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Sony A7R II versus Canon T5i

The Sony Alpha A7R II and the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (labelled Canon 700D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2015 and March 2013. The A7R II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the T5i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (A7R II) and an APS-C (T5i) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 42.2 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 17.9 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 A7R II vs Canon T5i

The physical size and weight of the Sony A7R II and the Canon T5i are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. 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 – the A7R II – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony A7R II vs Canon T5i
Compare A7R II versus T5i top
Compare A7R II and T5i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T5i is notably larger (9 percent) than the Sony A7R II. However, the T5i is markedly lighter (7 percent) than the A7R II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the A7R II is splash and dust resistant, while the T5i 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 (A7R II) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T5i). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Sony A7R II, 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 A7R II gets 290 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the T5i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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)
Sony A7R II» 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i
Canon T5i« 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T3i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i

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 T5i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the A7R II, 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: Sony A7R II vs Canon T5i

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 A7R II features a full frame sensor and the Canon T5i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T5i is 61 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 A7R II and Canon T5i sensor measures

With 42.2MP, the A7R II offers a higher resolution than the T5i (17.9MP), but the A7R II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 4.31μm for the T5i) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A7R II is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 2 months) than the T5i, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the A7R II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

A7R II versus T5i MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under review, the A7R II provides substantially higher image quality than the T5i, with an overall score that is 37 points higher. This advantage is based on 4.3 bits higher color depth, 2.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony A7R II» Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498
Canon T5i« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695

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 A7R II provides a higher video resolution than the T5i. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony A7R II vs Canon T5i

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A7R II has an electronic viewfinder (2400k dots), while the T5i 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A7R II and Canon T5i along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Sony A7R II»2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Canon T5i«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 4.0 n n

Both the A7R II and the T5i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T5i was replaced by the Canon T6i, while the A7R II was followed by the Sony Alpha A7R III.

Review summary: Sony A7R II vs Canon T5i

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A7R II and the Canon T5i? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A7R II:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (42.2 vs 17.9MP) with a 53% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (37 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (4.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 2 months of technical progress since the T5i launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i:

  • 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.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 290) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7R II is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 8 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.

A7R II 14:08 T5i

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A7R II or the T5i. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony A7R II»HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i
Canon T5i«-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i
Canon T2i« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/5-5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i
Sony A7S II« »Rec-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony A7R« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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 update the database with the necessary infos.

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