Canon Mark Iv Vs Sony A7iii

By | 18/11/2022

Subsequently years of slow evolution, Canon’s full frame mirrorless system has come to fruition with the release of two very interesting cameras. One of them, the EOS R6, challenges the likes of the Sony A7 3, Nikon Z6 Ii and Panasonic S5 in the prosumer segment.

It’s difficult not to compare this new camera to the A7 Iii given its popularity. Despite the historic period and price difference, the EOS R6 is a direct competitor for the Eastward-mount photographic camera and its future successor. And then let’southward encounter what these two products have to offering.

Editor’s note: this article has been updated with our existent give-and-take tests and comparisons.

Ethics argument: the post-obit is based on our real globe feel with the EOS R6 and A7 3, both of which we ain. We were not asked to write anything about these products, nor were nosotros provided with any kind of bounty. Inside the article, in that location are chapter links. If you buy something afterward clicking ane of these links, nosotros will receive a modest committee. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thanks!

canon eos r6 next to sony a7 iii, front view

Principal Specs


  • Sensor: twenty.1MP 35mm format CMOS
  • Lens system: RF-mountain
  • Weatherproof: Yep
  • Internal Stabilisation: Yeah (5-axis)
  • Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 6,072 points
  • Continuous shooting: 12fps or 20fps with e-shutter
  • ISO Sensitivity: 100 – 102400 ISO (pull 50, push button up to 204800)
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/8000s to 30s, Bulb
  • Viewfinder: 0.v-in OLED with iii,690k dots, 23mm eye point, 0.76x magnification
  • Rear monitor: Multi-angle three.0″ LCD (i.62M dots) with touch sensitivity
  • Movie recording: 4K up to 60fps and 340Mbps, Full Hard disk up to 120fps, 10-chip C-Log and HDR PQ
  • Congenital-in Wink: No
  • Extra Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, Bracketing, Tethering, Time-lapse, Dual SD slots
  • Dimensions: 138.4 ten 97.5 x 88.4mm
  • Weight: 680g (including bombardment and memory card)
  • Firmware version: 1.two.0
  • Release: 2020


  • Sensor: 24.2MP 35mm format BSI Exmor CMOS
  • Lens system: E-mount
  • Weatherproof: Yes
  • Internal Stabilisation: Yes (5-centrality)
  • Autofocus: Hybrid with 693 phase and 425 contrast points
  • Continuous shooting: 3fps to 10fps
  • ISO Sensitivity: 100 – 51200 ISO (pull 50, push upwardly to 204800)
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/8000s to 30s, Bulb
  • Viewfinder: 0.5in OLED with 2,360k dots, 23mm eye point, 0.78x magnification
  • Rear monitor: Tilting 3.0″ LCD (0.92k dots) with bear on sensitivity
  • Movie recording: 4K up to 30fps and 100Mbps, Total HD up to 120fps, S-Log and HLG
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Extra Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, Bracketing, Tethering, FTP Transfer, Dual SD slots
  • Dimensions: 126.9 x 95.six x 73.7mm
  • Weight: 650g (including bombardment and memory card)
  • Firmware version: iii.10
  • Release: 2018

one. Sensor and image quality

Both cameras use a full frame (35mm format) sensor. The EOS R6 has twenty.1MP, whereas the A7 III has 24.2MP. Both cameras have a low pass filter to reduce aliasing and moiré.

eos r5 and a7 3 side by side front view with the sensor cap off

Resolution and sharpness

24MP has been the standard of prosumer full frame cameras for some time at present, and then you may notice the 20MP of the R6 a scrap disappointing. We’re talking about 20% less resolution and so the difference is not as large as one may think. Below you lot can see how close you go when the post-obit image is viewed at 100%.

coloured houses of a costal town with the hill in the background and a parking lot in the foreground
Reference image

centre crop of the reference image showing the difference in magnification between 20MP and 24MP when viewed at 100%
100% view
From RAW (+l sharpness, +fifty Particular on Lightroom Classic)

You tin increase the sharpness of the out-of-camera JPGs. The Canon offers three settings (sharpness strength, sharpness fineness and sharpness threshold) merely the unmarried setting establish on the A7 3 is plenty to become crisper details. (Note: for convenience, I’ve conformed the ii images to the same size.)

centre crop of the reference image showing the EOS R6 and A7 III side by side to evaluate sharpness
Default settings:
A7 III: sharpness 0
R6: sharpness strength 4, sharpness fineness ii and sharpness threshold iii

The A7 Iii already looks sharper with the default settings whereas it’s hard to play with the parameters on the R6 without making the paradigm wait over-sharpened and less realistic.

centre crop of the reference image showing the EOS R6 and A7 III side by side to evaluate sharpness
Custom settings:
A7 III: sharpness +2
R6: sharpness forcefulness vi, sharpness fineness 3 and sharpness threshold 3

Dynamic range

The sensor construction is different: the Sony chip is a BSI type (back-illuminated) which collects light more than efficiently than the traditional structure.

This should, on paper, give an advantage to the A7 3 in terms of dynamic range and high sensitivities. Nevertheless the Catechism sensor is more recent and as y’all can meet below, the results are close.

living room with window on the right showing outdoor balcony and sea in the background. The image is exposed for the outside (the sea) so the interior is very dark.
Exposure reference: 1/100, f/5.half-dozen, ISO 100

Here is how the photos taken with each model await later a 4 stop exposure recovery in mail service production. The corporeality of noise is like only the Sony retains sharper details and is a fleck brighter.

crop on a stuffed toy positioned against the wall, after recovering the exposure in post, to show the difference in noise.
+4Ev, +50 shadows (Lightroom Classic)

If we expect at the darker areas of the photo (in this case the lesser corner), they both show some color artefacts.

crop on the bottom left corner of the image showing part of the rug and wall, after recovering the exposure in post, to show the difference in noise.
+4Ev, +l shadows (Lightroom Archetype)

In our second example, nosotros attempt to recover the highlights. Both cameras preserve a similar corporeality of details, with the R6 having the border by a hair’s breadth.

living room with window on the right showing outdoor balcony and sea in the background. The image is exposed for the inside (living room) so the exterior is very bright.
Exposure reference: 1/25, f/5.half-dozen, ISO 100

crop on the window with sea view to show the difference after recovering the highlights in post
-100 highlights (Lightroom Classic)

If you are interested in the out-of-photographic camera JPGs, the R6 has more than settings to control dynamic range:

  • Highlight Tone Priority
    protects more details in the bright areas (the minimum ISO value becomes 200)
  • Motorcar Lighting Optimiser
    boost the shadows but it is less efficient than the
    DR Optimiser
    setting institute on the A7 Three

Another tool available on the EOS R6 is the HDR PQ format which saves ten-bit HEIF files (JPG is 8-bit). In my tests, I plant it to be constructive at retaining more highlights (with the Highlight Tone Priority setting enabled).

However non many software are compatible with this new format, including Lightroom and Photoshop (they can open HDR photos from an iPhone so it’south probably just a matter of widening the compatibility of the diverse versions).

The workaround is to either apply the HEIF to JPG conversion built-in in camera (just there is no batch processing) or the Canon Digital Professional 4 software. In both cases, at that place is a loss of saturation when converting the files. I guess we’re not quite at the point where HEIF will become the new JPG.

ISO sensitivity

The R6 has a normal sensitivity range of 100 to 102400 ISO. There is a Low mode (ISO 50 equivalent) and one High value of 204800 ISO.

The A7 III ISO range goes from 100 to 51200 ISO. A depression ISO fifty value is available too, and the maximum level with the extended setting is 204800 ISO.

The beginning thing I noticed while doing my tests is that there is a deviation in brightness when using the same exposure settings with the 2 camera. The Catechism paradigm is approximately 1/2 a finish darker than the Sony.

To make the side-by-side images easier to look at, I tried to even out the exposure as much as possible.

The results are very similar up to 6400 ISO, at which point the R6 shows a bit less dissonance than the A7 III.

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 800 ISO

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 1600 ISO

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 3200 ISO

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 6400 ISO

Noise increase from 12800 ISO on both cameras.

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 12800 ISO

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 25600 ISO

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 51200 ISO

The highest values become pretty useless: the A7 III shows a green cast whereas the R6 has magenta color artefacts. The Catechism has more noise also.

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 102400 ISO

crop of the japanese doll image to show the difference in noise at 204800 ISO

With the SOOC JPGs, the A7 Three shows more colour racket when Dissonance Reduction is turned off. The R6 image is cleaner with NR set to Depression or Standard. The Canon also has a High level and a Multi NR mode that merges three images to reduce racket further.

crop of the japanese doll out of camera JPEG image to show the difference in noise at 12800 ISO with noise reduction set to Off

crop of the japanese doll out of camera JPEG image to show the difference in noise at 12800 ISO with noise reduction set to Low

crop of the japanese doll out of camera JPEG image to show the difference in noise at 12800 ISO with noise reduction set to Standard

crop of the japanese doll out of camera JPEG image to show the difference in noise at 12800 ISO with noise reduction set to High and Multi-Shot NR for the Canon

Another interesting test to perform with the ii sensors is to come across if they are ISOless, also known as ISO invariance.

The thought is that, if a sensor is ISOless, you tin accept a shot at a lower ISO value (underexpose the image) and recover the exposure in postal service with the aforementioned quality y’all would get when shooting at a higher ISO value (right exposure), merely with more highlights preserved (because y’all underexposed).

The R6 shows a similar amount of noise in the underexposed image taken at ISO 640 and recovered in post, and the image shot at the higher ISO level. On the A7 III, the mail service processed epitome looks worse and overall the Sony shows more racket than the Canon in this test. Annotation that I started from ISO 640 considering this is the value where the 2d proceeds of Sony’s dual proceeds compages kicks in. (I couldn’t observe whatsoever information about this for the Canon model).

Canon EOS R6: crop on the japanese doll to show the difference in noise between the ISO 10,000 image and the ISO 640 image recovered in post

Sony A7 III: crop on the japanese doll to show the difference in noise between the ISO 10,000 image and the ISO 640 image recovered in post


The first scene below was lit with LED lights and the cameras were prepare to the same colour temperature.

If I open the two RAW files with Lightroom Archetype, they look very similar with the default colour profile applied by the software which is Adobe Colour (recollect that unlike programmes volition apply different profiles). The A7 Three epitome looks a bit greener if we concentrate on the blue desk mat in the background, but otherwise the colours on the fruit and vegetables are harder to distinguish.

If we turn to the picture profiles institute on each camera (chosen Artistic Styles on the A7 III), at that place are a few more things to talk about.

With the standard profile, the ruby-red pepper has a chip more richness in shade and texture in the Canon file. The greenish pepper has a scrap more dissimilarity and darker shades too, whereas the orange is a fleck more saturated in the Sony file.

side by side images of bowl of fruit and veg shot by the two cameras with the standard profile

With the Neutral contour, the colours are more vibrant on the EOS R6.

side by side images of bowl of fruit and veg shot by the two cameras with the neutral profile

Both cameras have additional profiles, each with their own distinctive characteristics, just I’m non going to describe all of them here. Keep in mind that some of the Canon profiles similar Neutral or True-blue have less sharpness assigned past default. The A7 3 has more profiles in full (xiii vs 7, including the monochrome profiles and excluding the custom ones).

Below is another example with the landscape contour. Hither the Sony is more saturated whereas the Canon is brighter with less contrast.

Regarding skin tones, there are more relevant differences. Looking at the RAW files, with the same color temperature and tint values, the R6 image is warmer and softer overall peculiarly when it comes to the yellows and oranges, whereas the Sony has a cherry/magenta authorisation.

side by side portrait of a male in his thirties taken with the Canon EOS R6 and Sony A7 III in RAW

The same difference, accentuated with more than contrast on each, is valid for the SOOC JPG and standard profile.

side by side portrait of a male in his thirties taken with the Canon EOS R6 and Sony A7 III with the standard profile

The Canon portrait style is brighter but has lots of reds in the medium tints. The Sony has less dissimilarity and a smoother, more than subtle wait.

side by side portrait of a male in his thirties taken with the Canon EOS R6 and Sony A7 III with the portrait profile

On the R6, I prefer the Neutral profile which has less dissimilarity and shows more uniformity while maintaining all the dissimilar shades of the skin. Neutral gives the A7 Three portrait less saturation.

side by side portrait of a male in his thirties taken with the Canon EOS R6 and Sony A7 III with the neutral profile

Extra feedback about paradigm quality

To conclude this first chapter, let me share some additional findings quickly:

  • Although the RAW files present some differences, they are both very flexible, allowing you to fine-tune colours and other aspects with ease
  • With automobile white balance, the R6 files tend to expect a bit cooler overall
  • Under artificial light, the Sony is warmer than the Canon when both are gear up to Ambient priority
  • If you set the white residual manually, the Sony tin exhibit more yellow with in a low low-cal situation
  • Both cameras permit you to fine-tune whatsoever white balance setting when information technology comes to colour tint
  • The R6 metering tends to overexpose by 2/3Ev in comparison to the A7 Iii when using the aforementioned settings (multi, centre weight or spot). The Sony besides has a large size for Spot and a Preserve Highlight pick.

ii. Autofocus

The two cameras feature an advanced autofocus system with phase detection, which ways that each focus point is driven by two small-scale sensors that read the incoming light. The phase deviation between the two sensors tells the camera how much correction is needed to have the subject in focus.

The way the ii companies have adult this technology is different however.

On the Canon sensor, each pixel is composed of ii photodiodes. The camera uses them together to create the image, and separately to evaluate the phase deviation and acquire focus. Canon calls this Dual Pixel CMOS AF 2, where II stands for the new version introduced with the R6 (and R5).

illustration of the Canon dual pixel cmos af showing the two photodiodes

illustration of the Canon dual pixel cmos af workflow
Source: Canon U.s.a.

On the Sony sensor, the pixels are fabricated upwardly of a single photodiode, just a sure number of them embed the stage departure sensor that the camera uses to analyse and larn focus. Phase detection points are used solely for autofocus, not to create the photo.

The Catechism solution gives the R6 a distinct reward: AF tracking can piece of work across the entire sensor surface, and in fact Canon says that there is 100% coverage when face/eye detection and the Tracking AF way are enabled. (It’s 90% horizontal and 100% vertical with the other AF surface area settings). When using the single AF point, y’all can move information technology across more than 6000 positions!

illustration showing the 100% autofocus coverage on the  EOS R6 sensor
EOS R6: 6072 points

The A7 III phase detection coverage on the sensor is 93% which is not bad at all. There are 693 stage detection points and 425 contrast detection points that tin can help in low low-cal situations.

In Single AF style (called One Shot AF on the R6), both cameras focus fast. The Canon feels a bit quicker but it’southward a small-scale difference. With some older lenses similar the Atomic number 26 55mm 1.8, the A7 Iii can be a bit slower at moving the lens elements back and forth. This doesn’t happen in C-AF manner.

Autofocus in low light

The minimum sensitivity for the EOS R6 autofocus is -vi.5Ev with an f/ane.ii lens or -5Ev at f/2. The A7 3 works down to -3Ev with a f/2 lens. This means that the Canon is 2 stops more sensitive in low light.

This advantage became noticeable in my low light test, where the subject walked towards the camera in a near pitch night living room. What is impressive is that the EOS R6 tin focus on the eye of the field of study even when she is completely in the dark.

screenshot of the canon eos r6 live view that shows that the camera found the eye of the person despite being in complete darkness in the background
Center detected by the EOS R6 in pitch dark weather

I used two 24-105mm f4 zooms to make the test even harder. In the sequence, the Sony was able to capture but 4 shots, and 3 of them were out of focus. The R6 took 26 shots meaning it was able to change focus more apace and follow the subject better. It gave a hit rate of about 75%.

screenshot of thumbnail images from Lightroom Classic showing the amount of images out of focus (marked in red)
EOS R6 (red = out of focus)

screenshot of thumbnail images from Lightroom Classic showing the amount of images out of focus (marked in red)
A7 III (ruby-red = out of focus)

Of course it is worth stressing that this was an extreme exam and y’all’ll won’t likely find yourself in such a catchy state of affairs. With a bit more calorie-free the A7 3 can requite you lot decent functioning, but this test was the most appropriate to show the departure.

Confront and eye detection

Both cameras characteristic face and eye detection. The Sony Middle AF style is known to be the criterion when it comes this kind of technology. Indeed the one on the A7 III is fast and reliable.

screenshot from the live view of the Sony A7 III showing eye detection at work with the head-shot portrait of a woman
EyeAF on the A7 Three

Catechism has improved its face and heart detection with firmware updates on the original EOS R. For the R6, it introduces a new algorithm that should make the camera faster and more than precise, besides every bit detect smaller faces in the frame when the subject is farther away from the camera.

screenshot from the live view of the Canon EOS R6 showing eye detection at work with the head-shot portrait of a woman
Eye detection on the EOS R6

In my second test, the subject walked back and forth, then walked while turning 360˚. The aim of the latter was to see how well the cameras would keep tracking the person once the face was no longer visible.

The R6 gave a splendid 95% keeper rate (sixty shots in total for each walk) with but 1 shot out of focus and 2 slightly soft. When the discipline turned effectually, the performance was the same. The only thing I noticed is that sometimes, the camera focused on the furthest eye rather than the nearest heart while the subject field was facing about 45˚ away from the camera.

EOS R6 Examination 1: walk back and along
(red = out of focus, yellowish = sligthly soft)

EOS R6 Test two: walk dorsum and forth while turning 360˚
(yellow = sligthly soft)

The A7 3 took fewer shots in one case once more because information technology struggled more than to change focus rapidly and had a lower keeper charge per unit of 63%.

A7 III: walk back and along
(red = out of focus, xanthous = sligthly soft)

A7 III Test 2: walk back and forth while turning 360˚
(red = out of focus, xanthous = sligthly soft)

Note: If yous’re wondering why the A7 III took fewer shots, it is because I set up it to focus priority and since information technology was a bit slower at keeping track of the subject, it captured fewer images as a outcome. I set the medium burst speed for both cameras which is 6fps.

This second test shows a clear advantage for the Catechism, merely in weather condition where the subject doesn’t move a lot (classic portrait state of affairs), they both evangelize when it comes to speed and accuracy. Interestingly, if the subject area wears a lid, the Canon tin get confused more easily and mis-focus on the skirt rather than the optics.

out of focus portrait of a woman wearing a summer hat
Example of mis-focused shot on the Catechism EOS R6

The way you set and use the face/centre AF engineering science is different on the two cameras. On the Canon, you have to select the Tracking AF method and the camera will focus on the eyes automatically when they are detected (if the option is enabled). Y’all can prioritise the left or right middle, or a face when multiple people are in the frame with the AF joystick.

On the A7 Three, you lot accept ii options: yous can actuate Face/Eye AF and the camera detects face up and eyes at all times when engaging focus. Or, you can go along Face up/Heart AF off merely assign Center AF to a function push button and focus on the eyes only when you demand it (I prefer the second option). You tin’t still specify a left or right eye which is annoying.

Birds in flight

Usually I endeavour to use both cameras at unlike events including sports events like a football game. Unfortunately this was non possible with the EOS R6 at the fourth dimension. Fortunately, my beloved red kite feeding stations re-opened, allowing me to put the R6 through its paces. (I’d already done this with the A7 Three on a unlike occasion.)

The R6 has deep learning technology to detect the bodies, faces and eyes of animals such every bit dogs, cats and birds (even when they’re flying).

screenshot of the Canon EOS R6 Live View showing the Animal Detection mode focusing on the head of a red kite flying against the blue sky
EOS R6 Animal Detection

I was really curious to test this feature with birds and it didn’t disappoint. I got an splendid score of 93% / 97% and Animal Detection is among the settings I recommend using. It recognises the bird right away and tin can focus on the heart even when it is small-scale in the frame.

With a bird flying erratically, it may not e’er detect the heart just it always stays on the torso and very often the head, which is enough to get the focus where you desire it. If the beast is non detected for some reason, the camera uses the normal tracking mode which is also very constructive.

red kite filling the frame, flying with its mouth open full of meat
EOS R6, 1/2000, f/seven.1, ISO 1250 – RF 100-500mm at 500mm

red kite flying low to the ground with a piece of meat in its paws
EOS R6, ane/2000, f/6.3, ISO 8000 – RF 100-500mm at 400mm

red kite flying against trees with a warm sunset light on it
EOS R6, 1/2000, f/, ISO 3200 – RF 100-500mm at 500mm

The Canon has a lot of settings to control the autofocus behaviour, and some of them are not easy to understand at first. And so fine-tuning the camera for the maximum performance is non an piece of cake task, but even with less than optimal settings, the hitting charge per unit remains high at around 85%. Final but not least, the R6 gave me the same performance and high score when using the 12 years old Canon EF 800mm with adapter.

The A7 3 Eye AF manner can piece of work for diverse animals only information technology doesn’t find faces or bodies, and it doesn’t piece of work for birds yet. (Read our report about Sony Eye AF for Animals.)

The Sony does well with birds in flight but doesn’t reach the same level as the R6, with my score beingness 77% / 96%. Its autofocus system is easier to configure however because there are fewer settings to worry about.

red kite flying against the blue bright sky
A7 III, 1/2000, f/8, ISO 250 – FE 100-400mm GM + TC 1.4x

red kite flying against a brownish hill
A7 Iii, 1/2000, f/viii, ISO 500 – Iron 100-400mm GM + TC 1.4x

If yous are curious to understand how I measure the score for birds in flight, and to come across how other cameras performed, bank check our article below.

3. Continuous shooting speeds

The Canon EOS R6 can shoot upwardly to 12fps, or 20fps if you use the electronic shutter. Continuous Autofocus and Exposure tracking remain active fifty-fifty at 20fps.

The Sony A7 3 can’t match these specifications, with the highest frame rate being 10fps (with AF and AE tracking).

Curiously, when the due east-shutter is enabled, the R6 ever shoots at 20fps even if you select the Medium or Low outburst speed. With the mechanical shutter, you lot can go downwardly to 8fps, 6fps or 3fps just similar with the Sony.

At the maximum speed of 12fps or 20fps, the EOS R6 shows you the last images taken in rapid succession instead of live view (the A7 3 does the aforementioned at 10fps.). This means that what you see just happened an instant ago rather than in real fourth dimension. That said, when working at 20fps, the sequence is so fast that this rarely posed an consequence, even with birds in flight. Plus, the shutter lag of the photographic camera is really brusque.

With slower speeds, both cameras show yous live view with blackouts. The latter is an pick you can enable on the R6 with firmware 1.2.0. If disabled, the photographic camera mixes live view with the image but captured (basically “covering” the coma with the recorded image). The idea is to create a smoother sequence in the LCD or viewfinder instead of having the blackness frame interrupting the flow all the time simply I never liked this concept (the EOS R does the same). It introduces a weird lag effect where the sequence constantly freezes, then resumes motility. It can exist very distracting so I’m glad Catechism gave us the option of existent blackout with the firmware update.

When using the electronic shutter, both cameras tin can produce distortion when panning chop-chop. The quicker you move, the more visible it is (this phenomenon is known as rolling shutter). The R6 has a faster sensor readout and suffers less from it, as you can see below.

side by side shot of a lamp post taken with the EOS R6 and A7 III while panning slowly to show how much distortion there is when using the electronic shutter

side by side shot of a lamp post taken with the EOS R6 and A7 III while panning quickly to show how much distortion there is when using the electronic shutter

I’ve used the electronic shutter for birds in flight on the Canon and these distortions were non too visible, also thank you to the more than complex shape of the animate being itself. However, continue in mind that for both cameras, the scrap-depth drops from 14 to 12-bit when shooting RAW.

The buffer is meliorate on the Canon likewise: information technology can shoot at 12ps at full speed for about 20s with RAW files (that’s near 240 files) or more than than 60s with JPGs (about 1000 files) before taking brusk intervals to articulate the buffer.

At 20fps with the electronic shutter, the R6 lasts for near 5s at full speed with RAW files (100 frames), or more than 30 seconds with JPGs (600 frames).

The A7 III tin can shoot RAW images at 10fps for about 9 seconds (90 frames) before slowing downwards. With JPGs, information technology lasts upwards to 17 seconds (170 frames).

4. Image stabilisation

The EOS R6 is the first camera from Canon to receive 5-centrality in-torso stabilisation (along with the R5). Catechism was the last company to incorporate this technology (Sony was the beginning to utilize it on a full frame camera with the A7 II in 2014) but the specifications are the best on the market place at the time of publishing.

The R6 offers up to 8 stops of compensation which is the highest rating of any camera given past the CIPA association (even better than high-terminate Olympus products). This rating tin drop down to a minimum of vi.5Ev depending on the lens used, so not every lens will give you eight stops of compensation. (Come across the full listing in our R5 vs R6 article.)

interior of a welsh independent cinema
EOS R6, 2s, f/5.6, ISO 200 – RF 24-105mm f4 at 24mm

The A7 III also has five-centrality stabilisation on the sensor but the rating is lower at 5 stops. Sony hasn’t specified different ratings depending on the lens used, and so 1 must assume information technology is the same for all its Eastward-mount lenses.

Offset I tested how the ii cameras perform with a lens that has optical stabilisation, where three axes on the sensor (roll, 10 and y) are combined with the lens IS (pitch and yaw). I used the Canon RF 24-105mm f4 and and the Sony FE 24-105mm f4 OSS.

The examination was conducted equally follows: I tried different shutter speeds and for each I took 10 shots, not only mensurate how slow you lot tin get but as well to see how consistent the performance is.

large bookshelf in a living room
Reference image

Given Canon’s claim of 8 stops of compensation, I started with a super dull speed of 8 seconds at 24mm only none of the images were abrupt. At 4s, three images were not far off, simply it was at 2s that the R6 delivered the outset adequate results. The Sony delivered one good shot at 2s and three good ones at 1s which is more I was expecting.

side by side crop showing the quality of the photos taken hand-held at 2s and 24mm with the EOS R6 and A7 III

Below you can encounter the keeper rate for each shutter speed. It is interesting to note that despite the good operation with tedious shutter speeds, you don’t get a 50% or higher hit rate before ane/2s or 1/4s. This means that at 1s or 2s, you demand to be patient, try to be as still every bit possible and take multiple shots to increase the gamble of bringing home at to the lowest degree one skilful photo.

Shutter speed
8s 0%
4s 0% 0%
2s thirty% 10%
1s xxx% 30%
1/2s 50% 40%
1/4s 90% lxx%
ane/8s 100% 100%

Tip for sharper images taken hand-held at slow shutter speeds

Y’all can increase the success charge per unit by using the electronic front pall shutter and shoot in continuous burst manner (you don’t demand the fastest fps).

At 50mm, both cameras deliver something good at 1s, but the keeper rate increases from 1/4s, peculiarly with the Canon model.

side by side crop showing the quality of the photos taken hand-held at 1s and 50mm with the EOS R6 and A7 III

Shutter speed
A7 Iii
4s 0%
2s 0% 0%
1s twenty% 10%
ane/2s 20% 10%
1/4s seventy% 20%
ane/8s 80% 50%
1/15s 90% 60%

At 105mm, the R6 doesn’t practise miracles simply 40% at one/4s is still very good performance overall. With the Sony, you demand a value faster than one/8s to reach the same hit rate.

side by side crop showing the quality of the photos taken hand-held at 1/2s and 105mm with the EOS R6 and A7 III

Shutter speed
A7 Iii
2s 0% 0%
1s 0% 0%
ane/2s 10% 10%
i/4s 40% 20%
1/8s 70% thirty%
1/15s 100% lxx%

The 2d function of my test involved using two lenses without optical stabilisation, with each camera using the five axes on the sensor (roll, x, y, pitch and yaw). In this case, I had the RF 50mm f1.2 and the Iron 55mm 1.8.

The functioning is non as skilful as with the zoom lenses in a higher place, but the A7 III is not far from the R6’south performance past the half a 2nd marking.

side by side crop showing the quality of the photos taken hand-held at 1/2s for the R6 and 1/4s for the A7 III, using the ibis only.

Shutter speed
A7 3
2s 0% 0%
1s 0% 0%
1/2s thirty% 0%
1/4s forty% 40%
one/8s 90% lxxx%
1/15s 100% ninety%

As e’er, remember that there are other factors that tin influence the results:

  • how steady you are capable of being with the camera
  • how comfortable y’all are with your position and the environment around you (ex. if you’re cold or tired, you’ll milk shake more)

In my feel, you don’t always go the same performance every time, just knowing how far you lot tin can push the shutter speed and, more important, at which shutter speed the camera gives you a decent keeper rate is useful.

interior of a cathedral
A7 3, one/5s, f/5.6, ISO 125 – Atomic number 26 35mm two.viii ZA

What is interesting to note in the tests above is that between 1s and ane/8s (the shutter speeds you most likely use the most), the R6 has a better keeper rate for the near part, but you don’t feel the three finish gap between them as the official ratings suggest.

Stabilisation works for video besides. See our video section further downwardly for more details.

5. Video

The EOS R6 marks a relevant footstep frontwards for Canon past including specifications that filmmakers accept been waiting for.

The Canon photographic camera can record 4K video upwardly to 60p with full pixel readout (oversampling) and just a minor sensor crop of 1.07x. In Total HD, y’all can record upward to 120fps with the High Speed manner.

R6 video settings

The A7 3 as well records in 4K but the maximum frame rate is 30p with a 1.2x crop (24p and 25p use the total width of the sensor nevertheless). It too can record 120fps in Full Hard disk, and y’all can choose whether to utilize the Q&S mode (slow motion effect directly in camera like the R6) or tape in normal mode with sound (the dull motion event needs to be done in post).

I clear advantage of the EOS R6 is that information technology can record 10-bit iv:2:2 internally (H.265 codec) with either the Canon Log gamma or the HDR PQ profile. The A7 3 has two log profiles, HLG and several other settings designed to customise the image, simply it is limited to 8-fleck internally and externally (HDMI output).

The R6 has higher bitrate as well. It goes to a maximum of 120Mbps in 4K upward to 30p, or 230Mbps at 50/60p. If you record with C-Log or HDR PQ, the bitrate goes up 170 and 340Mbps respectively. The maximum bitrate of the A7 III in 4K is 100Mbps.

Both cameras tin record a maximum of thirty minutes per clip. The High Speed manner on the EOS R6 (1080p/120p) is limited to vii minutes.

Some other difference is the ISO sensitivity: the EOS R6 has a smaller normal range than for stills (100 to 25600) but the extended values go up to 204800 ISO. The A7 III has the aforementioned verbal range for photography and video: 100 to 51200 ISO and extended values up to 102400.

Both cameras accept a microphone input and headphone output.

Concerning stabilisation, in addition to sensor and optical IS, the EOS R6 has an extra setting called Digital IS which adds electronic stabilisation to further improve the result. It crops the sensor equally a result however.

Below y’all can discover a quick summery of all my findings. Cheque the video above for the full comparison.

  • The A7 III is a fleck sharper with the default values. If yous tweak the parameters on the R6, you tin achieve a like outcome
  • 1080p is a bit sharper on the Canon
  • Color differences are similar to what I describe with the SOOC JPGs (although the Picture show Styles take a bit less dissimilarity in video mode on the R6)
  • The Picture Profiles on the A7 III have more advanced settings to fine-tune colours and other image parameters
  • The Canon Log profile has more saturation with the default values
  • Canon’s 10-bit recording saves more colour information but the H265 format tin be computer heavy depending on your setup
  • Just like for JPG stills, the R6 has more settings to command dynamic range (highlights peculiarly), but the A7 III has more DR when used with S-Log3
  • Like performance upwards to 12800 ISO, then the R6 shows more noise, only you can control Dissonance Reduction in iv steps unlike the Sony
  • C-AF functioning in farthermost depression light is similar (dissimilar for stills where the R6 is superior)
  • The Catechism is a bit faster and more precise with C-AF and Confront/Eye detection
  • The A7 III has no Center AF for video, simply confront detection, which can sometimes mis-focus such equally, for example, when the subject wears a hat
  • The R6 has better stabilisation for fixed shots or when panning, but walking produces abrupt vertical movements
  • The A7 III has less rolling shutter for video (unlike for stills, where the R6 does improve with the electronic shutter)
  • In my adjacent test, the R6 overheated twice while recording for an hour and half, with a room temperature of 20˚C

6. Design and interface

The EOS R6 is the larger camera and information technology is a bit heavier besides.

  • EOS R6: 138 x 97.5 10 88.4mm, 680g
  • A7 III: 126.9 x 95.six ten 73.7mm, 650g
eos r5 and a7 3 side by side front view

The Canon has a larger and more than rounded front grip. I can rest all my fingers comfortably enough, whereas with the A7 Iii I struggle to continue my pinkie on the surface unless I really clasp all my fingers together. I likewise adopt the position of the shutter button, which is higher and more than sloped towards the front. Of course this tin can change depending on whether you lot take larger or smaller hands than mine.

eos r5 and a7 3 side view of the grips

Both cameras are built around a magnesium alloy chassis and offer weather-sealing.

eos r5 and a7 3 side by side rear view

They offer a good number of controls with an AF joystick and various dials and buttons around the body, and virtually of them can be customised. The A7 3 has an exposure compensation punch on top that the R6 is missing.

eos r5 and a7 3 side by side top view

Unique to the RF system however is the part ring of the lenses that can be used for different settings.

close-up on the canon lens
The control band of the RF 50mm i.ii.

I establish the default configuration of the R6 practiced to use out of the box. I just had to change the function of the three dials (mainly to move the aperture from the rear wheel to the elevation i). Most of its buttons are located at the right place. They are easy to reach and softer to press but with an fantabulous tactile feel and response. The only one I don’t like is the M-Fn push button: it is a bit besides minor and I keep mistaking it for the Rec button when composing with the EVF.

close-up on the top part of the canon eos r6

close-up on the top part of the sony a7 3

The A7 III has more than customisable buttons (10 vs 8, plus the AF Joystick). The rear bike tin be used in four directions in addition to being rotated, whereas on the Canon just the rotation is possible. That said, the 1 on the R6 is more than precise when turned, and that is as well valid for the other two exposure dials.

The AF Joystick on the Canon can’t be customised for other functions (only enabled or disabled) just it feels quicker and more than precise, and you tin can besides change its sensitivity.

close-up on the rear part of the canon eos r6

close-up on the rear part of the sony a7 3

I find the Canon bill of fare system improve organised concerning the main sections, and it automatically adapts to the stills or video shooting mode. You get used to it easily but some areas are a bit messy like many of the AF settings that are not easy to understand direct away (that said, Sony as well has weird names for some of its parameters).

Both cameras have a My Menu page where you can salve your favourite settings, equally well as a Quick Menu (called Fn Carte on the Sony). Even so the Q menu on the Catechism can’t be customised.

They have two SD card slots with the difference being that both slots are UHS-Two compliant on the R6, whereas on the Sony merely slot i is.

eos r5 and a7 3 side by side, view of the SD card compartment

Finally, you lot’ll find a USB C and Micro HDMI port on both products, in add-on to the audio input and output we already mentioned in the previous chapter. The A7 model also has a Micro USB 2.0 port.

eos r5 and a7 3 side by side, view of the connectors

7. Viewfinder and LCD screen

The EOS R6 has a better viewfinder with more resolution (3.69M dots vs 2.36M dots) and a faster refresh rate (120Hz vs 60Hz). The magnification is slightly larger on the A7 III (0.78x vs 0.76x) and the eyepoint is the same (23mm). Because of the smaller magnification, I can come across the extreme corners a bit better on the R6 when wearing glasses.

close-up on the Canon EOS R6 viewfinder

close-up on the Sony A7 3 viewfinder

Some other difference concerns the rear screen: the Canon has a multi-bending solution where you tin can open it to the side and rotate it 180˚, whereas the one on the Sony tilts upward and down.

The resolution is college on the EOS (1.62M vs 0.9M dots) and the R6 offers a more consummate touch screen experience including navigating the menu and get-go movie recording, whereas on the A7 III you tin can but move the focus point or double-tap to actuate magnification. The touch screen is more precise and reactive on the Catechism. On both cameras you can use the LCD screen to move the AF point while using the viewfinder.

Canon EOS R6 and Sony A7 3 view from the top with their LCD tilted and oriented out

Another thing is the quality of the display when focus magnification is activated in video mode. On the A7 III, the live view resolution drops drastically and is almost unusable, whereas on the R6 it remains much sharper.

viii. Battery life

The EOS R6 has a newly adult bombardment that increases the power by xiv% while maintaining the same form factor equally the previous one. The official rating is 380 frames (EVF) or 510 photos (LCD) per accuse, although you volition exist able to take more in real life. It has an amperage of 2130mAh.

The A7 III has a rating of 610 (EVF) or 710 shots (LCD) and its battery has a similar amperage of 2280mAh.

canon and sony batteries side by side

In real earth conditions I can hands double the specs of both cameras, if non more than. For example after taking nigh 2,600 pictures of the red kites with the R6, the battery charge went from 100% to about 64%. The A7 III can practice a bit better than that (around 70%).

For video, the R6 recorded most 113 minutes in 4K 25p (four separated clips plus intervals to cool the camera) earlier the battery ran out. The A7 Three managed to do almost an extra half an hour.

Both cameras can be charged via USB only you will need a high current charger for the Catechism. A bombardment grip is bachelor for both product.

Ane small badgerer with the A7 Three is that it comes without a battery charger (the camera must be plugged directly into the wall socket with the USB adapter). You lot can of course buy one separately.

nine. Lenses

The Canon RF system was launched two years ago, and Catechism started from scratch without even including compatibility with its EOS Thou APS-C mirrorless system. (The mountain is different, different its EF DSLR system that shares the same mount for APS-C and full frame cameras.)

I have to acknowledge that in this short amount of time, Canon has worked hard to release a lot of high quality lenses, from the 2.8 zoom trinity to fast one.ii primes to super telephotos. There are now no fewer than 17 native lenses and two teleconverters, including some affordable options. Rumours suggest 17 other lenses in the works for 2021! Of class with the EF to RF adapter, yous have access to all the EF DSLR lenses while maintaining splendid autofocus functioning.

The Sony full frame Eastward-mountain system debuted in 2013, and in 7 years the company has built an impressive number of native lenses. The same mountain is used for its APS-C series also which increases the versatility of the system. Tertiary party brands such as Sigma, Tamron, Samyang and Zeiss are actively releasing new lenses for Eastward-mount, and so users are at present spoiled for choice.

I’g pretty sure that nosotros volition start to run across more third party RF lenses at some bespeak, and once over again you have access to the DSLR equivalents, although information technology is off-white to say that EF lenses work on the A7 Iii as well and there are many adapters bachelor. (the AF functioning is not e’er every bit fast still)

10. Toll

The EOS R6 can be constitute at the retail price of $2500 / £2500 / €2700 for the body only.

The A7 III being older tin can be plant for less ($1700 / £1750 / €1850).

Note: prices are as of December 2020.

The maximum shutter speed of both cameras is 1/8000s. With flash, the EOS R6 goes up to 1/250s when using the electronic offset curtain mode (ane/200s with the mechanical shutter). The A7 Iii does ane/250s with either the mechanical or electronic first drape shutter.

The EOS R6 has a few extra features that you won’t find in the A7 III such as:

  • Multiple exposure
    which works up to 9 frames and diverse blending methods (additive, average, bright or nighttime)
  • RAW epitome processing
    to process and convert RAW files into JPGs
  • Time-lapse Movie
    to create a 1080p or 4K video out of frames captured at a set up interval
  • Flexible-priority AE way (Fv)
    that lets you set the exposure to full auto, semi-motorcar or fully manual without the demand to change shooting modes

The two cameras take others things in common including:

  • Exposure and White Residual Bracketing
  • USB tethering to a reckoner

And then we have the wireless capabilities which let y’all to exercise a number of dissimilar things like transfer images to a smartphone, or control the cameras remotely from your mobile device. I discover the Canon app more complete, and you can switch between photo and video mode without the need to plow the concrete dial on the camera.

Both cameras let you to use a bluetooth remote controller, and connect to a FTP server. With the R6 you can too connect to the Canon Cloud Spider web Service and upload images while shooting (it works rather well!).

Apropos the manual focus assists, in addition to magnification and peaking, the R6 has the excellent Focus Guide mode that shows you in which direction and how much you need to arrange focus using the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology on the sensor. Information technology’s very precise and reliable, and my favourite MF assist to date. If center detection is enabled, it volition automatically show y’all the aligning for any middle detected.

I last marvel: when the R6 is turned off, the shutter closes to protect the sensor while changing the lens, just similar the EOS R. This office can be disabled in the card if you lot prefer.

Video Review

Beneath you can watch the full comparison in video format. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!


The A7 III has been the criterion in the full frame mirrorless category since information technology was released thank you to its excellent balance of price, features and quality. It rightfully became ane of the most popular full frame cameras ever. Today, it remains a very competitive package thanks to its splendid total frame sensor and accessible price.

That said, the Sony camera is more than two years old now (it was announced in early 2018) and in the concurrently, the competition has worked hard to shut the gap. In my view, Canon has succeeded with the EOS R6. It represents an important step forrad for the RF organization after the disappointing EOS R released 2 years agone, and in many means information technology feels like a superior production to the A7 Iii.

The autofocus system and outburst speeds are impressive, and Catechism has out-classed Sony in its own territory with features like Fauna Detection. The image quality is on par, if non slightly better, admitting with 20% less resolution. The prototype stabilisation is also superior (although non as much as the official specifications propose) and I personally prefer the ergonomics, push layout and dials response on the EOS body.

canon eos r6 and a7 3 side by side

Equally nice equally the R6 sounds, there are some potent points in favour of the A7 III to keep in mind. It may not accept 4K/60p or ten-bit internal recording for video, but it doesn’t endure from overheating as severely equally the Canon. There is a plethora of native lenses to choose between for the E-mount system, not just from Sony but too third-political party brands, and that likewise ways a better selection of affordable glass. Last but not least, the Sony is less expensive.

The last point to mention is of course the A7 3 successor. Nosotros don’t know when it will arrive even so, merely it is likely than when it does, Sony volition improve many features on the photographic camera to arrive more competitive specs wise, so what now looks like an inferior product could button its way back to the front end whenever the A7 Four makes its appearance.

Choose the Catechism EOS R6 if:

  • yous want meliorate autofocus performance in all situations
  • you desire amend ergonomics and precise controls
  • yous want ameliorate image stabilisation for stills

Cull the Sony A7 III if:

  • you want to spend less
  • you want more choice amongst the native E-mount lenses
  • yous need a reliable A cam for video

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