Sony A1 vs Canon EOS R3 Camera Review: Which is the Best Camera?

Sony A1 vs Canon EOS R3

Canon’s Eos R3 is undoubtedly the most advanced mirrorless camera the company has ever produced. This camera features a brand new sensor, Faster processing power, an impressive viewfinder, along with other alluring specs. However, Sony has also made a huge upgrade to its flagship model that resulted in a new camera and segment, the A1. And, this is also capable enough to shoot impressive photos and videos. So, we decided to put these two advanced cameras in a head to head comparison to find out which performs the best. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.


Let’s start by talking about the sensors in these two cameras. Sony Alpha 1 is equipped with a full-frame, 50.1-megapixel Exmor RS sensor. Even in low light conditions, this sensor’s back-illuminated construction allows you to capture stunning photos. In addition, the stacked technology enables this sensor to provide a faster readout and a high-speed overall performance.

Full-frame stacked 50.1 MP* Exmor RSTM CMOS sensor with integral memory.

Canon R3, on the other hand, comes with a 24MP BSI full-frame stacked CMOS sensor. We believe Canon is more focused on speed with R3, so the sensor is lower in resolution. As a result of the lower resolution of full-stack sensors, the R3 would have even faster sensor readout speeds. Moreover, the R3 features a BSI design, meaning it will perform better in low light conditions.

Now let’s take a look at the sensor readout speed. According to DP Review, Sony a1 can shoot 8k 30 fps with a readout speed of about 15.2 milliseconds. On the other hand, Canon R3 can perform up to 60 fps of AF calculation and tracking. Making it a breeze to track subjects that turn and change directions rapidly, such as ski racers or motorsport athletes.

Still Image and Video specs

Sony’s a1 is an excellent camera for stills. Thanks to its high-resolution sensor, it can capture images with adequate detail. In addition, the fast readout speed also makes it possible to capture photos without distortion. Besides, you can capture 30 frames per second with full autofocus and complete exposure with the fast BIONZ XR processor. Hence, it can not only be used for landscape photography, but it also packs the capability to shoot sports and wildlife scenes. Nevertheless, you can also store 155 compressed RAW images per burst on the camera’s large buffer memory.

In contrast, Canon R3’s ISO range is broader, ranging from 100 to 102400. This lets you shoot at higher ISO numbers without sacrificing image quality. It is also possible to shoot 14-bit RAW files in Lossless mode and compressed mode. When recording at 30 frames per second, the R3 can also record up to 540 JPGs and 150 RAW files.

In terms of video, Sony’s Alpha 1 is capable of shooting 8K videos at 30 frames per second at 10-bit 4-2-0. They’re all oversampled from 8.6K footage, so the quality remains quite high. However, you can shoot 4k videos at 60 frames per second if you’d like to shoot at 10-bit 4-2-2. Additionally, it can shoot slow-motion videos at 120 frames per second in 4k. The heat dissipation technology also allows you to shoot at the highest resolution for up to an hour. As for the R3, it can shoot full-width videos in 6K RAW at 60 frames per second. You can also record oversampled 4k videos at 120 fps with the camera to have more details in your footage. Also, the R3 will allow you to record 10-bit HDR footage with PQ curve.

Effective heat-dissipation for extended recording.

Stabilization & Auto Focus

In terms of stabilization, the Sony a1 sports a hybrid autofocus system, consisting of 759 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection areas, which cover about 92% of the frame. In addition, the Sony a1 delivers fast and accurate autofocus performance just like Sony’s other flagship cameras. Furthermore, the autofocus is efficient enough to detect subjects at exposures down to -6. Moreover, it is capable of autofocusing and calculating exposures 120 times in a second. As a result, the A1 is able to detect humans, birds, and other animals without much difficulty. The body and eye-detect autofocus ensure that your subject is always in focus. It is also equipped with 5-axis in-body image stabilization, which smooths out your footage up to 5.5 stops.

5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation for a 5.5-step advantage.

On the other hand, the R3 uses the Dual Pixel CMOS 2 autofocus system, which offers incredible performance with 1053 phase-detection autofocus points spread across the entire sensor. As a result, the entire image sensor can be used as an autofocus sensor, making the process faster, more responsive and more accurate. Thanks to the Digic X processor, the Canon is capable of 60 calculations per second. Canon also has multiple detection modes, including humans, birds, and vehicles, just like Sony. 

In addition, the R3 has a unique autofocus method called Eye Control Autofocus, which was first introduced by Sony. The Electronic ViewFinder (EVF) of the R3 has 8 infrared sensors, which are capable of tracking your eyeball and adjusting the focus based on your staring. With its 5 axis in body stabilization, the camera can offer smooth footage up to 8 stops when paired with optical image stabilization. Nevertheless, bothe the cameras feature Weather Sealed Body, offering more protection for the cameras in dire situations.

Other Specs

The Canon R3 features a 2700 mAh battery which can take 860 shots with the LCD touchscreen and up to 620 with the electronic viewfinder per charge. Comparatively, the Sony a1 has an NP-FZ100 battery that can take 430 images or 90 minutes of video once fully charged.

Ending Thoughts

So that was all about the comparison between Sony a1 and Canon EOS R3. Both the cameras resemble the pinnacle of camera technology and offer top-notch features for both stills and videos. So which one do you find the most suitable for you? 

Joe Pfeffer

Joe Pfeffer

What started off as just a dream for Joe Pfeffer, turned into his passion and livelihood. He started his career as a wildlife photographer and then transitioned into becoming a cinematographer. With a decade of raw on-the-field experience, Joe Pfeffer has all the technical knowledge about the ins and outs of cameras. Now, he uses his vast experience to educate others about photography.