Canon or Sony camera?

So, I am in a position where I need (want?) a new camera, at the store I was looking at the Canon R6 and the Sony Alpha 7 mk 4. Both are expensive, and my current (older Canon) lens, batteries, ect wouldn’t work in either without adapters.

Basically, I’m curious if anyone on here has used either and could tell me what they think of it.



I use Canon PowerShot SX420
I love that it’s compact and can zoom in 42x optical for photographing things like far away birds. I think it cost somewhere around $250-300 USD when I got it.
From my experiences with cameras I would go with Canon over Sony.


Currently, all of my camera experience has been with Canons (Rebel XSI, D30), and I has been happy as a clam. I’m probably going to go with that again, but these more than I’ve ever dropped on any optic, so comes with some indecision.

1 Like

I just want to warn you over how much batteries are needed for mirrorless cameras, people carry bags of them just to live through a couple of days, if you are going to use it in remote places or in cold it can be a big challenge. I see in comparison Sony gets more shots and has inbuilt focus motor, but Canon is waterproof, and also imo this Sony doesn’t look as being comfortable for hand. I think for such purchase it’s better to go and try them both in shop.


Yeah the price tag on the batteries was a bit of a clencher ($80 Sony, $100 Canon).

The edges all over the Sony were a bit off-putting, I think they would have been advised to get rid of those, the Canon was definitely more comfortable in-hand.
One thing Sony has that piqued my interest is it has a reputation for low-light shooting.

Do you shoot a lot in those conditions? I think question here is if it’s an enough plus to overwight the other choice.

1 Like

Not a lot. Most of my photography is of birds or bees. But occasionally I’ll have a bird right at that twilight time, or really overcast, and wish my camera was better. Both of the options that I’m looking at would be an enormous improvement though over my current setup though.

1 Like

I think both would be good in dark times, unless you want to capture birds in full darkness, it’ll look ok on all high-price modern cameras.

Yeah at this price point, realistically neither of these is a bad decision, based on what I’ve read about them.

We use Canon at work and I use Sony for my own use (used to use NIkons, and way back in the old days of manual I used Canon). Using Canon at work is mainly a legacy thing, a long while back that’s what was used and since we already had the lenses (which is where the real expense comes in), we were kind of locked into that platform.

DSLRs have a vastly better battery life than mirrorless, so you don’t have to carry as many of them, which is a big bonus if you’re spending a lot of time in the field.

DSLRs tend to be much more bulky than mirrorless, even the lenses. This means more weight, more space used, etc, and this can be a problem when traveling, or doing foot-based fieldwork. Often (not always) DSLR lenses are more expensive too.

In terms of image quality and such, at this point almost every camera on the market can produce images better than anyone other than serious professionals can distinguish between.

The Sony mirrorless cameras are excellent, and Sony in particular has been producing some of the best lenses on the market recently. A big advantage of Sony is their low-light performance and their video, which is good enough that the documentary teams I’ve worked with in the last few years have all used Sony A7s as their primary cameras when filming.

I usually carry 2 cameras, a Sony a7III and the a6500 (I’d get the newer one that uses the larger battery that the a7III uses, but I can’t justify buying a new camera just to have the battery interchangeable between the to cameras). The great thing with this setup is that the lenses are interchangeable and that the a6500 is small enough that if I have a small lens (or even the 50mm macro) on it it’ll fit in a large jacket pocket, or a small waist or shoulder bag.

Generally I have a long lens on the a7III and a macro lens on the a6500.

My suggestion would be that if you plan to be in the field and away from recharging options for more than three days of heavy camera use at a time, the go with the DSLR, otherwise go with the mirrorless.

No matter what you’ll be needing extra batteries. Also get a shoulder sling. They’re much more comfortable for carrying the camera than the neck strap. If you’re on foot and using long lenses, a hip holster is a good idea too. I use one when I’m out walking with my 200-600mm lens and it makes a huge difference in ease of carrying it.

Your lens choices will be a major part, if not the primary part, of what drives your decision. Think about what lenses you need (and want), and what the costs for those are on different platforms. The camera body is almost secondary to the lenses these days, and is a temporary purchase (eventually it’ll be upgraded), but the lenses are more of long-term investment and the money spent on those will vastly outweigh the cost of the camera body.

Also, mirrorless cameras can use (via adapters) lesnes from any DSLR platform, but DSLRs are locked into using only (with a few exceptions) lenses made for that camera type. This has to do with the space between the lens mounting ring and the sensor.


It’s worth mentioning that DSLRs tend to have faster wake-up times than mirrorless. Mirrorless are getting much faster though, so that’s not nearly as big a difference as it used to be.


Thanks, I appreciate the information. I don’t own any great lenses, best one right now is a Tamron, but the camera bodies that I own are all old and need an upgrade.

You’ll be adding to the lens collection over time, you can be guaranteed of that.

Best to be thinking about that before you get locked into one particular camera body brand (which is what will happen as you accumulate lenses).

It’s also worth noting that, unlike a lot of other camera manufacturers, when Canon changed their lens mount system they didn’t make it back-compatible with older lenses. Nikon did, and with Sony it’s not an issue as their lenses are mostly the newer type.

This means that with Canon, you have to double check with old lenses to make sure they’ll actually work on newer Canon bodies.

I shoot Sony A7Rii, A7ii before that. With A7Rii I carry two extra batteries for a day, around 1~1.5k shots runs through two out of the three. extremely cold days I’ll carry 3 extras.

if you shoot manual you can get many more shots, and you have many more options for lenses.

used camera bodies are fine too. I got the A7ii on ebay at around 40k shutter count, ran it past 100k in little over half a year.

1 Like

I don’t have experience in cold weather, but in my experience the latest mirrorless cameras do pretty well as far as battery life goes. The Sony A7RII used tiny F batteries that ran out constantly, but their new Z battery is really great. They’ll never match DSLRs but I’ve usually been able to get through a day or two of decent to full use with current Nikon, Sony, and Canon cameras.

I shot Sony alpha mirrorless for quite a few years but have switched to Nikon Z mount over the last year or so, which has its pluses and minuses. Both are excellent, just different. Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with any recent camera, you can take great photos with all of them. I’d honestly consider renting some out and see how they feel in your hand and how the ergnomics work for what you do. Like @marina_gorbunova said it’s really important.

For example, I tried the Canon R5. It’s a great camera, but one thing I couldn’t stand was the fully articulating screen. I take a lot of low angle shots where I flip out the screen (one of the big advantages of mirrorless, IMO) and I hated flipping the screen out to the side - it took longer, it didn’t feel right when I looked at a screen off to the side, and it interfered with my camera strap. For me and my style of shooting, it was constantly frustrating and that’s something I would have never come across without trying it in the field with my style of photography.

Totally agree. Bodies are always being upgraded - good glass that works for you is key.


Yes I agree, it seemed awkward somehow when I tried it. I think my 90D’s (DSLR) screen is the same and hardly ever use the articulating feature which is somewhat annoying. The image quality of the R5, though, is amazing… especially now that Adobe has finally provided camera colour profiles for it (and for my 90D!!). The colours before on my calibrated monitor were weird and looked completely different to what Canon’s DPP produced. Fortunately that era has ended.

As for battery life, I think I agree with @marina_gorbunova. In my experience the battery life of mirrorless cameras is better than what is advertised (e.g. I think the Canon manual for the R5 says something like a piddly 250 shots, but the same manual also says to only charge the battery to 50% so who knows what’s going on there) the battery life doesn’t compare to DSLRs. The biggest advantage of the R5 (apart from the great dynamic range and low-light performance) is for birding. The time I tested it for birding and turned on the eye tracking thingy and looked through the viewfinder watching the focus points track the bird made me feel like I was in a fighter jet or something. Pity I’m not really a birder :)

As for glass (lenses), I agree completely, especially for cameras – no matter which brand – with high megapixel counts. I still have the more expensive lenses from my EOS 40D days that perform exceptionally on newer bodies.

1 Like

I’m a real beginner however I’ve actually found Nikon outpreforms canon and potentially Sony (however I haven’t tried out a Sony yet). (the cameras I’ve used are a Nikon d3500 and canon 3000d so I wouldn’t really take my word for it as I’m very in-experienced just think maybe a Nikon is worth a look as many wildlife photographers use Nikon D9’s).

All in Compacts / Bridge Cameras

Canon SX 70HS, (has a view finder, awesome zoom, wifi enabled, decent resolution)
Nikon B600 (Cheap, light and pretty amazing - see pictures by @negi) - No viewfinder
Nikon P Series - Much more expensive than the Canon SX 70 HS, but has great zoom, is also bulkier.

Cons are only in the resolution based on their tiny sensors when even compared to the most basic DSLR’s

Pro’s are definitely the zoom, the lack of bulk , decent macro and very easy transferring (new DSLR’s have this too)

Also the Video on these cameras is great the SX70 HS has almost documentary grade video


I suppose if you have the money a DSLR with a set of lenses (Macro and Zoom / Telephoto) would also be great. Canon and Nikon ranges and lenses are pretty much the same

In Low light conditions these are great. As well as for “quick” photography

The mid range bodies combined with a decent Prime Lens do really work

Cons are they are bulky


Heard that some Olympus are great , as well as Sony, but I haven’t used personally so no specific suggestions.

Battery Notes

On Long trips it seems like DSLR perform the best. The B600 has less than half the life of the D3300 (Nikon) as an example.

Flash and LCD take up a lot of battery time , as well as reviewing pictures. So optimising these works a bit

If you really want to go for long trip then maybe a Goal Zero Nomad setup style of solar charging is warranted

Essentials (for me)

  1. View Finder
  2. Zoom
  3. Macro
  4. Possibility of HD Video
  5. Manual functions
  6. Replaceable Battery
1 Like

I appreciate the tilting screen as I am usually out in full sun.

1 Like

I’ve read a thread after canon announced they end their top DSLR line, but those are reports from professional photographers and those who go in remote places with no electricity, I believe them as it’s logical when viewfinder takes energy that DSLR one doesn’t.

1 Like

Firstly, after budget, work out what specs you require.
Do you only want macro, or zoom, or a combination of?
Do you want GPS?
Waterproof, or is splash proof ok?
Do you want to carry around a bag full of lenses?
I agree with @dianastuder the tilting screen is great. Not only for the sun, but also for those uncomfortable position shots. High up, low down etc.

After long deliberation I went with a Sony DSC-HX400V. Good quality photos for an armature like me. 50x optical zoom, gps function which I have found to be more than accurate enough for iNatting. And the price was not to bad either.
Battery gives me about 150min each when staying on and running GPS, so have a charger in vehicle for the spare.

I have seen people lugging around big lenses and unless they stationary in 1 place it is not comfortable. Or even heard that they missed a shot because the object was to close to focus.

I wanted a fair macro, good zoom, light and portable, GPS enabled. And a camera that is easy to use with 1 hand. Trying to hold something, and needing both hands for the camera does not work well. Besides flipping to manual focus and flash with left thumb, all else can be accessed with right thumb while holding it with that hand as well.

It may be older stock, but met all the requirements and then some to enjoy my hobby. I have had it now just on 2 years, and still going strong.