DPReview: Canon EOS R vs Nikon Z 6 vs Sony a7 III, which is best?

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
7,338
195
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
The inevitable comparisons between the “Big 3” full frame mirrorless cameras have happened at DPreview, where they make their pick for the best full-frame mirrorless camera for various types of photographer needs.
From DPReview:
All three cameras can produce excellent images but the Sony more readily adapts to a wider range of situations. The Nikon acquits itself well for certain types of photography, while also doing unexpectedly well at video, but the Z6 has the least dependable AF system of the trio, which counts against it. Canon has tried to make an easy-to-use camera, rather than simply mimicking its DSLRs, but, while we’re not fully convinced by the results of this first attempt, it’s still a very able camera. Read the full article
DPReview made their pick for the best full-frame mirrorless camera for different specialities such as portrait, sports and...
Continue reading...


 

eyeheartny

EOS R | 50 1.2 RF
Sep 3, 2018
56
32
Yeah, those DPR guys seem to be a bit more than completely biased against Canon. I remember their fabulous S. praise after their visit to Hawaii sponsored by S. We're living in an age when almost no room is available to truly unbiased reviewers, agendas dominate true opinions.
Also the lenses for the Nikon are...disappointing, to say the least.
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
292
54
Nobody has an "agenda" or bias, other than that every single person who ever uses a camera—yourself included—will always have entirely subjective tastes and preferences.
Do try to remember that accusing a company or individual of being paid-off without disclosure is, in fact, illegal. Yes, even if you hide behind a forum username. If you're going to claim someone has been in some way paid-off or otherwise incentivised by one company to make negative remarks about another, you better have actual, presentable proof of your claims. And no, "but they always rate Sony highly!" is not proof of anything. (Other than that Sony do make very, very good cameras.)

Anyway.

This does not surprise me in the slightest, nor should it surprise anybody else who has used these three cameras.

1) Canon and Nikon's bodies are their first generation, while Sony are on their third. Of course Sony are going to have a more well-rounded system; they've had more time to work out the kinks.

2) When it comes to bodies without the context of their lenses, Sony's bodies are the best. Nikon's Z6 feels nicer in the hand but it's still a bought-in Sony sensor with a less efficient CPU, slightly less effective IBIS, only one card slot, etc. And do we really need to spell out all the shortcomings of the EOS R? Nobody is saying it's an outright bad camera, but it doesn't take an expert or genius to spot—let alone use and experience—how much more the other two bodies offer.

3) This is the same thing that happened with the EF mount. The first EF bodies sucked. They were totally, totally awful. Every other camera body at the time was built better and worked better. But the brand-new EF lenses were way ahead of anything anyone else offered, so Canon took over the market, got a massive lead over everyone else, and hasn't been remotely challenged since. (Yes, I know some people like to think Sony are nipping at Canon's heels or have already taken over, but the actual fact of the matter is that Canon lead in global sales by miles.) The same thing goes for RF. Yes, the EOS R body is a mid-level body and not even as fully-featured as other mid-level bodies, and though the sensor is more than capable for most uses, the processor is a little underpowered and so when it comes to benchmarks, other systems will beat the EOS R in IQ. But other systems don't have a 28-70 f/2 or a 50mm f/1.2 (at least not with autofocus), and their "kit" zooms aren't a patch on the RF 24-105, either. No system adapts older lenses as well as the EOS R, either, giving it immediate access to a larger range of lenses than either of the other two systems.


Y'all shouldn't be so precious about the Canon bodies, let alone be throwing out libellous comments. It's absolutely okay to acknowledge that Canon's bodies are very rarely the best bodies of their class/type. Where Canon has always lead is with the lenses, and if you really cared that much about photography you'd know that the lens matters more than the body.
So, yes, when comparing bodies, Sony's absolutely is the best. Nikon's Z6 is flawed but still a very good first try. The EOS R is even more flawed but for a first body for a brand new system it's still acceptably capable. Factor in the native lenses and the EOS R draws even with Sony, in my estimation, with the Z6 behind. Then throw in adapted lens performance and I'd put the EOS R in first, especially if anybody needs really specialist glass like tilt-shifts.

Different strokes for different folks, and no system starts and ends only with the camera bodies.
 

tiggy@mac.com

Pentax K-1000
Jan 20, 2014
460
120
Thetford, VT
www.ForestMetrix.com
I don't fault their general conclusions, but unless I'm mistaken, they make a factual misstatement when they say "Canon EF lenses work similarly well on the EOS R and on the Sony a7 III, so need not be a deciding factor in making that choice." If the one major advantage Canon has is its glass (which, for now, may be the case), they've dismissed that advantage incorrectly. Unless they know of an adapter I'm unaware of that grants similar autofocus capabilities as native Canon bodies.

It's the sort of conclusion that a tripod photographer could make, not realizing that there are moving subjects out there too - which is a flaw you find with DPR stuff from time to time.
 

Nelu

5D Mark IV, 1Dx
So, yes, when comparing bodies, Sony's absolutely is the best. Nikon's Z6 is flawed but still a very good first try. The EOS R is even more flawed but for a first body for a brand new system it's still acceptably capable.
I don't know about that...Whenever I tried taking photos using sheet-specs darn things didn't work for me, for some reason...It must be me, I guess!
 
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maves

24mm TS-e ii is life!
Sep 21, 2017
10
5
Tasmania
Whilst I've decided to skip the EOS-R, I'm really interested to see where they go with mirrorless.

Canon have a History of releasing Pro bodies that disappoint in the spec sheet but nail it with real world performance.

I just wish Canon had a better range of mid range primes. I moved from Nikon, but miss their 1.8G series lenses.
 

dak723

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 26, 2013
1,141
433
Just my opinion, of course, but the anti-Canon bias will no doubt hurt Canon's bottom line, and thus hurt all the Canon users - at least in the short term. If two card slots makes up for lousy ergonomics, then I guess Sony is best. If IBIS makes up for sub-par color, then I guess Sony is best.

Dustin Abbot has a nice review, not sure if it has been linked in a thread or not:

https://dustinabbott.net/2018/12/canon-eos-r-review/

In it, he mentions some things I agree totally with:

"First of all, it feels fantastic in the hand. The grip is far and away the best that I’ve encountered so far on a mirrorless body, and I think Canon has the right idea about the size and form factor of this camera." And, "What’s also worth noting is that the design allows for adequate room for one’s knuckles between lenses and the grip – something that the a7R3 often cannot say."

Another aspect where Dustin finds Canon in the lead: "The EOS R has Canon’s fully articulating screen, which will undoubtedly make this camera a popular choice with vloggers and those that want a simple monitoring solution when facing the camera. The screen can be manipulated into a number of positions, and I find Canon’s articulating screens very useful. It is made further useful by the fact that Canon makes the best camera touchscreens in the business."

Another area that Canon is best: "If you look at the front of the camera you will notice a couple of things, including one of Canon’s most clever innovations on the EOS R. It is a shield that comes down in front of the sensor to keep dust off it when changing lenses. This purpose is served (in an inferior way) by the mirror assembly on DSLRs, but this is a cleaner solution. This has been an area of intense vulnerability for my Sony a7R3, which is seemingly in constant need of cleaning."

About the EVF: "The viewfinder on the EOS R is excellent. It has the higher 3.69 million dot resolution (like the Sony a7R3 and superior to the a73). It is clean and natural looking and a joy to use. I find the higher resolution particularly useful when magnifying an image to manually focus."

I've had a chance to look through the EVF of the 3 mentioned cameras and find the Canon to be noticeably better.

Dustin does consider the lack of IBIS and the lack of a 2nd card slot to be a considerable negative. Like all fair reviewers, he does mention the good and the bad. But in some respects the Canon is industry leading. And - as in all things about specs - each user will have priorities, including specs that are absolutely necessary and others that are completely non needed. I would argue that DPR puts far more emphasis on specs that are considered important or necessary by a minority of users (IBIS, 2 card slots) and puts little emphasis on things that are important to far more photographers (ergonomics, color).

As in all things, each person should base their opinion on actual experience if possible. The popularity of these types of sites gives them far too much power in the industry in my opinion. That alone should make them suspect - even if their biases are only subconscious.
 

COBRASoft

EOS M50
Mar 21, 2014
38
1
40
Oudenburg, Belgium
DPR's bashing on Canon has become ridiculous... If Canon is so bad, how come you see Canon a lot more in the street than Nikon and Sony combined? Because everyone is more invested in glass? I don't believe this as most shooters out there have max. 1 or 2 lenses anyway.

I believe Dustin is one of the most objective reviewers out there. Hats off to the quality he brings.
 
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blackbox

I'm New Here
Sep 26, 2014
11
4
Nobody has an "agenda" or bias, other than that every single person who ever uses a camera—yourself included—will always have entirely subjective tastes and preferences.
Do try to remember that accusing a company or individual of being paid-off without disclosure is, in fact, illegal. Yes, even if you hide behind a forum username. If you're going to claim someone has been in some way paid-off or otherwise incentivised by one company to make negative remarks about another, you better have actual, presentable proof of your claims. And no, "but they always rate Sony highly!" is not proof of anything. (Other than that Sony do make very, very good cameras.)

Anyway.

This does not surprise me in the slightest, nor should it surprise anybody else who has used these three cameras.

1) Canon and Nikon's bodies are their first generation, while Sony are on their third. Of course Sony are going to have a more well-rounded system; they've had more time to work out the kinks.

2) When it comes to bodies without the context of their lenses, Sony's bodies are the best. Nikon's Z6 feels nicer in the hand but it's still a bought-in Sony sensor with a less efficient CPU, slightly less effective IBIS, only one card slot, etc. And do we really need to spell out all the shortcomings of the EOS R? Nobody is saying it's an outright bad camera, but it doesn't take an expert or genius to spot—let alone use and experience—how much more the other two bodies offer.

3) This is the same thing that happened with the EF mount. The first EF bodies sucked. They were totally, totally awful. Every other camera body at the time was built better and worked better. But the brand-new EF lenses were way ahead of anything anyone else offered, so Canon took over the market, got a massive lead over everyone else, and hasn't been remotely challenged since. (Yes, I know some people like to think Sony are nipping at Canon's heels or have already taken over, but the actual fact of the matter is that Canon lead in global sales by miles.) The same thing goes for RF. Yes, the EOS R body is a mid-level body and not even as fully-featured as other mid-level bodies, and though the sensor is more than capable for most uses, the processor is a little underpowered and so when it comes to benchmarks, other systems will beat the EOS R in IQ. But other systems don't have a 28-70 f/2 or a 50mm f/1.2 (at least not with autofocus), and their "kit" zooms aren't a patch on the RF 24-105, either. No system adapts older lenses as well as the EOS R, either, giving it immediate access to a larger range of lenses than either of the other two systems.


Y'all shouldn't be so precious about the Canon bodies, let alone be throwing out libellous comments. It's absolutely okay to acknowledge that Canon's bodies are very rarely the best bodies of their class/type. Where Canon has always lead is with the lenses, and if you really cared that much about photography you'd know that the lens matters more than the body.
So, yes, when comparing bodies, Sony's absolutely is the best. Nikon's Z6 is flawed but still a very good first try. The EOS R is even more flawed but for a first body for a brand new system it's still acceptably capable. Factor in the native lenses and the EOS R draws even with Sony, in my estimation, with the Z6 behind. Then throw in adapted lens performance and I'd put the EOS R in first, especially if anybody needs really specialist glass like tilt-shifts.

Different strokes for different folks, and no system starts and ends only with the camera bodies.
They are biased and have been for a long time. Subjectivity aside they have bashed on Canon for years which is why I among others stopped reading their site years ago.
 

preppyak

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 18, 2011
956
26
Unless they know of an adapter I'm unaware of that grants similar autofocus capabilities as native Canon bodies.
Both the Sigma MC-11 and Metabones adapters would be more than capable of adapting Canon EF lenses to FE mount with full auto-focus at almost the same performance as on an EF body.

Not being aware of those would mean you're not very familiar with the Sony system.
 

snappy604

EOS RP
Jan 25, 2017
221
90
Both the Sigma MC-11 and Metabones adapters would be more than capable of adapting Canon EF lenses to FE mount with full auto-focus at almost the same performance as on an EF body.

Not being aware of those would mean you're not very familiar with the Sony system.

Yup friend moved to Sony a73 from canon and we tried a number of canon lenses and sigma with canon mounts. Seemed almost as fast as my 80d for focus. Saw some really good results out of it.

Another moved from Nikon and also very happy. I waited partially because cant afford, but partially because the R shows a lot of potential, just seemed rushed and thus capable but a bit underwhelming. Maybe new firmware fixes some, but suspect lot is on how fast they can process the gigantic amount of data it must generate now.. it was enough however to make me hopeful... seeing what new year brings.
 

Bentley Boy

I'm New Here
Oct 28, 2017
14
28
Nobody has an "agenda" or bias, other than that every single person who ever uses a camera—yourself included—will always have entirely subjective tastes and preferences.
Do try to remember that accusing a company or individual of being paid-off without disclosure is, in fact, illegal. Yes, even if you hide behind a forum username. If you're going to claim someone has been in some way paid-off or otherwise incentivised by one company to make negative remarks about another, you better have actual, presentable proof of your claims. And no, "but they always rate Sony highly!" is not proof of anything. (Other than that Sony do make very, very good cameras.)

Anyway.

This does not surprise me in the slightest, nor should it surprise anybody else who has used these three cameras.

1) Canon and Nikon's bodies are their first generation, while Sony are on their third. Of course Sony are going to have a more well-rounded system; they've had more time to work out the kinks.

2) When it comes to bodies without the context of their lenses, Sony's bodies are the best. Nikon's Z6 feels nicer in the hand but it's still a bought-in Sony sensor with a less efficient CPU, slightly less effective IBIS, only one card slot, etc. And do we really need to spell out all the shortcomings of the EOS R? Nobody is saying it's an outright bad camera, but it doesn't take an expert or genius to spot—let alone use and experience—how much more the other two bodies offer.

3) This is the same thing that happened with the EF mount. The first EF bodies sucked. They were totally, totally awful. Every other camera body at the time was built better and worked better. But the brand-new EF lenses were way ahead of anything anyone else offered, so Canon took over the market, got a massive lead over everyone else, and hasn't been remotely challenged since. (Yes, I know some people like to think Sony are nipping at Canon's heels or have already taken over, but the actual fact of the matter is that Canon lead in global sales by miles.) The same thing goes for RF. Yes, the EOS R body is a mid-level body and not even as fully-featured as other mid-level bodies, and though the sensor is more than capable for most uses, the processor is a little underpowered and so when it comes to benchmarks, other systems will beat the EOS R in IQ. But other systems don't have a 28-70 f/2 or a 50mm f/1.2 (at least not with autofocus), and their "kit" zooms aren't a patch on the RF 24-105, either. No system adapts older lenses as well as the EOS R, either, giving it immediate access to a larger range of lenses than either of the other two systems.


Y'all shouldn't be so precious about the Canon bodies, let alone be throwing out libellous comments. It's absolutely okay to acknowledge that Canon's bodies are very rarely the best bodies of their class/type. Where Canon has always lead is with the lenses, and if you really cared that much about photography you'd know that the lens matters more than the body.
So, yes, when comparing bodies, Sony's absolutely is the best. Nikon's Z6 is flawed but still a very good first try. The EOS R is even more flawed but for a first body for a brand new system it's still acceptably capable. Factor in the native lenses and the EOS R draws even with Sony, in my estimation, with the Z6 behind. Then throw in adapted lens performance and I'd put the EOS R in first, especially if anybody needs really specialist glass like tilt-shifts.

Different strokes for different folks, and no system starts and ends only with the camera bodies.
Good luck proving that defamation lawsuit, counselor. And it’s not illegal. Name calling will not land you in jail.
 

4fun

picture? perfect!
Nov 19, 2018
181
53
Didn't they already do this article?
no. But they "strongly hinted" their assessment as "foregone conclusion" in their preceding "first impressions" and "review" articles for each of the 3 camera models (A7III, Z6, R). :)

Fairly strong "Anti-Canon bias" at dpr is obvious for many years, often bordering the ridiculous [eg the love for all sorts of "hipsterite/retro" stuff].

However, I do find the specific comparison valid. Sony A7 III is the best *universally capable* body of the 3 contenders [A7III, Z6, EOS R] with the best price/value proposition. Tehre is no denying that Canon EOS R is only a "mirrorfree 6D III with re-used 5D4 sensor", without IBIS and a flawed user interface ... at too high a price. If Canon wants to charge more, they also need to offer more capability, not less than competition. This goes for camera BODY itself, not for overall system. Of course individual mileage will vary, depending and specific needs, wants and preferences.

SYSTEM comparison is even more individual. Obviously it mainly depends, if/what glass one already owns.
* for "first time FF system buyers", Sony TODAY wins hands down, because they are the only ones with excellent cameras AND a reasonable lineup of native lenses immediately available. As first time buyer, would it really be smart today to buy a Canon R or Nikon Z and EF or F-lenses which will all be obsoleted shortly? No problem for imaging purposes, but economically not very smart.
b) "happy" Canon customers with an assortment of good EF (L) glass incentive to switch brands has become much smaller now Canon has finally launched EOS R system. If possible, control G.A.S., sit tight and wait a bit more to see what R bodies and RF lenses Canon comes up with next. Unless one is really looking for a specific capability where Sony or Nikon are clearly ahead of Canon [eg 4k video].
 
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4fun

picture? perfect!
Nov 19, 2018
181
53
There is clear evidence of Sony organizing "large scale extravaganzas" in [an attempt] to influence [real and perceived] influencers. Some of those "influencers" do provide disclosure, many others do not.

As a positive example and to his credit, credibility and personal integrity, Thom Hogan goes well beyond "full disclosure" in his article on the subject: http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/2018-mirrorless-camera/april-june-2018-newsviews/sony-kando-20.html

Which type and amount of "lobbying" activities are legal or not varies considerably in different countries/jurisdictions. And of course it is not only Sony trying to influence and "incentivize" influencers in a number of ways. :)
 

Larsskv

Enthusiast with Canon related GAS
Jun 12, 2015
739
148
Is anyone surprised by the DPR conclusion?

Instead of accusing DPR for beeing biased, I think it is more meaningful to question to what degree their conclusions should be relevant to you.

I haven't visited DPR much the last 3-4 years, but when I do, I get the feeling that they haven't changed.

DPR does love specs. Much of their reviews and their final score could be written out of the spec sheet. For me, most specs doesn't matter much for what I like in a camera. Already because of this DPR's final score is pretty much irrelevant to me.

DPR does not, when reviewing a camera, pay much attention to lenses, or the system as a whole. Canon bodies has never gotten a rewarded in a review, because Canon lenses are fantastic. To me, the Canon lenses are a very important reason to choose Canon.

And how much attention has DPR given to the potential problems/downsides of the too small APS-C lens mount that the A7 and A9 bodies are using?

DPR has when reviewing Sony mirrorless, historically speaking, been very forgiving about problems. When the camera stops working all of a sudden, and you need to take the battery out in order to make it work again, it hasn't really hurt the overall score of the camera. Those kind of problems suddenly seems to be much more of a problem after the new models has solved them.

DPR does not seem to prioritize the overall shooting experience much. Good ergonomics and ease of use, or bad ergonomics and difficult to use, does not affect their overall score very much. Basically, the quality that I find important with my Canon cameras, that the camera sort of disappear between your hands, because the camera is intuitive in use and you can concentrate on shooting, have I never seen been emphasized by DPR.

DPRs overwhelming valuation of specs, their oversights with regards to user friendliness, and their lack of viewing the camera system (lenses included) as a whole, has lead me to stop caring about their reviews.
 

littleB

EOS T7i
Jun 29, 2017
64
7
Russia
Do try to remember that accusing a company or individual of being paid-off without disclosure is, in fact, illegal.
https://m.dpreview.com/articles/4307300189/sunset-golf-and-a-fake-nuclear-missile-how-i-spent-four-days-taking-pictures-in-hawaii
I was in Hawaii on a Sony-sponsored trip along with a handful of other photography journalists, on Oahu for two vastly different shooting experiences: shooting pro golf with the a9, and trying out a new 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 zoom for the a6000-series.
How could the Managing Editor of DPR write anything negative about her fancy trip's sponsor?
She had so much fun, and everything was so great, so she shared that greatness. This is how this works. If someone/some company is having so much fun in a series, he could just notice less of shortcomings, and praise more of advantages.
If this gets systematic, there will be an increasing belief of greatness. This is how psychology works.

On the other hand, back to that 'review', slightly higher megapixels did not have any chance against slightly higher DR.
Or the articulated screen does not matter, or best autofocus in class also does not matter.
Or the natively adapted lenses do not matter.

The world is not black and white, and all three cameras have some pros and some cons. Even guys like Jared Polin admit this in their spec-reviews, but not DPR.

And guys doing real reviews, like Dustin Abbot, just use the camera, and describe their experience and the result. And Dustin relies on himself, doing all those tests and shoots. This is his opinion, and this is based not on specs.
Yes, he finds some cons at EOS R, like crop in video or the new slider control. But he also notices some pros, like ergonomics, AF, EVF, the articulating screen, etc
 

4fun

picture? perfect!
Nov 19, 2018
181
53
DPR does not, when reviewing a camera, pay much attention to lenses, or the system as a whole. Canon bodies has never gotten a rewarded in a review, because Canon lenses are fantastic.
yes. Very true.

As a clear and glaring example for [intentional or unintential] anti-Canon bias at dpr all DPR reviews of Canon EOS M cameras are listing "limited native lens lineup" as a "CON" in the prominent Pro/con box on the conclusion üpage of their reviews. They also seem to factor it into their %-rating as a negative ... for the camera BODY! Full access to the entire universe of Canon EF/EF-S lenses via Canon OEM adapter is totally disregarded.

EOS M50 - 2018/04 - https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-m50/9 - "Limited native lens selection"
EOS M5 - 2016/12 - https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-m5-review/7 - "Native lens lineup is sorely lacking"
EOS M3 - 2016/08- https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-m3-review/8 - "Limited Canon EF-M lens lineup"
...

"Limited native lens availability" is/was not listed as a negative for Sony cameras or Fujifilm X (in the early days when lens lineup was also limited) or Nikon Z cameras today. Yes, they are also not holding it against Canon EOS R.

But even today they are still holding it against Canon EOS M system, because it is one of the few items they had on hand to justify their very low rating for the M50. I don't accuse them of being shills in this case, but they clearly are personally enamored with Fujifilm's retro styling cameras/"hipster appeal" and Fuji crop lenses at close to FF prices. "Bang for the buck" only plays a role in their reviews if/when it suits them.
 
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