For me this was a big one, and kind of surprising as well. Since probably 2019 I was yearning for the A7III, both because a friend of mine was shooting with it and raved about it and because I’d started following a subreddit about Sony Alpha and was wowed by the photos people were taking.

At the time I’d been shooting on an old Samsung NX30 APS-C mirrorless camera. The NX30 wasn’t bad and was a fair intro to “real” photography after years of point-and-shoots, but I found myself frustrated by softer images than I wanted and a real issue in low light.

I had a lot of life events that kept coming up and sapping my savings, but I told myself that as soon as I raised the funds, the Sony A7III was it.

By the time I was close to having the cash, I decided I owed it to myself to have one more look at what else was out there. Read some reviews, watch some YouTube videos.

I didn’t see anything that impressed me in the Nikon lineup — nothing against Nikon shooters. I guess that statement is less about Nikon and more about just how impressed I was with Sony.

The Canon EOS R jumped out as an option, both because of its similar price point and especially because of its articulating screen. I’d had an articulating screen on two previous cameras, and while I don’t always need them, they’re really handy when I do.

Feature Comparisons

The EOS R has taken a lot of flak for being behind specs-wise for the price point, especially against the Sony A7III. The Sony has dual SD card slots, IBIS (in-body image stabilization), and animal eye autofocus, to name a few things.

I admit to having an affection for Canon cameras, as the first camera I ever bought for myself as an adult was a Canon Powershot.

But I admit, on paper the A7III seems like a clear win. Especially since it can run on AC power while plugged in, where the EOS R does not accept a charge via USB while on.

Two things stood out to me at the 11th hour that ended up pulling me toward the EOS R. Well three, I guess. The third was price: by the time I’d saved the R was about $400 cheaper.

I went to Best Buy so I could hold each of the cameras, look at them up close.

That’s where the differences really are, in my opinion.

Grips, Physical Aspects, and Simply Feeling Right In The Hand

The Sony had a certain squared off feel to it up close along the top, rougher edges, and a smaller grip. In some ways, that made it feel more like my APS-C camera than a full frame.

I don’t have particularly large hands, but once I picked up the EOS R it immediately felt right. Full, ample grip with an amazing tactile feel, and the body itself felt more modern with digital displays and a swivel screen. Comparatively, Sony’s mode dials and limited screen felt like steps backward.

I felt confused, and went home. That night, I binged YouTube videos comparing the two and I think what really convinced me, ultimately, was as mixture of Peter McKinnon talking about his love of the R and people commenting about the clay-like skin tones of the A7III.

Secondarily, the articulating screen, and the idea that I could adapt older EF glass hopefully at a discount seemed advantageous.

Was It The Right Choice?

I admit to feeling a little conflicted about my choice even after I made it. It seemed like an after-the-fact peer pressure thing. Everywhere I looked online, on Instagram, and on YouTube people were using Sony Alpha and no one was mentioning the R.

After the RP and the R5/6 came out, the internet sure made it seem like the R was old news.

Honestly, when I saw the A7IV come out it seemed like it answered everything that’d made me choose against the A7III. The IV has a larger grip and the articulating screen, effectively giving every advantage that stood out to me about the R while being in the Alpha system.

But at the end of the day, it’s not about what I might have done, but what I am able to do with the camera I have. The EOS R is a lot of fun to shoot and feels like a real extension of the hand.