Canon EOS R5 vs. Sony A7S III vs. Panasonic S1H: Best Specs? | Digital Trends

    The Canon EOS R5 and Sony A7S III are the 2 most talked-about cameras of summer time, however don’t low cost 2019’s Panasonic S1H. All three are full-frame mirrorless fashions, however the place the R5 is a extra “traditional” hybrid nonetheless digital camera that occurs to shoot 8K video, the A7S III an S1H are constructed particularly with video in thoughts. And whereas it might be a yr outdated, the S1H nonetheless holds some benefits over the opposite two.
    The S1H and the A7S III are the true opponents right here. The EOS R5 actually needs to be focusing on nonetheless photographers, however that messaging was muddied by Canon’s advertising previous to the digital camera’s launch. But given that each one three tout high-end video options and are priced within the $3,500 to $4,000 vary, a comparability is pure.
    At a look:
    Canon EOS R5
    45MP full-frame sensor
    8K/30p, 4K/120p
    Internal 12-bit RAW video
    Phase-detection AF
    One SD, one CFexpress Type B card slot
    Sony A7S III
    12MP full-frame sensor
    4.2K/60p, 4K/120p
    16-bit RAW output
    Phase-detection AF
    Dual SD/CFexpress Type A card slots
    Panasonic Lumix S1H
    24MP full-frame sensor
    6K/24p, 5.9K/30p (full body)
    4K/60p (tremendous 35 crop)
    12-bit RAW output
    Contrast-detection AF
    Dual SD card slots
    Sensor and video high quality
    Jumping proper off the spec sheets is the distinction in decision. Each digital camera is full-frame, however the Canon EOS R5 stands out with its 45-megapixel sensor. The Panasonic S1H has 24 megapixels whereas the Sony A7S III has “only” 12.
    The Canon’s sensor has precisely the variety of pixels (8,192 horizontally) for DCI 8K video. The Sony’s sensor is nearly completely tuned to ship 1:1 4K (it may truly shoot 4.2K, or 4K with a 1.1X crop). The S1H splits the distinction and might shoot 6K footage (technically, 5.9K in a typical 16:9 ratio, though full 6K is out there at 3:2).
    Daven Mathies/Digital TrendsWhile the EOS R5 wins for sharpness as the one digital camera that may do 8K, capturing at such a decision is impractical for most individuals because of the massive information it creates and the truth that the digital camera will shortly overheat on this mode. While it may additionally shoot completely oversampled 4K footage processed from 8K, the R5 nonetheless overheats simply whereas doing so. At commonplace 4K settings, which make use of less-sharp line-skipping quite than oversampling, the EOS R5 received’t overheat almost as shortly, however it offers up its sharpness benefit. The S1H and A7S III will each look higher right here.
    The A7S III’s fewer however bigger pixels must also equate to a bonus in low gentle, which is partially illustrated by the utmost ISO of 102,400, a cease above each the S1H and EOS R5. But the A7S III is the one digital camera of the bunch that may’t shoot DCI 17:9 side ratios — though it appears cheap that Sony may implement this sooner or later by way of a firmware replace.
    The Panasonic S1H is within the goldilocks place on the subject of decision, and affords much more side ratio decisions than the EOS R5. It can shoot 6K 3:2, 5.9K 16:19, and 4K DCI 17:9. It additionally has quite a few anamorphic modes out there from a cropped, tremendous 35 area of the sensor. However, it loses on the subject of body charges. It can shoot 4K at 60 fps, however solely in crop mode. At full body, it’s restricted to 24 or 30 fps, whereas each the Canon and the Sony can shoot as much as 4K/120p from the complete width of the sensor (nicely, with a 1.1X crop within the case of the Sony).
    Compressed and RAW video choices
    The Canon EOS R5, Sony A7S III, and Panasonic S1H goal skilled clients and embody a bewildering variety of video compression choices in consequence. All three can file in 10-bit 4:2:2 colour with flat log profiles appropriate for colour grading. Each additionally affords the choice for all intra-frame (All-I) compression, which treats every particular person body like a nonetheless picture quite than counting on main and trailing frames to assist with the compression. All-I is most well-liked by editors as it’s best to work with on a pc, however it does require greater bitrates to realize the identical degree of high quality as commonplace inter-frame compression.
    The EOS R5 All-I bit charges fluctuate enormously relying on decision, with 8K consuming as much as 1,300 megabits per second (Mbps) at 24 or 30 fps. Lower resolutions would require considerably much less knowledge, aside from 4K/120, which takes up 1,800Mbps. The Sony A7S III doesn’t supply All-I compression at 4K/120, however at decrease body charges, you may count on 10 megabits per body, with 240Mbps for 4K/24p, 300Mbps for 30p, and 600Mbps for 60p.
    Ted Forbes / The Art of PicturesThe S1H tops out at 400Mbps for 4K/24p or 30p. All-I compression shouldn’t be out there for 4K/60, which is simply 200Mbps in consequence. But does this imply the S1H will outshoot the Sony at 24 or 30p? This would require a side-by-side comparability to inform for certain, however the S1H has extra knowledge to work with at these body charges.
    And should you’d quite bypass compression solely, all of those cameras permit you to take action. While the EOS R5 helps you to file 12-bit RAW video internally, RAW is simply out there at 8K decision with no compression choices nor the power to ship these uncooked information to an exterior recorder. This means working with RAW on the R5 could also be impractical, and even problematic as you’ll run into the warmth limits, one thing an exterior recorder would have at the least helped with. Additionally, the uncompressed RAW video goes to essentially tax your edit machine, furthering the argument that 8K on the Canon is impractical for a majority of circumstances.
    Neither the Panasonic S1H nor the Sony A7S III can file RAW internally, however each can output RAW over HDMI, which may be recorded within the Apple ProRes RAW format with an Atomos Ninja V recorder. In this mode, the A7S III sends a 16-bit sign whereas the S1H is proscribed to 12-bit. That would possibly sound like a putting distinction, however remember the fact that footage from each cameras might be recorded as 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW, so the distinction might not be that seen in sensible use circumstances. The S1H may output its full-width 5.9K decision in RAW, which can give it a sharpness benefit over the A7S III.
    While these are all hybrid mirrorless cameras, their designs couldn’t be extra completely different. At 2.3 kilos, the S1H is the heaviest of the bunch and virtually a pound heavier than the A7S III (1.5 kilos). The EOS R5 is within the center at 1.62 kilos.
    Daven Mathies/Digital TrendsThe S1H’s bulk isn’t put to waste, nevertheless. It incorporates a vented cooling compartment with a fan between the sensor and the LCD monitor. All these overheating issues with the Canon? You received’t discover them right here — and the S1H remains to be weather-sealed, in addition. You can see the impact of this on the spec sheet: The S1H options “unlimited” recording, whereas Sony claims the A7S III received’t be warmth restricted for at the least one hour at 4K/60. Both of those specs are excellent — and nicely above the Canon EOS R5’s restrict of about 30 minutes for 4K/60 — however on the subject of operating a digital camera all day lengthy, the Panasonic needs to be essentially the most dependable.
    Functionally, the Panasonic’s bigger physique makes room for extra bodily controls and a big secondary show on the highest plate, which exhibits your entire settings at a look. The Canon doesn’t fairly have the identical degree of direct entry management, and its smaller high LCD isn’t as much as the identical requirements — however at the least it’s there. The Sony doesn’t have a high LCD.
    All three cameras have glorious digital viewfinders, however the Sony does win right here with its 9.44-million-dot decision. The S1H and R5 share a 5.7-million-dot EVF that’s actually no slouch, although. Those cameras even have higher-resolution rear LCD screens at over 2 million pixels, the place the A73 III’s has simply 1.44 million.
    Storage media
    All three cameras supply twin reminiscence card slots, however every does so in another way. The S1H is essentially the most conventional, with twin SD playing cards; the A7S III can settle for both SD or new CFexpress Type A playing cards in each slots; the EOS R5 has one SD and one CFexpress Type B slot.
    Daven Mathies/Digital TrendsCFexpress Type A playing cards are smaller than the Type B variant and bodily comparable sufficient to SD playing cards that Sony was in a position to design a slot that accepts each media varieties. CFexpress Type A is quicker than SD, though slower than the CFexpress Type B utilized by the Canon. CFexpress Type A can also be not produced but by anybody aside from Sony, and the reminiscence card’s value remains to be a thriller on the time of publication.
    In each the S1H and A7S III, a V90-rated SD card is ample for any recording mode, so the A7S III’s CFexpress playing cards will largely come in useful for offloading footage sooner after a shoot. On the Canon, the upper bitrates of 8K and 4K/120p video require a CFexpress Type B card.
    Autofocus and stabilization
    Sony has lengthy been a pacesetter on the subject of mirrorless focusing methods, however Canon has caught up with the EOS R5. Both characteristic on-chip phase-detection, a bonus over the contrast-detection-only autofocus within the Panasonic S1H. Phase-detection is “smarter” than contrast-detection in that it not solely is aware of when an object is out of focus, however whether or not it’s front- or back-focused and by how a lot. This results in sooner, smoother focus modifications with out “hunting.”
    But the S1H isn’t dangerous, per se, and Panasonic’s autofocus doesn’t use run-of-the-mill contrast-detection. It makes use of a know-how known as Depth from Defocus, which takes identified blur traits in regards to the connected lens to tell the digital camera about how a lot an object is out of focus and in what path, just like phase-detection. While this method may be very quick, it tends to trigger issues in steady autofocus conditions because it has to continuously pattern the main target at barely completely different factors to offer the info it must function. In video, this could result in distracting “breathing” within the footage. It’s not an issue in each scene, however it’s one potential downside.
    As for stabilization, all three cameras characteristic 5-axis sensor-shift methods that work along with suitable stabilized lenses for even higher efficiency. The Sony A7S III is rated at 5.5 stops of shake discount, the Panasonic S1H scores a cease greater at 6.5, and the Canon EOS R5 even greater at 8 stops.
    However, that spec is of most use to nonetheless pictures — for video, stabilization isn’t about capturing slower shutter speeds, however smoothing out the shakiness from hand-holding the digital camera. All three will supply a noticeable benefit right here over non-stabilized cameras. Historically, Sony’s stabilization has not been fairly nearly as good as Panasonic’s, and Canon has stunned with the R5’s stabilization showing to take it even yet one more step farther from there.
    Ted Forbes / The Art of PicturesIn a video digital camera, audio is commonly as vital because the video itself. The Canon EOS R5, Sony A7S III, and Panasonic S1H all have the fundamentals lined with each commonplace 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. However, the A7S III and S1H take issues a step additional by providing XLR adapters, which allow you to join two skilled XLR microphones straight to the digital camera. The Sony additionally permits for 4 discrete audio channels to be recorded in-camera, one thing hardly ever seen outdoors of the cinema digital camera world.
    As pictures cameras
    It’s laborious to disregard the distinction between the Canon EOS R5’s 45 megapixels, the Panasonic S1H’s 24, and the Sony A7S III’s 12. The Sony actually seems just like the loser right here, however relying in your wants, 12MP could also be a lot. If, for instance, you solely share pictures to the online and social media, that’s greater than sufficient decision — supplied you don’t have to crop an excessive amount of. When it involves prints, nevertheless, the EOS R5 will certainly have an edge.
    Daven Mathies/Digital TrendsAnd even with all that decision, it’s additionally the sooner digital camera, in a position to shoot as much as 20 frames per second at full decision utilizing the digital shutter, or 12 with the mechanical shutter. More importantly, steady autofocus is out there at any pace, and because of high-performance of CFexpress Type B, you may shoot 180 RAW pictures in a burst with out slowing down. The A7S III tops out at 10 fps, whereas the S1H maxes out at 9 — however solely 6 with steady AF.
    The higher-rated picture stabilization of the Canon could possibly be a bonus for stills, though in our expertise, we felt the 8-stop score was overly beneficiant and real-world efficiency will possible all the time be much less.
    The EOS R5 is the one digital camera on this bunch that basically targets nonetheless photographers and due to this fact outclasses the A7S III and S1H on this case. However, if pictures is your major focus, each Sony and Panasonic have cameras which can be higher suited to the duty. Check out the Sony A7R IV or Panasonic Lumix S1R, each of which beat the EOS R5’s decision, if not its pace or video options.
    There’s no clear winner right here, however for 4K video, it’s laborious to argue towards the Sony A7S III and its high-frame-rate choices that received’t trigger the digital camera to shortly overheat. It affords each 4K/60 and 4K/120 from the complete width of its sensor, one thing the Canon EOS R5 solely does with a battle and that the Panasonic S1H can’t do in any respect.
    However, if decision is extra of what you want, that is the place the Panasonic delivers. The S1H’s potential to not solely shoot at as much as 6K, but additionally with a 3:2 side ratio, permits for extra flexibility to crop and reframe in put up, a characteristic that may possible enchantment to some skilled filmmakers and editors. No, it’s not the EOS R5’s 8K, however video execs might be higher off with a 6K digital camera that doesn’t continuously overheat than an 8K digital camera that seemingly all the time does.
    But the Sony wins in one other vital space: Price. At the time of writing, the Panasonic S1H remains to be about $4,000, the Canon EOS R5 $3,900, and the A7S III $3,500. Opting for the Sony would depart you with a large chunk of change that would go towards a pleasant lens, exterior recorder, tripod, or different video equipment.

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