How the Canon EOS R5 Compares to the Sony a7r IV and Sony a9 II

The new kid on the block, the Canon EOS R5, will aim to take on two of Sony’s titans, but does it have enough about it?

Finally, after months of speculation, the Canon EOS R5 has officially been announced. While Canon had let all of us know about some of the key features of their new Mirrorless flagship, there were still some unknowns, but now, we can see that Canon has been aiming to kill two competing cameras with one stone. With an all-new 45MP sensor, killer video features, and a price that sticks it right in-between the Sony a9 II and the a7r IV, the Canon EOS R5 is going to be one heck of a camera. Take a closer look at it after the break.

It has taken Canon a while to get up to speed with Mirrorless cameras. Now, the EOS RP, the EOS R, and the specialized EOS Ra are all fine cameras, but they were light years behind anything Sony had on the market at the time of their launch. Up until this point, Canon decided to try and flesh out its library of Mirrorless lenses, and we have to say that the current crop of RF mount lenses are some of the best that you can buy. Period. Now, with the release of the Canon EOS R5, the Canon faithful finally have a camera that can make the most of the beautiful lenses.

The Canon EOS R5 is a Powerhouse

Let’s take a look at the specs:

  • New Canon developed 45MP sensor
  • Top panel LCD
  • Digic X processor ISO range 100-52,100, expandable to 102,400
  • Continuous shooting of 12fps mechanical and 20fps electronic shutter
  • Dual Pixel AF II with AF covering 100% of the sensor with 1,053 AF zones
  • Subject tracking – people and animals (cats, dogs, birds) and deep learning technology
  • 8K RAW no crop, 4k up to 120fps, 100bit 4:2:2 with Canon Log, internal recording on all formats with AF, though 8k will not record to SD
  • 8K is oversampled to 8.2K so that 8K video looks great, and so that 4K video is the best quality yet
  • All video modes can be used with or without crop
  • IBIS good for 8 stops (it’s lens dependent)
  • Dual card slots – One CF Express, one UHS-II
  • 5.76m dot EVF with 120fps refresh rate, vari-angle 3″ LCD touchscreen
  • New operating controls (dedicated ISO, Shutter and aperture dials)
  • Same durability and weather sealing as the 5D4, so better than the EOS R
  • Burst modes/buffer CF express – 180 RAW, 280 HEIF, 350 JPEG, UHS-II 87 RAW, 280 HEIF, 350 JPG
  • Compatible with the new WFT-R10A wifi battery grip which is $999 and the standard battery grip BGR-10 $349
  • 2.4GHZ and 5Ghz wi-fi, FTP data transfer
  • New high capacity LP-E6NH battery
  • Flash sync port
  • Available end of July for $3899 body only, $4,999 with 24-105 F4L

The EOS R5 is Coming for the Sony a9 II and the a7r IV

Let’s take a look at the specs of all three cameras side-by-side.

Canon EOS R5Sony a7r IVSony a9 II
Sensor45MP61MP24MP
AF Points5,950 across 1,053 zones567693
Burst Speeds12fps mechanical and 20fps electronic shutter10 fps10fps mechanical and 20fps electronic shutter
Native ISO Sensitivity100 to 51,20100 to 32,000 100 to 51,200
Weather SealingYesYesYes
Dual Card SlotsYes CF Express and UHS-IIYes two UHS-IIYes Two UHS-II
EVF Resolution5.76m dots5.76m dots3.68m dots
LCD Touchscreen3-inch vari-angle (unknown resolution)3-inch 1.44m dots3-inch 1.44m dots
IBISYesYesYes
Subject TrackingAnimal and HumanAnimal and HumanAnimal and Human
Video8K RAW no crop, 4k up to 120fps, 10bit 4:2:2UHD 4K (3840 × 2160) at 29.97p
Full HD (1920 × 1080) up to 120fps
4:2:2 8-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 × 2160) at 24.00p/25p/29.97p
Full HD (1920 × 1080) at 24.00p/50i/50p/59.94i/59.94p
Price$3,899$3,498$4,498

As you can see in the chart above, the Canon EOS R5 takes the best bits from both the Sony a9 II and the Sony a7r IV, and Canon has improved upon other areas. Canon has also given it a price right in between the two. The price is steep at $3,899, and is obviously aimed at professionals who want the very best, and who will make the price of the camera back from the work that they produce. Still, we’re sure it will appeal to enthusiasts who have deep pockets too.

In terms of ergonomics and design, the Canon EOS R5 looks every bit a Canon thanks to the large grip and controls that look well placed. The Canon EOS retains the top-down display that can be found on the EOS R, and he awkward touch bar from the EOS R has been replaced with a thumbstick (thank you, thank you, thank you). The rear dial, which made the old 5D series cameras such a delight to use, has also returned. The Canon EOS R5 certainly looks like the first true successor to the EOS 5D series.

The Canon EOS R5 Touts Both Raw Speed and High Resolution

Canon EOS R5

Wow! Take it all in. That’s quite an impressive list of specs. We can’t help but think that Canon was going after two cameras in particular with the Canon EOS R5, and those cameras would be the Sony a7r IV, and the Sony a9 II.

The Canon EOS R5 is trying to give the best of both worlds here with a large 45MP sensor, which will no doubt be able to produce beautifully detailed images, but it also gives slightly better levels of performance over the a9 II in regards to frames per second, which will be handy for sports shooters.

Canon EOS R5

As well as the frames per second, thanks to the buffer and use of CF Express and UHS-II cards, the Canon EOS R5 is capable of rattling off 180 45MP RAW files, 280 HEIF, and 350 JPEGS when using a CF Express card. When it comes to UHS-II performance you will be able to get 87 RAW, 280 HEIF, and 350 JPEGS. This is some seriously impressive performance. In comparison, the a9 II fires off 239 RAW and 361 JPEGS at a much lower resolution. As you can see there’s really not much in it between the two and you’re getting much higher resolution files from the R5.

Canon EOS R5

The new WFT-R10A grip ($999) with integrated Wi-Fi will allow sports photographers who use the Canon EOS R5 to share and transmit their images wirelessly on the fly as well.

As well as the frames per second, thanks to the buffer and use of CF Express and UHS-II cards, the Canon EOS R5 is capable of rattling off 180 45MP RAW files, 280 HEIF, and 350 JPEGS when using a CF Express card.

When it comes to the autofocusing system the Canon EOS R5 uses a new Dual Pixel AF II system which will give users 5,940 user-selectable AF points across 1,053 zones. This new AF system also has enhanced human face and eye-tracking, as well as tracking for cats, dogs, and birds. Canon has also mentioned that the Canon EOS R5 will also have some deep learning systems embedded into the camera too, so there’s some more AI wizardry going on behind the scenes.

Final Thoughts

Canon EOS R5

The only elephant that’s still in the room is the one that pertains to the number of lenses on the RF platform. Sony really has the upper hand here, but we know that Canon has announced some new RF mount lenses today, and we know that there will be plenty more in the future. There’s no denying that the Canon EOS R5 is going to be a beast of a camera, and those who invest in it and the system overall will be rewarded.

If you’re ready to take the plunge, you’ll be able to get your hands on one at the end of July for $3,899 for the body only, or $4,999 with 24-105 F4L. Be on the lookout for our review too. We will bring it to you just as soon as we can. So, what do you think about the new Canon EOS R5? Is it what you expected it to be? Slightly over or underwhelmed? What about the price? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section below.