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Canon EOS 5DS R Versus Sony Alpha A7R II Comparison

Canon EOS 5DS R Versus Sony Alpha A7R II Comparison - We compare the 50mp Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR with the 42mp Sony Alpha A7R II Mirrorless camera.

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Sony Alpha 7R II in Digital SLRs

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specifications

Canon EOS 5DS R Vs Sony Alpha A7R II (1)

The Canon EOS 5DS R and Sony Alpha A7R II are two of the highest resolution digital cameras recently introduced, both featuring a full-frame sensor, let's find out how they compare. The Canon EOS 5DS R features a 50 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, whilst the Sony Alpha A7R II features a 42.4 megapixel full-frame BSI CMOS sensor. 

Read our full Canon EOS 5DS R Review
Read our full Sony Alpha A7R II Review

Canon EOS 5DS R vs Sony Alpha A7R II Features 

Canon EOS 5DS R Vs Sony Alpha A7R II (3)

The Sony Alpha A7R Mark II offers the highest resolution full-frame sensor after the Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R, with a 42.4 megapixel sensor, compared to 50 megapixel sensors in the Canon cameras. However, the Sony is the world's first backlit illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor which means the camera should offer better high ISO performance, as well as a wider range of ISO settings. We run through the major specifications of the two cameras below:

Key Features Comparison:

  Sony Alpha A7R II Canon EOS 5DS R
Sensor 42.4mp BSI FF CMOS 50mp FF CMOS
Image stabilisation 5-axis IS built in Lens based
Screen 3inch tilting 1228k dots 3.2inch, 1040k dots
EVF / viewfinder 2.36m dot EVF (0.78x mag) Optical (0.71x magnification)
ISO range 50-102400 50-12800
Focus system 399 phase detection AF points 61 AF points
Fastest shutter speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
Continuous shooting - fps 5fps 5fps
Shutter rating 500,000 150,000
Dual axis electronic level Yes Yes
Video spec 4K video FullHD
Mic / Headphone socket(s) Mic and headphone Mic only
Wi-Fi / NFC  Wi-Fi and NFC None
Battery life 340 700
Dimensions 126.9x95.7x60.3mm 152x116.4x76.4mm
Weight 625g 845g
Price (RRP) £2599  £3199


Some of the main differences are in the camera size and weight, with the Sony Alpha A7R II being noticeably smaller, featuring an electronic viewfinder (EVF), an extended ISO range, much higher number of focus points, plus 4K video recording with both mic and headphone sockets. The Sony also offers built in Wi-Fi and NFC, which are missing from the Canon. The shutter life of the Sony is rated at 500,000 shots, compared to 150,000 shots on the Canon, however, the battery life on the Canon is much better at 700 shots. The Sony A7R II offers built in 5-axis image stabilisation that works for both stills and video, whereas with the Canon, you have to purchase lenses with image stabilisation.

Canon EOS 5DS R vs Sony Alpha A7R II Handling

Canon EOS 5DS R Vs Sony Alpha A7R II (5)

Both cameras have a large rubberised grip, and metal bodies with the Canon EOS 5DS R featuring weather sealing. Both cameras feel extremely well built, as you would expect for cameras costing close to £3000 each. The angular design of the Sony Alpha A7R II may not be to everyone's liking, however we found the size and design of the camera to be a good mix between compactness and handling, being not as small as some mirrorless cameras, but also being much smaller than full-frame Digital SLRs.

On the back you find one of the key differences between a mirrorless compact system camera and a Digital SLR. Namely the electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the Sony, and an optical viewfinder on the Canon DSLR. The optical viewfinder can be beneficial in low light, as well as give you the view of the scene as your eye would see it without any delay or lag. However, this also means you don't see the scene in front of the camera as the camera sensor sees it, and this is where the EVF has an advantage, as you get to see the view as the camera sees it, and will be able to correct exposure or white balance before shooting if needed. 
 

Canon EOS 5DS R Vs Sony Alpha A7R II (8)

Whilst the rear screen of the Canon EOS 5DS R is larger at 3.2inches, the Sony Alpha A7R II features a tilting 3inch screen which is great for shooting from a different angle. Both cameras give quick access to further settings on screen, with the Fn button on the Sony, and the Q button on the Canon, bringing up the options. 

Canon EOS 5DS R Vs Sony Alpha A7R II (6)

Both cameras feature a locking mode dial, front and rear dials, with an additional exposure compensation dial on the Sony Alpha A7R-II. Side access to the memory card is provided, and in the case of the Canon EOS 5DS R, there is both an SD and a CompactFlash slot. On the A7R II there is one memory card slot, but it will take either a Sony Memory Stick or an SD memory card, and for 4K video recording the camera requires a high speed SD UHS I U:3 card.

The Canon EOS 5DS R has a large number of external buttons, which are pre-configured and labelled, whereas the Sony Alpha A7R II has four customisable buttons, letting you set up the camera as you want. 

The Sony Alpha A7R II has a battery life rating of 340 shots, and a second battery is provided in the box, as some people have found the battery life to be much shorter. The Canon EOS 5DS R has a battery life rating of 700 shots, more than double that of the Sony. 

Canon EOS 5DS R Vs Sony Alpha A7R II (9)

Canon EOS 5DS R vs Sony Alpha A7R II Performance

We took images at the same location on a tripod, with very similar settings to see the difference between the two cameras output. Outdoor comparison images are shown below - simply click the image to view the full size original. You can view additional sample photos in the Canon EOS 5DS R review, and the Sony Alpha A7R II review.

55mm Thoresby Hall | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Sony A7R II - 55mm Thoresby Hall | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

50mm f1.4 Lens | 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 100
Canon EOS 5DS R - 50mm f/1.4 Lens | 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 100

 

35mm Thoresby Hall | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

A7R-II | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

Telephoto (16-35mm) | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

EOS 5DS R | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100


Whilst both cameras are clearly able to take a detailed high resolution photo, there are subtle differences when looking closely at the images. The Sony Alpha A7R Mark II has boosted the shadows and produced an image with less contrast when compared to the Canon, however this can be altered on both cameras, with DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer) on the Sony, and ALO (Auto Lighting Optimizer) on the Canon. The Sony image also produces a sharper JPEG image on default settings, and even with the Canon EOS 5DS R set to "Fine Detail" the image still appears slightly soft in comparison. The colour output of the Sony camera has a higher level of saturation, which some may prefer over the Canon's colour. 

ISO Range: 

Sony Alpha A7r Ii Iso100 Canon Eos 5dsr
Sony Alpha A7R II ISO100 Canon EOS 5DS R

ISO100 comparison

Sony Alpha A7r Ii Iso3200 Canon Eos 5dsr
Sony Alpha A7R II ISO3200 Canon EOS 5DS R

ISO3200 comparison

Sony Alpha A7r Ii Iso12800 Canon Eos 5dsr
Sony Alpha A7R II ISO12800 Canon EOS 5DS R

ISO12800 comparison - This ISO setting is the highest ISO level that the Canon can go to, whereas the Sony can continue to ISO102400. The Canon images have less detail, and more noise, with softer images than the Sony on default settings. It's possible that by processing the raw files from the Canon that you could match the levels of sharpness, however, for those that simply want images to be sharp straight from the camera, the Sony Alpha A7R II has more pleasing results. The Sony is also capable of retaining more detail as the ISO setting is increased. 

Sony Alpha 7R II ISO test images

Canon EOS 5DS R ISO test images

WB Comparison:

Sony Alpha 7R II White-balance test images

Canon EOS 5DS R White-balance test images

The Sony gives images that have been corrected for colour much more strongly compared to the Canon images, particularly when using the white balance presets. The Canon, on the other hand, is much more likely to retain the atmosphere and colour balance of a scene, giving warm results under our tungsten lights. As both cameras have manual white balance, and numerous ways to correct for any white balance issues, this isn't much of an issue, however for the person who wants the camera to correct as much as possible when shooting, the Sony Alpha A7R II would be the best choice here.

Value for Money

The Sony Alpha A7R II is available for £2599 body only, whilst the Canon EOS 5DS R is available for £3199 body only, making the Canon EOS 5DS R £600 more expensive than the A7R II. Other alternatives for high resolution photography, includes the Pentax 645Z medium format Digital SLR at roughly £6799 body only, or the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, with a 40 megapixel high resolution stills mode, available for £899 body only, although this does require the use of a tripod and ideally still subjects. 

Canon EOS 5DS R vs Sony Alpha A7R II Verdict

The Sony Alpha A7R II offers the World's first backlit full-frame CMOS sensor, and delivers better low light performance than the Canon. The A7R II is also offering a range of advanced technological features, which are simply not available with the Canon, including Wi-Fi, NFC connectivity, 5-axis image stabilisation in the camera, 4K video recording, mic / headphone sockets, more focus points, plus the ability to add features via Sony Playmemories Apps. All in a much more compact camera body. 

This comparison covers just some of the main aspects of these two cameras, and you should be wary of thinking a single overall rating can give the difinitive answer as to which camera is better or "the best". A huge part of an interchangeable lens camera system is the availability of lenses, as this will influence what kind of photography you can do, as well as the size of the complete system. Canon has a massive range of lenses available, of varying sizes, so that if you wanted to have a fairly small complete system, you could buy a number of small prime lenses, which would make the weight of the camera balance out a little bit. You could also do the same with the Sony and end up with a lighter and smaller system, although the range of lenses is more limited. 

There are a much smaller number of Sony FE mount lenses, although this is growing, with SonyZeiss and others adding lenses to the range. However, a number of Sony FE mount lenses are quite large due to the use of a full-frame sensor, and the technical make-up of the E mount. For a truly compact mirrorless system, you could look at the Micro Four Thirds cameras, which has a smaller sensor, as well as smaller lenses as a result. One benefit of the Sony Alpha 7 series is the ability to use any other lens on the camera (including Canon's lenses) with an adapter, and with the combination of focus peaking, using manual focus lenses on the Sony Alpha 7 series is much more enjoyable than using manual focus lenses on a Digital SLR camera, due to the optical viewfinder not being optimised for manual focus. In addition you can't replace the focusing screen on the 5DS or 5DS R.

Whether the Sony Alpha A7R II is for you or not, depends on your shooting style, as well as whether you are currently invested in any system. If you wanted to switch to a smaller system, with more modern features, then the Sony Alpha A7R II certainly delivers an impressive range of features, as well as impressive image quality and noise performance. However, it would be particularly useful to check what lenses you would use with the Sony A7R II and whether they would deliver the results you wanted. If you have a number of Canon lenses, and are particularly familiar with Canon EOS 5D series cameras, then the 5DS R would make a great choice as the top of the range Canon EOS DSLR.

Read our full Canon EOS 5DS R Review
Read our full Sony Alpha A7R II Review.

Comparison Table

Sony Alpha 7R IICanon EOS 5DS R
ManufacturerSonyCanon
Lens
Effective MagnificationNo Data1x
Image Sensor
Pixels42.4Mp (Megapixels)50.6Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)79528688
Pixels (H)53045792
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)CMOS
Sensor SizeFull-frameFull Frame
Sensor Size (width)35.9mm36mm
Sensor Size (height)24mm24mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 3:2
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in3.2in
Screen resolution1,228,800 dots1040k dots
Touch ScreenNoNo
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • AF Fine Tuning (Micro Adjustment)
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/8000sec1/8000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec30sec
Bulb modeYesYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • Multi Pattern
  • Partial
  • Spot
  • Centre-weighted - Average
ISO sensitivity50 - 10240050 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Flash
  • Shade
  • Fluorescent
  • Incandescent
  • Cloudy
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Bracket
  • Manual
  • Underwater
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5+/-5
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5fps5fps
Video
Movie modeYesYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 4K
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30p, 24p, 60p, 60i29.97, 25, 23.976 fps
Stereo SoundYesYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYesYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYesNo
Interface
HDMIYesYes
USBUSB 2USB 3
Wi-FiYesNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • Memory Stick (Sony)
  • SDXC
  • CF1
  • CF2
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeNo DataRechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E6
Battery Life (CIPA rating)340shots700shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo DataNo Data
Dimensions
Weight625g845g
Width126.9mm152mm
Height95.7mm116.4mm
Depth60.3mm76.4mm
View Full DetailsView Full Details

 

 

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Photographs taken using the Sony Alpha 7R II

My generationHazy daysDeco linesBoyhood dreamsA world of discoveryWhoopsy daisyLiver lightsAlong the quaysideBuachaille Etive Mor And Lagangarbh Cottage.Mixed MediaEvening fry-upSchiphol stairwayZwolleBefore the eveningLooking for Vermeer

Comments


Niknut Plus
8 1.9k 76 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2015 6:36PM
Impressive image quality from both cameras !!...As it should be !!

Looking at the detail in the studio WB test shots, I reckon the Canon has it by
a whisker ??....the detail in the Cordura material of the Crumpler bag is incredible
with gorgeous smooth tones in the red compact camera !!!

At 3200 I couldn't justify such expense.....unless a lottery win graces my coffers !!!.GrinGrin

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16 Sep 2015 4:36PM
I have the R version of the Canon and am astonished by the extraordinary detail that I obtain from ALL OF MY LENSES. I emphasize this as many incorrectly presume that a high resolution sensor would make a lesser lens show its flaws more emphatically but my experiences are to the contrary as the huge file size results in a native image size at 300"dpi of 19 by 28 inches which might require only a resampling up or down according to your print requirements or as in my case of digital paint multimedia a resampling to 24 by 36 inches as a standard, with such a modest re-sampling my lenses all perform with no issues at all from corner to corner. Such a high resolution sensor therefore I suggest will bring new life to your lenses and will not require a very expensive replacement of them at all. When cropping even corner areas with long lenses which is most often the place where a long focal lens is compromised instead I have broken glass sharp results. I did not expect this result but I can assure the reader that this is the case. This means the large camera body investment is balanced out and more by these results. I do not use high ISO settings and use a tripod when necessary so I can vouch for its noise
Evils other than the vanishingly low levels at the low ISO settings I generally manage. I can crop intensely detailed parts of an overall file and print it to the size I generally use which is as stated above with no evidence that it was a crop. The tight noise free image and the astonishing detail is gobsmacking. One can literally pull out a face in a crowd and see the micro detail of the skin texture of a subject. It is more like a god's eye view of anything well focussed. I find however that using a spot centre focussing is needed as any focus error is apparent. Because such errors of focus can be corrected using a de fauns sing software with such incredible resolution, one can actually reverse such errors amazingly well as the data is actually there! This was an unexpected benefit of a super sized file. I thought this was only a hypothetical possibility but no, it is true. One does not get a bunch of interpolative artifacts in such intense processing as on lesser sensors. I tried this purposefully and indeed, the camera gives so much theoretical optical Dara software can process well beyond anything in my experience. This astonishes actually.
AlanWillis 9 67 England
16 Sep 2015 4:43PM
I have had my A7R MKii over 5 weeks and shot nearly 10,000 photographs.
I have used it for Dog agility, Horse cross country, junior motorcycle trialling, portraits, Lurcher coursing and racing.etc.
I had to buy a new higher capacity computer to cope.
I have sold my old lenses, which were not suitable for 42 mega pixels. and replaced them with for FE lenses,
I also use my modern A mount lenses with a LA3 adaptor.
also I have tried Canon lenses with the latest MK 4 Metabones adaptor.( faster autofocusing than the 5D3 )
I am so spoilt for lens choice. I have just ordered the Zeiss Batis 85mm, but will have to wait because like the A7R MKII the demand has caught Sony and Zeiss out with the Huge demand.
This is a plus over the Canon as there are not many Canon lenses which are suitable for the new 5DRs cameras, where as lens manufacturers are, taking advantage by producing lenses for the growing Sony users.
Yes you have to make an effort to get the maximum from the Sony, which as a game changer has totally transformed photography.



"However, a number of Sony FE mount lenses are quite large (here we are wrongly induced to think "compared to canon") due to the use of a full-frame sensor, and the technical make-up of the E mount. For a truly compact mirror-less system, you could look at the Micro Four Thirds cameras, which has a smaller sensor, as well as smaller lenses as a result." ! Micro Four Thirds cameras is and should NOT be the topic here.

Also, making kudos to canon's wide choice of lenses for the 5D is also of no argument whatsoever, since -as You must say it later - they ALL also fitt the sony . Thus; Sony can handle MOORE lenses then Canon.

The ability to take photos 'totally' silently can also be totally determinative to choose the A7R2 over the 5Dsr.

Your conclusion (!) is not worthy of ..anything :
"However, it would be particularly useful to check what lenses you would use with the Sony A7R II and whether they would deliver the results you wanted. If you have a number of Canon lenses, and are particularly familiar with Canon EOS 5D series cameras, then the 5DS R would make a great choice as the top of the range Canon EOS DSLR."
it's just incredibly ..mean, and stupid.

( less to the point : I own and use A7R2 and 5D3 professionally (and others) extensively, but NOT the 5Ds nor r. The only reason I could think of justifying the 5Ds is work in studio with flash (iso below 800, good grip) but even here; More expensive, less versatility then A7r2. My point of view.
I LOVED all my canons. Reliability (I dont have the distance to know about the Sony's A7r2 robustness), form-factor, ergonomics, and the "silent" settings on the 5D3 and probably even slightly better on the s/r. I use(d) them frequently with the Zacuto magnifier clipped on live-view. Huge. And now useless; the A7 (with 6 spare batteries in pocket) makes the canons suddenly seem heavy and huge in size. The built-in EVF finder is addictive, tilting screen, silent shooting is an important option to me (the 12bit vs 14bit issue might be leveled out soon) and now ALL my canon (and some zeiss and 1 sigma ) lenses are suddenly 5 axis stabilized...

I write all this here ONLY because I strongly dislike the phony attitude here.
You used low tricks to be "the most friendly Photocommunity" *..?
* I hate this baseline
Niknut Plus
8 1.9k 76 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2015 7:48PM
??????????????????????????.......did I miss something ??????
16 Sep 2015 11:26PM
lol ... Maybe(..) You missed the underlying, politically correct (??) tendency of some "journalists" to pretend
that the real question
"Has Canon 5dsr any reason to subsist next to Sony's A7R2 ?"
A) does not exist, is on nooobody's mind..
B) is unfounded.
The truth however seems (obviously so) to be that there is no good objective reason (jet known) to favor the 5ds/r over the A7r2
( A good, indirect proof to that are the fallacious logics in the article that I pointed at. -wasn't difficult, just shocking.)

16 Sep 2015 11:53PM
..Sony's A7R2 Eye-tracking-AF is also quite incredible ..!
Metabones lens adapter does not enable this to also work with Canon lenses (yet), but face tracking works already incredibly well (not with all EF lenses, but those I use yes), and that all over a very large part of the image,
and that on pixel-level (no front or back focus fine-tuning issues possible)
( I don't get anything from Sony. Just writing because I find ephotozine's review so totally phony)
AlanWillis 9 67 England
17 Sep 2015 12:55AM
I would agree with folks who think the default settings give the A7R MKii a high level of saturation,
On the camera is a setting called Creative style. If you change this from Standard to Neutral you will find the colour is spot on.
I have customised the control wheel for Creative style and can instantly use it for many different settings such as Black and white, which lets me see through the viewfinder, exactly what photo the camera will produce.
aardvark7 11 1
17 Sep 2015 5:05PM
Sorry, but you have yet again repeated the myth the the A7RII is weathersealed.
No A7 model has that and even the initial claims made for 'weather resistance' have long been removed from any Sony literature.

Please correct your article.
For the comparison shoots it would have been more fair to use the same mediocre canon lens onto the A7R2 (with the latest Metabones adapter),
since the other way round (using the excellent 55 Sony on a Canon) is just not possible at all.
Just kidding, You knew You could have, Given Canon an untold excuse for lack of sharpness..
This hole ePhotoine-review is a bad joke altogether.
Some factual corrections would not suffice.
joshwa Plus
7 847 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2015 9:31AM

Quote:Sorry, but you have yet again repeated the myth the the A7RII is weathersealed.
No A7 model has that and even the initial claims made for 'weather resistance' have long been removed from any Sony literature.

Please correct your article.



This has been updated.

pgth 4
20 Sep 2015 10:12AM
Thanks for a helpful review. Thanks too for the objective comments. Tend to dis-count the ruder comments from folks with a particular axe to grind. Much prefer the shadow detail in the default Sony test images. As a 5D user, am now seriously considering the Sony A7RII. Paul H

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