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Canon T7i vs Sony A5100

The Canon EOS Rebel T7i (called Canon 800D in some regions) and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2017 and August 2014. The T7i 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 T7i
versus
Sony A5100
Canon T7i   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
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
131 x 100 x 76 mm, 532 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 T7i 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 T7i 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 T7i is only available in black.

Size Canon T7i vs Sony A5100
Compare T7i versus A5100 top
Comparison T7i 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 T7i. Moreover, the A5100 is substantially lighter (47 percent) than the T7i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T7i 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 (T7i) 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 T7i gets 600 shots out of its LP-E17 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749 i
2.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
3.
 
Canon T8i 131 mm 103 mm 76 mm 515 g 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
4.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
5.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i
7.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
8.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
9.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
10.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
11.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
12.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
13.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449 i
14.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599 i
15.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329 i
16.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499 i
17.
 
Sony NEX-3 117 mm 62 mm 33 mm 297 g 330 n May 2010 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 A5100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the T7i, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 (T7i) 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 T7i 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 T7i), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the T7i is much more recent (by 2 years and 5 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 Canon EOS Rebel T7i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

T7i versus A5100 MP

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.

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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
1.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
2.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.71347 80
3.
 
Canon T8i APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p...... ..
4.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p...... ..
5.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.3971 78
6.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.41041 79
7.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
8.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
9.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
10.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
11.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
12.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
13.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.01089 79
14.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.11347 82
15.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.81068 78
16.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.51067 74
17.
 
Sony NEX-3 APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.0830 68

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T7i 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 T7i 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
1.
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T8ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.5 Y n
4.
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
12.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
13.
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
14.
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony NEX-3optional n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The T7i writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 T7i 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
1.
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
2.
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon T8iYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-3Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the T7i has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The A5100 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the T7i has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T7i was succeeded by the Canon T8i. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon T7i better than the Sony A5100 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T7i:

  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the A5100 launch.

ilogo

Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5100:

  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 131x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 249g or 47 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T7i emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 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.

T7i 08:06 A5100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T7i 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T7i and the A5100 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..80/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i
2.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+..4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
3.
 
Canon T8i4.5/5+80/1004/53.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
4.
 
Canon T7..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
5.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i
7.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
8.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
9.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
10.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
11.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
12.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
13.
 
Sony A50003/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449 i
14.
 
Sony A60005/5+80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599 i
15.
 
Sony A30003/5+..4/54/5 Aug 2013 329 i
16.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5....4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499 i
17.
 
Sony NEX-3....70/1004.5/54/5 May 2010 599 i
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 T7i:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A5100:
Check Amazon price

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.

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    Specifications: Canon T7i 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 T7i Sony A5100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2017 August 2014
    Launch Price USD 749 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon T7i 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 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 7 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 T7i Sony A5100
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon T7i 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 6 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon T7i Sony A5100
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon T7i Sony A5100
    Battery Type LP-E17 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 131 x 100 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 532 g (18.8 oz) 283 g (10.0 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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