(If you want to watch the video go to The Slanted Lens on YouTube!)
Hi, This is Jay P. I’ve got Sophie here with me today. We’re going to look at two full frame sensor cameras that are competitive price wise in the market. But one’s a little newer, one’s a little older. Let’s take a look at the form factor of these two cameras. See which one is right for you. They’ve got different video specs. They’ve got different still specs. Let’s see which camera you would choose. Let’s get started.
Let’s see how these two cameras compare. These are both full-frame cameras. They both have 24 megapixel sensors. Price wise the R8 is at $1499, whereas the a7C is at $1598. So within a hundred dollars of each other. They both have 14 bit depth. So we really want to look at image quality. So let’s take a look at the image quality test.
All right, let’s look at the picture quality test with these two cameras. The R8 and the a7C both have beautiful images. Look at the color chart here, the Spyder Checkr. And you see just a great color rendition on both of these. I feel like the red works a little better with the Canon R8. The reds just, the colors, the reds pop a little better. They’re a little warmer. It’s a little more neutral on the Sony. There’s no doubt about that. It is interesting when you pop in and look at like the skin on the Canon. The Canon is just a little more sharp. It’s a little more, you see the skin, the roll off from highlights of the shadows aren’t quite as nice as I see in the Sony. I feel like that is the one difference in these pictures, that just the Sony seems a little softer in that transition from highlights to shadows that make the image just feel a little a little softer to me. They’re both sharp as could be. Look at that. Just sharp as could be. If we look at the test of the two plates next to each other. I mean, there’s just very sharp detail here with both these cameras. It’s hard for me to feel like that one is better than the other. And I just look at the final image of the two, just very pretty images. I would feel comfortable shooting on either one of these. I like the green rendition a little better on the Sony a7C. But I like the red, the warmth a little better on the Canon. So you can go either way on that. These two cameras are so similar to one another. It’s really hard to tell. You’re going to have to decide on that one.
Let’s talk about the ergonomics of these two cameras. They are very different in the form factor and how that’s going to relate to the way you use it. First off, weight wise, 16 ounces and 15 ounces. They are very close to each other, very, very close to each other. They both have a single SD card slot. So with regards to that they’re very much the same. But they are very different in size. The a7C is much smaller than the R8. It’s a smaller form factor.In that smaller form factor it really makes it so you can carry this much easier. It’s made to be a camera that you can carry. But with that smaller form factor you have less space for dials, less space for your hand. My hand is more comfortable, more comfortably grips the R8. It’s a little harder for me to get a hold of the a7C. I start to feel like it’s going to slip out of my hand.
They both have articulating screens that articulate out the back for vlogging and those kinds of things make them very nice for that. Monitor-wise we’ve got 1,620,000 dot monitor on the R8. Whereas on the a7C you’ve got a 921,000 dot monitor. So the monitor is not as clear on the Sony as it is on the Canon. It’s going to be a little better on the Canon. And that’s part of that larger form factor and part of what you get there. They both have touch screen on the back which gives you that touchscreen capabilities. I think the thing about this mostly for me is just the fact that there is more space for my hand, more space for the dials. Neither of these cameras have the second joystick on the back for moving the autofocus point and those kinds of things. So in that way because of that small form factor that’s something you had to give up.When it comes to ergonomics, for me, I think the Canon wins. But people who want a small camera they carry with them are probably going to love that a7C. But for me, Canon wins.
So these two cameras have very different batteries. And the batteries really make a big difference. The R8 has a very small battery. It doesn’t give you a lot of continuous shots. You get like 290 shots out of it. Whereas the Sony’s going to give you almost 740. Sony has a more robust battery. Even though the Sony is not a huge battery, it’s going to have a much better battery life capability than the Canon. So when it comes to battery, I think the Sony definitely wins in that category.
So now let’s look at the viewfinders. The viewfinder on the Canon is 2,360,000 dots whereas on the Sony it’s 2,359,000 dots. So they’re very close as far as resolution goes. But it’s just, it’s so hard to get in and tiny to see through that viewfinder. It’s a very small little viewfinder (Sony). It’s hard to line your eye up with it. Whereas it’s a larger more traditional viewfinder on the Canon. That’s part of what you’re giving up for that smaller form factor on the Sony and not on the Canon. Again, I lean towards that older kind of viewfinder, that older kind of form factor because I want to be able to look through there and see. So for me, even though I have almost the same resolution, I think the Canon viewfinder wins. On the Sony you get like a 59x whereas on the Canon you get 70x. So the magnification is much better on the Canon. So all the way around, as far as easability of use these, easability of use. (Is that a word?) Ease of use and magnification, I think the Canon definitely wins.
Let’s see how these two cameras compare to each other when it comes to autofocus. First off, the Canon R8 has 4897 autofocus points in stills and 4067 points in video. Whereas the a7C has 693 points. So the only way you can really tell is let’s take a look at the test.
Let’s look at the autofocus test here first with the Sony a7C. I’ve got about 30 frames as she walks towards me and she’s pretty sharp. I think I lose her in maybe one that’s a little soft. But she’s pretty sharp in almost every single frame here as we go through. It’s pretty impressive. It really is. It’s very impressive. When I go to the Canon, the Canon is, I have more frames on the Canon, almost 50 frames. So that’s a lot more than the 34 of the Sony. And it was shooting faster. And I’m losing probably three to four frames in that 50 frames. But it’s pretty good. I mean, it’s pretty amazing. We don’t, we lose it in the back just on a couple on the Canon. It makes it through those transitions pretty nicely. And comes right up to the front focus when she’s full frame. It does a nice job. Like you say, there’s so many more frames here on the Canon. I think this is pretty darn close when it comes to these two. But I think the Sony’s edging it out by just a tiny bit. So there’s the autofocus test. We took more images with the Canon R8. We had 50 some odd images. Whereas with the Sony a7C we only had 34. The Sony’s were all very sharp. The Canon missed two or three. So in the end, I mean because of the number of images, I’m feeling like this is head to head, almost a tie. I would have expected the Canon to just knock it out of the park. Which it did. I mean, it was great autofocus. The images are sharp. I didn’t expect the Sony to stick in there as well as it did. They both did excellent. I’m going to call it a tie. But I’m going to call it a tie. Neither of these cameras have an autofocus joystick on the back. So I’m going to say it’s a tie in that they both kind of loose on that point.
Continuous shooting on these two cameras is very different. The Canon R8 has six frames a second in mechanical shutter, up to a thousand raw or jpegs. That’s a great buffer on this camera. In electronic it has 40 frames per second up to 56 raw or 120 jpeg. So it’s a really robust camera when it comes to frames per second. It’s not as fast as a lot of cameras out there. But it is a respectable shutter. As far as the a7C goes, it gives you 10 frames per second up to 223 jpegs or 115 raw. It falls behind the Canon R8 when it comes to shutter performance in frames per second. So in this round I think the Canon R8 definitely wins.
Autofocus video test, let’s take a look at that. So looking at the autofocus in video mode here I’ll start with the Canon. I look at it here. She walks away, she turns, the camera stays with her. It’s just very smooth the way it follows her back. I’m not, it’s not lurching. It’s not jumping. It’s kind of staying right with her. She comes back to me. It’s just very smooth, very pretty. Even when she comes up close that focus kind of follows up with her. But it’s not jumping. It’s kind of staying with her and it’s not making quick changes. It stays with her through almost the entire clip. So now if I look at the Sony here, as she walks up we get a nice, the camera comes up. Sometimes it feels like the Sony is, it just jumped a tiny bit on her. I don’t know. It’s pretty nice. I’m seeing just a little bit of, kind of lurch on the Sony as it, as she comes back or goes forward. It just kind of, just a quick little change there. It’s very subtle but it’s there. Boy, when I look at these two side by side they’re very close. But I think the Canon’s just slightly better. So for me in that test I think the Canon is a stronger camera. It’s just a little smoother. It stays with the person the entire time. They both perform extremely well. I’d like to say a tie but maybe I’ll give the edge to the Canon. So there you have it. The autofocus video test.
All right, let’s look at the internal recording modes for these two cameras. The R8 has an H.264 and H.265 and MP4. It’s got a great 4.2.2 10 bit, both in 4k 24, 30 and 60 without a crop. Whereas the Sony a7C has an H.264 and an XAVC S. But it’s in a 4.2.0 8 bit. It does have 4K at 24 and 30 frames a second but it is in that at 4.2.0 8 bit. So when it comes to internal recording on these two cameras, I think the Canon is the best.
So record limits are always an issue when you’re looking at video for different cameras. And the R8 has a 120 minute record limit in 4k. Whereas the Sony a7C has no record limits. So the Sony definitely wins when it comes to record limits. You can shoot all day.
Do these two cameras have log? They both have log. The Canon has C-log 3 obviously Canon log 3 and the HDR-PQ. And the Sony has the S-log 2 and S-log 3. So it’s a tie.
External recording, the Canon has none. But the Sony has 8-bit via the HDMI cable.
Video in and out, they both have Micro HDMI ports. Small cameras like this and priced at this point you’re probably always going to see a small HDMI port, even though people don’t really like that. I’m one of them.
So both these cameras have sensor shift 5-axis stabilization. So let’s take a look at that test. So in video mode let’s take a look at the stabilization as I walk with these two cameras. They’re on the same rig so they’re looking at the same image. They’re getting the same kind of bounce as I walk. The Canon is just a little bit smoother. It feels a little smoother as I look at the footage. The footage just kind of rolls a little bit. Whereas with the Sony it’s kind of bouncing and jumping a little bit. So I definitely feel like the stabilization is a little better on the Canon. So there’s the stabilization test. The Canon was a little smoother. The Sony sometimes was lurching just a little bit. I mean, they’re very close, very head to head. But in the end I think the check mark goes to Canon.
So the ISO sensitivity of these two cameras is very close. The R8 does go to 102,400, whereas the a7C goes to 51,200. So there’s one stop further on the Canon. But the reality is, by the time we looked at this and we got into a 51,200, both of them were a mess. It’s just complete digital noise at that point. Let’s take a look at the ISO comparison of these two cameras. If I look at this at 400 ISO, we’re going to start at 400. Very clean, very clean in the highlights in the background. The skin tone looks nice. We don’t have a lot of digital noise. Our color rendition is good. We can go on up here now to 800. And at 800, look at the digital noise in the background. And they’re looking pretty good. They’re looking very similar to me. The color has not shifted on either camera. Yeah, let’s go to 1600. Let’s see where they’re at, at 1600. Let’s see where they start to pull apart from each other. And where they’re starting to make, you know, you see a difference. But so far, up to 1600, I’m not seeing a lot of difference. I see the greens starting to build just a little bit in the Sony. The color shifting just a little bit towards that green. Not a ton, but a little bit there. As far as the digital noise, they’re both really clean for 1600 ISO. I mean that’s pretty clean. I don’t see a lot of difference in these two sensors. Let’s go to 3200. And at some point here they’ve got to start to pull apart from each other. See where that starts to happen. Ah, it’s starting to happen here at 3200. The Canon is holding the digital noise better and the Sony is starting to be a little more noisy. We see it in the skin. The skin is starting to get that kind of rough roll off from the highlights to the shadows. And the Canon is just a little better job of holding that. If you look at just the digital noise and the blacks in the background you can just see, just by virtue of like the Canon is just a little softer. It’s not, the grain is not quite so heavy. Let’s go up to 6400. At 6400 we’re definitely getting major noise in the background on both these cameras. But at 3200 I felt like the Canon looked a little better. I think they’re kind of looking very similar now at 6400. I’m not seeing a lot of color artifacting in the digital noise. But I’m seeing, yeah, I mean it’s, they’ve kind of come back together here at 6400. I felt like at 3200 Canon was a little nicer. But at 6400 they’re looking very similar. Now we go to 12,800. It’s just, they’re both very, very noisy. But the Canon kind of looks a little more noisy to me than the Sony at 12,800. It definitely does. You see it in her face. You see it in the background, yeah. Now when we go to 25,600 they’re both looking really bad. Both of them have this vertical banding. I’m seeing it both in the Sony, I’m seeing it in the Canon. Up on the walls up here you see the banding on the right in the green. You see it in the white behind her head. There’s just a strong vertical banding. Did we see that at 12,800? Yeah, it’s starting on the Canon at 12,800. Not so much on the Sony. But by the time we hit to 25,600 it’s definitely got that vertical banding. And when we go to 51,200 it’s super strong on both of them, that vertical banding. We just have major digital noise, as you would expect. Boy these two are head to head. Sometimes the Sony was a little ahead, sometimes the Canon was a little ahead. So these were, these two cameras were head to head when it comes to the iso performance. So there’s the ISO test. It went back and forth. I was really surprised. It kind of went back and forth. Sometimes I thought the Canon looked a little better. We’d hit like 3200, I thought the Canon looked a little better. Then we went to the next one and I thought the Sony looked better. So it just went back and forth. But they both had banding towards the end. That vertical banding showed up even before color kind of issues showed up. That vertical banding seemed to be very prevalent. But they both had that. The Canon had it before the Sony. But these two cameras were very close to each other. I’m definitely calling it a tie.
So let’s take a look at the dynamic range of these two cameras and just see how they compare. All right, let’s look at the dynamic range. Both these cameras at normal exposure. You see the brightness out the window there. And they’re both holding that brightness out the window pretty well. The Sony may be feeling like it’s holding that brightness out there just a little better. When we go to a minus one we should be seeing it hold it better. Sony’s holding the brightness outside the window a lot better. We see better color out there. We see better rendition of the shadows to the highlights. And I think the Sony is holding it much nicer at minus one. If we go to minus two, yeah it is, the Sony is holding it. Seems like the dynamic range of the Sony is just a little better. I’ve seen just a little better detail out in the highlights. I’m keeping the shadows. Color is not shifting. At -2 color looks really nice on both of them. Look at the Spyder Checkr there. The color is just, you know, it’s rendering the color very nicely. We see nice reds, you know, nice greens. We’re not getting any kind of artifacting in, you know, well at minus three we start to see a little bit of, just kind of color artifacts. So let’s go to minus four. At this point it should start to show problems. We’re still holding the detail outside pretty well. But we’re really falling apart in the foreground. It’s really holding great detail in the background but the digital noise is starting to build on the sensor. We’re starting to see a little bit of color in the digital noise. But both these cameras held together pretty well. The Canon struggled a little bit with focus when we went to minus four. It was a little bit of a, it was hard for that low light focus situation, for it to stay focused. All right, let’s go now to the plus one. At plus one Canon looks very nice. The camera is working a little better on the high end here. That plus one it’s giving us a nice rendition outside. You know, the Sony is still holding that rendition outside really nicely. So they’re both doing really good at plus one. Plus two we’re starting to fall apart a little bit. You start to see the digital noise start to build. Outside we’re starting to see, it’s very, very bright outside. I don’t know, they’re pretty good though. You know, these two cameras, at plus two looks pretty good. Plus two is so hard. Plus three they’re really looking bad. You see the way the color shifts on her skin on the Canon R8. On the a7C we’re getting a little bit of that shift, but not quite as much. The a7C is holding the color a little better on her face. And it’s not shifting. But look outside. It starts to posterize in the background. All the highlights are gone. It just falls apart. So these cameras are holding pretty good. Even at the plus two. Going back, that plus two, I do look at it. When I look at it now I just see a color shift on the Canon. The Sony is holding the color much nicer. The Sony held the color all the way through as we over exposed the image and did a much nicer job. Whereas I think the Canon was holding the color nicely as we underexposed. But the dynamic range, it just seems like the Sony has a nicer dynamic range. It’s got a really broader range of highlights to shadows. It’s going to hold and it holds that color as we over and under expose. So I think this Sony edged out the Canon a little bit here. So there’s a look at the dynamic range. And the Sony did kind of edge out the Canon. They’re very similar, very close. But I think the Sony edged out the Canon.
So there’s a look at those two cameras. Two great cameras, the Canon R8 and the Sony a7C. It really comes down to several things. One is, I think the video specs are a little stronger in the R8 because it’s a newer camera. It has a little better internal codecs with that 10 bit 4.2.2. The Sony is a little older. But it really holds its own. And in doing that, you really make a decision about ergonomics as well. The Sony has a great line of lenses, a great line of aftermarket lenses and a small form factor. If that really is appealing to you then I think you’re going to want to buy the Sony. If you’re looking for stronger video specs, a little larger camera that has a little more buttons and a little more space to hold on to, then I think maybe the Canon is going to be your choice. So either way these two cameras head to head are really an interesting comparison. And I’m really impressed with how that Sony holds up for as old as it is. So if you like this comparison and you want to see other comparisons, check these out. And keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!
This is the SKB 2217. This bad boy will carry all my Westcott strobe equipment. Five FJ400 lithium batteries, four FJ400 strobe heads, FJ X-2 trigger, speed rings, seven inch grids, gel insert, 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’ve got the right equipment with you. Let’s go shoot something.
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