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Canon EOS R3 vs Sony a1 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS r3 Camera image

Sony a1

Sony A1 product image
Canon EOS R3
Sony a1
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
September 14, 2021
January 26, 2021
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Sony a1 takes the lead with a score of 86/100, while the Canon EOS R3 follows closely with 84/100. Both cameras are mirrorless and were released in 2021, with the Sony a1 having a higher launch price of $6499 compared to the Canon EOS R3’s $5999.

The Canon EOS R3 stands out due to its larger size (150 x 143 x 87mm) and heavier weight (1015g), which may appeal to those who prefer a more substantial feel. On the other hand, the Sony a1 offers a more compact design (129 x 97 x 81mm) and lighter weight (737g), making it easier to carry and handle for extended periods.

While both cameras excel in their respective areas, the Sony a1’s higher score reflects its overall better performance, making it the top choice for those seeking a high-quality, compact mirrorless camera. The Canon EOS R3, however, remains a strong contender for those who appreciate a more robust build.

Canon EOS R3 vs Sony a1 Overview and Optics

The Sony a1 takes the lead in our optics comparison with a score of 89/100, while the Canon EOS R3 trails behind with a score of 84/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, including a full-frame CMOS sensor, 30 fps shooting speed, and image stabilization. Additionally, they both utilize their respective company’s lens mounts: Canon RF for the EOS R3 and Sony FE for the a1.

The Sony a1 outperforms the Canon EOS R3 in several aspects. With an impressive 50.1-megapixel resolution, the a1 captures more detail and offers higher image quality than the 24-megapixel EOS R3. The a1 also boasts a higher DXOMARK sensor score of 98, compared to the EOS R3’s 96. This difference reflects the a1’s superior image quality, dynamic range, and low-light performance.

On the other hand, the Canon EOS R3 has its advantages as well. Its Digic X processor is known for its speed and efficiency, which can contribute to faster autofocus and processing times. Although the Sony a1 features a powerful Dual Bionz XR processor, some users may prefer the Canon’s processing capabilities depending on their shooting needs.

Both cameras excel in their optics, but the Sony a1 emerges as the winner due to its higher resolution and superior sensor performance. The Canon EOS R3, however, remains a strong contender with its reliable processor. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the specific needs and preferences of the photographer, as both offer outstanding optical performance.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24 MP
50.1 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6012 x 4016 px
8640 x 5760 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 36 mm
24 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
30 fps
30 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Canon RF
Sony FE
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Digic X
Dual Bionz XR
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 32000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Viewfinder Resolution
5,760,000 dots
9,437,184 dots

Canon EOS R3 vs Sony a1 Video Performance

The Canon EOS R3 outperforms the Sony a1 in video capabilities, scoring 96 out of 100 compared to the Sony a1’s score of 86. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a maximum video frame rate of 120fps. However, there are key differences that set them apart.

The Canon EOS R3 offers a maximum video resolution of 6K with dimensions of 6000 x 3164, providing excellent detail and quality in video recording. Additionally, the EOS R3 has built-in time-lapse functionality, making it convenient for users who want to capture stunning time-lapse sequences without requiring additional equipment or software.

On the other hand, the Sony a1 boasts an impressive maximum video resolution of 8K with dimensions of 7680 x 4320. This higher resolution allows for even greater detail and clarity in videos. However, the a1 does not have built-in time-lapse functionality, which may limit its appeal for some users.

Despite the higher video resolution in the Sony a1, the Canon EOS R3’s overall video performance is superior, as reflected in its higher video score. The built-in time-lapse functionality in the EOS R3 is a significant advantage and contributes to its higher score. The Sony a1, although offering greater video resolution, may not be as versatile for users who require time-lapse capabilities.

Therefore, the Canon EOS R3 is the better choice for users who prioritize video performance and versatility, while the Sony a1 is more suitable for those who value higher video resolution but can forego built-in time-lapse functionality.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
6000 x 3164 px
7680 x 4320 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
120 p
120 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
LPCM 2ch(48 kHz 16bit), LPCM 2ch(48 kHz 24bit), LPCM 4ch(48 kHz 24bit), MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch

Canon EOS R3 vs Sony a1 Features and Benefits

The Canon EOS R3 wins the features comparison with a score of 87/100, while the Sony a1 scores 83/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a touchscreen, flip screen, WIFI, and Bluetooth capabilities.

The Canon EOS R3 outperforms the Sony a1 in screen size and resolution. With a 3.2-inch screen and a resolution of 4,150,000 dots, the EOS R3 provides a clearer and larger display for users. This advantage allows for better image review and easier menu navigation. Additionally, the EOS R3 has GPS functionality, which the Sony a1 lacks. This feature enables photographers to geotag their images, making it easier to organize and locate photos based on location data.

On the other hand, the Sony a1 has a slightly smaller 3-inch screen with a lower resolution of 1,440,000 dots. Although this difference may not significantly impact the user experience, it is worth noting. The absence of GPS in the Sony a1 is a drawback for some photographers who value geotagging capabilities.

Despite these differences, both the Canon EOS R3 and the Sony a1 are feature-rich cameras that cater to various photography needs. The EOS R3’s larger screen, higher resolution, and GPS functionality make it the winner in this comparison. However, the Sony a1 remains a strong contender with its touchscreen, flip screen, WIFI, and Bluetooth features. Users should consider their specific needs and preferences when choosing between these two cameras, as both offer impressive capabilities.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
4,150,000 dots
1,440,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Canon EOS R3 vs Sony a1 Storage and Battery

The Canon EOS R3 outperforms the Sony a1 in storage and battery with a score of 81/100, compared to the Sony a1’s 73/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots and support USB charging. However, the Canon EOS R3 accepts both SD/SDHC/SDXC and CFexpress Type B (UHS-II compatible) memory cards, giving users more flexibility in storage options. Additionally, the Canon EOS R3’s LP-E19 battery provides 760 shots per charge, which is significantly more than the Sony a1’s NP-FZ100 battery that offers 530 shots.

The Sony a1 has its advantages, utilizing SD and CFexpress Type A (UHS-II compatible) memory cards. While this provides a decent range of storage options, it falls short of the Canon EOS R3’s offerings.

Taking into account the differences in storage options and battery life, the Canon EOS R3 is the superior choice for photographers seeking greater flexibility and longer shooting times. The Sony a1 remains a strong competitor, but its storage and battery capabilities do not quite match those of the Canon EOS R3.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC, CFexpress Type B (UHS-II compatible)
SD,CFexpress Type A (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
760 shots
530 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
25 bits
25.9 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14.7 EVs
14.5 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Canon EOS R3 vs Sony a1 Alternatives

User Scores
B&H photo video
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