Sony vs Canon… My $6,000 Mistake

Sony vs Canon for Video

Making the jump from entry level cameras to prosumer or professional cameras for vlogging or filmmaking gets expensive fast.

Which camera system should you get? Or maybe you are already invested in a system and are thinking about switching brands…

In this article, I am going to share my experience of switching between Sony and Canon systems — my $6,000 mistake.

This is not going to be a scientific comparison or in depth review. I will share some of the things I like and don’t like about the cameras as well as why I switched systems.

Let’s start with my first Canon setup, a Canon 6d Mark II along with a 16-35 2.8 lens, an 85mm and a nice macro.

I really enjoyed this camera setup. I like the pictures and for the most part, I liked the video. I did feel that it was little softer than I wanted. I don’t have too many complaints about this camera, other than the fact that I really wanted 120 fps and this camera just could not do that.

At the time, I looked into the Canon 1dx Mark II, but it is a really large camera, with expensive memory cards and the price tag was really steep.

So, I looked at other options on the market and it was clear that Sony was pushing innovation much harder than Canon and they were releasing feature packed cameras at better prices than Canon.

In crunching the numbers, I realized that by selling my Canon gear and switching over to Sony, I would take a hit but eventually I could end up with two Sony A7iii camera bodies instead of one 1dx Mark II.

The A7iii was interesting because it was full frame with 120 fps video, fast autofocus and other great specs. It even had a vintage look that I liked.

I sold all of my Canon stuff and switched over to the Sony A7iii with comparable lenses.

The first thing I noticed was that while I liked the look of the Sony, it was not as comfortable to use as the Canon for longer periods of time.

The 120 fps was great, but navigating the poorly designed menu system and limited touch screen functionality on the A7iii is horrible.

The autofocus was fast, but feels too jumpy when compared to my old Canon that felt more like a rack focus transition. I also experienced a good amount of focus breathing on the 16-35 lens which was distracting when combined with the fast jumping focus.

And… I wouldn’t find out until after the fact, because the screen does not flip out.

The image and video quality was nice, but my personal preference leans toward the Canons. Yes, custom profiles and luts can help, but I always felt like I was fighting to get the colors how I wanted them.

Another nitpick is the file structure on the sd cards is odd in the way it separates the photos from the video clips.

Despite being a powerful camera, I found that I was using it less and less.

After watching lots of reviews, the good and the bad, on the Canon Eos R and after giving myself time to not make a rash decision, I went to a local camera shop to get a trade-in quote for my Sony gear and try out the Eos R.

While waiting for the quote, I picked up the Eos R and it just felt good to hold. Playing with the touch screen menu and controls, just felt natural.

The sample photos and test video clips just resonated with me. In the short time that I tried out the Eos R I was having fun and feeling excited.

At that moment, I knew that I was going to trade in my Sony gear whatever the quote.

I knew that I would be giving up the 120fps and that the 4k was cropped, but I just connected with the camera.

A few signatures later, I walked out the door with a new Eos R and a couple of Eos R lenses, saying good by to the A7iii in passing.

For me, switching from Canon to the A7iii was a $6,000 mistake.

But, do I regret that switch?

Not really. Yes, I lost money buying and selling, but I was able to get hands on experience with the A7iii.

As a result, I feel more confident in my decision to go to the Eos R. I won’t have to feel that grass is greener in Sony land feeling.

So should you buy a Sony or Canon camera?

Having gone through this experience, my advice is that specs are nice, but there is something about enjoying the tool you are using. For me, that will be an important criteria going forward.

For some people, the look, feel, colors and performance of the Sony will make them happy. Others will prefer the Canon.

They are both good cameras. People do amazing things with both.

So… I think you should consider renting both and see which you enjoy using before buying. Maybe focus less on raw specs and give some weight to enjoyment.

Buy the one you enjoy. You will likely use it more than the one you don’t… My $6,000 mistake was buying the Sony, maybe yours would have been buying the Canon….

About the author

    James Cross Jr

    If you liked this article, find more videos on my Youtube Channel James Cross!