|
|Dimensions||5.45 x 3.84 x 3.46 in||5.07 x 3.8 x 3.05 in|
Both cameras are fairly new with Sony's release date back in July 2019 and Canon's in July 2020. With a year apart, there are a few advantages the Canon has over the Sony but with everything considered, there are pros and cons to both cameras.
Resolution & Processing Power
To start, the obvious difference is the megapixel count. The Canon having 45MP while the Sony has 61MP. Considering both exceed the average amount of resolution in a full-frame camera, the Sony A7R IV still has a leg up on the Canon R5 in terms of flat out resolution detail to work with for stills. Sony takes it even further with its pixel shift capability to create up to 241MP images available for still life photographs.
However Canon's newer processor is able to utilize their 45MP sensor to capture impressive 8K RAW video footage, an industry first for a camera at this price range, albeit with heat restricted record limits. Regardless, photographers should take into account the amount of storage needed for such large files.
Camera Design and Construction
In terms of the actually physical characteristics of each camera, the size of the EOS R5 is going to be just a bit bigger than that of the Sony A7R IV but not by much. One major difference in the ergonomics is that the R5 has two LCD screens, one the back of the camera as well as a top display for camera settings, battery life metrics and more. On the same note, the Canon features a fully articulating LCD touch screen while the Sony comes with a tilting touch screen. Both are made with magnesium alloy bodies and are weather sealed.
One major feature that Canon users rejoiced about in the EOS R5 was the addition of a second card slot. Both the Sony A7R IV and Canon EOS R5 come equipped with two slots but now the R5 has one slot compatible with the newer and faster CFexpress memory card as well as a UHS-II slot. The Sony on the other hand provides two UHS-II card slots.
When comparing battery life, the Sony is considerably better with its FZ-100 battery. It has estimated 670 shots per full charge compared to 320 in the Canon. In addition, both cameras have the ability to be charged via USB, but the Sony has the option to charge while in use. For more peace of mind for either camera, it's smart to have extra batteries on hand or a battery grip.
Although, not everything is weighed by the features of the body alone, users also should consider the selection of mirrorless lenses available. Since Sony mirrorless has been around for much longer, they have a larger range of native brand lenses available with 44 options compared to Canon's 15. Sony also boasts dozens more high-quality and affordable 3rd party lens options from manufacturer's like Tamron and Sigma.
We took matters into our own hands and tested both cameras with the same settings. The images above were taken handheld at 1/125th of a second, 70mm, F2.8 at ISO 800. The Canon image is definitely warmer straight out of camera and is apparent on the model's face and the walls, while the Sony renders a cooler image and highlights more green tones in the computer screen. Both cameras are capable of producing amazing images and with RAW recording can be shifted in anyway the photographer prefers. So which direction are you leaning?