An in-depth look at the Canon EOS R8 vs Sony A7c – Which is better?

May 19, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

An in-depth look at the Canon EOS R8 vs Sony A7c – Which is better?

May 19, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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When it comes to cameras, “better” is often a very subjective term. The needs of each person and the features each camera offers don’t necessarily mean that a given camera is “best” for everybody. So where does the recently released  Canon EOS R8 (buy here) fit in? Generally regarded as the replacement for the Canon EOS RP, the EOS R8 seems tailor-made for vloggers and social creatives.

But how does it stand up to the competition? And is it “best” for your needs? While “better” is often subjective, there are things that can be tested to see what specific features are objectively better. In this video, The Slanted Lens looks at the Canon EOS R8 and the Sony A7c (buy here) to see how the two compare and which of those specs are objectively better.

[Related reading: Sony A7C II announcement rumoured for some time during 2023]

Canon EOS R8 vs Sony A7c Specs

On paper, the two cameras are fairly similar in many ways. There are some obvious advantages to the Canon EOS R8, such as 4K 60p and 1080p HD video up to 180fps. Not to mention the fact that it shoots them in 10-bit 4:2:2 rather than the 8-bit 4:2:0 of the Sony A7c. The EOS R8 has a one-stop faster maximum shutter speed and one-stop higher ISO capability before you go into the extended range. Continuous shooting on the EOS R8 also hammers the A7c, with a maximum frame rate of 40fps.

Of course, the Sony A7c has a couple of advantages, too – but, as mentioned above, subjective needs, etc. The Sony A7c sports a mechanical shutter, whereas the Canon EOS R8 shutter is fully electronic. The Sony A7c also offers 8-bit 4:2:2 external recording over the HDMI output, and the EOS R8 doesn’t offer any external recording options. The Canon EOS R8 offers a generous 2 hours of continuous recording, although the Sony A7c has no limit on continuous recording.

As you can see, objectively better specs in one aspect or another are still quite subjective.

Sony A7cCanon EOS R8
MountSony ECanon RF
FormatFull-FrameFull-Frame
SensorCMOSCMOS
Resolution6000 x 4000 pixels6000 x 4000 pixels
ISO Range100-51,200 (50-204,800 extended)100-102,400 (50-204,800 extended)
Shutter speed1/8000 to 30 sec1/16000 to 30 sec
Continuous shootingUp to 10fpsUp to 40fps
Focus typeAuto & manual focusAuto & manual focus
Focus modesContinuous-servo AF (C), direct manual focus (DMF), manual focus (M), single-servo AF (S)Continuous-Servo AF, Manual Focus, Single-Servo AF
AF pointsFF 693 phase detection / 425 contrast detectionPhoto: Phase Detection: 4897
Video: Phase Detection: 4067
AF sensitivity-4 to +20 EV-6.5 to +21 EV
Stabilisation5-axis sensor-shiftSensor-Shift, 5-Axis (Video Only)
Viewfinder2.36m-dot 0.65″ 0.9x OLED EVF2.36m-dot 0.39″ OLED EVF
LCD3″ 921k-dot articulating (flippy out) touchscreen LCD3″ 1.62m-dot articulating (flippy out) touchscreen LCD
Internal video4K 30fps (8-bit 4:2:0), 1080p 120fps4K 60fps (10-bit 4:2:2), 1080p 180fps
External video4K 8-Bit 4:2:2None
Memory card slots1x UHS-II SD card slot1x UHS-II SD card slot
ConnectivityWi-Fi, BluetoothWi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dimensions124 x 71.1 x 59.7mm132.59 x 86.11 x 70.1 mm
Weight509g with battery & memory card461g with battery & memory card

Which should you get?

The almost-22-minute video looks at many features of the two cameras, including image sharpness, ergonomics, autofocus performance for both stills and video, stabilisation, high ISO performance, dynamic range and various other factors of both bodies. Some of the results may be quite surprising, given that the Sony A7c is a significantly older body released in 2020. Sure, that’s only three years ago, but that’s practically an eternity in camera years.

Some tests show very little difference between the two cameras, but there are definitely some benefits of the newer Canon EOS R8 over the A7c, especially when it comes to video – and the fact that it’s the cheaper of the two – and it does seem to offer the edge in a few other areas. But with the EOS R8 being a much newer body, one would certainly hope it scores quite a few points, objectively speaking.

Which is best for you? Well, as always, it depends on your needs, budget and any existing compatible kit you might already own. There are also rumours that the A7c is about to see its successor released soon, which will upset the balance once again.

[via The Slanted Lens]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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