In this review today, we are comparing two big cameras – the Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II.
This is a detailed review comparison, therefore, it will be a long read.
If you don’t have the time to go through all the details in this article, our comparison overview section should help you. It contains the basic information you need to make a quick, yet intelligent decision.
PS: Click here if you’d like to see another Sony vs Canon matchup.
Comparison Overview — Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
Where Both Cameras Get It Right
First off, both of these cameras have eye-level viewfinders. The Sony Alpha 7 has an electronic viewfinder (EVF), while, the Canon 5D Mark II has an optical viewfinder (OVF).
Now, for the fantastic imaging-related features that these cameras share. They both have face detection focus, auto-exposure bracketing, an external flash shoe, and also support RAW format of images.
Looking at video features, these cameras also do a great job. The two cameras in comparisons both have a Full HD video resolution of 1080p, and also have an external microphone port.
These two cameras also have an environmental-sealing.
Where The Sony Alpha 7 Does It Better
Firstly, this camera has a number of wireless features including built-in Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication connection, and smartphone remote control.
Also, the LCD screen of this camera is a tilting articulated screen with a higher screen resolution than the Canon 5D Mark II.
Of the two cameras in comparison, the Sony Alpha 7 has a lighter weight and a smaller body.
For monitoring the audio while shooting, this camera has a headphone port that allows you to connect a headphone to the camera.
This camera also has a higher number of focus points, sensor resolution, max ISO value, and viewfinder coverage.
Other features where this camera does better include, continuous shooting mode, color depth, dynamic range, and auto-exposure bracketing range.
Where The Canon 5D Mark II Does It Better
The Canon 5D Mark II has an in-built time-lapse recording feature. Its battery also lasts more shots per full charge.
The sensor pixel area of the Canon 5D Mark II is much larger than that of the Sony Alpha 7.
Finally, this camera has a Top LCD display, and a Flash Sync Port.
Where Both Cameras Get It Wrong
First, both of these cameras do not have image stabilization.
Then for their individual downsides, starting with the Sony Alpha 7, the Alpha 7 has poor battery life.
And as for the Canon 5D, it isn’t designed with any wireless features. It is also quite heavy.
Our Opinion On The Price/Value Ratio
The Canon 5D Mark II costs more than double the price of the Sony Alpha 7 which is a pretty wide price gap.
Now, for our opinion on what camera will offer better value for the money spent, we go for Sony Alpha 7. This decision is based on the fact that these cameras have quite a lot of features in common.
So, if you can get some of the features on one camera on another for half the price, then, we believe it would a great choice.
However, this isn’t to say that the price difference between the two cameras isn’t justified. When you consider that the Canon 5D Mark II is a DSLR camera, and all the big features it comes with, then you would understand the reason for the gap in price.
Comparison Table — Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
|Sony Alpha 7||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Max Sensor Resolution||24 megapixels||21 megapixels|
|Number Of Focus Points||117||9|
|LCD Screen Resolution||1.230k dots||920k dots|
|Weight||474 grams||850 grams|
|Near Field Communication||Yes||No|
|Smartphone Remote Control||Yes||No|
|LCD Screen Size||3.2 inches||3 inches|
|Continuous Shooting||5 frames per second||6 frames per second|
|Battery Life||340 shots||850 shots|
|Low Light ISO||2248||2293|
|Sensor Pixel Area||35.65||41.08|
|Flash Sync Port||No||Yes|
|ISO Range||50 to 25600||100 to 6400 and can be expanded to 50 to 25600|
What Situation Is Each Camera Best For?
|Sony Alpha 7||Canon 5D Mark II|
| The Sony Alpha 7 would be a great camera for shooting professional street photography.|
First off, this camera has a pretty light weight for a full frame camera, so, when carrying it around you won’t be bothered about it becoming burdensome.
This camera also has quite a small body, so, fitting it into your bag will not be an issue.
This camera would also be great at shooting landscape photographs.
It’s a fantastic full frame sensor camera that has a pretty high sensor resolution and fantastic LCD screen resolution.
| Although being a pretty old camera, this camera packs a punch for shooting nature and landscapes.|
First of all, this camera has a high resolution, so, you can be sure that you’ll always have enough detail on you images.
It is also a well-known fact that canon cameras are designed with good color science technology.
So, when you need to capture the beauty in the colors of nature, this camera would do justice to that.
Common Features — Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
Common Feature 1: External Flash Shoe
The external flash shoe is a feature that allows the photographer to attach an external flash to the body of the camera for light-enhancement purposes.
The external flash is a powerful lighting tool for shooting dark.
Common Feature 2: Viewfinder
The viewfinder is a feature that allows the photographer to get a view of the scene being shot for proper framing. It also gives better composure when framing the images shot.
The Sony Alpha 7 has a viewfinder type known as the electronic viewfinder – also known as the EVF. This is a viewfinder type that is traditionally found on most mirrorless cameras.
With the EVF, it is to the photographer like looking at a small LCD screen. The image of the scene recorded by the camera’s sensor is electronically projected to the viewfinder, thereby, providing the preview.
As for the Canon 5D Mark II, it has a viewfinder called the optical viewfinder – also known as the OVF. This viewfinder can only be found on DSLR cameras.
This is because the design of the OVF can only function with the use of the mirror mechanism of the DSLRs. This makes use of reflex mirrors and a pentaprism to bounce and direct light from the scene to the viewfinder.
Both of these viewfinder types have their advantages and disadvantages.
The images shown on the EVF will look exactly like the finished product of the image having all the settings applied which is a big advantage. However, the electronic viewfinder is known to consume a lot of battery power.
The optical viewfinder is optical, therefore, it doesn’t consume any battery power at all, however, getting a view on the OVF could be a challenge when shooting in dark scenes.
Common Feature 3: RAW Support
RAW is an image file format. This is one of the numerous features that determine the quality of images shot by the camera.
When the camera is set to shoot in RAW, the images shot will contain all the detail the camera recorded in the image.
The detail these images carry, in turn, makes the images have large storage sizes.
Common Feature 4: Face Detection Focus
Face Detection focus is a feature that finds and focuses on images on the scene being shot.
Apart from detecting and focusing, the face detection focus also keeps the face on the scene in focus by locking down on the face.
This simply ensures that the detected face remains the main subject in the image shot.
Common Feature 5: High Max Sensor Resolution
If you are interested in making large prints for your images or have to do some heavy cropping on your images without losing quality, then, the sensor resolution of the camera has to be high.
The sensor resolution of the camera is another feature that determines the quality of the images shot by the camera. It is the number of pixels that make up the image shot by the camera.
So, having a high sensor resolution means more pixels make up the images shot, which means more pixels to part with or spread out when editing, printing, or putting on display.
The two cameras in this Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II comparison have high values for their max sensor resolution, however, there is a slight difference.
The Sony Alpha 7 has a max sensor resolution of 24 megapixels, while the Canon 5D Mark II has a max sensor resolution of 21 megapixels.
Common Feature 6: Microphone Port
For anyone picking up a camera to shoot video professionally, the importance of this feature cannot be overemphasized.
The Microphone port feature allows the user to connect an external microphone to the camera for recording audio while shooting video.
Most cameras are designed with internal microphones, and these work quite alright. However, the built-in microphones can only perform well in shooting video in noiseless or indoor environments.
So, to achieve quality audio with the videos shot, the external microphone port is an essential feature.
Common Feature 7: Video Resolution
The video resolution of the camera is another feature that has to do with the video shooting capabilities of the camera.
Video resolution is the number of horizontal lines – stacked one on top of the other – the camera has from top to bottom.
Like sensor resolution and image print size, the video resolution determines the size of screen that the videos shot can be displayed on without losing its quality.
The two cameras in this Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II comparison have the same max video resolution. They have a Full High Definition resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels.
This is a pretty impressive video resolution, however, it cannot be used for commercial cinematic purposes. To still have quality, videos in this resolution are restricted to high-end HD televisions and monitors.
Still looking at video capabilities, these cameras also shoot video at impressive frame rates (this determines how flexible you can be with slow-motion videos).
The Sony Alpha 7 shoots video at a frame rate of 60 and 24 frames per second, while, the Canon 5D Mark II shoots at a frame rate of 30 frames per second.
Common Feature 8: Environmental Sealing
One of the most common causes of damage to digital cameras is when weather elements get into the inner components of the camera. As a result, camera brands now add the feature known as the environmental- or weather-sealing to the body of the camera.
This sealing, made of silicon and rubber gaskets and linings, is added to the parts of the camera that have openings that could be access points for the weather elements.
Note that the weather sealing doesn’t make the components of the camera water-resistant.
Common Feature 9: Auto-Exposure Bracketing
Auto-exposure bracketing is a feature on the camera that allows you to take multiple images at different automatically set exposure settings.
This feature helps when shooting scenes that have shadows and variation in lighting. Scenes like these usually make selecting exposure settings quite an issue.
So, with the auto-exposure bracketing feature, you don’t have to worry about missing a shot as a result of trying to get the perfect exposure settings.
Common Feature 10: ISO Range
This feature determines how well your camera will perform under low light conditions. The ISO of a camera is the sensitivity of the image sensor to light from the scene.
So, as you increase the ISO value, the sensor becomes more sensitive to light, therefore, producing brighter images.
For the cameras in this comparison, they have interesting values for their ISO range.
On the one hand, the native ISO of the Sony Alpha 7 ranges from 50 to 25600, and it cannot be expanded.
On the other, while the native ISO of the Canon 5D Mark II ranges from 100 to 6400, its minimum ISO can be expanded to 50 ISO, and its maximum ISO value can be expanded to 25600 ISO.
One important thing to note about ISO is that, increasing the ISO value for brighter images also increases the amount of noise that might be found on the images shot. However, this performance varies across different individual cameras and brands.
To see how the two cameras in this Sony Alpha 7 and Canon 5D Mark II perform under low light conditions at different ISO levels, check out these videos.
Unique Features — Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
This feature on the camera allows the camera to connect to the internet for file-sharing purposes. With this feature, you don’t have to worry about having to carry all your devices with you all the time. It also erases the need for wires and cords as well, making things more convenient and clutter-free.
Once you have your camera connected to the internet you can seamlessly share files with your other devices and even with family and friends on social media pages.
For the cameras in comparison, only the Sony Alpha 7 has a built-in Wi-Fi.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
The Near Field Communication connection is another wireless feature that can be found on cameras. This feature allows the camera to connect with smartphones and mobile devices that are also NFC-compatible.
It isn’t a wide range connection, so, for the connection to be made, the two devices have to come in contact with each other and remain in the same environment to stay connected.
The NFC connection can be used to transfer files wirelessly from the camera to your smartphone.
Smartphone Remote Control
Remote control is an important feature when it comes to cameras, and there are many methods and tools that perform the function.
The smartphone remote control method is one of the most advanced and pretty much the best remote control method for various reasons.
The first advantage of this feature is that you don’t have to spend an extra dime on any other equipment or gear as you already have a smartphone.
Also, unlike many other older remote control tools, the smartphone doesn’t only trigger the shutter, but also shows you a preview of the scene, allows you to adjust settings, and also allows you to download images shot from the camera directly to your smartphone.
Only the Sony Alpha 7 has smartphone remote control compatibility.
The articulating screen is a feature of the camera LCD that allows it to move, thereby making it easier to shoot at several positions.
Only one of these cameras has an articulated screen, and that is the Sony Alpha 7.
The Sony Alpha 7 has a tilting or tiltable type articulating screen. The tiltable articulated screen is designed to move about just one axis. So, your screen can only tilt slightly upwards and downwards.
Earlier when we discussed the features that these two cameras share, we talked about a feature that enhances the audio when shooting video with the camera. Well, the headphone port is another audio enhancement feature.
The headphone port allows you to connect headphones to the body of the camera. The headphones, when connected to the camera, give you the ability to monitor audio while shooting your video.
With this, you can always stop and make necessary adjustments to the audio before the final production
This feature can only be found in the Sony Alpha.
Have you ever seen videos of sunset, sunrise, or flowers blooming where the activities happen faster than they in the real world? Such videos are created with the use of timelapse recording.
In timelpase recording, the camera takes the video at a frame rate that is more spread out than the rate at which it will be displayed. This, in turn, makes time to lapse and things happen faster than normal when the video is played back.
This feature is in-built in the Canon 5D Mark II, while, the Sony Alpha 7 requires that you make use of an external app to shoot in timelapse.
Sometimes, shooting under certain bright or dark conditions make using the rear LCD screen of the camera inconvenient. For such conditions, the top LCD comes in handy.
The top LCD screen is a small display at the top of the camera that displays different settings. With this, you can always make adjustments to settings easily.
This feature is unique to the Canon 5D Mark II.
Flash Sync Port
The flash Sync Port is a feature of the camera that allows you to create a connection between the camera and the flash, and then take the camera off the flash for usage.
What makes this feature worth having is that you’re able to test lighting on your subject from various positions without having to change your own position.
Only the Canon 5D Mark II has the flash sync port.
Unique Pros — Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
Pros Of The Sony Alpha 7
- Built-in Wi-Fi feature.
- Tilting or Tiltable articulated screen.
- Higher max sensor resolution.
- Higher max ISO value.
- A high and impressive number of focus points.
- Higher LCD screen resolution.
- 100% viewfinder coverage.
- Better performance in continuous shooting mode.
- Lightweight camera.
- Equipped with headphone port.
- Higher color depth.
- Higher dynamic range.
- Higher auto-exposure bracketing range.
- Near Field Communication connection compatible.
- Smartphone remote control compatible.
Pros Of The Canon 5D Mark II
- Longer-lasting battery.
- Has built-in timelapse recording.
- Larger sensor pixel area.
- Designed with a top LCD display.
- Designed with a flash sync port.
Unique Cons – Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
Cons Of The Sony Alpha 7
- The battery life of this camera doesn’t last too many shots.
Cons Of The Canon 5D Mark II
- This camera doesn’t have any wireless feature.
- Pretty heavy camera.
Common Pros – Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
|Sony Alpha 7||Canon 5D Mark II|
|External Flash Shoe||This feature is especially important here because the Alpha 7 isn’t designed with a built-in flash.||Same as the Sony Alpha 7.|
|Viewfinder||The Sony Alpha 7 is designed with an Electronic viewfinder.||The Canon 5D Mark II is designed with an Optical Viewfinder.|
|RAW Support||Present||Same as the Sony Alpha 7.|
|Face Detection Focus||Present||Same as the Sony Alpha 7.|
|Video Resolution||This camera has a video resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels.||Same as the Sony Alpha 7.|
|Microphone Port||Present||Same as the Sony Alpha 7.|
|Environmental Sealing||Present||Same as the Sony Alpha 7.|
|Auto Exposure Bracketing||This camera has a an AE bracketing range of ±5.||The Canon 5D Mark II has an AE bracketing range of ±3.|
Common Cons – Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
|Sony Alpha 7||Canon 5D Mark II|
|No Image Stabilization|| The Sony Alpha 7 doesn’t have a built-in image stabilization.|
So you might have to look for special VR lenses to prevent blurry photos as a result of camera shake.
Also, you could shoot with a tripod stand to keep the camera stable (or just be extra careful when shooting hand-held).
|Same as the Sony Alpha 7.|
What Users Think About Both Cameras — Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
|Sony Alpha 7||Canon 5D Mark II|
| One thing that users really appreciate with the Sony Alpha 7 is its build.|
Being such a lightweight camera, with a small body, users are pleased that they can carry this anywhere and still get images with mind-blowing quality.
Also, users are impressed with the ISO performance of this camera and the speed of its auto-focus system.
| The first thing users are happy about with this camera is the value it offers for its price tag.|
A lot of user are satisfied with the price of this camera when compared to the features the camera offers.
Users are also happy with the image quality this camera produces. In general, users recommend this camera for any photographer.
It has some impressive video features, still, this camera was built for the photographer.
| One major complaint users had with this camera is with the lineup of lenses that it is compatible with.|
Users aren’t happy that the lenses for this camera are pretty expensive. According to users, you’ll be spending from about 600 to over 1000 bucks on required lenses.
Also, users aren’t happy with the battery life of this camera, wishing it could last a bit longer.
| For complaints, users aren’t impressed with the speed of the autofocus system of this camera, especially under low-light conditions.|
Also, the noise-ISO performance of the Canon 5D Mark II is another feature of this ca
Our Take — Sony Alpha 7 Vs Canon 5D Mark II
|Sony Alpha 7||Canon 5D Mark II|
| The Sony Alpha 7 for us, is an impressive camera.|
This camera has a lot of features and will give you good image quality.
Also, for a full frame camera, this camera is pretty portable and lightweight.
So, in all honesty, we are happy to say that this camera really makes the cut.
| For the Canon 5D Mark II, we really applaud this camera for various reasons.|
First and foremost, this camera is supposed to be a semi-pro level camera.
Now, placing it against a pro level camera and seeing how well it does, you cannot but applaud this camera.
Add this to the other numerous fantastic features that the Canon 5D Mark II has, then, you’ll understand what a masterpiece this camera is.
|We do believe however, that the Sony alpha 7 could use a few improvements on some features, but, this doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t still recommend it for you (if it satisfies your work needs).||The Canon 5D mark ii might not function to maximum satisfaction when placed in some situations, however, when placed in the perfect situations like we pointed out earlier in the article, this camera will do a wonderful job.|