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Although in their respective company hierarchies, the Canon EOS R5 and the Sony Alpha 1 may represent separate groups of cameras, there is much more that is identical between the two than the eye initially meets. With that in mind, Tony and Chelsea Northrup have taken the two cameras through the gauntlet to see how the big stuff compares.

As a Canon EOS R consumer who was previously pleased with the eye-detection capability of the R system, I was not shocked to see both Tony and Chelsea both conclude that the autofocus on the Canon EOS R5 was more accurate and useful overall, at least by the seat-of-the-pants measurement, while the Sony a1 was not a slouch by any stretch. Part of it seemed to be attributed, at least in these samples, to the more recent lens added to the Canon, but still, as compared to other manufacturers I’ve tested, such as Fuji, the best, if not the first, seems to be Canon’s implementation of this critical development in autofocus. The lens gain can really become vital on a 45-50 megapixel camera in order to eke the most detail out of a shot. With humans and animals, both cameras seemed to do decently well, but Canon’s camera has the additional advantage of being able to detect insects reasonably effectively.

One of the points about the Sony a1 that Tony appears to drive home is that the framerate is 10 fps higher than the Canon EOS R5, with the Canon at 30 fps vs 20. This, in principle, should make more chances of capturing the decisive moment, especially for sports, although autofocus can get a little dicey at that pace. It should also be remembered that, relative to the a1’s $6500 price tag, the Canon EOS R5 is $3900, and although the 10 extra fps is good, it is an open question as to whether that gain is worth the extra $2600.

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While the focus (pun intended) of this video is on the Sony a1 and the Canon EOS R5, there is one line at the end that really shocked me, where Tony says that everyone else, including Nikon, is “so far ahead” of Canon and Sony (not surprised to see Olympus, Pentax, Fuji, and Leica on that list, though).

The Nikon Z 7II is out there, pushing for almost as many megapixels, but for just as much money at half the frame rate. It’s almost enough to make Nikon shooters ask what the reaction from their business is to these two Canon and Sony beasts.

That said, while we’re waiting for that response, Tony and Chelsea put the cameras through a couple of other tests in the video, so check it out above.

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