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Canon EOS R vs Sony A7iii: Which One Is Better?

Published On:
November 15, 2021
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Seeing as you're considering either the Canon EoS R or the Sony A7iii - we thought we would pit them both against each other: The Canon EoS R vs Sony A7iii.

We can talk about specs and performance all day (which we will dive into a little) - but the most important aspect is how these two camera systems compare in helping you with your needs.

Our article will dive into many comparative aspects including specs and performance along with ergonomics and color science (and many more), to help you determine which one would work best for you.

By the end of this article, you'll have a much better understanding of the pros and cons of each camera system and which type of photographer (or videographer) should be using which camera system.

Let's dive right in!

The Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii Comparison Table

Below is a very straightforward spec-oriented comparison table between the Canon EoS R and the Sony A7iii. We dive into much greater detail throughout the article on most of the aspects listen below. 

30.3 MP
24 MP
ISO Range (native)
Video Resolutions
Video Frame Rates
Video Bitrate (Mb/s)*
5 Stops
Crop Factor
4k: 1.8x
1080p: None
Continuous Shooting (photo)
8 fps
10 fps
Still Image Buffer
65 RAW Photos
27 RAW Photos
Screen Resolution
3.15" 2.1m dots (LCD)
3.0" 922k dot LCD
Articulating Screen
No (only up and down)
EVF Resolution
3.69m dots (OLED)
2.36m dot (OLED)
RAW Image Depth
Bit Depth (Video)
8 bit internal
10 bit External
8 bit internal
External Monitor Support
External Monitor Recording
10 bit 4:2:2
8 bit 4:2:0
Max Card Slots
Card Support
UHS-II (slot 1) UHS-I (slot 2)
Battery Life (photo count)
610 Images
Lens Compatibility
All RF & EF/EF-S(with adapter)
All Sony FE
hello world!

The Noticeable Differences Covered In This Article

Here's an overview of the glaringly noticeable differences between the Canon EOS R and the Sony A7iii - and the topics we will be discussing throughout the article.

The topics will better help you in determining which camera is/could be for your needs.

These topics include:

  • Screen and EVF
  • Bitrate of video
  • Video Framerates
  • Crop @ 4k
  • Ergonomics
  • Ease of use
  • Color Science

As you can see - these differences are stem further than a spec-related comparison chart.  These are more practical in terms of real-world/everyday use.  

The 'Not-So-Noticeable' Differences Covered In This Article

I thought it would be fitting to include topics that may not 'stand out' as potential issues or concerns at first - but are usually noticed later on down the road when they matter.  It's best to discuss these topics now so you aren't dealing with them later - after you have already purchased the product.

These topics include:

  • Dual card slots
  • In body image stabilization (IBIS)
  • Image buffer

While these may be selling points for some photographers/videographers - these topics sometimes slip by the average user.  Later on they either wish they had it - or determined they never needed it in the first place.

A Disclaimer Before We Begin

I want to be as honest and upfront with everyone as I can.  To do this - I have to disclose that I am a Sony A7iii user - and have been for the past ~3 years.

This in no way is thwarting the results/comparisons/recommendations in this article.

You may be surprised by my final recommendation.  

Please continue to read the article, knowing that my association with the A7iii is not influencing anything within this article at all.

Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii - Screen And EVF

The screen is one of the most noticeable differences between the Canon EoS R and Sony A7iii.

  • For starters - the screen on the EoS R is fully articulating.  Meaning, the screen pops out, swivels, and can be positioned any way you deem fit.
  • On the other hand, The A7iii only allows for tilting on the vertical axis.  

Flip screens are a big deal for both photographers and videographers.  

Also,  The screen is .15" larger on the EoS R. Not a big difference, but a difference nonetheless.

Lastly, the EoS R has over a million more resolution dots if you look back at the comparison chart.  This is a significant difference. As a result, your image will be a better representation of the image you'll see on your monitor when editing.  It'll also make it easier to see sharpness and small details.

The EVF (electronic viewfinder) is an incredibly important aspect of a mirrorless camera.  In theory, it's a DSLR in live view.  It's a direct feed from the camera sensor itself to a small OLED screen.  This mimics the viewfinder of a traditional DSLR.  The significant difference... what you see in an EVF is precisely what you'll get as an image (much different than a DSLR).

We can agree that the higher the resolution (or more dots), the better the image will look.  This will give you a better representation of the image you're taking. 

Looking back at the comparison chart, again, the EoS R beats the A7iii in comparison with a little over 1.3 million dots.

This difference is even more noticeable than the screen seeing as the EVF is significantly smaller.  You'll have a much better experience with the EOS R's EVF vs the Sony A7iii's.

Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii - Bitrate Of Video

Without boring you with all kinds of technical jargon - bitrate is the speed at which the device captures and records its data.

Generally speaking, the higher the bitrate, the higher the quality.

Most video recording devices associate their bitrate with Mbps (megabits per second).

The maximum bitrate of the Sony A7iii is:

  • 100 Mbps (4k @ 24fps)

The maximum bitrate of the Canon EoS R is:

  • 480 Mbps (4k @ 24 fps)

That's a 4.8x difference. So an EoS R has roughly 4.8 times the data in every second of video compared to the A7iii.

The results are similar if we scale the resolution down to 1080p with a frame rate of 60.

  • Sony A7iii: 1080p @ 60 fps - 50Mbps
  • Canon EoS R: 1080p @ 60 fps - 180 Mbps

That's roughly a 3.5x difference.  Again, an EoS R writes approximately 3.5x more data every second compared to the A7iii.

Higher bitrates benefit you greatly in terms of editing.  You'll have that much more data to work with and the ability to stretch the potential of video that much further.

Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii - Video Framerates

I'm sure you know that high frame rates allow for slow motion in post-production.  I won't dive too much into the benefits of higher frame rates.

What I will compare is the significant difference between the EoS R and the A7iii in terms of frame rates.

The maximum frame rate of the A7iii is:

  • 120 fps @ 1080p

The maximum frame rate of the EoS R is:

  • 120 fps @ 720p
  • 60 fps @ 1080p

The clear winner in terms of frame rate is the A7iii.  Yes, you can get 120 fps (5x slow motion) on the EoS R but you'll have to shoot in 720p.

This is the most significant performance difference between the A7iii and the EoS R.  Its also the leading performance benefit for videographers (and why it's one of the best selling Sony cameras of all time).

The next topic ties in with this one. Crop factor.

Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii - Video Crop

Sensor cropping is very common, believe it or not.

APS-C cameras are an entire line of camera bodies, across all manufacturers, that crop in on their sensors.  Generally speaking, cropped sensors are associated with lower-tier cameras.

On the other hand - aside from their medium format cameras - Fujifilm only offers crop sensor camera bodies.

Depending on the camera and manufacturer - there may be a crop factor when shooting at different resolutions for video.

With that being said:

  • The A7iii does not have a crop at any resolution.  This includes 4k.  The A7iii utilizes the entire full-frame format across all resolutions.
  • The EoS R has a 1.74x crop at 4k.  Full frame utilization at every resolution below that.

This means that the A7iii wins in this respect.  You're utilizing the entire frame at every resolution available.

The EoS R's 1.74x crop would make a 50mm lens effectively an 87mm lens (50 x 1.74 = 87).  To achieve a 50mm 'look' you would need to use a 30mm (30mm * 1.74 = 52).

On the A7iii - the same 50mm lens would remain 50mm because there isn't a crop at all.

Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii - Ergonomics

I've been a Sony fan for as long as I can remember.  The Sony A7iii shines brightly in various aspects - but when it comes to ergonomics - Canon wins this by a long shot.

Ergonomics may be one of the biggest complaints about current Sony mirrorless cameras.

Sony cameras just don't 'feel right' in the average to large hand.  The distance between gripping the camera and the shutter release is also too short.  Your firing finger won't add any grip or stability to the camera.

The camera also feels 'cheap' in comparison to a Canon camera.  It feels like it could break very easily (even though this isn't the case at all - Sony's are quite tough).'

The workaround to this issue is to purchase a battery grip.  It eliminates all of the issues stated above except for the shutter release distance.

Needless to say - Canon wins this comparison.  The EoS R feels rugged, fits great in a medium/large hand, and doesn't require a battery grip to achieve this.

Although, I always recommend a battery grip - for more surface area, easier vertical/portrait photos, and extended battery life.

Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii - Ease Of Use

I'll lightly touch on the ease of use between the Sony A7iii and Canon EoS R in this section.  This is a broad topic covering aspects such as the menu system to just using the camera.

Starting with the menu system - Canon has Sony beat.  Again, by a long shot.

Regarded as one of the worst aspects of the Sony platform (along with ergonomics) - is their menu system.  With a total of 6 tabs, each tab ranging between 6 and 20+ settings each - you're left with an overwhelming amount of options on the Sony.  The worst part about it - the placement of some of the settings doesn't make much sense (grid setting on page 6 of 9 in the second tab).  There are entire 15+ minute tutorials online dedicated to Sony's menu system alone.

On the flip side of that - the amount of settings allows for customization and precise tuning of the camera.  This is geared towards the more advanced user.

Canon on the other hand - is a lot more user-friendly when it comes to its menu.  Their menu system just flat-out makes more sense.  A beginner won't have an issue picking up the camera and making the necessary changes without too much thought.

Other factors that shine in the comparison include:

  • Flip out screen: Winner - Canon (fully articulating)
  • Fully Touch Screen: Winner - Canon (fully touch, Sony's only partial)
  • Autofocus: Winner - Sony (better in low light - much better tracking)
  • Card Slots: Winner - Sony (dual card slots vs a single on Canon)

Again, this is just a lightly touched overview comparison between both systems and how easy they are to use.

As I'm sure you can agree at this point, the Canon system shines above the Sony system - especially to those buying into either camera system for the first time.

Canon EoS R Vs Sony A7iii - Color Science

This topic is incredibly subjective - so take this topic as my opinion (if that means anything to you).

Let me start off by saying that I'm color blind.  I'm color blind in the red/green spectrum (very common in men).  I don't have a problem with seeing red or green - it's when you either mix these colors together (or they're on top of each other, like a blackboard) - or slight variations of color (like off green, purple, oranges, etc).

With that being said, if you look at the image above you'll notice that the Sony system (center image) - comes across quite a bit cooler and sometimes green in comparison to a Canon.

Sony's color science has greatly improved over the generations.  A great example of this would be the new ZV-1 or A7Siii.

But, generally speaking, Canons color science will come across much warmer/richer in tone while Sony's will come across cooler.  Some photographers/videographers prefer one over the other.  I've heard claims that people love Sony over Canon because the images (from a color science standpoint) and look much more natural in comparison to a Canon.

The determining factor for you should be what you like more or what would make your job easier if you're working with clients (what they like more).

Again, while this is only a brief overview - it's something you should keep in mind and should be in this comparison.

The 'Not So Noticeable' Differences Between The A7iii And EoS R

I thought I would include this section to tie in with the table at the beginning of this article.

While you can find the information to every sub-topic in this section - you'll get an explanation of why it's mentioned and why it's so important.

The topics here include:

  • Dual Card Slots
  • IBIS (in-body image stabilization)
  • Image Buffer

A7iii Vs EoS R - Dual Card Slots

I'm sure I don't need to explain the benefits of dual card slots over a single slot.

Well - I am anyway!

There are actually two benefits/reasons for dual card slots.  These benefits are separate - you won't receive both benefits at the same time.

The benefits include:

  • Mirroring both cards (the same data is written to both cards at the same time - essentially backing up your files)
  • Extra storage space (essentially doubling the capacity of your camera)

There is a benefit to both - while I choose to backup my files with dual card slots - you may need the extra space.  2 slots is always better than 1.

Taking that into consideration - Sony wins on this topic.

Simply put, the A7iii has dual card slots while the EoS R only has one.

A7iii Vs EoS R - In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS)

This is another topic where the Sony system shines over the Canon.

If you don't know what in-body image stabilization (IBIS) is - it's a stabilization system that attempts to keep the sensor stable. Stabilization will help to achieve stable video along with sharper photos taken at slow shutter speeds.

Referencing the image above - you can see the different axis' that the A7iii takes into consideration.  While Sony'sIBIS isn't the best (like Panasonic, for instance) - it's still better than nothing... which is what the EoS R has.

The EoS R relies entirely on lens stabilization to provide sharper images and more stable video.  While Canon's lenses do a great job - when you couple the IBIS and lens stabilization on Sony bodies and native lenses...  you'll receive benefits from both.

The Sony shines over Canon when shooting with non-native glass, like Sigma.  Seeing as many Sigma lenses don't have lens stabilization - you'd have to rely on IBIS to help.  The EoS R will leave you with no stabilization while Sony's will (even though it's not the best).

A7iii Vs EoS R - Image Buffer

This is a topic that may not have crossed your mind until now.  It's something most people don't think about until they see it in the field or it causes an issue.

Basically, an image buffer is the number of photos your camera can take before it stops taking them because the buffer is full.  You're taking photos faster than the camera can write them to your card.

Generally speaking - it has nothing to do with the card you're writing to - it relies entirely on the processor and the size of the internal buffer (think of flash memory) within the camera system itself.  This can pose a problem in the field.

Take for instance the A7iii - on location I can shoot 10 fps in uncompressed raw.  All of this while tracking the subject.  Awesome, right?  While it is - I can only take 27 images before I have to wait for those images to write to the card.  So, that's 2.7 seconds of action before I have to stop.  Be sure to check out our related article - Which SD Card Is Best For Sony A7iiiwhere we explain why this happens in more detail.

On other pro-level cameras like the Canon 1DX Mark II - it'll shoot 16 fps and you'll never reach the buffer.  The camera system writes to CF Express cards faster than you're taking them.

Referencing the chart at the beginning of this article - Canon has Sony beat by a long shot.

The Sony A7iii's buffer is 27 images while the EoS R is 65 images.  About 1.5x better.

A7iii Vs EoS R - Which One Is Better?

Well - like we've said throughout the article... the EoS R and the A7iii shine in different areas, and one may be better for some while not for others. So here are some aspects to think about that are factual, then I will lead with my opinion.

The A7iii is geared more towards people who want the more "natural" looking photo and slow motion.  It shines in these areas with:

  • Color science and default user settings for a more natural portrait
  • 120 fps at 1080p (many cinematic slow-motion YouTubers use it)
  • Full sensor readout at 4k
  • Top-of-the-line low light performance

The EoS R is more geared for those wanting higher MP photos, higher quality video output, and higher quality glass.  It does this by:

  • 30MP vs 24MP on the Sony
  • 4x video bitrate on the EoS R (480 vs 100 @ 4k)
  • RF glass available on the EOS R (regarded as the best glass that Canon has ever made)

So - Which One Would I Recommend?

Like I stated earlier in this article, this is a completely unbiased comparison.  I'm literally comparing the two camera systems and giving you the facts and benefits of each.

Now is the time where I can voice my opinion and tell you which one I would recommend.  This is after about 3 1/2 years of using the A7iii on a semi-daily basis.

If I was someone who wasn't fully invested in Sony (glass, flashes, software, etc.) - I would choose the EoS R.  Here are the reasons why.

  • RF glass is superior to Sony's current glass lineup
  • My clients prefer what Canon produces straight out of the camera
  • More user-friendly interface
  • Flip out and fully touch screen
  • Very reliable wireless tethering (for remote shooting)

With that being said - I can't justify switching because I have so much invested in Sony.  It wouldn't make sense at this point considering the benefits I would get out of purchasing one wouldn't really offset the results.  Yes, my workflow would be a little easier - but it wouldn't be worth the $10k+ investment of selling all of my glass and replacing it with Canon products.

Let's Wrap It Up (And Final Thoughts)

Now that you know what I would recommend and we've discussed pretty much everything there is to know in the Canon EoS R vs. Sony A7iii - I'll leave you with this...

If you're considering going all out in either system - take these points into consideration.

The A7iii is amazing for those looking for slow-motion video, great low-light performance, and top-notch autofocus and tracking.

The EoS R is great for those looking for warmer tones, better lens options (future proof), higher quality video output, and an easier to use (and learn) menu system.

Take those key points to start your consideration - from there dive deeper into your comparison.

I hope this article has helped you in determining the difference and which one is better.  The better one is only determined by you and your needs.  Be sure to checkout our other related articles such as Which SD card is best for the Sony A7iii.

Until next time - be safe and continue to learn and create!

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