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Canon T7 vs Sony A5100

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 (called Canon 2000D in some regions) and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2018 and August 2014. The T7 is a DSLR, while the A5100 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon T7 versus Sony A5100
Canon T7 Sony A5100
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
129 x 101 x 78 mm, 475 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 283 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T7 and the Sony Alpha A5100? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T7 and the Sony A5100. 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.

The A5100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the T7 is only available in black.

Size Canon T7 vs Sony A5100
Compare T7 versus A5100 top
Comparison T7 or A5100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5100 is considerably smaller (47 percent) than the Canon T7. Moreover, the A5100 is substantially lighter (40 percent) than the T7. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T7 nor the A5100 are weather-sealed.

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 (T7) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5100). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A5100, 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 T7 gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the A5100 can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5100 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon T7 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Sony A5100 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Canon SL3 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 15.8 oz 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon T100 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon 77D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon SL2 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon T7i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon T6 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon T6i 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon T6s 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Sony A5000 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A6000 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony NEX-3N 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499i
 
Sony NEX-3 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 T7 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 18 percent) than the A5100, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A5100 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T7) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon T7 and Sony A5100 sensor measures

Even though the A5100 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A5100 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the T7), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the T7 is much more recent (by 3 years and 6 months) than the A5100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The A5100 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

T7 versus A5100 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Canon SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
 
Sony NEX-3 APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068

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 A5100 provides a faster frame rate than the T7. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T7 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T7 and Sony A5100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon SL3optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony NEX-3optional n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A5100 has a touchscreen, while the T7 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The A5100 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the T7 does not have a selfie-screen.

The T7 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A5100 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T7 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Rebel T7 and Sony Alpha A5100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SL3YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony NEX-3Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the T7 has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the T7 and the A5100 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A5100 replaced the earlier Sony A5000, while the T7 followed on from the Canon T6. 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

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T7 and the Sony A5100? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T7:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (18 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the A5100 launch.

ilogo

Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5100:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • 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.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 129x101mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 192g or 40 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5100 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 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 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.

T7 05:11 A5100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T7 and the Sony A5100 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T7 or the A5100 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon T7o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Canon SL3o79/1004/5..4/5 Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon T100o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon SL2+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon T7i..80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon T6i..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000+..4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony NEX-3N....4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
 
Sony NEX-3..70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 T7:
Check Amazon price
Sony A5100:
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 T7 vs Sony A5100

    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 T7 Sony A5100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2018 August 2014
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon T7 Sony A5100
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1347
    Screen Specs Canon T7 Sony A5100
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon T7 Sony A5100
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon T7 Sony A5100
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon T7 Sony A5100
    Battery Type LP-E10 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 101 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 4.0 x 3.1 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 475 g (16.8 oz) 283 g (10.0 oz)

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