The battle is on in the mid-range full-frame cameras. This time Sony comes out with the new Sony A7 to go head to head with the Canon 6D. While both cameras may have similarities in their features, let’s focus on key differences in their specifications. This way it’s easier to highlight areas which may help us choose which camera would fit us best.
SLR or Mirror-less
In an SLR camera, there is an optical mirror between the lens and the shutter curtain. This mirror is used to reflect the image coming from the lens to your viewfinder to help you compose and/or focus on your subject. When the shutter button is triggered, the mirror moves up and the shutter curtain opens. The light then passes from the lens directly hitting the image sensor. In a mirror-less design, the optical mirror has been removed and the following advantages can be gained:
- The camera can be made smaller and lighter as is the case of the Sony A7. It can still be made smaller like a compact camera, but in the A7’s case, it was designed as an SLR.
- Because there is no optical mirror, it should be quieter. Also you should be able to shoot at a slower shutter speed since the jarring effect of the mirror moving up when you release the trigger has been eliminated.
On the downside, because there is no mirror to reflect the image then you cannot view it optically. That is why it has an electronic viewfinder. You can have a 100% viewfinder coverage with this, a plus when shooting landscapes. But because you view things electronically, the actual movement of the subject as compared with optical viewfinder may be a bit compromised — a critical feature when you are shooting fast moving subjects or doing sports photography.
If you like blowing up images, the resolution will be an important feature since it can pack more information, color and detail.
The Sony A7 is severely handicapped in this area. To take full advantage of its full-frame sensor you need the EF lenses. As of the moment 5 types are being announced to be launched soon. And they are on the expensive side.
If the nature of your photography requirement is travel or landscape then the Sony A7 would be ideal because it’s handy and weighs significantly less. It’s like having a cheaper version of the Leica with you. But if you plan to do all-around photography work — like covering sports or events — or plan on going professional, then the Canon 6D is advisable. You have a better upgrade path due to the availability of lenses and other accessories.