Sony A7 III vs Canon 5D Mark IV

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Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, you need a camera that can suit your needs.

Narrowing down the choices is easy, but selecting between the few that meet your demands is difficult.

Today, we’re looking at two high-quality cameras that you may be wanting to choose from; the Sony A7 III and the Canon 5D IV.

We’ll be telling you everything you need to know about both of them. That includes their features, advantages, and disadvantages. 

Let the Sony A7 III vs Canon 5D Mark IV battle begin.

Sony A7 III

We’ll start our comparison with the Sony A7 III.

We’ll discuss both of them regarding certain aspects. Later on, we’ll include the specifics in table forms. 

For now, we’ll be talking about the design, sensor specs, screen, button layout, speed performance, and ISO performance.  

1. The Design

If you have seen Sony’s electronic designs over time.

You’ll notice how the majority of their devices tend to be somewhat ‘edgy’. That mostly shows in their phone and camera designs.

The Sony A7 III III is a good example of that. It has a sleek design with edgy lines that gives you a neat-looking weather-sealed frame. 

The grip is big, comfortable, and will prevent fatigue over long hours of use.

It’s also fairly light at only 1.4 pounds and relatively smaller in size than the Canon 5D Mark IV.

2. The Sensor Specs

Sony A7 III comes with a 24MP full-frame BSI-CMOS Sensor with plenty of zoom for those distant photos.

The sensor is capable of taking 4K UHD – 3840 x 2160 videos with up to 120 frames per second (using lower resolutions.)

This camera isn’t the only one that can take 4K videos. However, users seem to agree that this particular model’s 4K videos are beautifully clear.

The autofocus system on Sony A7 III is a formidable 693-point phase-detect system. It’s quick, reliable, and performs well in low-light pictures, including portraits.

You also get a 5-axis stabilization while shooting and the ability to take up to 10 photos per second. 

The quality may suffer with such a burst of photos and you may lose some of that focus. However, it yields fantastic results when the camera is fixed in place.

The sensor has a stock light sensitivity or ISO range of 100–51,200. You can expand that to 50–204,800.

3. The Screen

You can view your HD videos and photos on the 921,600-dot touch screen. This is considered an extra fine LCD which is four times higher than the standard LCD.

The high-definition screen is extremely detailed.

You can also tilt it up and down to some good degrees which give a clear view even at awkward shooting angles.

Above the screen, you get a respectable 3.69-million-dot OLED viewfinder with a 0.79x magnification and 93% coverage.

4. The Button Layout

We’ll start with the programmable or customizable buttons.

Sony A7 III offers 13 customizable buttons (4 of which are purely for customization) distributed conveniently on all work sides.

C1 and C2 are present on the upper side of the camera right behind the power button.

The mode dial sits a fair distance from C2 to be easily reachable while preventing accidental C2 clicks.

The exposure compensation dial is our last button on top of the camera and it sits in the corner slightly behind C1.

The back is where most of the buttons are and that’s how it should be.

You have the menu button and the C3 button on the top left, the auto-focus and the auto exposure buttons on the top right, and the C4 button on the bottom right.

Above the C4, you have the control wheel with a customizable center button, followed by the function menu button and the multi-selector button.

The multi-selector has an autofocus joystick that’s partially customizable.

Last but not least, you have the front dial in the front and the rear dial on the back; the basic location.

5. Speed Performance

Which is better Sony A7iii or Canon 5D Mark IV?

Beautiful moments can go away in a second.

While the Sony A7 III can take up to 10 pictures per second, it’s kind of lacking when it comes to snapping that initial vital picture.

A7 III takes around 2.2 seconds to start and take its first picture, which could be enough for the moment to pass.

Still, once it’s ready to go, your autofocus will help you track your shot impressively quickly.

The autofocus on the A7 III takes about 0.05 seconds in bright light conditions and 0.4 seconds in dim light conditions to be ready to shoot — all while maintaining minimum noise.

6. ISO Performance

ISO performance will differ depending on whether you’re taking JPEGs or RAWs

JPEG ISO

When you shoot JPEGs, you should aim to be around ISO 3200.

That should give you the clearest, most detailed, and noise-free results. You can expect the results to remain the same up to ISO 6400.

Noise will slightly start to appear at ISO 25600 and will get more prominent as you go higher.

ISO 204,800 is when the image quality is considerably distorted by noise.

RAW ISO

If you shoot using RAW format, you’ll start to notice more noise around the ISO 6400 mark. Much like the JPEG, the noise will get more as you go up. 

Canon 5D Mark IV

Coming up is Canon’s 5D Mark IV. We’ll use the same comparative points to keep the comparison as fair as possible.

1. The Design

Canon’s 5D Mark IV resembles the appearance of its predecessor, the Mark III.

It doesn’t, however, have that edgy appearance of Sony’s A7 III.

Canon’s Mark IV features a smoother design. It’s still easy to hold and use but the smooth edges may be slippery if your hands get a little sweaty.

Canon 5D Mark IV is slightly heavier than Sony’s A7 and weighs around 1.8 pounds.

That’s why extended periods of photography with the Canon 5D IV can be a little exhausting for your hands.

2. The Sensor Specs

Canon’s 5D Mark IV comes with a full frame 30MP CMOS Sensor.

The slight increase in megapixels gives the Canon a slight edge in picture resolution over the Sony A7 III.

It can take videos with 4K (DCI) – 4096 x 2160 resolution at 30 fps.

You can increase the frames per second to 60 fps if you lower the resolution to 1080p and 120 fps if you use 720p.

On comparing 4K videos of the Canon 5D with the Sony A7, we found that Sony provided a clearer, crisper image, especially in lower light conditions. 

The autofocus is a 61-point which is less than Sony’s 693. The autofocus isn’t as fast but it still performs fairly well.

Canon 5D Mark IV’s light sensitivity isn’t as versatile as the Sony A7. The native ISO ranges between 100–32,000 and can be expanded to ISO 50–102,400. 

Canon is capable of taking 7 photos per second which is slightly less than Sony A7’s 10 fps. That is most likely due to the higher resolution and pixel density in the image.

3. The Screen

Which is better Sony A7iii or Canon 5D Mark IV?

Much like the Sony A7, you get an LCD touchscreen with diverse control and functionality over the options of your camera.

The screen is reinforced, anti-smudge, and anti-reflective.

Canon 5D’s screen is clear even if viewed from an angle.

However, it’s fixed in place and may not offer the shooting position flexibility that you can find in the Sony A7’s tilting screen.

On the other hand, the 1,620,000-dot screen has more depth into it than Sony’s 921,600-dot screen.

You get another monochrome backlit LCD that displays some of the information you need to access with a glance.

This information includes but isn’t limited to shutter speed, exposure compensation, autofocus, and flash. 

Above the main display lies the 0.71x magnification viewfinder with almost 100% coverage.

The viewfinder may have slightly less magnification than the Sony but it has better coverage.

4. The Button Layout

Canon has a good number of external buttons distributed all over the camera.

Having more buttons is often a good thing because it gives you quick access to the options you need.

On testing the Canon, though, we had a bit of a rough time holding the already bulky camera steadily without some of the buttons interfering with the grip.

The back side is where most of the buttons are. On the top left, you get your menu and information buttons.

Pressing the info button allows you to cycle between different methods of shooting and gives you the playback information.

Below that, we have the creative photo button which allows you to access creativity features like HDR and exposure.

Then you have the rate button which lets you rate your pictures from 1 to 5 stars.

Then there’s the zoom button, playback button, and delete button.

Going from top to bottom from the right side, we have a diopter adjustment wheel to adjust the focus of the viewfinder. It’s very useful for those who wear glasses.

Then we have the live view/video record button and the selection joystick.

Below that, we have the Q button which lets you change settings in live view, the primary selector wheel, and a lock button at the bottom.

The lock button prevents the secondary selection wheel from changing exposure settings. 

On the top right, we have an autofocus point selector, autofocus button, and exposure/flash lock button.

The latter button allows you to prevent the camera from automatically changing exposure or flash settings as you shoot. 

On the front side of the camera, you have the shutter button on the top right, the depth of field button on the bottom right, and the lens release button on the bottom left.

5. Speed Performance

Canon’s 5D IV may not take as many photos per second as the Sony A7.

However, it wins the competition when it comes to fast start-up point-and-shoot. It takes the 5D IV around half a second to start up and take that important first shot.

The autofocus is slightly slower than the Sony A7’s but it shines while tracking moving objects, especially in 720p and 1080p videos.

6. ISO Performance

The ISO performance of the 5D is somewhat similar to the A7.

JPEG ISO

Shooting using ISO 800 and 3200 gives you a fantastic and clear photo that stays clear all the way up to ISO 12,800 where ‘some’ clarity might decrease.

If you keep your ISO between 800 and 6400, you should have the best noise-free experience this camera has to offer.

Your eyes will quickly start to catch noise at ISO 25,600 all the way up to ISO 102,400 where the output is visibly bad. 

RAW ISO

RAW format is another aspect where Canon’s 5D beats the Sony A7. Sony started to show some noise around ISO 6400.

Canon, on the other hand, will keep your RAW images almost noise-free all the way up to ISO 12,800.

However, once you punch the ISO higher, you’ll start to get more noise than details. Around ISO 102,400 is when there’s more noise in the image than the actual image.

Sony A7 III vs Canon 5D Mark IV

Sony A7 III vs Canon 5D Mark IV - complete comparison

Now that we have a general idea about both cameras. It’s time to place them head to head. 

We’ll give you three tables. Table one will show you what both cameras can do equally or at least relatively close.

Table two will show you the advantages Sony’s A7 III has over Canon’s 5D Mark IV, and table three will show you 5D’s advantages over the A7.

The Common Strengths

Point of comparisonSony A7 IIICanon 5D IV
Touch ScreenYesYes
ViewFinderYes (electronic)Yes (optical)
Wi-Fi connectionYesYes
RAW format supportYesYes
Face detection focusYes Yes
LCDYes (992k dots)Yes (1.620k dots)
Microphone jackYesYes
Headphone jackYesYes
NFC YesYes
Storage slotYes (two slots)Yes (two slots)
Webcam compatibility YesYes
Sony A7 III vs Canon 5D Mark IV comparison table

Why Is Sony A7 III a Better Camera than Canon 5D Mark IV?

Point of comparisonSony A7 IIICanon 5D IV
Image stabilizationYes (sensor shift)No
LCD tiltingYesNo
ISO range100–51,200 (expandable to (50–204,800)100–32,000 (expandable to 50–102,400)
Focus points69361
Continuous shooting10 fps7 fps
Bluetooth supportYesNo
Animal Eye autofocus trackingYesNo
Eye tracking focusYesNo
Weight1.4 pounds1.8 pounds
Why Is Sony A7 III a Better Camera than Canon 5D Mark IV?

Why Is Canon 5D IV a Better Camera than Sony A7 III?

Point of comparisonSony A7 IIICanon 5D IV
Sensor resolution24MP30 MP
LCD size3 inches3.2 inches
Top/accessory LCDNoYes
LCD resolution992,000 dots1,620,000 dots
Video resolutionsUp to 3840 x 2160Up to 4096 x 2160
Battery lifeAround 600 shotsAround 900 shots
4K photo modeNoYes
Flash synchronization portNoYes
Why Is Canon 5D IV a Better Camera than Sony A7 III?

Sony A7 III vs Canon 5D Mark IV: Which Camera Should I Buy?

Which is better Sony A7 III or Canon 5D Mark IV?

If you’ve made this far into the article, you’ve probably noticed that these two cameras are quite close to each other performance-wise.

There are some features that are equally or somewhat close in both of them, while there are some advantages specific to each camera.

Generally, it’s up to you to decide which one of those cameras to get based on the features that you need to use.

However, there’s one aspect that we’ve left out of this article so far; the price.

At the time of writing this post, the Sony A7 III is around $600 cheaper than the Canon 5D Mark IV.

The cannon does offer a higher sensor megapixel resolution, a higher resolution LCD, and an accessory backlit LCD on top.

However, sensor resolution isn’t everything.

We’ve noticed that the 4K video quality on the lens of the Sony is clearer than the Canon’s larger sensor.

Additionally, the tilting LCD, image stabilization, reliable autofocus, and wider ISO range made us lean towards the Sony A7 III. That’s not even mentioning the $600 price difference. 

So, while both cameras are great, the Sony A7 III wins our comparison for the day.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found some useful information in our Sony A7 III vs Canon 5D Mark IV comparison.

For an average photographer, the difference in both cameras’ performance is negligible.

However, a professional photographer will lean toward one of them more than the other based on the requirement they need.

If money is no issue and you prefer a larger sensor, a higher resolution LCD, and a handy accessory LCD, the Canon 5D IV is for you. 

If you want an overall better camera with a good price in exchange for shorter battery life and a slightly smaller sensor, then go for the Sony A7 III.