Sony a7 vs Canon 7D – Detailed Review

Ever wanted to know what it would look like if a DSLR camera stood up against a mirrorless camera? Well, you’re in the right review. this is a Sony a7 vs Canon 7D comparison review and while the Sony a7 is a mirrorless camera, the Canon 7D is a DSLR.

What Camera
Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D
Get the Sony a7 now!Get the Canon 7D now!

In this article, we’ve put together the features that both cameras boast of; the ones they share and the ones that are unique to each. And for those ones they share, we’ve pitted one against the other. This way, you are able to properly gauge each camera’s performance.

However, because we know you might be in a hurry, we’ve dedicated two sections, the comparison overview and the comparison table), to giving you concise information. You can quickly go through them if you need to make a quick decision.

Nonetheless, we suggest that you go through the whole thing. You could also check out some other DSLR vs mirrorless comparisons like the Sony a7S vs Canon 80D and the Sony a77II vs Canon 70D.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Comparison Overview

Here is a quick overview of this comparison review

Overall Rating Of The Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D

In our opinion, while both cameras could actually be considered good cameras in their own rights, the competition isn’t exactly fair. The Canon 7D was introduced to the market in 2009 while the Sony a7 came in 2014.

A lot can happen in 5 years and apparently a lot did happen with cameras in that space of 5 years. We can see that reflective in the number of features you’ll find on the Sony a7 but definitely not the Canon 7D.

So yes, the Sony a7 is a good camera and there must have been a time when the Canon 7D was one of the must haves.

Ratings Of The Features Of The Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D

The Sony a7 is a mirrorless camera while the Canon 7D is a DSLR camera. And this singular factor accounts for a number of other factors like the presence of a mirror and an optical viewfinder in the Canon 7D and the absence thereof in the Sony a7.

Furthermore, at 1.9 pounds, the Canon 7D is about 0.8 pounds heavier than the Sony a7. It also has a 600 shots longer battery life than the Sony a7. These are the features that have some kind of relationship with the type of camera.

However, there are a number of other features that have nothing to do with the kind of camera but might have something to do with the age.

For one, the Sony a7 comes with an inbuilt wireless connection and Near Field Communication connection. Now, while the NFC connection doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how old a camera is, we’ll believe that newer cameras will have some sort of wireless connection because of the age we live in.

There are some other features unique to the Sony a7 including its articulating screen, headphone port and its ability to controlled from a smartphone.

There are also places where it basically does better than the Canon 7D like the sensor resolution (24 megapixels vs 12 megapixels) and its ISO range (100 to 25600 vs 100 to 6400 which can be expanded to 12800).

However, the Canon 7D also does hold its own in certain areas including its battery life and the fact that it has an inbuilt flash and a top level LCD.

There are a number of features where both cameras basically score the same thing like the external flash port, the microphone port, the weather sealing and the face detection.

Price/Value Ratio – Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D

We can honestly say that the Sony a7 is decently priced and you’ll get enough value out of the camera that it justifies the price of it.

On the other hand, the Canon 7D was probably decently priced for its hay days and people could wrap their heads around why it went for what it went for. However, from where we are standing, we think the Canon 7D could go for a little less.

About The Brands

Sony

Sony is a Japanese conglomerate that has grown to have a number of different ventures. Its products differ widely and range from the electronics and entertainment ventures to the gaming line.

Despite all these differences and diversities, one constant thread that runs through all its products is the fact they are usually of good quality and of a wide variety of prices.

Canon

Canon is also Japanese but is more streamlined. It is strictly in the imaging and optics industry and has decided not to stray. This approach obviously works for it as its products do well in the market for the telltale quality that they are marked with.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Comparison Table

 

Sony a7

Canon 7D

Weight 1.04 pounds 1.9 pounds
Dimensions 5 by 3.7 by 1.9 inches 5.8 by 4.4 by 2.9 inches
Wireless Connection Yes No
Sensor Resolution 24 megapixels 12 megapixels
Continuous Shooting 5 frames per second (fps) 8 frames per second (fps)
Battery Life 340 shots per charge 800 shots per charge
Built-In Flash No Yes
Screen Type Tilting Screen Fixed Screen
ISO Range 100 to 25600 100 to 6000 and can be expanded to 12800
What Camera
Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D
Get the Sony a7 now!Get the Canon 7D now!

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Which Is Better Under What Circumstance?

Sony a7

Canon 7D

The Sony a7 is the newer of the two cameras. As a result, it comes with a couple of features that the Canon 7D doesn’t. On the other, because the Canon 7D has been around for some time, you’d be more likely to get a deal with this one than with the Sony a7.
Also, if you’ll be doing a lot of traveling with your camera, consider getting this one as it is the lighter camera. Also, consider the fact that this camera has the longer battery life of the two cameras.
What Camera
Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D
Get the Sony a7 now!Get the Canon 7D now!

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Common Features

In this section, we want to see how similar the two cameras are to each other. As a result, we’ve put together the features that you will find in both cameras. You should know, though, that these features could either be exactly the same in the two cameras or just slightly different.

1. Viewfinder

It is worthy of note that both the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D come with their own viewfinder. Why have we said this? Well, not every camera (mirrorless cameras, specifically) come with a viewfinder. Yup!

Now, just in case you ever decide to go with a mirrorless camera that doesn’t have a viewfinder, here are the two options you have. One, you could skip the whole viewfinder thing and stick with the LCD screen.

The LCD screen is a good enough substitute for a viewfinder. At least, up until the time when you are in a place that is too brightly lit. Too much light, and you’ll struggle to view whatever is on the LCD screen.

The other option, which in our opinion is the better option, is to get an external viewfinder. This way, you even have the luxury of getting what you consider to be your perfect viewfinder spec; provided it is compatible with your camera.

Anyway, as we were saying, it is something of joy that both cameras (the mirrorless one especially) come with their own viewfinder. One slight difference, though, is that while the viewfinder on the Sony a7 is mirrorless, the one on the Canon 7D is optical.

2. Flash Shoe

Both the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D come with a flash shoe for you to attach an external flash to. The external flash will definitely come in handy in a number of different situations, especially those involving low light.

The external flash is usually better at being a light source than the in-built flash. And in addition to being a light source for when the lighting is bad, the external flash could also be a light source for when you want to do something like flash photography.

3. Microphone Port

Because cameras are designed to not just take photos but also record videos, they usually come built with their own microphone. However, if you’ve ever tried recording sound with just your camera and nothing external, you would agree with us that the internal camera is usually not the best for that.

This is why you’ll need an external microphone. The external microphone is usually better at collecting specific sounds and shutting out the noises. However, to use an external microphone on your camera, you know there has to be a microphone port.

Thankfully, both the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D come with a microphone port each. You should be able to record videos with good audio quality.

What Camera
Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D
Get the Sony a7 now!Get the Canon 7D now!

4. Weather Sealing

Both the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D are weather sealed. This could mean a number of things including dustproof, water resistant, waterproof or even all three. In the case of both cameras, weather sealed means dustproof and water resistant.

What this means is that either camera is protected against dust such that dust shouldn’t get in. It also means that both cameras should do fine with a little bit of water splash. However, you do not want to go dunking either camera or using them underwater.

5. RAW Support

The RAW format is one of two basic forms in which pictures saved can be saved. The other form, jpeg, is usually not favored because photos saved in this form usually have their quality reduced. However, the one good thing about this form is that the photos do not take up so much space.

The RAW format, on the other hand, retains the quality of the photo and allows them to be saved as such. The downside to this, though, is that the photos saved in this format will take up a bit of space.

However, that should be a small price to pay for good quality photos. And yes, both the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D support this format.

6. Face Detection

Both the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D have this feature that allows them to detect and focus on faces as you ready them to shoot. This is a very handy feature for when you want to take portraits.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – A Sony a7 Demonstration Video

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Unique Features

In this section, we want to see how different the cameras are from each other. So, we’ve compiled those features that you’ll find in one camera but not the other. We’ve also included those features that are in both cameras but are so different, they can’t be considered similar.

1. Mirrorless Vs DSLR

The basic difference (and the one responsible for some other differences) between the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D is that while the Sony a7 is a mirrorless camera, the Canon 7D is a DSLR camera.

The basic difference between a mirrorless and a DSLR camera is the absence/presence of a mirror and an optical viewfinder. These features are typically absent in a mirrorless camera but present in a DSLR. Now, the absence and presence of these two features actually affect their activities.

For the DSLR, light passes through the attached lens and then bounces off the mirror, part to the Autofocus Sensor and the other part to the optical viewfinder.

However, in the case of a mirrorless camera, because of the absence of a mirror, the light passes through the lens and goes straight to the sensor.

Furthermore, because of the absence of an optical viewfinder, the sensor sends a digital image (not light anymore) to the electronic viewfinder or, where there isn’t one, the LCD screen.

From the foregoing, you can see how the absence or presence of just two features can be very defining for a camera. And as we earlier stated, this absence/presence affects some other factors, chief of which is the weight of the camera.

2. Weight

Mirrorless cameras are usually lighter than DSLR cameras and this has been attributed to the absence of a mirror. The Sony a7 vs Canon 7D typifies this assertion as the Canon 7D is significantly heavier than the Sony a7.

The Sony a7, while not in the running for the lightest mirrorless camera, is a pretty lightweight camera at 1.04 pounds. On the other hand, the Canon 7D cannot, in all fairness, be called the heaviest camera in the market. However, weighing 1.9 pounds, we could describe the weight difference as defining.

Nonetheless, we cannot make a conclusive weight comparison between these two cameras based on just the weight of the body. We’ll have to factor in the weight of the lenses which will undoubtedly be attached to either camera.

That said, we’ll take the comparative route in factoring in the weight of the lenses. To do that, we need to know what size sensor they both have. This is because the size of the sensor will largely determine the size and weight of lenses that the cameras will use.

That said, the Sony a7 has a full frame sensor while the Canon 7D has an APS-C sized sensor. The implication of this is that for the same aperture and focal length, the Sony a7 will typical use lenses that are larger and heavier than those of the Canon 7D.

So, introducing the lenses into the equation, you might find out that the Sony a7 might get real close or even match the Canon 7D in size sometimes.

3. Articulating Screen

When it comes to the screen, the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D happen to have a number of similarities. For one, both screens measure 3 inches. And also, neither screen is touch sensitive.

However, fundamentally, the screens are different and this is basically because while the Sony a7 has an articulating screen, the canon 7D has a fixed screen.

Now, what is an articulating screen? An articulating screen is basically the kind of screen that can be turned in different angles without having to move the body of the camera.

Articulating screens are usually of two kinds. There is the full-flex screen that can be rotated and there is the tilting screen that can only be moved upward and then back down. Whichever king an articulating screen is, the basic idea is to be able to capture your subjects from different interesting angles.

Knowing this, we can see that of the two cameras, the Sony a7 will offer you better flexibility with angles and direction than the Canon 7D.

4. Battery Life

Now, this factor is not a result of the type a camera is. However, mirrorless cameras are kinda getting a notoriety as regards low battery life.

Now, we aren’t saying all mirrorless cameras have terrible battery lives or that DSLRs always have the best battery life. However, maybe both the Sony a7 and the Canon 7D are clichés because they both are keeping with the general rule.

The Sony a7 has a battery life of 340 shots per charge while the Canon 7D has a battery life of 800 shots per charge. Nonetheless, depending on what you need your camera for, you might actually find that you are very satisfied with the battery life of either camera.

5. Wireless Connection

People say the world is a global village and the way we’ve been able to achieve this status as inhabitants of the earth is via internet access. As a result, manufacturers of electronic devices have been outdoing themselves and one another to make sure their products can offer users access to the internet.

However, it is not uncommon to see a number of cameras that do not come with a wireless connection, especially cameras as old as the Canon 7D.

On the other hand, the Sony a7 comes with an inbuilt wireless connection. And aside having access to the internet, the wireless connection allows for the transfer of files from the camera to another connected device.

Now, in addition to the wireless connection, the Sony a7 has the Near Field Communication feature while the Canon 7D doesn’t. This NFC connection allows the enabled camera connect to another NFC enabled camera and via this connection, files can also be sent.

One other thing we’ll look at is the smartphone control. And once again, the Sony a7 can be controlled via a smartphone while the Canon 7D can’t. To enable this on the Sony a7, you’ll have to download the app and then connect said camera to said phone.

Once the connection has been established, you can take snapshots and basically control the camera using your smartphone.

What Camera
Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D
Get the Sony a7 now!Get the Canon 7D now!

6. ISO Range

When we talk about ISO range, we basically refer to the upper and lower limits of light sensitivity of a camera. The ISO, specifically, tells us how sensitive your camera is to light and by sensitive we mean how much light the camera can capture.

That said, using a high ISO is usually preferable for places where the lighting isn’t bright enough. In fact, if the ISO is high enough, you can get away with taking shots in places with low light without having to use the flash. However, bear in mind that a high ISO carries a higher risk of grains.

On the other hand, you’ll want to use a low ISO if the light around is too much; like if you are out in the sun. In this setting, the camera tries to tamper things down by taking in as little light as necessary so that your picture isn’t all light and no picture.

Now, knowing that both the high and the low ISO have their moments, you’ll agree with us that a wide ISO range is necessary. Whether the ISO range each camera offers is enough, we’ll leave that for you to decide.

What we can tell you, though, is that the Sony a7 has a higher ISO range than the Canon 7D. The Sony a7’s ISO range is between 100 and 25600 while that of the Canon 7D is between 100 and 6400 but can be expanded to 12800.

7. Continuous Shooting

In the continuous shooting mode, your camera can take more than one picture in one second and with just one push of the shutter button. This mode allows you take as many shots as the camera allows which is good news if you’ll be shooting subjects that move around a lot.

That said, neither of these cameras can be said to be the fastest cameras out there. In fact, in naming their impressive features, you might not be inclined to include the continuous shooting mode.

However, we do concede that this is one of the areas where the Canon 7D has the upper hand. With the Canon 7D you can take 8 frames per second while you can only take 5 frames per second with the Sony a7.

8. Sensor Resolution

Here is something else where the Sony a7 one ups the Canon 7D. With the Sony a7, you get 24 megapixels of sensor resolution which equates to detailed pictures. As a result, you can print pictures in large and crop them if you need to.

On the other hand, the Canon 7D offers 18 megapixels of sensor resolution which is actually not bad. Your pictures will be really detailed but not as detailed as the Sony a7, of course. You should be able to print large enough pictures too. However, cropping might be a bit of an issue.

9. Headphone Port

If you are going to be doing a lot of video recording, you’ll need this feature in addition to the microphone port. Now, just like the inbuilt microphone, a good number of cameras come with their own inbuilt stereo. However, just like with the inbuilt microphone too, the inbuilt stereo is usually nothing much to write home about.

So, to get a better experience of enjoying your recording played back, you’ll need a pair of headphones and that is where the headphone port comes in. However, of the two cameras in this review, only the Sony a7s comes with a headphone port.

10. Top Level LCD Screen

This is a mini LCD screen on which you can see settings or changes you make to the settings. This mini screen helps make settings change swift and relatively easier. That said, of the two cameras in this review, only the Canon 7D comes with this feature.

11. Flash

We’ve already mentioned that both cameras come with an external flash port. However, only the Canon 7D comes with an inbuilt flash. And while the inbuilt flash might not be the solution to all your lighting problems, it sure doesn’t hurt to have it as a kind of backup.

12. Available Lenses

With either the Sony a7 or the Canon 7D, you can get a decent number of lenses. However, with 319 lenses, you’ll be getting more with the Canon 7D than the Sony a7’s 102 lenses.

Furthermore, it is worthy of note that neither camera has an image stabilization feature. As a result, pictures taken could come out looking blurry if the camera is jostled.

Now, in order to balance things out, you’ll need to get optical stabilization lenses. The Canon 7D has 91 of those available while the Sony a7 has only 23 of those available.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – A Canon 7D Demonstration Video

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Unique Pros

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Pros Of The Sony a7

  • First off, the Sony a7 has a better sensor resolution than the Canon 7D.
  • Furthermore, the Sony a7 has a wider ISO range than the Canon 7D.
  • Also, the Sony a7 has more focus points (117) than the Canon 7D (19).
  • The Sony a7 is the lighter of the two cameras.
  • Furthermore, you can attach a pair of headphones to the Sony a7, providing you with a better listening experience.
  • Also, the sensor of the Sony a7 has a wider pixel area than the Canon 7D.
  • The Sony a7 has an articulating screen which allows for more creative shooting than the fixed screen on the Canon 7D.
  • Furthermore, the Sony a7 has an inbuilt wireless connection. It is also NFC enabled and can share files with other NFC enabled devices.
  • Finally, the Sony a7 can be smartphone controlled.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D — Pros Of The Canon 7D

  • The Canon 7D has an inbuilt flash.
  • Furthermore, the Canon 7D has a slighter faster continuous shooting rate than the Canon 7D.
  • Also, the Canon 7D has a longer battery life than the Sony a7.
  • The Canon 7D has a top level LCD screen.
  • Finally, the Canon 7D has more available lenses than the Sony a7.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Unique Cons

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Cons Of The Sony a7

  • The Sony a7 doesn’t have a very impressive battery life.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Cons Of The Canon 7D

  • The Canon 7D doesn’t have an inbuilt wireless connection. It also doesn’t have an NFC connection. As a result, it could be quite difficult to transfer files. In fact, you might have to pull out the memory card to get the pictures to your system.
  • The fixed screen that the Canon 7D comes with might not always be convenient.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Common Pros

 

Sony a7

Canon 7D

Viewfinder The Sony a7 comes with an inbuilt electronic viewfinder. The Canon 7D’s viewfinder is optical.
Microphone Port Also, the Sony a7 comes with a microphone port which should help you record better quality audio. Same as the Sony a7.
Weather Sealing The Sony a7 is both dustproof and water resistant. Same as the Sony a7.
RAW Support Also, the Sony a7 can store photos in the RAW format. Same as the Sony a7.
External Flash Port You can attach an external flash to the Sony a7 and use it in areas where the lighting is poor. Same as the Sony a7.
Face Detection Finally, the Sony a7 is able to detect and focus on faces making taking portraits that much easier. Same as the Sony a7.
What Camera
Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D
Get the Sony a7 now!Get the Canon 7D now!

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Common Cons

 

Sony a7

Canon 7D

Image Stabilization The Sony a7 doesn’t have an inbuilt image stabilization feature. You’ll need to make use of optical stabilization lenses. Same as the Sony a7.
4K Video Also, with the Sony a7, you’ll have to make do with 1920 by 1080 videos as it cannot take 4k videos. Same as the Sony a7.

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – What People Think About

Sony a7

Canon 7D

A good number of the feedbacks on the Sony a7 are real positive. People seem to like that this camera is a mirrorless and still has a full frame sensor. They also really like the ergonomics of the camera because apparently, the Sony a7 makes for a comfortable grip. Also, while the Sony a7 cannot record 4k videos, people appreciate that it has a microphone and a headphone as they make recording videos better. The Canon 7D has actually received a lot of mixed reviews. However, it looks to us like more of the positive reviews are coming from earlier when the camera first hit the market. Earlier feedbacks are usually about how good the sensor resolution is and how decent the ISO range is too. They also have a thing or two to say about the durability of the body.
However, there have been complaints about the lenses. Some feel that the lenses are quite pricey while others complain that the lenses could be quite heavy. However, going on to newer reviews, there have been a few complaints about the absence of a wireless connection. And there have even been complaints about the sensor resolution and the pictures it produces.
What Camera
Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D
Get the Sony a7 now!Get the Canon 7D now!

Sony a7 Vs Canon 7D – Our Take

Sony a7

Canon 7D

We like the Sony a7. Like look at it, it comes with a whole lot of interesting features that, in our opinion make this camera a decent camera. First off, there is the sensor resolution; your pictures come out looking good and you can print as large as you want. Then there is the wireless connection that allows you connect to the internet and also provides a medium for you to transfer files. We also like the nice touch with the addition of a microphone port and a headphone port. They just make recording videos that much better. There are a number of other reasons we like this camera as we have already listed. On the other hand, we can honestly say we do not consider the Canon 7D a fair competition for the Sony a7. The fact that it is a couple of years older puts it a disadvantage in our opinion. However, for its age, we could actually honestly say that we are impressed with the Canon 7D. Don’t forget that it has a slightly better continuous shooting rate than the Sony 7D. It also does have the longer battery life of the two cameras. And let’s not forget the features that it shares with the Sony a7s.
However, there are also a number of reasons we are not too psyched about this camera. We won’t go into all of that seeing as we have a cons section. If you’ve gone through that section and are still for this camera, get the Sony a7 here now! If you have no issues with the age of this camera and are comfortable with the features it is missing, get the Canon 7D now!

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