The Canon R5 | My Scandalous Affair With Sony a7RIV

It's Alive! The Canon EOS R5 Is Finally Here!

The long awaited Canon EOS R5 full frame mirrorless camera was officially announced today along with a collection of lenses and other EOS accessories. After what could possibly be the longest, most grueling product launch in history, the official specs have been revealed to the masses. Here are the details of Canon's newest mirrorless machine. I expect this new mirrorless flagship camera from Canon to be real game changer and the perfect balance between resolution and ISO performance.


    My History With Canon EOS

    As described in my previously released, highly debated and riot inciting story about the FUJI GFX100 and Sony A7RIV, I explained my history with the Canon EOS system and a little bit about myself as a landscape photographer. I have been a Canon shooter since I began my adventure with photography, beginning with a Canon 40D, then a 50D, a 5D2, a 5D3 and finally a 5DSR. Over the last decade I have built an extremely successful business selling large, high end landscape photography prints to collectors around the world. I regularly (every week) have 45" to 108" prints produced of my work for me. I do not photograph people, (except my own children) animals, sporting events or astronomy.

    As a landscape photographer, I have a specific set of needs from the camera system I choose to utilize. Many elements of today's camera systems go largely unused by me, however I appreciate them being available just the same. In all my years using Canon cameras I have never had a single problem with any body or lens, even after repeated abuse from the rain, sand and extreme temperature change. We have been buried in the snow and faced more than one sneaker wave along the Pacific Coast together, bouncing back with our heads held high and our electronics fully intact. The massive collection of Canon EF glass has always worked well for me, reassured me with their build quality and when needed, have held their resale value well.

    All that being said, after using the Canon 5DSR for a large part of the last decade, I was ready for a new camera system. Canon was dragging its heels in entering the mirrorless market while everyone else seemed to see the writing on the wall and started making moves. First, I waited and hoped for an updated version of the 5DSR that never came. Then, to my disappointment, the Canon R was released with both a lower megapixel sensor and a very limited RF lens lineup. If Canon jumped in with the current RF lens lineup and a body with at least 40mp, I would have been all in back then. I would have never had to do something so horrible, utterly disgraceful and positively shameful as what I did next. As much as it pains me to say it, I broke down and bought a Sony. Now I feel dirty inside.

    The Wash

    My Scandalous Affair With The Sony AR7IV

    After dating the GFX100 for a couple weeks I sent it back where it came from and started seeing the Sony A7RIV exclusively. At first, it seemed like we got along well enough. We took a few vacations, had a few laughs and enjoyed our time together but before I knew it, the little things started to bother me.

    They say looks aren't everything and personally I am grateful that's true, but in the case of Sony camera bodies, looks aren't anything. If Canon was a Corvette and Nikon was a Mustang, Sony would be a Nissan Cube. Luckily for them, Sony has a great personality and its other endearing features allowed me to overlook the matte black brick with the orange turtleneck in my hand. After a while, my friends even stopped making fun of me.

    A photograph of a Japanese Maple tree with expansive branches and red leaves during fall.

    The Portland Japanese garden boasts multiple maple trees, but none more famous than this lace leaf maple photographed at the height of autumn. Fine Art Limited Edition of 200.

    Canon Color Science > Sony Color Science

    While I have thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the images I have captured with the A7RIV, and the ease of use is definitely nice, something about the RAW files that it captures just bother me. I know the Sony Fanboys are gathering the mob outside my front door as we speak, but because I can't find a more eloquent way to phrase it I'm just going to call it how I see it.... Sony RAW files are lifeless. Muted, flat and uninspiring. My homey Nolan calls them Gray. I am willing to admit that this could possibly be largely based on the sheer dynamic range of the Sony sensor and it is nothing a little extra editing can't jump start.

    Unfortunately, I don't care for their color science either. While I am willing to say out loud that Sony sensor tech kicks ass, their color science will never be as nice as Canon color science. I told myself this was also no big deal and that I just needed to be more patient with Sony. A few friends suggested using Capture One instead of Lightroom so I tried that and it did seem to help, but then I would try to nail a particular tint of green or red and smash my face into my keyboard out of frustration. With Canon, aside from a quick WB adjustment, I never need to get into changing tint or hue to make colors look accurate or pleasing.


    The G Master

    With a name as cool as G Master I had high expectations from the "best of the best" Sony glass. You know what they say about expectations. While I found the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM to be a solid performer, the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM didn't even match my Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II that was released back in 2012! The 70-200mm f/2.8 was also a disappointment. A handful of the prime lenses were sharp and very nice but the entire collection as a whole left me wanting more, especially with their high price point. When compared to the EF L series, the Fuji GF lenses and especially the newly released Canon RF glass, the Sony lenses felt exactly like they are made....plasticky. Even worse, If you have one and decide you don't like it, you'll be in for a rude awakening when you look into resale value.


    Elevate your home with Aaron Reed's limited edition photography print, Skyfire, from his Newest Work Photography collection. Order yours today! Fine Art Limited Edition of 50.

    Weather Sealing? Ummmmm, No.

    When Sony Corporate met to design the weather sealing for their cameras they must have been based in Yuma, Arizona. On the very first day I used the A7RIV, I had one....yes one big fat juicy Pacific Northwest raindrop fall on the eye sensor and the EVF stopped working. While in Yellowstone National Park last month, a very light sprinkle put me out of commission for a time when the connection to the lens contacts was broken by moisture. I have used every Canon camera of mine since the 5d2 in moderate and heavy downpours. I have kept shooting with water cascading off the camera like a mini EF waterfall and never had any issues at all.

    To make matters worse, lens mount variability was crazy. One lens would mount feeling a bit loose and the next would be so tight I thought I was going to break the camera putting it on. I bought a 50mm f/1.4 (which was probably my favorite after the 16-35mm), and the mount was so tight I almost thought I bought the wrong mount. After using it a handful of times, the weather sealing near the mount snapped, dangling out of the lens like a little rubber noodle.

    It blows my mind that the $1800 Canon R feels considerably better built than the $3500 Sony A7RIV. Very little about the build quality of the camera made me confident in it's durability. Seeing photographs online of lightly used cameras with all their paint rubbing and even peeling off only lessoned my expectations. Thankfully you can buy all kinds of peel and stick covers, vegan calfskin body gloves and find ideas for touch up paint at your local hardware store on the internet. Oh boy!

    Dust Bunnies

    When it comes to maintenance of my photography equipment, I would give myself a C minus at best. I went four years with my Canon 5DSR before I ever had the sensor cleaned. While that may sound horrible to you, I only had a small collection of sensor dust at that point. After two days with the Sony A7RIV, my RAW files looked like they had a bad case of chickenpox. I used rocket blowers and a curiously named gadget called the arctic butterfly and still there was so much sensor dust I began to lose my mind. In anticipation of the Canon R5 being announced, I bought a Canon R and a collection of RF lenses to give the system a try.

    Imagine me rejoicing to the heavens when I found that the shutter closes on power down keeping dust out of the sensor! What a crazy idea!? I'm no engineer but something tells me that Sony could have included this feature with very little effort. I will seriously never buy another mirrorless camera that doesn't do this. I simply don't have the time to remove hundreds of angry dust bunnies from every file. As a landscape photographer, lens changes do not happen in a vacuum. Have you ever seen a dust bunny on a 72" print? It becomes a dust marble. Not a good look.

    Thick forest of aspen trees without leaves during fall with red foliage at the base.

    The contrasting colors of autumn against the stark white trunks of aspen trees located just outside Leavenworth, Washington. Fine Art Limited Edition of 50.

    Sony, I think We Need To Break Up

    I may be a lot of things but a Fanboy is not one of them. I buy what interests me and use what works for me, regardless of who manufactures it. I do not feel the need to convince you that my purchase was the correct one, or that yours was the wrong one. Honestly, I couldn't care less what camera you use and ultimately you shouldn't care about mine. If Sony innovation of their glass and general production quality matched their sensor quality, I might stick with Sony, but after using the A7RIV the past 10 months, I am looking forward to going home to where it all began. Sorry Sony, it's not me, it's you.

    Canon RF Lenses

    Camera bodies will continue to leap frog each other in the years to come, but quality glass is an investment that pays back dividends, and the new RF lenses from Canon are a true thing of beauty that simply ooze quality. Designed to take advantage of everything the RF mount has to offer, RF lenses represent a new frontier in lens design for mirrorless cameras. With a large 54mm lens mount, large diameter elements to match and placement closer to the image plane, RF lenses provide brilliant image quality edge-to-edge with minimal light fallout, enabling new possibilities for enhanced optics and compact designs. A supercharged 12 pin communication system optimizes data transfer between camera and lens for sharp, stable and responsive performance in a wide variety of applications. Delivering features and performance engineered to astound, RF optics herald a new day in Canon’s legacy of optical brilliance.

    Control Ring

    All RF lenses incorporate a control ring on the lens barrel that can directly adjust numerous settings including shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation and more. Located towards the front of the lens and effectively adding a third dial to the EOS R and EOS RP camera’s main dial and quick control dial, the control ring has a tactile, easily distinguished surface and features a clicking mechanism that provides tangible feedback for confident use while looking through the viewfinder.

    Lens Information Display

    Another helpful feature, the EOS R camera can display lens information right in the viewfinder, making it easy to confirm the lens’s focal length without looking away from the subject at hand.

    Optical Image Stabilization Technology

    Select RF lenses feature optical image stabilization technology that’s designed to work in conjunction with the EOS R and EOS RPcameras. Both the camera and the lens share data to dramatically reduce camera-shake blur, regardless of the situation and whether shooting video or stills, to deliver impressively clear results.

    Ever Seen A Devil With A Halo?

    In all honestly, the Sony A7RIV is a great camera and an incredible piece of technology. There is absolutely no reason to question your decision to buy one if you enjoy using the camera. I have never understood why people feel the need to argue over the equipment they choose to use. You can create beautiful imagery with a bad camera and horrific imagery with a good one. Technology is not a communicable disease so there is no need to feel threatened by someone else's choice of gear. Create, enjoy yourself and have fun! I fully expect to receive a multitude of negative comments, emails and forum chatter over this article. Just to make sure, I think I'll share this to the Canon AND the Sony group. I'm just having some fun being me and one thing you can count on is that I'll keep doing my thing. ;)

    Posted in Camera Tech.