PW

Sony A7 III versus Canon Rebel

The Sony Alpha A7 III and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (labelled Canon 300D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2018 and August 2003. The A7 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the Rebel is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (A7 III) and an APS-C (Rebel) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 6.3 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony A7 III vs Canon Rebel

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A7 III and the Canon Rebel. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the A7 III – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony A7 III vs Canon Rebel
Compare A7 III versus Rebel top
Compare A7 III and Rebel rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon Rebel is notably larger (15 percent) than the Sony A7 III. However, the Rebel is slightly lighter (0 percent) than the A7 III. It is worth mentioning in this context that the A7 III is splash and dust resistant, while the Rebel 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A7 III) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (Rebel). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Sony A7 III, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the A7 III gets 610 shots out of its NP-FZ100 battery, while the Rebel can take 400 images on a single charge of its BP-511 power pack.

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.

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
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
Canon Rebel« 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
Nikon Z6« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
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 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 A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
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
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A850« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The Rebel was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the A7 III, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony A7 III vs Canon Rebel

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A7 III features a full frame sensor and the Canon Rebel an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the Rebel is 60 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A7 III and Canon Rebel sensor measures

With 24MP, the A7 III offers a higher resolution than the Rebel (6.3MP), but the A7 III has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, the A7 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 14 years and 6 months) than the Rebel, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the A7 III has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The A7 III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in relatively fast and reliable autofocus acquisition during video recording.

A7 III versus Rebel 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the A7 III provides substantially higher image quality than the Rebel, with an overall score that is 41 points higher. This advantage is based on 4 bits higher color depth, 3.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
Sony A7 III» Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
Canon Rebel« APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon XT
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
Nikon Z6« » Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p----Nikon Z6
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
Sony A850« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.812.2141579Sony A850

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The A7 III indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Rebel does not. The highest resolution format that the A7 III can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony A7 III vs Canon Rebel

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7 III has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), while the Rebel 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7 III, the Canon Rebel, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Sony A7 III»2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
Canon Rebel«optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XT
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
Nikon Z6« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 8000 12.0 n Y Nikon Z6
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y Sony A9
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n Sony A7
Sony A850« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 3.0 n Y Sony A850

One feature that differentiates the A7 III and the Rebel is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7 III reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the Rebel has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the A7 III features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

The A7 III writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the Rebel uses Compact Flash cards.

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
Sony A7 III»YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
Canon Rebel«Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
Canon T7i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon T7i
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
Canon XT« »Y-----2.0---Canon XT
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
Canon 10D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
Nikon Z6« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z6
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
Sony A7« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7
Sony A850« »Y----mini2.0---Sony A850

The A7 III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the Rebel has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the Rebel was succeeded by the Canon XT.

Review summary: Sony A7 III vs Canon Rebel

So how do things add up? Is the Sony A7 III better than the Canon Rebel or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7 III:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 6.3MP) with a 95% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (41 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (3.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 118k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x96mm vs 142x99mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (610 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 1.1).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build 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.
  • More modern: Reflects 14 years and 6 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2003).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7 III is the clear winner of the match-up (26 : 5 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.

A7 III 26:05 Rebel

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the A7 III and the Rebel 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony A7 III»HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Canon Rebel«-HiRec-rev- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon XT« »80/100HiRecrevrev- Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
Canon 10D« »-HiRec-rev- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
Nikon Z6« »--4.5/5-5/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
Sony A7R II« »HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« »Rec-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A850« »-75/100-4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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 your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

~

    You are here  »   »