Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens I’ve got Haley here with me. And Haley’s going to help me take a look at the Canon R5c versus the Sony a1. These are two great cameras. I have shot on the Sony a1 a lot. We just got back from Iceland where I shot on it for a couple of weeks. Love the camera, love the things that it does. I’m getting used to the R5c and some of the things about that. I’ve shot now a couple of times.
So let’s start off with some of the basic specs about these two cameras. The a1 has a 50 megapixel sensor. So Haley what does the R5c have. It has a 45 megapixel of course. It does, so one of the things that set these two cameras apart for me is that the a1 does have IBIS whereas the R5c does not. It has electronic stabilization. We’ll take a look at that and just see how those two compare to each other. So in electronic shutter mode with the a1 you get 30 frames per second up to 155 frames. And that is that 50 megapixel sensor which is pretty amazing. Now on the Canon it’s not quite as good. You get 20 frames a second up to 83 frames. But it’s a 45 megapixel sensor. So they’re both very competitive as a sports type camera. And also, as you know, any kind of wildlife or sports cameras. So they’re very competitive in that way.
Sony just came up with a new firmware update. In fact we updated ours while we were in Iceland. That firmware update gives you a couple of options. First you get a 10 bit 4.2.2 external recording through the HDMI port. So you can get an external signal out to an Atomos and you can record that raw external recording on the a1 through the HDMI cable port out. With that new Sony update we have several raw lossless compressions. So you have a large, medium and small lossless raw compression. They say the large lossless raw is going to give you the same quality as an uncompressed raw. It’s going to give you more card space. It’s going to be an easier way to work when you’re shooting any kind of sports or birds or any kind of wildlife because it’s going to shoot all those bursts. It’s not going to take up as much room on the card.
As for the R5c, when it was released it shoots internally a raw light which is exactly what’s on the C200. They really have set this up, the R5c, to make it a cinema camera. That’s what the C means. And they put a red button on it so it has to be a cinema camera because a red button means cinema. The problem with raw with this camera is you really have to have some kind of external battery source. It was pretty telling when the rental house that sent this camera to us sent it with six batteries. You know I heard somebody say that it doesn’t really use that much battery. I’m going, well you’re not using it then, because when I use it it chews up the battery.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it, Canon’s EVF is like five million seven hundred some odd thousand. Which is really great. But Sony’s is 9,470.000 I think so. The EVF in the Sony is way better. When you look through there you get a lot of clarity as you looked at it through the EVF. But reversely the monitor on the R5c is like 2,100,000. Whereas the monitor on the Sony is only 1,400,000. I always favor an EVF, internal EVF is what I love because when you’re outside you want to see and you got to look through the EVF. And that’s one of the things I didn’t like about the C70 is having no EVF. You know, you have to purchase that separately. But that’s another story. One last thought before we get to our tests and that is that you do have a higher sync speed on the Sony at 400 than you do on the Canon at 250. So it just does help you to crush the background a little bit. I wish we could sync these cameras all the way up to 2000. That day may come eventually. An electronic shutter, I think they’ll solve that problem.
Anyway, let’s get to our tests. Let’s look at picture quality. Let’s look at dynamic range. Let’s look at autofocus. I struggled with the R5c with autofocus last time. So I’m really curious to see the difference between the R5c and the Sony in that the R5c has phase detect whereas the Sony has contrast detect and phase detect. And it seems to give me better auto focus. So we’ll test that and just see exactly what we got. And maybe that’s not the case. So let’s find out. Let’s get to our test. Let’s get started. Should we get started Haley? Yeah let’s go all right let’s do it.
For our first test we’re going to do an image quality test. We’re going to shoot these both at the same color temperature, both at the same shutter speed, 1/2000 of a second at f/1.2. So these lenses are wide open. And then I’m going to use a raw image and color correct it and take a look at those in comparison to each other. So let’s get an image quality test and just take a look at both these cameras. I want to look at an image that comes off from a camera and I want to feel excited about it. When I look at these two images I feel exactly that. They are beautiful. What makes a great image there is it’s just a great quality of transition from highlight to shadow. I want to see a great ISO at 100. I think it should be clean. I think we should have a beautiful skin tone. And as I look at these I feel like I’ve seen exactly that on both these cameras. This is a jpeg that comes straight out of the camera. And if you look at this the Canon is a little warm. The Sony’s a little more neutral. But they both have a beautiful image. I look at the color and the color feels wonderful. The skin tone looks wonderful. I put a SpyderCheckr on with each of these and I sampled that and changed the color which brought the color for the two of these two cameras almost identically together. I feel like they’re excellent images, so head to head. And easily corrected so that they are exactly the same color. So there you go, there’s the picture quality test. Which one looks better to you?
So you can’t look at these two cameras, at just still images. You’ve got to look at a piece of 4k video. I think 8k is great, but you can’t really see 8k on YouTube anyway. So a good 4k video that’s going to show you exactly how beautiful that image is as part of that picture quality test. The Canon is a little overexposed but it’s just giving a great color. I’ve seen that transition from shadow to highlight to shadow is beautiful on her face. But the Sony also has a beautiful picture. I see the color rendition both in the foreground on her shirt, her sweater. I don’t see any kind of moray pattern. I just see beautiful sharp video.
So let’s take a look at the video quality when we’re shooting inside in a mixed light situation, 4k video in a mixed light situation. I’ve got ambience in the room. I’ve got LED ambience in the room. I’ve got a little sunlight up front on her face. The Canon’s struggling with the refresh rate on these LEDs. Look at that, the flicker is just terrible. But look at the quality of light on her face in both of these it is beautiful, clean light. I get nice transition of the highlights to the shadows. I get great detail in her hair and the blues. So there’s a look at some a picture quality video quality 4k inside. Beautiful video!
Let’s go on and look at the next test. So let’s take some still images with each one of these cameras at different ISOs. We’ll do 400. We’ll go up to 25,600 on the Canon. We can actually go up to 51,200. Just take a look at that grain when it starts to build. And take a look at how they compare with each other. So first off we’re going to start at 400 because basically 100 and 200, they’re pretty clean on both these cameras. At 400 you look at it, you see grain in the background in that gray panel back there. You don’t really see much in her face. A little bit in the bridge of her nose. When you start looking into that shadow area you start to see a little bit building there. If I go to 800 I certainly see the grain start to build. When I look at her face I’m starting to see the contrast build on her face or the grain pattern looks better on this the Canon. But the contrast looks a little better on the bridge of her nose here. So when I go to 1600, when I look at the Canon R5c I’m starting to see that color banding start to happen down her nose and that transition area. It’s always a place that shows up first. I’m starting to see heavier grain with the Sony a1. The grain is definitely very pronounced at 1600 and we are getting some of that color banding on her nose. I think that at this point I think the R5c is looking a little nicer than the Sony a1. When we go to 3200 the grain pattern on that Canon R5c is just really subtle. It’s very clean. But the R5c is starting to have more color issues. At 3200 they’re both having a hard time. At 6400 we are slightly nicer on the Canon R5c. Part of what we’re looking at here though, it’s really important to remember, is that the a1 is slightly underexposed. I shot them both with the same exposure but the a1 is a little bit underexposed and it makes that background look a little darker which makes the grain a little more prominent. But at 6400 it’s pretty tough back there. When I look at 12,800 we got grain folks. We got grain all over the place. We got grain on her face. We got grain, I mean everywhere. At 25,600 same thing. We’re really getting all kinds of colors starting to happen on the face. Strong grain in the background with the Canon. We jump to 51,200 but it’s just all grain, all the time, everywhere. We’re getting the shadows, they’re all just kind of blown out with no detail. Tell me what you think. Which one of these cameras did better? I’m feeling like maybe the Sony was struggling a little bit. Maybe the Canon was doing just slightly better. I mean that was my sense of it. But maybe it was just the exposure. And if that exposure was up a little bit they would look a little more similar.
So let’s look at the ISO in video mode. We start off with 400 ISO. They’re both very clean. There is a color difference in these you can see that. But that’s something you could certainly correct. When I jump up to 800 ISO certainly the Canon R5c is very clean and it’s a native ISO for it at 800. I feel like it gives us a great rendition. The Sony is sharp and clean. It’s a little bit on the yellowish side. But that’s just a matter of color correction. But at 800 ISO I think the Canon looks a little nicer than Sony. But they’re very, very close. We now jump to 1600 ISO and I am surprised at how clean both of these look. Look at the color on the Sony. It’s still feeling a little more neutral. It’s not as red. The Canon R5c is very red. The color hasn’t shifted very much on the Sony whereas I feel like it’s shifting on the R5c. When we jump up to 3200 ISO again the Sony still color is staying pretty clean. When I see the R5c I see those reds are starting to become a little bit pinkish. Really workable here at 3200 ISO in most situations. When we hit 6400 ISO, I mean, both these cameras have grain starting to build. You start to see dancing in the shadows on their faces in that video mode. I mean, we were getting some of that at 3200 ISO but we’re certainly now seeing it at 6400 ISO. I mean of course the Sony goes to 12,800 and 25,600 but we’re already having issues and dancing in the shadows. But there’s a look at the ISO capabilities of these two cameras in video mode. So tell me what you think. Which one is doing better.
So I’m going to do an auto focus test now. Auto focus and stills as she walks towards the camera to see how the camera tracks with her. We’ll shoot it here. We’ll shoot it inside and we’ll take a look at those two and just see exactly what these two cameras will do and how they handle autofocus. You know, inside, this is the a1 inside. We shot in the kitchen. I did 18 frames. She’s walking very slowly. 18 frames should be very easy for a camera to keep up with in stills mode. And as I look at her and they are all extremely sharp, beautifully sharp, every single one of them. Not an issue there whatsoever. But now when I go from, and she’s walking towards me and when I get about right in here I start to see a few frames that are a little off. I lose about three frames right in here before she gets into her final focus and that tighter head face shot. So I’m losing about three frames out of 50 on that a1 outside. When I go to the Canon, same thing inside. I have her walking towards the camera. I’m doing 18 frames so it’s the slowest mode. And she is sharp all the way and beautifully sharp. So this is a lower light situation. Sometimes the Canon kind of struggles in that low light situation. But in this case it was clean all the way in. All right, so she goes through. As she gets up into here just about right here we start to drift and I lose a bunch of images. It comes in and out. It’s searching and losing, searching and losing and I lose about nine images as she comes towards me right in here. That’s pretty disappointing, nine images out of 51. So the R5c started to struggle as we shot a faster frame rate. And it started to struggle as she got closer and we lost about nine frames out of 51. So what would I say between these two cameras? I would have to say the Sony a1 definitely was a little better when it came to autofocus.
Let’s take a look at video mode, how the autofocus works. All right, let’s look at auto focus in video mode. This is pretty important. I use this auto focus feature in video mode a lot more than I used to. As we look at these two cameras as she walks towards the camera can they hold the focus? And if you watch it you see the Sony as she comes up, the Sony stays with her pretty well. But as we come forward here you see the camera, you see it following her. It kind of loses her a tiny bit. We look at the R5c. She starts to come in. Yeah, we lose her a little bit. It’s really organic looking. If you ever see a focus puller you can’t stay on somebody walking straight forward towards the camera. It’s going to breathe a little bit. It’s going to miss and come back a little bit. These are pretty spot on.
Let’s take a look at that autofocus in a darker situation. She’s walking down the hall in really kind of warm light into a little more clean light up front. And let’s just see how she does as she walks towards us here in that darker room here. So we see the Sony as she comes forward and as she’s moving forward it stays with her. It moves her a little bit right in there and she walks into a nice focus. You know, maybe the Canon, I look back in here, I think it’s with her. But I start to lose a little bit in here. I catch up and I lose it just a little bit. At the end it takes a while for it to catch up before it finally focuses back on her. But I think the R5c does struggle a little bit in lower light situations when it comes to autofocus. And we kind of see it happening here. All right, so there you have it, auto focus in video mode. The a1 may be a little bit better I think with the autofocus overall. The a1 is kind of edging out the R5c just a little bit. What do you think? What do you see? Leave a comment.
I think an area that is worth talking about and looking at is stabilization with these cameras. I know a lot of people say well, everyone puts them on a gimbal. And that is true. I use gimbals all the time. But the reality is, you hand hold a lot of time as well. And to have just a little of that IBIS in camera to give you some stabilization so it’s not too jerky is really important. So let’s just first look at the Canon here. This is a Canon with its own electronic stabilization on and off. So put those side by side. Look at the jitteriness of the of the Canon. That electronic stabilization does help. It has a little bit of its own kind of jitter though. I see it in there. It sometimes just feels a little artificial to me. So let’s take a look at the Sony a1 with the IBIS on and off. Now this is not electronic. This is IBIS. It’s pretty smooth. It just kind of floats around a little bit. It’s a nice look as you walk in you do feel the walk, but it’s just, it’s a much more controlled look. Without it it’s pretty jumpy. I’ve heard some people say, “well it looks like film”. I’m going, yeah film looks terrible. That’s why they went to gimbals, I mean there’s a reason.
So let’s take a look at the IBIS on the Sony versus the Canon electronic. I feel like the Sony is smoother. I feel like the Canon electronic is jumping just a little bit. I think the Sony definitely has a leg up here when it comes to IBIS and handheld. I don’t think the electronic looks as good. All right, so there’s a look at stabilization. What are your thoughts about stabilization? I’d love to hear them. Leave some comments below. Love to hear just exactly what you think. Do you use stabilization? Do you not? Let’s hear what you have to say.
So we’re going to do our dynamic range test now. We’re going to under expose this by four stops and just see if we can recover it. We’ll over expose it by three stops and see if we can recover that. There’s no reason to go four stops overexposed because there’s no way you can recover that on a digital sensor. So we’re going to go after here and just look at the dynamic range of the a1 versus the R5c. This is a tough situation. I’ve got a little patch of ground in the background back there that is absolutely blown out. So you’re looking at the normal. Both of these are not holding that patch back there. In normal they are exposed exactly the same. I take a meter reading in front of her face, 100 ISO and it gives us a great exposure inside on her face. But that background’s so hot. It’s beyond these two cameras. But if we immediately go to minus one and we subtract, we go a minus one on these, already it’s helping us out. Because in the background we’re seeing better in seeing more detail back there. I think the Canon is handling the detail a little better. I’m seeing a little better color in the greens and blue. That blown out patch is just all dirt back there. The Sony is trying to keep up and it’s getting close.
When we go to -2 you can get away with -2. I mean look at this. Look at her face. We still have great detail on her face. We have a great transition from the highlight into the shadows. I’m not getting any kind of noise building up too much. But look how it handles that patch back there. It’s no longer just a big blown out area. I believe the Canon is holding that just a little better than the Sony.
Minus three is when you start tipping and that is you’re going to start to see some color, like on the bridge of her nose. You’re going to start seeing that color build. You’re going to start seeing some grain start to build at -3. We’re starting to get there. We certainly see better into that bright patch in the background. But the color is starting to shift a little bit. So we go to minus four. We’re cruising for a bruising here now. Man, the grains start to build. You see the color on her nose from highlight to shadow start to give us that little line that starts to happen right along there. See that red line on her face. The canon is handling it better than the Sony. There’s no doubt about it. To me it’s the color’s not shifting as bad. It’s just a little better job.
So let’s jump to the other side. We’ve been underexposed and underexposing. Now let’s over expose this scene by a stop and see what happens at plus one. Already that white patch in the background is just going nuclear down. But the Canon is holding on to it better than the Sony is.
Plus two is just too much for a digital sensor. Look at her face. The color of her face, how it just starts to have that ghostly kind of yellowy look. You’re not holding that background at all. It’s just not acceptable. If we go to plus three this is hilarious to me. At plus three these just look like a really bad image. If I were to say, I would say the Canon has just a little better dynamic range than the Sony. Here the Sony is just struggling to keep up. But when I say that we’re talking about a half a stop, maybe two thirds of a stop. Probably about a half a stop. So they’re very, very close.
So let’s talk about the ergonomics of these two cameras. They are very similar in weight. They’re within an ounce of each other. But they’re a little bit different in size in that the Sony is much smaller. It doesn’t have that fan on the back and so it’s going to be a little easier to carry, slip into a bag or put in a backpack. It’s just a little smaller to carry around with you. But I thought that fan would be a problem, would be in my way. But it has not been. I can get to all the access, all the controls along the side of the fan. I’ve never felt like it was an issue as far as getting in the way. So that fan is not going to be bothersome to me at all. So it can and basically has two different cameras in one. You have the cinema side that looks like all their cinema cameras. The menus do function very much like that. Then you have the photography side that functions very much like their photo cameras. And the menus look just like the R and the R6. The R5 look is very similar. I do find it interesting when Sony first came out with cameras, I’m going, “Why can’t you make your menus easy and your camera’s more easy like Canon?” Now I’m looking at Canon mirrorless and I’m going, “Why can’t you make your cameras more easy in the menus, more simple like Sony?” It’s just it’s not as intuitive for me and especially not in video mode, even though I am used to video mode. And when you switch into video mode it looks like the C200.
But the Sony is just so much easier in that you’ve got a dial. You change the dial. You change the dial for your frames per second. And there’s just some very simple things about it. I love the fact that you have now gone to a hot shoe that allows you to put a sound device on there so that hot shoe allows you to communicate through the hot shoe to the camera. So you can use the Tascam sound device on there. We use the Sony version of that all the time when we’re doing audio.
So for lenses on these for everything we shot today we have the 50 millimeter RF 1.2 for the Canon. Then we have the G-master 1.2 50 millimeter for the Sony. These are top of the line lenses for both these cameras and they give you a great image. And it’s going to give you the best optimal kind of image quality with these two cameras. I can’t stand the fact that the Sony has a crop, a major crop when you shoot 4k. It just crops in and it drives me crazy. It’s back to the R version of this which was like almost a 1.9 crop or 1.8. But anyway, that’s 1.6 crop as I recall for the Sony. And that’s a little bit bothersome to me. So there’s a quick look at the ergonomics. The one thing everyone is complaining about and I agree, you got this tiny little camera with less real estate and they have a full HDMI port. Got this bigger camera with bigger area and it’s got a small HDMI port. I’m going really, really?
So let’s wrap it up. These are flagship cameras. They are made to give you the best performance these two camera companies can possibly give you. They’re just so head-to-head. Would I choose one of these cameras if I was a Canon owner and I had all Canon glass would I jump to Sony because of the Sony a1? No, I wouldn’t. I would stick in the ecosystem you have committed yourself to. I would stay in that ecosystem and I would buy the R5c. If I was a Sony owner and I had all Sony glass would I jump to the Canon because of the R5c? No, I would stick with Sony glass. I’d buy the a1. So there you have it. These two cameras are very close. Let me know which one you think is best. Let me know what you think or what we can do in the future to make these tests even better. I appreciate you listening. I appreciate your support. So keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.
This is the SKB 2217. This bad boy will carry all my Westcott strobe equipment: Five FJ400s, lithium batteries, four FJ400 strobe heads, FJ-X2 trigger, speed ring, seven inch grid, gel inserts, seven inch reflectors, two chargers. So there’s what I have in my SKB 2217 strobe case. So don’t get skunked out there. Make sure you got the right equipment with you. Let’s go shoot something.