Today we are comparing the Canon R7 and the Sony a6700. These two cameras come in at almost the same price point, putting in what I like to call the budding professional market, and for some, this might be their very first professional-style camera so it's important to know which might be best. Now you might assume with the R7 being an older camera by about a year and a half that the a6700 would wipe the floor with it, but you know what happens when you assume... You make a tiny, completely understandable mistake that no one should fault you for. And you find out that the R7 may be the best-kept secret in the world of photography.
Now on paper they already have a lot of differences. The a6700 features a 26-megapixel sensor, that can shoot up to 11fps burst. The R7 on the other hand has a 32-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 30fps. So this is the first thing we are going to get into, and the first assumption I made about the R7.
So when two sensors are the same size, generally the one with lower resolution has better lowlight performance. The reason is with fewer pixels or photodiodes, the surface area of each diode is bigger, therefore capable of capturing more light. So one can assume that when you have two APS-C sensors with different resolutions, the one with fewer pixels will have better low-light performance. But it goes further than that because these two cameras don't even have the same size sensor. The R7, though still technically an APS-C sensor, is just a little bit smaller than the a6700, so it's at an even greater disadvantage. So it is safe to assume the low light performance should be much better on the a6700 Right? RIGHT!?!
Turns out these two cameras are extremely close in low light performance. In photos, the a6700 does seem to have a slight edge. I would say about a stop at best. It's most apparent at 12800. But at lower ISOs, it is much harder to tell the difference. In video, it was even closer, to the point I had first thought that maybe the Sony was better, but upon closer examination and some blind tests with coworkers, they made the point that the Canon's noise at 12800 was more uniform, as opposed to the Sony's color noise. So in video, it seems the R7 is the winner.
All that being said, it's super close, to the point that depending on where your photos are going to live you may not notice a difference. Posted to Facebook it's unlikely you notice see any difference between the two unless you are magnifying 200%, and the same goes for video. So personally the ability to have more resolution with maybe only a slight difference in low-light performance is a deal I think most photographers would make.
Now autofocus was another area I thought for sure the a6700 would excel in. In our tests, the R7 matched it in tracking moving subjects, and in our wide-angle test identified our subject's face from a greater distance. So again the performance is close but in this case, the R7 seems to have just a little bit of an edge. So not only do you get more resolution, you are getting better detection when your subject is smaller in the frame.
Touching on video features for a minute, they both do a great job. As far as I can tell, Slog has more flexibility and greater dynamic range, at least in my observations. I also just find it easier to use. Even using official Canon LUTS I have I found Clog just a little bit more involved to get to where I need to compare to Slog3. That being said, Canon log when exposed correctly and using their Canon official LUTS the footage looks great. Classic Canon colors, nice contrast, and plenty of flexibility. However I do prefer Slog3, and the a6700 is capable of shooting 4k up to 120p so just for pure utility the a6700 is going to be more useful.
As far as build and handling, I think a lot of people are going to love the dual card slots on the R7, which the a6700 doesn't have. The R7 also has a classic Canon design, which a lot of people love, it even has a viewfinder on top as opposed to the rangefinder style which some folks aren't a fan of. The a6700 is smaller which some people prefer. So with a lot of that stuff being personal preference, I'd have to say the R7 kind of wins, because, who doesn't love dual card slots?
So which one is best? That's pretty difficult. For me, if these were two Sony cameras, both shooting Slog 3, the R7 would be the winner, easily because my only sticking point is the Slog. That being said the a6700 still has more video utility. But if you don't need 4k 120, the trade-off is worth it for the greater resolution and faster burst rate. And under good lighting, you are getting greater resolution photos which is nothing but a good thing.
If you want to check out either of these cameras visit our store in Salt Lake City or our website.
Thank you for reading and don't forget to take your camera out today!