Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
The Sony Alpha A7 and the Canon XC10 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and April 2015. The A7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the XC10 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (A7) and an one-inch (XC10) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 12 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Sony A7||Canon XC10|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||24-240mm f/2.8-5.6|
|24 MP, Full Frame Sensor||12 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (50-51200)||ISO 160-20000|
|Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 1230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1030k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Tilting touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||3.8 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|127 x 94 x 48 mm, 474 g||125 x 102 x 122 mm, 1040 g|
Body comparison: Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
The physical size and weight of the Sony A7 and the Canon XC10 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures 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 – the A7 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XC10 is notably larger (7 percent) than the Sony A7. It is worth mentioning in this context that the A7 is splash and dust resistant, while the XC10 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XC10 has a lens built in, whereas the A7 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A7 and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Sony A7»||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
|Canon XC10«||4.9 in||4.0 in||4.8 in||36.7 oz||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||11.3 oz||265||n||Feb 2016||699||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Nikon D610« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||3.3 in||19.8 oz||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||5.5 in||4.0 in||2.6 in||19.4 oz||500||Y||Sep 2014||1,499||-||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||17.2 oz||380||Y||Apr 2014||2,499||-||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.4 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||-||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. 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.
Sensor comparison: Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
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 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 Sony A7 features a full frame sensor and the Canon XC10 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the XC10 is 86 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.75. The sensor in the A7 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the XC10 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 24MP, the A7 offers a higher resolution than the XC10 (12MP), but the A7 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.20μm for the XC10) due to its larger sensor. However, the XC10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the A7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The A7 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Sony Alpha A7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon XC10 are ISO 160 to ISO 20000 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony A7»||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90||Sony A7|
|Canon XC10«||1-inch||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Canon SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Nikon D610« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||APS-C||28.0||6480||4320||4K/30p||24.2||13.2||1363||83||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7 II« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||1080/60p||23.9||13.2||3702||87||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93||Sony RX1|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the XC10 provides a better video resolution than the A7. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7 has an electronic viewfinder (2400k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XC10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A7 and Canon XC10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Sony A7»||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
|Canon XC10«||-||n||3.0||1030||tilting||Y||2000||3.8||n||Y||Canon XC10|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||8.0||Y||Y||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G5 X« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||Y||Y||Canon G7 X|
|Canon SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||2000||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Nikon D610« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||2359||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||2360||Y||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||8000||15.0||Y||n||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A6300« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7 II« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||2400||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||4.0||n||n||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The XC10 has a touchscreen, while the A7 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The A7 writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the XC10 uses CFast or SDXC cards. The XC10 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A7 only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
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 Sony Alpha A7 and Canon XC10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A7»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7|
|Canon XC10«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G5 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon SX60« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Nikon D610« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A6300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1|
Both the A7 and the XC10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A7 was replaced by the Sony A7 II, while the XC10 was followed by the Canon XC20.
Review summary: Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony A7 better than the Canon XC10 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A7:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12MP) with a 44% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1030k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).
Advantages of the Canon XC10:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A7 necessitates an extra lens.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7 is the clear winner of the match-up (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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A7 or the XC10. 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: Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony A7»||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
|Canon XC10«||-||80/100||-||-||-||Apr 2015||2,499||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon SX60« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Nikon D610« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||HiRec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||-||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,499||-||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7 II« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||-||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||2,499||-||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299||-||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||-||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||-||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D vs Canon SX60
- Canon 80D vs Canon M3
- Canon D30 vs Canon D60
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Fujifilm X-A10
- Nikon D610 vs Canon 1200D
- Olympus E-330 vs Pentax K-1
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Canon 80D
- Panasonic FZ1000 vs Canon G1 X Mark II
- Sony A7 II vs Canon 4000D
- Sony A7 II vs Fujifilm GFX 50S
- Sony HX99 vs Sony A9
- Sony NEX-6 vs Olympus E-300
Specifications: Sony A7 vs Canon XC10
|Camera Model||Sony A7||Canon XC10|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||24-240mm f/2.8-5.6|
|Launch Date||October 2013||April 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1699||USD 2499|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.8 x 23.9 mm||12.8 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||855.62 mm2||122.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43 mm||16 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.97 μm||3.20 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.80 MP/cm2||9.77 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||160-20000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-51200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||DIGIC DV5|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2400k dots||n/a|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1230k dots||1030k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||CFAST or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini 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||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack||LP-E6N power pack|
127 x 94 x 48 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9 in)
125 x 102 x 122 mm
(4.9 x 4.0 x 4.8 in)
|Camera Weight||474 g (16.7 oz)||1040 g (36.7 oz)|
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