Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Detailed Comparison

In this article, we compare one camera that was introduced into the market as a pro with another that was introduced as a semi-pro; the Sony a7S vs 5D Mark II. Whether or not this will affect the dynamics between these cameras is what we’ll get to find out soon enough.

What Camera
Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II
Get the Sony a7S now!Get the 5D Mark II now!

What we’ve basically done is compared the features, good points and not so good points of one camera against those of the other camera. This way, you are able to accurately decide which camera has the right blend of features and functions to suit you.

Before we go into real details, we have the comparison overview and comparison table sections. These two sections contain the basic idea of this article in concise details. So, if you need to make a quick decision, you can refer to those two sections.

However, we do recommend that you go through the entire article to know as much as is necessary. We also recommend that you check out some of our other Sony-Canon (Canon is the brand behind the 5D Mark II) comparisons like, the Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark III, for a wider frame of reference.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Comparison Overview

Here is a quick rundown of the basic ideas in this review

Overall Rating Of The Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II

For us, the Sony a7S is a decent camera while the 5D Mark Ii is an old camera. The 5D Mark II takes decent enough pictures but we do not think it has enough technologically advanced features to entice the modern user.

On the other hand, the Sony a7S has some really cool features as we’ll get to see soon enough. But then again, it hasn’t been in the market as long as the Canon 5D mark II has (2009 versus 2014).

Rating of The Features Of The Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II

We just have to come up front and say that the Sony a7S has more impressive features than the 5D Mark II. First off is its legendary ISO that can go as high as 409600. Then there is the tilting screen and let’s not forget the wireless connection.

Now, in addition to the wireless connection, the Sony a7S has the Near Field Communication connection. And this means that it has two means of transferring files wirelessly. The 5D Mark II, on the other hand, has none, not even Bluetooth.

There are some other areas that the Sony a7S does better including the dynamic range (13.2 as against 11.9) and the focus points (25 as against 9).

However, this is not to say that the Canon 5D Mark II doesn’t have its own shining points. It actually has the better sensor resolution of the two cameras (21 as against 12) and the longer battery life (850 shots as against 360).

Then there are some of its cool features that you won’t find in the Sony a7S like the top level LCD screen and the flash sync port.

That said, there are a number of features they both have, no contests or one upping. There is the weather sealing, microphone port, face detection and both can shoot in RAW.

Finally, there are a few areas they both need work one, chief of them being having an in body image stabilization feature.

Price/Value Ratio — Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II

We wouldn’t exactly say either of the cameras is especially affordable. However, it is our opinion that you’ll get more value for your money with the Sony a7S.

The 5D Mark II is almost twice as expensive as the Sony a7S and yet does not have as many awesome features as the a7S does. Seeing as the Canon 5D Mark II has been around for some time, we would have thought the price would have dropped drastically. But oh well….

About The Brands

Sony

The Sony brand is the leading producer of mirrorless cameras amongst other things. The Japanese brand has not been in the business of producing cameras nearly as long as its adversaries. This is probably the reason it doesn’t have a very impressive collection of lenses and accessories as regards quality.

However, it has been able to make a name for itself as having really good sensor quality and not so good battery life.

Canon

The Canon brand is another Japanese company and is one of the leading producers of cameras in general. It has been producing cameras long enough that you wouldn’t have any problems with getting the right lenses or accessories.

Canon has been praised for its accurate (or really close to accurate) reproduction of colors and its easy-to-figure-out menu. However, its cameras tend to be pretty expensive.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Comparison Table

 

Sony a7S

Canon 5D Mark II

Weight 1.08 pounds 1.87 pounds
Dimensions 5 by 3.7 by 1.89 inches 6 by 4.5 by 3 inches
Battery Life 360 shots per charge 850 shots per charge
Continuous Shooting 5 frames per second 3.9 frames per second
Top Level LCD Screen No Yes
Wireless Connection Yes No
Articulating Screen 3 inch tilting screen 3 inch fixed screen
Max Resolution 12 megapixels 21 megapixels
Viewfinder Electronic Optical
Near Field Communication Yes No
Smartphone Control Yes No
Headphone Port Yes No
ISO 100 to 409600 100 to 6200 and can expanded to 50 to 25600

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – A Comparison Video

What Camera
Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II
Get the Sony a7S now!Get the 5D Mark II now!

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Which Is Better For What?

Sony a7S

Canon 5D Mark II

The Sony a7S has a way better low light performance than the Canon 5D Mark II. So, if you’ll be doing a lot of night shots and shooting in the dark, consider getting this camera. On the other, this is the camera you’ll be able to use for longer periods at a time because it has the longer battery life. If you know you won’t be able to spare the time constantly changing batteries, you might want to consider getting this one.
Also, this is the lighter, smaller and generally more portable of the two cameras. It will make for easier transporting or carrying if you’ll be doing a lot of moving about with your camera. This camera also has the better sensor resolution which spells more room to edit.
What Camera
Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II
Get the Sony a7S now!Get the 5D Mark II now!

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Common Features

1. Viewfinder

The Sony a7S and the Canon 5D Mark II have a viewfinder each and we are here for it. Before we tell you why, let’s quickly explain what a viewfinder is.

The viewfinder is that really small like thing you look through as you take your shots. When you look through the viewfinder, what you are actually doing is focusing the camera or the subject.

What you see through the viewfinder gives you an idea of what the photo will look like when it has been taken. You then decide if you’re OK with it; if not, you can make changes to the subject or the camera, whichever needs to be adjusted.

Now, despite how important the viewfinder is, some mirrorless cameras actually come without a viewfinder. And being that the Sony a7S is a mirrorless camera but has its own viewfinder, you’ll understand why we’re here for it.

That said, there are basically two kinds of viewfinders; the optical kind and the electronic kind. Looking through the optical viewfinder, the image appears the way it would to the naked eye. It is kinda like looking through a window.

Now, because there aren’t any mechanics to this, the optical battery need not run on battery power. Also, it usually has a pretty quick response time.

On the other hand, electronic viewfinder already suggests some form of mechanics going on. The electronic viewfinder is actually a miniature LCD screen. So, what you see through it is actually a digital representation of subject, which is what photos are, anyway.

This tells us that while the electronic viewfinder will use up a lot of battery power and doesn’t have as quick a response time as the optical viewfinder, it actually gives a more accurate representation of what the photo will look like.

2. Auto Exposure Bracketing

To understand what this is, we need to understand that exposure is basically about how much light your photo has. You can choose the exposure you want by setting the aperture, the ISO and the shutter speed. Different combinations of these three will give you different exposures.

That said, there might be times when deciding what the right exposure would be could be tricky. And this is where the Auto Exposure Bracketing comes in.

The Auto Exposure Bracketing mode allows the camera shoot in a number of different exposures automatically. You can now choose which exposure works for you or make a mix-match of all options. Thankfully, both cameras have this feature.

3. Weather Sealing

Both the Sony a7S and the 5D Mark II are weather sealed; that is, they both have some form of protection against weather elements such as moisture and dust. We have to be careful, though, to note that weather sealing does not automatically mean waterproofing.

Neither the Sony a7S nor the 5D Mark II is waterproof. However, they are both water resistant and dust proof.

The implication of this is that while both cameras could survive some accidental water splashes, you don’t want to plunge them in a watery situation like taking shots with them in a downpour or under the sea.

4. Flash Shoe

With both the Sony a7S and the Canon 5D Mark II, you can use an external flash because of its flash port. And while the inbuilt flash has its advantages, chief of them being availability, we actually prefer an external flash.

The external flash is usually a better light source than the inbuilt flash and it usually covers more distance than the inbuilt flash. You just have to always remember to carry it with you seeing as neither camera has the readily available inbuilt flash.

5. Continuous Shooting

Setting your continuous shooting mode allows it take more than one shot in just one second. This mode was added to cameras to give the photographer an option of speed.

And wildlife photographers, sports photographers, paparazzi and all photographers that shoot in places where speed is of the essence have sure come to appreciate this mode.

Both the Sony a7S and the Canon 5D Mark II have an average continuous shooting rate. Some might even consider the 5D Mark II’s 3.9 frames per second lower than average. With 5 frames per second, the Sony a7S is only 1 frame per second better.

What Camera
Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II
Get the Sony a7S now!Get the 5D Mark II now!

6. Microphone Port

This feature is for the videographers. If you are strictly a photographer, you almost certainly won’t have a need for this feature. The microphone port is obviously the provision for you to attach an external microphone.

Now, a good number of digital cameras are built with their own microphones. However, the reason cameras like the Sony a7S and the 5D Mark II have this external microphone port is because the internal microphone is usually not the best at picking up good audio quality.

With the microphone port, it is now up to you to choose the microphone that’ll give you the quality you’re looking for.

7. Video Resolution

Both cameras have the same video resolution of 1920 by 1080. 1080 videos (what videos shot with this kind of resolution are called) might not be the pinnacle of video quality but it is actually pretty impressive. The videos are clear and could be used professionally.

We need to point out though, that of the two cameras, only the Sony a7Scan shoot videos in 60 frames per second. The Canon 5D mark II can do 30, though.

8. RAW Support

Photos shot in the RAW format are left in their raw original form as opposed to jpeg photos that are compressed. Now, because RAW photos are not compressed, you are left with the photos’ original quality as determined by other factors including the sensor size and sensor resolution.

However, also because RAW photos are not compressed, they are usually quite large files and take up a lot of storage.

So, if you’ll be shooting in RAW (which you most likely will for professional purposes), do not forget to stock up on the memory cards because your storage space will fill up real quick. However, that is a small price to pay for original quality.

9. Face Detection

Finally, the face detection feature is what helps cameras spot and focus on human faces. What happens when a camera does this? Well, it is able to set what it determines to be the right exposure for that photo.

It also zeros in on the face, making sure that said face is a primary subject. This feature is really necessary for taking portraits where faces are meant to be the primary subject.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – A Sony a7S Demonstration Video

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Unique Features

1. Mirrorless Vs DSLR

Foundationally, the Sony a7S and the Canon 5D Mark II are two different kinds of cameras; the Sony a7S is a mirrorless while the Canon 5D Mark II is a DSLR. And since they are not the same kind of camera, there is a marked difference in the way they work.

The fundamental difference in the workings of these two kinds of cameras is in how light is distributed throughout the camera. And this is because while a DSLR typically has a mirror and an optical viewfinder, the mirrorless camera usually doesn’t.

So, when light passes through the lens of a DSLR camera, it first hits the mirror. Said mirror then reflects part of that light unto the optical viewfinder, allowing you see the subject you’re framing, and the other part to the autofocus sensor.

On the other hand, seeing as there is no mirror, light passes through the lens of a mirrorless camera and immediately hits the sensor. The sensor then sends a digital image to the electronic viewfinder or LCD screen.

Now, because an electronic viewfinder doesn’t have this mirror, it is able to do as much as a DSLR while being a lot lighter. In fact, as you’ll get to know soon enough, it is possible to find a mirrorless camera that does more than a DSLR camera and still weighs significantly less.

2. Weight

Yes, this isn’t exactly a feature but you’ll have to consider this when getting your camera. We’ll start by saying the Canon 5D Mark II is considerably heavier than the Sony a7S. In fact, weighing a 1.87 pounds, a lot of people consider it heavy.

On the other hand, the Sony a7S isn’t exactly a light camera at 1.08 pounds. But it cannot be called heavy either. Anyway, the figures you just saw are for the body of the camera alone. Yup!

Both cameras are interchangeable lens cameras which means their lenses are not built in. So, we’ll have to consider what the weight of the camera will be if a lens is added.

However, being that you are trying to decide between these two cameras and each camera has a number of different lenses available with them, let’s just find out if adding lenses will affect the weight difference.

To do this, we’ll look at the sensor size. If one camera has a larger sensor, it will need lenses that are bigger and heavier than the other camera’s lenses.

That said, both cameras have a full frame sensor of the same size. And as a result, they’ll need lenses that are of the same weight and size for the same aperture and focal length. So, while adding a length will affect either camera’s weight, it won’t affect the weight difference between them.

3. Sensor Resolution

This is the feature that tells you how detailed the photos you shoot with a camera will be. Every camera has a sensor resolution, of course. But some are more impressive than others. Just to put it out there, the 5D Mark II’s 21 megapixel sensor resolution is better than the Sony a7S’s 12 megapixels.

As a result of the sensor resolution, you have more room to crop photos taken with the 5D Mark II without losing details and quality than with the Sony a7S. You also have more room to print your photos large without losing details and quality than with the Sony a7S.

4. ISO Range

While the exposure is an expression of how much light your camera has gotten, the ISO is what determines the quantity of light or your camera’s sensitivity to light. The idea is that while you can’t control how much light is available, you’ll be able to control how much light your camera gets.

So, if you are shooting in a place that is too brightly lit, say out in the sun, you’ll need to set your camera to a low ISO. You definitely do not want all the light the sun has to give appearing on your photo. So, the lower the ISO, the less light your camera allows in.

On the other hand, if you are shooting in the dark, you’ll need to set your camera to a high ISO. Because while you want that night feel, your sensor needs light to see to be able to capture your subject.

Not to worry, a high ISO will not change your setting from night to light. It just provides enough light for your sensor to see. So, the darker the environment, the higher you want to go as regards the ISO.

This is basically the reason we like the Sony a7S’ ISO range. Its ISO can go as high as 409600 which is really very impressive. If you crank it up high enough, you might not even need to use a flash to shoot in the dark.

The Canon 5D Mark II is not as impressive, however, as it can only go as high as 6400. However, it can be expanded to go as high as 25600 which is pretty impressive.

What Camera
Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II
Get the Sony a7S now!Get the 5D Mark II now!

5. Wireless Connection

For this generation, wireless connection is a really important feature. Not only does it give you access to the internet where you can download cool apps from, it also forms a means via which you can wireless transfer files to an off-camera location.

That said, of the two cameras, only the Sony a7S has an inbuilt wireless feature. It is also the camera with the Near Field Communication connection. This one allows you connect with other devices that have this feature and you can transfer your files out of your camera via this means too.

The Sony a7S is also the only camera that can be controlled via a smartphone. Download the app on your smartphone and connect your camera to said smartphone via the app. Once that is done, you can control your camera; take mock shots or even change settings, from the smartphone.

Now, seeing as the Canon 5D Mark II doesn’t have a wireless connection, the Near Field Communication connection and also does not have the Bluetooth feature, transfer of files cannot be wirelessly.

6. Articulating Screen

If a camera screen is articulating or articulated, you’ll be able to move and angle it certain directions without moving the camera body. The idea of this is for you to be able to cover more angles and corners more easily.

There are basically two kinds of articulating screen. The tilting screen can be angled up and then back down while the full-flex screen can be rotated.

That said, the Sony a7S has a tilting screen while the Canon 5D does not have any kind of articulating screen at all.

7. Available Lenses

Remember we mentioned that both cameras are interchangeable lenses? Well, it makes sense that we know how many lenses they each have available, doesn’t it?

Well, here is one thing that the Canon 5D Mark II does better than the Sony a7S. The 5D Mark II has 271 lenses, 242 of which are full frame while the Sony a7S has 102 lenses, 59 of which are full frame.

Furthermore, neither camera has an in body image stabilization feature. And if a camera doesn’t have this feature, it could produce blurry photos.

Thankfully, this can be prevented by getting optical stabilization lenses. These lenses will stabilize the sensor and erase the possibility of blur. That said, the Sony a7S has 23 of these lenses available while the Canon 5D Mark II has 65 of them available.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – A 5D Mark II Demonstration Video

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Unique Pros

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Pros Of The Sony a7S

  • First off, the Sony a7S has a really impressive ISO, way more impressive than that of the Canon 5D Mark II.
  • Furthermore, this camera has an inbuilt wireless connection that allows you access to the internet.
  • Also, this camera has the Near Field Communication connection which is a means of transferring files from the camera to another device that has the same feature.
  • The Sony a7S has a tilting screen and so can explore angles and corners.
  • Furthermore, this camera can be controlled using a smartphone, provided you download the right app.
  • Also, this camera has a better low light ISO (3702) than the Canon 5D Mark II (1815).
  • The Sony a7S has a few more focus points (25) than the Canon 5D mark II (9).
  • Furthermore, you can use a pair of headphones with this camera because of its headphone port.
  • Also, this camera has a better screen resolution (1230k dots) than the Canon 5D Mark II (920k dots).
  • The Sony a7S has a wider sensor pixel area than the Canon 5D Mark II.
  • Furthermore, this camera has a better dynamic range (13.2) and color depth (23.9) than the Canon 5D Mark II (11.9 and 23.7 respectively).
  • Finally, this camera is significantly lighter than the Canon 5D Mark II.

Sony a7S Vs Canon 5D Mark II – Pros Of The Canon 5D Mark II

  • First off, the Canon 5D Mark II has the more impressive sensor resolution of the two cameras.
  • Furthermore, the battery life of this camera (850 shots per charge) is more than twice that of the Sony a7S (360 shots per charge).
  • Also, this camera has a top level LCD screen. And because of where this small screen is placed, you can make quick changes using it without having to bend too much; the camera or yourself.
  • The Canon 5D Mark II has a flash sync port with which you can sync an off camera flash.
  • Furthermore, this camera has more lenses available with it than the Sony a7S.
  • Finally, this camera has a time-lapse recording feature. So, you can time-lapse record without having to download an app for it.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Unique Cons

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II — Cons Of The Sony a7S

  • First off, the Sony a7S does not have a very impressive sensor resolution.
  • Also, this camera does not have a very impressive battery life.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Cons Of The Canon 5D Mark II

  • First off, this camera does not have any means of wirelessly transferring files. So, you’ll have to make do with wires and stuff.
  • Furthermore, this camera does not have an articulating screen.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Common Pros

 

Sony a7S

Canon 5D Mark II

Viewfinder The Sony a7S has an electronic viewfinder which is a better idea for framing subjects to be shot than the LCD screen. So yea, that’s a good thing. Same as the Sony a7S. However, that of the Canon 5D Mark II is an optical viewfinder.
Weather Sealing Also, this camera is both dust resistant and dust proof. You don’t want to use in a heavy downpour or a sand storm. However, you’ll probably not need to panic so much if the camera accidentally comes with contact with water or dust. Same as the Sony a7S.
Auto Exposure Bracketing Choosing the Auto Exposure Bracketing mode tells your camera to automatically shoot the same subject in different exposures. This mode will come in handy at those times when it is difficult for you to determine what the right exposure for a photo is. Same as the Sony a7S.
Flash Shoe You can use an external flash with this camera. Which is a good thing seeing as it doesn’t have an inbuilt flash. And even if it did, you’d still want to the external flash because it is a better light source. Same as the Sony a7S.
Microphone Port Because of this external microphone port, you have the freedom of using a microphone that will give you the audio quality you are looking for. Same as the Sony a7S.
RAW Support The Sony a7S can shoot in RAW. RAW photos are not compressed and so maintain their original quality. Same as the Sony a7S.
Face Detection Finally, this camera is a good idea for shooting portraits because of this feature. Same as the Sony a7S.
What Camera
Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II
Get the Sony a7S now!Get the 5D Mark II now!

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Common Cons

 

Sony a7S

Canon 5D Mark II

Image Stabilization Because this camera does not have this feature, there is a high possibility of shooting blurry photos. Thankfully, though, this can be prevented by getting optical stabilization lenses. Same as the Sony a7S.
Inbuilt Flash Also, while we do not consider the inbuilt flash a better idea than the external flash, we like that a camera has it because it will always be available. However, this camera does not have the inbuilt flash. Same as the Sony a7S.

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – What People Think About Both Cameras

Sony a7S

Canon 5D Mark II

One customer said that they were able to shoot in really low light without having to use a flash. And this was attributed to how high the ISO can go. A lot of the feedback on this camera seems to revolve around how much it can do while still being small and portable. Some customers have even said that the camera makes for a really impressive backup camera and maybe even main camera. The Canon 5D Mark II has also received impressive reviews from customers. Amazingly enough, one of the appeals of this camera is how long it has been around. Apparently, people have come to trust the camera. People also appreciate the quality of videos and photos that this camera can take. And one customer thinks this camera is great for whatever purpose (photos and videos).
However, the sensor resolution looks to be what keeps some customers from promoting this camera to the status of main camera. The battery life is also something some people have complained about but not so much. Probably because people are getting used to Sony. However, a number of people pointed out that the lenses that are compatible with this camera are pretty expensive. Some also said operating this camera takes a lot of figuring out and getting used to.
What Camera
Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II
Get the Sony a7S now!Get the 5D Mark II now!

Sony a7S Vs 5D Mark II – Our Take

Sony a7S

Canon 5D Mark II

We like this camera and think it is a decent camera; maybe not pro level but a really good semi-pro. It takes pretty decent photos and videos, has an averagely good continuous shooting rate and has an OK weight. What we probably like most about this camera, though, is its ISO; that thing can go really high. We also consider the 5D Mark II a pretty decent camera. However, we wouldn’t say we say we like it as such. Why? It isn’t exactly technologically forward. But then again it came out in 2009 and the world has really moved on from then. It still takes good photos and videos, though. And yea, it is weather sealed, we can’t forget that.
There are a number of things we would have loved to see added to this camera as we have already pointed. However, if you don’t consider those things an issue, get the Sony a7S now! Interested? Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!

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