Sony Vs Canon Mirrorless Camera (Tested and Compared )

As a photographer, you might be wondering whether Sony or Canon might be a good fit for you since they both manufacture great mirrorless cameras.

If you want a mirrorless camera that captures well in low light with hybrid shooting, and incredible autofocus systems go for Sony.

Sony works well for action shots, wildlife, and astrophotography.

Yet, Canon offers exceptional design, camera layout, operation, and a vast lens ecosystem which is great for landscape, portrait, and everyday photography.

Hence, we’ll be comparing mirrorless cameras from these brands and you’ll decide which one is best for your photography needs.

Sony Vs Canon Mirrorless Camera

In the table below, we will be comparing features from both Sony and Canon side by side to see how well they perform.

FEATURES SONY CANON
Sensor Type Full-frame CMOS Full-frame CMOS
Sensor Resolution 24MP – 33MP

(Can be higher depending on the model of the camera)

24 – 30MP

(Can be higher depending on the model of the camera)

Continuous Shooting Speed 5 fps – 10 fps

(Can be higher depending on the model and settings of the camera)

8 fps – 20 fps

(Can be higher depending on the model and settings of the camera)

Autofocus System Hybrid with phase-detect and contrast-detect points Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Viewfinder Type OLED EVF OLED EVF
Viewfinder Resolution 2.36M dots – 3.69 dots 3.69M dots – 5.76M dots
Rear LCD Screen 3.0-inch tilting/ vari-angle touchscreen 3.0-inch tilting/ vari-angle touchscreen
LCD Screen Resolution 921,600 dots – 1.62M dots 1.04m dots – 1.04M dots – 2.1M dots
ISO Range 100 – 51,200 (native) 100 – 102,400 (native)
Video Recording 4K 30 fps – 4K 60 fps 4K 30 fps – 8K 24 fps
Image Stabilization In-body Image Stabilization (IBIS) on most models Lens-based image Stabilization (IS)
Lens Selection A wider range of native lenses. Better compatibility with DSLR lenses through adapters.

 

Note that, the table above is a general comparison of Sony’s versus Canon’s features.

Some mirrorless camera models released by these brands may exceed the features above.

Differences Between Sony Vs Canon Mirrorless

From the table above, it can be inferred that Sony and Canon have different specifications, excelling in some areas than others.

We will further discuss the differences between them below.

Sensor Resolution:

In terms of sensor resolution, Sony has an edge over Canon as it offers more megapixels (MP) in its full-frame and APS-C models.

Sony boasts higher resolution (24-33MP) which gives sharper details, but file sizes tend to be larger which can lead to slower performance.

On the other hand, Canon offers a moderate resolution of 24-30MP, having manageable file sizes.

Photographers tend to choose a mirrorless camera based on their editing and storage needs.

Image Quality:

Sony Vs Canon Mirrorless image

Image quality is key for any photograph and in this, both Sony and Canon produce cameras with excellent image quality.

Largely, Sony and Canon have accurate colors, dynamic range, and low-light performance.

However, thanks to its larger sensors and advanced processing, Sony generally excels at low-light photography.

On the other hand, Canon is known for its vibrant colors and natural image-looking tones which makes it a perfect choice for landscape and portrait photography.

Moreover, Canon tends to have better skin tones and smoother transitions, while Sony tends to have more contrast and sharpness.

Photographers may prefer one brand over the other depending on their taste, photography niche, and style.

Video Quality:

Undisputedly, in video recording and quality capabilities, Sony won in this round. Sony offers higher frame rates up to 4K 60fps.

Additionally, Sony mirrorless cameras have an internal 10-bit recording for professional-grade footage.

However, Canon has catered to filmmakers with its 8K recording options and better color science.

Unfortunately, Canon has lower frame rates and bit depths as higher bit rates need expensive hardware that runs hotter.

Further, Sony has a slight advantage over Canon as it offers more options and flexibility for video formats, codecs, and bitrates.

Moreover, Sony has fewer issues with overheating, cropping, and rolling shutter which are crucial to a camera’s performance during recordings.

Autofocus:

Autofocus helps photographers focus moving objects in their cameras to capture more stable figures in their images that are not blurry.

Generally, both Sony and Canon offer eye-detection autofocus for precise focus on faces. In this case.

Sony employs a hybrid autofocus system with lightning-fast response and subject tracking.

Sony’s autofocus system also includes animal tracking, real-time tracking, and touch tracking.

This makes Sony mirrorless cameras better for capturing moving objects in action and wildlife photography.

Conversely, Canon uses Dual Pixel CMOS AF (AutoFocus) with excellent accuracy, and smooth focus transitions which work well for stills and videos.

With Canon’s autofocus system, Canon mirrorless cameras are great for portraiture and video shooting, yet it is not as versatile as Sony’s system.

Viewfinder And LCD:

Similarly, both Sony and Canon use electronic viewfinders (EVFs) and LCD screens for their mirrorless cameras.

This enables photographers to see the exposure and settings in real-time.

Nonetheless, Sony has higher resolution and magnification EVFs such as the OLED viewfinders that offer immersive viewing.

In effect, this means that on Sony mirrorless cameras you can see more details and have a larger view of the scene.

On the other hand, Canon has large bright EVFs that provide comfortable viewing.

Also, with Canon’s vari-angle LCDs, you get more flexibility for low-angle and high-angle shots Furthermore, Sony uses tilting and articulating LCD screens, while Canon typically uses articulating screens.

Iso Range:

Generally, Sony and Canon offer wide ISO ranges that allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor to different lighting conditions.

They both boast high ISO capabilities that reach up to 51,200 natively and are expandable for capturing in low-light conditions with minimal noise.

However, Canon has higher maximum ISO values than Sony. Yet, a high ISO Range does not necessarily mean Canon is better than Sony for image quality.

Shutter Life:

Don’t let the name deceive you. Shutter life simply means the estimated number of shots a camera’s shutter can perform before it wears and fails.

Hence, durability. Based on this understanding, Sony and Canon have durable shutters that can last a long time, ensuring years of consistent performance.

Still, shutter life is not a guarantee, and can vary depending on how you use and maintain the camera.

Lens Quality And Compatibility:

You should know that Sony and Canon are camera manufacturing giants and have a wide range of lenses for their mirrorless cameras.

These lenses cover various focal lengths, apertures, and purposes. Concerning full-frame cameras, Sony offers a wider range of native lenses than Canon.

Sadly, for compatibility, adapters are needed to use DSLR lenses, which introduces potential issues like reduced autofocus performance.

On the brighter side, Canon offers better compatibility with existing DSLR lenses through adapters, especially its compatibility with their extensive EF lens.

Nonetheless, Canon has more native lenses for its full-frame mirrorless system, while Sony has more native lenses for its APS-C mirrorless systems.

Both brands also have adapters that allow you to use their DSLR lenses on their mirrorless cameras, but with some limitations that you might be willing to accept.

Battery Life:

Likewise, photographers need their cameras to have a long battery life for shots.

On this account, Canon generally edges out Sony in the battery department.

Some Canon mirrorless cameras usually last up to 680 shots per charge compared to Sony’s 580.

Regardless, depending on the intensity of activities done on the camera such as video recording, the battery will drain fast on either Canon or Sony.

Brand Ecosystem

If you have existing cameras, lenses, accessories, and software, you will want to integrate them with your other devices if possible.

This will enable you to have a seamless workflow from one device to another and cut costs.

Hence, when choosing between Sony and Canon, consider how their broader ecosystem aligns with existing photography setup and future needs.

Lately, Sony’s E-mount has attracted a growing pool of high-quality third-party lenses from brands like Sigma and Tokina, while Canon’s EF mount benefits from an established third-party market.

Moreover, Canon enjoys a wide range of third-party accessories due to their presence in the DSLR market while compatibility might be limited to specific camera models for Sony.

Other things to consider in a brand’s ecosystem are

  • Software,
  • Compatibility and integration with other devices and platforms,
  • The quality and performance of the cameras and lenses,
  • The availability and affordability of the accessories and software,
  • Future expansion goals for their cameras,
  • Customer service and support.

FAQ

What Are The Advantages Of Mirrorless Cameras Over DSLRs?

This largely depends on your preference as mirrorless cameras are generally smaller, lighter, faster, and quieter than DSLRs.

While DSLRs have longer battery life, better design and controls, and a wider range of lenses.

Do I need to be an experienced photographer to use mirrorless camera?

No, you don’t. Mirrorless cameras are designed for user-friendliness, often featuring intuitive menus and touchscreen controls.

Sony and Canon, albeit with varying levels of complexity, cater to beginners and enthusiasts alike.

Simply go for a camera that matches your skill and be willing to improve your skill level.

Does Canon Shoot Better Videos Than Sony?

Not really. It also depends on the purpose they will be used for. One could go for Sony which dominates in high-end video options.

For instance, the Sony A7 IV has internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, and frame rates up to 4K 60 fps.

However, Canon’s EOS R5 offers 8K recording capabilities and excellent color science great for filmmaking.

Ultimately, the better option depends on your specific video workflow and editing.