Canon RP vs Sony A9
The Canon EOS RP and the Sony Alpha A9 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2019 and April 2017. Both the Canon RP and the A9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 26.2 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.
|Canon RP||Sony A9|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon RF mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|26.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor||24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-40000 (50-102400)||ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1440k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||20 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|250 shots per battery charge||650 shots per battery charge|
|133 x 85 x 70 mm, 485 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 RP 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 RP and the Sony A9. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A9 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Canon RP. Moreover, the A9 is substantially heavier (39 percent) than the Canon RP. It is noteworthy in this context that the A9 is splash and dust-proof, while the Canon RP 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 Canon RP gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the A9 can take 650 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
|Canon RP»||133 mm||85 mm||70 mm||485 g||250||n||Feb 2019||1,299||Canon RP|
|Sony A9«||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Canon 850D« »||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749||Canon 850D|
|Canon 250D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599||Canon 250D|
|Canon 2000D« »||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D« »||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749||Canon 800D|
|Canon M5« »||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon 750D« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||Canon 760D|
|Leica TL2« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The Canon RP was launched at a markedly lower price (by 71 percent) than the A9, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.
With 26.2MP, the Canon RP offers a slightly higher resolution than the A9 (24MP), but the Canon RP has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.74μm versus 5.94μm for the A9). However, the Canon RP is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the A9, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Canon EOS RP has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 40000, 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.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon RP||Full Frame||26.2||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon RP|
|Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Canon 850D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon 850D|
|Canon 250D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon 250D|
|Canon 2000D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||11.9||1009||71||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon 800D|
|Canon M5||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Canon 750D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon 760D|
|Leica TL2||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica TL2|
|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 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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A9 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the Canon RP (3686k vs 2360k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon RP and Sony A9 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon RP||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||n||Canon RP|
|Sony A9||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Canon 850D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.5||Y||n||Canon 850D|
|Canon 250D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 250D|
|Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 800D|
|Canon M5||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Canon 750D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 760D|
|Leica TL2||optional||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Leica TL2|
|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 feature that differentiates the A9 and the Canon RP is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A9 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the Canon RP has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.The Canon RP 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 Canon RP has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The Canon RP 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 Canon RP only has one slot. Both the Canon RP and the A9 support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s (the second slot of the A9 only offers slower UHS-I transfer rates, though).
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 RP and Sony Alpha A9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon RP||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon RP|
|Sony A9||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Canon 850D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon 850D|
|Canon 250D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon 250D|
|Canon 2000D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 800D|
|Canon M5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Canon 750D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 760D|
|Leica TL2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL2|
|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|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A9 (unlike the Canon RP) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The Canon RP is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the A9 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A9 was succeeded by the Sony A9 II. 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 what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon RP or the Sony A9 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS RP:
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 188g or 28 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (71 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 9 months after the A9).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A9:
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 2360k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.70x).
- 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 5 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 250) out of a single battery charge.
- 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.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- 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.
- 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 (13 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 RP 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Canon RP or the A9. 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. 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 are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon RP 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 RP||Sony A9|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon RF mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2019||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1299||USD 4499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon RP||Sony A9|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 24.0 mm||35.6 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2||847.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.74 μm||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.01 MP/cm2||2.83 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-40000 ISO||100-51200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-102400 ISO||50-204800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||92|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||3517|
|Screen Specs||Canon RP||Sony A9|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||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||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon RP||Sony A9|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/8000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 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|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board 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-II||Single UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon RP||Sony A9|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon RP||Sony A9|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
133 x 85 x 70 mm
(5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
127 x 96 x 63 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||485 g (17.1 oz)||673 g (23.7 oz)|
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