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Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Sony Alpha A9 are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2012 and April 2017. The 5D Mark III is a DSLR, while the A9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 22.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 5D Mark III   Sony A9
Canon 5D Mark III Sony A9
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
22.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25600 (50-102400) ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)
3.2" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 1440k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 20 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
950 shots per battery charge650 shots per battery charge
152 x 116 x 76 mm, 950 g 127 x 96 x 63 mm, 673 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Sony Alpha A9? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

The physical size and weight of the Canon 5D Mark III and the Sony A9 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9
Compare 5D Mark III versus A9 top
Comparison 5D Mark III or A9 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A9 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon 5D Mark III. Moreover, the A9 is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the 5D Mark III. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (5D Mark III) and the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A9). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A9, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 5D Mark III gets 950 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the A9 can take 650 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. The power pack in the A9 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 5D Mark III» 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Sony A9« 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 5D« » 6.0 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 31.6 oz 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
Nikon Z6« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 5D Mark III was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 22 percent) than the A9, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A9 is 2 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 5D Mark III and Sony A9 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A9 offers a slightly higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 22.1 MP of the 5D Mark III. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 6.25μm for the 5D Mark III). However, it should be noted that the A9 is much more recent (by 5 years and 1 month) than the 5D Mark III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The A9 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A9 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.

5D Mark III versus A9 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A9 offers substantially better image quality than the 5D Mark III (overall score 11 points higher). The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 5D Mark III» Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
 
Sony A9« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
 
Nikon Z6« » Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995Nikon Z6
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996Nikon D800E
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A9 provides a better video resolution than the 5D Mark III. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A9 has an electronic viewfinder (3686k dots), while the 5D Mark III has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the A9 has a higher magnification than the one of the 5D Mark III (0.78x vs 0.71x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 5D Mark III and Sony A9 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 5D Mark III»optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
 
Sony A9«3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n Canon 5D
 
Nikon Z6« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Nikon Z6
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800E
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II

One feature that is present on the 5D Mark III, but is missing on the A9 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A9 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The 5D Mark III writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the A9 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The A9 supports UHS-II cards on its first slot and UHS-I on its second one, while the 5D Mark III cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Sony Alpha A9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 5D Mark III»YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
 
Sony A9«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
 
Nikon Z6« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z6
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800E
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II

It is notable that the A9 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 5D Mark III does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 5D Mark III (unlike the A9) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The A9 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the 5D Mark III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 5D Mark III was succeeded by the Canon 5D Mark IV. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.


Review summary: Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 5D Mark III better than the Sony A9 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (950 versus 650) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (22 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A9:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for quicker and more confident autofocus.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.71x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x96mm vs 152x116mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 277g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II and UHS-I) SDXC cards.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 1 month of technical progress since the 5D Mark III launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A9 is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

5D Mark III 07:21 A9

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 5D Mark III and the Sony A9 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 5D Mark III and the A9 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 5D Mark III»+ +82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Sony A9«+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »+ +87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5DS« »+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 6D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
Canon 5D« »88/100+ +oo- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
Nikon Z6« »--4.5/5-5/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Panasonic GH5« »+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »+ +90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 5D Mark III:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A9:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony A9

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 5D Mark III Sony A9
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2012 April 2017
    Launch Price USD 3499 USD 4499
    Sensor Specs Canon 5D Mark III Sony A9
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 35.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 847.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 42.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 22.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5760 x 3840 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.25 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.56 MP/cm2 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-51200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO 50-204800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5+ BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 81 92
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.0 24.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 13.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2293 3517
    Screen Specs Canon 5D Mark III Sony A9
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3686k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 5D Mark III Sony A9
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 20 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations500 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/32000s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support no Single UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Canon 5D Mark III Sony A9
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon 5D Mark III Sony A9
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E6 power pack NP-FZ100 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)950 shots per charge650 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 152 x 116 x 76 mm
    (6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 in)
    127 x 96 x 63 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 950 g (33.5 oz) 673 g (23.7 oz)

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