Sony vs Canon mirrorless cameras: which is best?
These two digital camera brands face-off every year with their mirrorless camera offerings. Whether you're in the market for an entry-level camera at an affordable price or a premium model for an expert, both Sony and Canon are vying for your custom.
Sony and Canon have both been at the forefront of the mirrorless camera’s rise in popularity. Sony's Alpha range and Canon’s EOS series have both put out models for both budget and premium buyers, starting between £300 and £400 and rising to over £2,000 for high-end models.
Mirrorless cameras are increasingly popular as they gain ground against DSLR models, and many have gone through our rigorous lab tests and come out the other side with great scores and, occasionally, a Best Buy award. The information below is up to date as of May 2020.
Average test scores of Sony and Canon cameras
The difference in average score between the two brands is small, however it’s really the consistency in score which matters. One of the manufacturers reliably puts out high-scoring models, where the other lags behind slightly, with the exception of a few recent super-high performers which bump up the average. With this brand, it’s best to only focus on its latest releases.
Best mid-range Sony and Canon mirrorless cameras
There’s plenty of quality available in the lower price brackets. Our testing doesn’t factor in price, so these scores are directly comparable with those given to premium cameras.
Models will vary on a case-by-case basis, but the sorts of sacrifices manufacturers make to produce a cheaper camera may include video quality capped at 1080p, fewer quality of life improvements, no viewfinder, and smaller sensors. But generally, the best entry-level models are rich with features and can give premium models a run for their money. Plus they can also be kitted out with different lenses to boost their performance later on down the line.
Last updated March 2021.
Best high-end Sony and Canon mirrorless cameras
At the higher price range, you’re looking at professional-grade cameras which offer the best of these brands' offerings. These Sony and Canon mirrorless cameras pack major power, are abundant with features, and sometimes boast a full-frame sensor which is the largest you can buy.
But not every premium camera is a Best Buy. We often find cameras that don’t meet the mark, some costing thousands of pounds for a fairly modest performance. We pay attention to the finer details in our lab tests, and you can see the current top models below.
Some of the models we've selected aren't recent launches, but they're still some of the highest performing cameras out there. You can check our camera reviews page for new reviews bimonthly. Last updated March 2021.
What other brands make mirrorless cameras?
The mirrorless camera has become popular enough that nearly every major brand has entered the market, some offering both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in separate ranges. These line-ups below are on the market right now:
- Nikon's Z series
- Panasonic's Lumix DC series
- Olympus's OM-D E-M and PEN series
- Fujifilm's X series