Canon M100 vs Sony A9
The Canon EOS M100 and the Sony Alpha A9 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2017 and April 2017. Both the M100 and the A9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (M100) and a full frame (A9) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon M100||Sony A9|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF-M mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1440k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|6.1 shutter flaps per second||20 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|295 shots per battery charge||650 shots per battery charge|
|108 x 67 x 35 mm, 302 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 M100 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M100 and the Sony A9. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the A9 is only available in black.
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 larger (68 percent) than the Canon M100. Moreover, the A9 is substantially heavier (123 percent) than the M100. It is noteworthy in this context that the A9 is splash and dust-proof, while the M100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the M100 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E12 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon M100»||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Sony A9«||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Canon M200« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||299 g||315||n||Sep 2019||549||Canon M200|
|Canon 2000D« »||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 77D« »||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6« »||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M5« »||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon M3« »||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499||Canon M10|
|Canon M« »||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599||Canon M|
|Panasonic GH5« »||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A9 II« »||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7 III« »||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A7 II« »||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||Sony A7 II|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The M100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 89 percent) than the A9, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M100 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A9 is 155 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the A9 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A9 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 3.72μm for the M100), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the M100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the A9, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The Canon EOS M100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. 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.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A9 offers substantially better image quality than the M100 (overall score 14 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.5 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.
|Canon M100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Canon M200||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4k/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon M200|
|Canon 2000D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||11.9||1009||71||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 77D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon M6|
|Canon M5||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Canon M3||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|Canon M10||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65||Canon M10|
|Canon M||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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 M100. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A9 has an electronic viewfinder (3686k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M100, the Sony A9, and comparable cameras.
|Canon M100||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Sony A9||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Canon M200||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M200|
|Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Canon M5||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Canon M3||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n||Canon M3|
|Canon M10||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n||Canon M10|
|Canon M||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Panasonic GH5||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A9 II|
|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 difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The M100 has one, while the A9 does not. While the built-in flash of the M100 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The M100 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A9 does not have a selfie-screen.
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 M100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A9 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A9 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M100 only has one slot. The A9 supports UHS-II cards (on its first slot), while the M100 can use UHS-I cards.
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 M100 and Sony Alpha A9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon M100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Sony A9||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Canon M200||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon M200|
|Canon 2000D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 77D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M6||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Canon M5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Canon M3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M10|
|Canon M||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Panasonic GH5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
It is notable that the A9 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The M100 lacks such a headphone port.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A9 (unlike the M100) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the M100 and the A9 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A9 was replaced by the Sony A9 II, while the M100 was followed by the Canon M200. 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.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M100 or the Sony A9 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M100:
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 371g or 55 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (89 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 4 months after the A9).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A9:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 6.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2017).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A9 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M100 and the Sony A9 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 M100 and the A9 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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.
Specifications: Canon M100 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 Model||Canon M100||Sony A9|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2017||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 4499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M100||Sony A9|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||35.6 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||847.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||2.83 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-51200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50-204800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||78||92|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.5||24.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.9||13.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1272||3517|
|Screen Specs||Canon M100||Sony A9|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3686k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M100||Sony A9|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/8000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||6.1 shutter flaps/s||20 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||500 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||Single UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M100||Sony A9|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M100||Sony A9|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||295 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
108 x 67 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
127 x 96 x 63 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||302 g (10.7 oz)||673 g (23.7 oz)|
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