Canon Closed the Gap With Sony Much Faster Than Expected


Canon spent five months hype-ing up its new sports camera. If there’s one thing to take away now that the R3 is fully announced, it’s that Canon has done an amazing job closing the gap with Sony in technology.

Sony has been the undisputed leader in camera technology for many years. Although there have been some complaints about other aspects of Sony’s products, such as the menu, the company is still far superior when it comes to the incredible technology contained in a camera.

The Alpha 9 was the culmination of all this. When the Alpha 9 was first released, I had the opportunity to test it and it did a lot of amazing things. The Alpha 1 has made things even better. I consider it the best professional camera in the mirrorless age.

Sony has been untouchable for the greater part of the past decade. But today, there are many features in Canon’s new EOS R3 which I am shocked at how similar they are to what Sony has made. It’s clear that Sony remains the leader in camera technology. However, I want to add that many in the industry are truly shocked at how Canon is closing this gap.

The EOS R3 has a few key features that I find particularly noteworthy in terms of technology. These include the autofocus, sensor performance and electronic viewfinder. Canon matches or is close to Sony’s achievements in all areas. And Canon does it in half as fast.

Autofocus

While Sony’s autofocus is excellent, Canon’s Dual Pixel technology has been a great choice. Although the R3 may be better than the Alpha 1 in terms of in-the field performance, PetaPixel still hasn’t had the chance to use the camera. Let’s just focus on the paper.

The Sony Alpha 1 has 759 autofocus points, which cover 92% of its sensor. The Sony Alpha 9 II features a 693 point autofocus system that covers 93% of the sensor. Canon EOS R3 features 1,053 autofocus point that cover the entire sensor.

The EOS R3 can also perform 60 autofocus calculations per second, matching the Alpha 9 II. The Alpha 1 still wins here, as it can perform 120 calculations per second.

Sensor Performance

Sony has been pushing the limits with its sensors for a while and currently has the Alpha 1’s best combination of speed and resolution. Canon is not far behind. The R3 has a backside-illuminated, stacked design that shoots at 30 frames per seconds with no blackout. This is faster than the Alpha 9 II at same resolution, and matches the speed the Alpha 1, although Sony wins on resolution.

Yet, it’s still remarkably close.

Electronic Viewfinder

It was probably overlooked but I can’t stress how impressed I am by Canon’s electronic visionfinder (EVF). It integrates eye-control autofocus, which is an entirely new level of technology integration that Sony does not have. It is also a 5.76 million-dot OLED with 120 frames per second that was developed and designed by Canon. Although it has a higher resolution than the Alpha 9 II’s 3.68million dot OLED, it is still not as high as the 9.4 million dot Sony Alpha 1 OLED.

It was still made in-house. This is a significant point considering how few companies have chosen to do that.

The Hot Shoe

For a while, Sony has been talking about its hot shoe capabilities for some time now. Canon has almost caught up. Both companies provide a better and more useful connection for accessories, and both have shotgun microphones that take advantage.

The gap between Sony and Canon is small

It is important to remember that Canon quickly surpassed the Alpha 9 II, which is likely the R3’s main competitor. Also, how similar many of its technologies are with Sony’s flagship. Sony launched the Alpha 9 in 2017 and made its first full frame mirrorless camera with the Alpha 7R and 7R in 2013. In January 2017, the Alpha 1 was launched.

The EOS R was launched by Canon in 2018 and was essentially a rehoused 5DMark IV. The EOS R5 or R6 was not the first mirrorless camera made from scratch. It produced the R3 just one year later.

After starting its camera line, it took Sony four years and eight years for a great photojournalist camera. Today, the company is at the pinnacle in technology. Canon took two years to move from its first mirrorless camera, the R5, to the R5, and only three years to reach the R3.

This is because Canon created its own viewfinder, sensor, processor and other hardware and software technologies and didn’t rely on anyone else to do them. Sony produces the sensors and most of the technology in full-frame mirrorless competitors, except Canon. It is Canon that comes closest to matching Sony’s best, considering that Canon has done this in three years.

Sony is still leading the pack, while Canon is closing in on it.

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