I was sitting at my laptop watching maybe the 100th content creator talk about their switch to Sony from Canon. It’s a common theme these days. Just ask yourself: ‘How many creators that you follow are not using an A7SIII or A74?’ It’s probably not many. Now how many are using Canon?
So I decided that night I would do the same: I would switch to Sony.
Sony are not doubt leading the way with mirrorless. Having started the mirrorless revolution they have had the most time to advance, refining each iteration in their lineup; so that the current crop are, some could say, almost perfect. The Sony A7SIII as a video camera has few flaws if any.
Listening to Advice From YouTube Influencers
This is going to be a little controversial; Canon Vs Sony is a hotly contested debate on the internet. And in the current climate we see more and more of a certain mindset.
Camera users like to develop an extreme opinion about their choice of camera system once they have nailed their colors to their flag. They will seem to disregard facts and pros about the other camera system if it doesn’t align with their preferred narrative, that their camera system is absolutely superior.
Canon and Sony are both good.
Just because you have a Sony you don’t need other people to not like Canon to justify your choice of camera system. There can be multiple amazing camera systems that work for different content creator needs.
But you will always have detractors who will talk down the other brand so they feel better about their choice. Some of those detractors command a large audience with who they share their opinions. The larger the audience does not equate to more validity. As a viewer you have to try to cut through the subjective hyperbole and use your own judgement.
Canon Vs Sony
I want to preface this article with a bit of a spoiler alert. The truth is that the Canon and Sony debate is in reality a debate over splitting hairs. The technical level these cameras are currently at make taking incredible photos and video almost guaranteed, when you have the skill.
The bottom line is that if you can’t create amazing content with a Canon or Sony camera then the fault is 99% likely down to your lack of skills and competency.
Current camera tech leaves little to be desired, so if your need to swap brands is to help improve your craft, there will not be the level of improvement you are hoping for when you swap to a new brand.
Instead hone your craft, level up your skills and only when you feel the camera is not living up to your level of skill should you upgrade your camera.
Debunking Old Complaints Against Sony and Canon
Of course there are still some little flaws/cons with both Sony and Canon, maybe more with the latter. But it’s very subjective how much of a dealbreaker they are. And what happens often are reviewers are not doing their due diligence when it comes to research. But instead perpetuating old complaints against each brand.
How many times have you heard this before?
- Sony color science is bad (Sony has included S-Cinetone color science, which is the same as Sony’s Venice cameras)
- Sony has a terrible menu system (New menu system and customizable buttons)
- Canon cameras overheat (New firmware updates have all but eliminated/mititgated this)
- Canon’s cripple hammer (Canon has included Cine body features like Clog 3 in entry level prosumer level cameras like the R10)
- Sony battery life is poor (The new Sony NP-FW50 batteries are decent)
- Canon’s lack of 4K (New entry level Canons support 4K)
- Canon’s lack of lenses for the RF mount (In 2022 Canon have released more budget friendly lenses)
While there are still legitimate cons against these two brands, the ones above are well worn complaints that no longer hold true.
So as a Canon user the really big issues (like overheating) that creators used to justify their move to Sony have been addressed. This is what I asked myself. Where is Canon holding me back? At the moment everything I want to create is possible with Canon.
Which Is the Right Camera for You?
It’s actually quite interesting the camera lineup strategy from the two brands as well as other competitors like Nikon and Panasonic.
For instance, Sony do not have a real equivalent for the Canon EOS R5. When you see content creators on YouTube deciding between brands, it seems like it’s a decision between the R5 and A7SIII.
But the Canon R5 and Sony A7SIII are not aimed at the same consumer. The R5 is a photography camera first, with blockbuster video features. The A7SIII is a superior video camera capable of shooting only 12MP images.
A professional photographer would not use a 12MP sensor camera. Conversely I do not see many videographers picking the Sony A7RIII for video. The A7RIII which is the photography centric camera body delivering 45MP images (the same as the R5), with limited video features like no 4K 60FPS.
So if you’re moving from the R5, which Sony camera do you choose if you create photos and video? From what I can see, a lot of creators who move from the R5 to Sony are video creators first. Those that need good photos will then also get the A74 with its 30MP sensor.
That is two Sony bodies to cover photo and video at a combined cost of $5996 compared to just the R5 at $3899.
Sony A74 vs Canon EOS R6
The Canon EOS R6 and Sony A74 on the other hand are much more similar; the major difference being the A74 having 13MP more with a 30MP sensor. These two are the closest in terms of the market they are targeted for.
This market and price bracket is where you can list legitimate reasons to move to Sony, but for all the reasons I’ve just written, I would not move to Sony if I had the Canon R5.
But what if you have the R6? Or another Canon? I have the R6 and it was the A74 which I was heavily contemplating during my moment of FOMO.
I can list some notable differences between the two, but none of these were dealbreakers for me and what I need:
- The A74 has 13MP more than the R6
- The A74 has slightly better dynamic range
- The A74 has better codecs and bitrates
- The A74 has focal breathing compensation
- Sony still have the biggest selection of lenses
Now let’s go through these points:
- I do not print photos, my images go to either Instagram or in my videos, so I do not need more megapixels (MP). If you want to crop in that’s when more MP help, but more MP means larger video sizes and poorer low light shooting capabilities. 20MP is plenty.
- Low light is why the A7SIII at 12MP is such a low light beast. But even so 12MP is still very limiting. 20-30MP is the sweet spot in my experience.
- From my tests the dynamic range is not as significant a difference, but many other reviewers have noted this so I have included it.
- I do not have any issues with the codecs and bitrates when I edit video from the R6, but I am using the 2021 M1 MAX MacBook Pro. So I think this is heavily dependent on what computer you run.
- The breathing compensation is something I would love Canon to implement into their camera bodies.
What Stopped Me Buying the Sony A74
The A74 was the camera I thought I had to move to. I thought I should follow the crowd. If I bought it then I would have all the pros I listed above as well as benefiting from the continuous innovations Sony would put into future bodies.
But it just wasn’t enough to convince me. Now let me list the advantages of the Canon R6 over the Sony A74 that kept me from clicking buy now:
- Incredible expanding range of RF lenses
- The R6’s amazing color science
- Better rear LCD screen quality and resolution
- Better menu system and ergonomics (like being able to scrub through footage)
- SD cards are cheaper
- Future RF bodies are incredibly exciting
- Compatible gear
For the last point, it did aid my decision that I have an expensive flash lighting system that is Canon only compatible (when you buy flashes you have to select which camera system you use).
Canon’s Innovation and RF Lenses
One of the driving factors in making my decision was the RF lenses Canon are producing. I’ve tested a few and the quality of these lenses, the sharpness and the way they render colors is honestly breathtaking.
While the initial Canon mirrorless bodies (EOS R and EOS RP) were incredibly underwhelming, Canon were pairing them with lenses that are incredible.
My RF 50MM L F1.2 is in my humble opinion one the of best lenses I have ever used. And you just need to see that Canon aren’t being complacent with innovation; look at the mind boggling RF 28-70 L F2.0, that’s essentially 3 or 4 primes rolled into one zoom.
The RF 85MM L 1.2 is my next purchase and that’s another blockbuster lens. But these lenses and the Canon lens roadmap I have seen gets me excited for what Canon are producing.
And it’s not just the lenses. The next generation of bodies will be incredible. It took generations for Sony to deliver bodies that were good enough for professionals and didn’t overheat. Canon took just one generation to do that with regular firmware updates to improve the overheating (my R6 has never overheated).
Will I Ever Move to Sony?
As a content creator I am not tied to one brand. The day Canon stop producing cameras that meet my needs is the day I’ll move.
But I am also possibly in a different position to you. The purpose of this website and my YouTube channel is to review tools and services to help you create a business from your creative skill.
And that means covering all tools, including Sony, so as this website and my social media audience grow and income grows I will definitely expand my toolset and I think that, while I would readily review Nikon or Panasonic, I would like to live with a Sony camera alongside my Canon gear.
As I said previously, many creators and new creators have moved to Sony and so that is a market I want to reach too.
It’s important to note that some of my favorite content creators have stuck with or moved to Canon, like Peter McKinnon, Aaron Brimhall, Shortstache etc. These guys are at the top of their game.
So to conclude, Canon are providing me with everything I need to make content now and are promising a future of amazing gear I want to use; but Sony still excite me as well and I will one day own a Sony camera too.
These two camera brands are like Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, Real Madrid and Barcelona, Lakers and Celtics, or Red Sox and Yankees, United and Arsenal. Both are big hitters slugging away, each taking turns to be on top.
Artist / Photographer / Videographer