The Sony A1 makes the Canon EOS R5 look like a bargain

Sony and Canon cameras comparison
(Image credit: Sony - Canon)

Sony has recently announced the Sony A1, an incredibly specced 8K camera that many consider to be revolutionary. However, while there's plenty about the Sony A1 to celebrate, there's one massive sticking point – the price. 

At almost $6,500, the Sony A1 is one of the most expensive mirrorless cameras currently on the market. In fact it's more expensive than some high-end medium format cameras, such as the Fujifilm GFX 100s. With this in mind, many photographers and videographers might actually find that the Canon EOS R5 offers far better value for money. 

Read more: Best mirrorless camera

Meanwhile, the Canon EOS R5 can be bought for significantly less, with current prices hovering around than $3,899. If a consumer is looking for an 8K camera, does the Sony A1 really offer almost $2,600 worth of difference?

The Canon EOS R5 was actually underpriced

When rumors were still circulating about the Canon EOS R5 before its release, many people were speculating that Canon would under-price the camera. Factors such as competition and adoption rates for the RF mount were possible key reasons for this decision. 

When Canon eventually released the camera with a price point below $4,000 it was pretty shocking. This was a full-frame 8K camera with the ability to shoot raw video, with a price point similar to the Sony a7R IV. 

This was a great decision from Canon because it helped attract people onto the RF mount system, even if they didn't directly purchase the Canon EOS R5. Essentially, people could buy into the RF mount with some of the less expensive options and then aspire toward the EOS R5. 

In fact, the announcement of the Sony A1 could essentially act as confirmation that Canon severely under-priced the EOS R5. It could be argued that Sony has correctly priced the Sony A1, considering what it offers. Meanwhile, the Canon EOS R5 is left looking like an absolute bargain. 

Why Canon could be the better choice

Canon EOS R5

(Image credit: Canon )

Aside from the price point, there are several other reasons why Canon could be the better option between the two. Both cameras are actually pretty similar when it comes to the features they offer, with similar sensor resolution and video features. 

However, while both systems offer great quality lenses, some could argue that the potential benefit of RF mount lenses makes Canon the better option. Canon has historically pushed the boundaries when it comes to its lenses and this has continued with the RF mount. Lenses such as the RF 28-70mm f/2 are entirely unique and Sony doesn't have anything to match. In fact, for the price of one Sony A1, you could almost purchase the EOS R5 and the RF 28-70mm f/2 lens. 

Lenses make much more of a difference than a few extra megapixels and slightly better dynamic range. Considering how similar the specs for the Canon EOS R5 and Sony A1 are, not only does the price make the Canon great value for money, the glass options do as well. 

Are there problems with the Sony A1?

Sony A1

(Image credit: Sony)

Initial reviews of the Sony A1 seem to be presenting some potential issues. The Sony A1 is said to overheat at around 16 minutes when filming in 8K, which isn't ideal for videographers. Canon initially received a lot of criticism for the overheating problems in the EOS R5/ However, hindsight could prove that the Canon EOS R5 was initially misjudged. 

There are also some concerns when it comes to the autofocus performance of the Sony A1. Although it offers 30fps, that doesn't necessarily mean that it will deliver 30 usable frames per second. Based on some of the initial reviews, it seems the Canon EOS R5 is a better camera when it comes to frame per second because of how much better the autofocus is. 

This could be a deal breaker for some because autofocus can be the deciding factor on whether or not you get the shot. 

At this point, sample images and footage has not been released for the Sony A1, so it's difficult to make any definitive conclusions. However considering how much more the Sony A1 costs compared to the Canon EOS R5, one could be forgiven for expecting better results. 

Final thoughts

It can't be denied that Sony and Canon are both doing remarkable things in the photo and video industry. With the kind of features available in both the Sony A1 and the EOS R5, it's hard to be unhappy with either camera. However, a camera's pricing is a major factor for any photographer or videographer – and based on some initial reviews, the Canon EOS R5 might just turn out to be better value for money. 

Read more: 

Sony A1 announced
Sony A1 vs A9 II vs A7R IV
Best professional cameras
Best Canon camera
Best Canon RF lenses
The best mirrorless camera

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Usman Dawood

Usman is a commercial and architectural photographer based in West Yorkshire, who has been working professionally for over seven years. He has also spent over four years as a writer for the biggest photography sites in the world, including Staff Writer for Digital Camera World, senior staff writer for FStoppers, and tech writer for Petapixel. 

With a particular interest in technology developments, high-resolution imaging and the high-end cameras, Usman has been on the cutting edge of camera news as well as writing features about medium format systems and global shutters, and has reviewed some of the latest Leica cameras as well as a tripod that’s even taller than Andre the Giant!