An Honest and Extensive Comparison: the Canon R5/RF 100-500L IS lens/Extender 1.4X versus the SONY a9 ii/200-600 G OSS lens/FE Teleconverter 1.4X. And more Topaz DeNoise AI and Sharpen AI examples & tips. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

An Honest and Extensive Comparison: the Canon R5/RF 100-500L IS lens/Extender 1.4X versus the SONY a9 ii/200-600 G OSS lens/FE Teleconverter 1.4X. And more Topaz DeNoise AI and Sharpen AI examples & tips.

What’s Up?

The cold front has come and gone. The pool is down more than eight degrees. I have been working hard for several days preparing this blog post, more than a dozen hours in all.

Understand that I have no horse in this race, no ties to SONY or to Canon. Technically, I am Platinum Canon CPS and a Canon Explorer of Light Emeritus (both for life), but at this point neither of those benefit me in any way. As always, I have striven to be completely honest in my evaluation of the R5/RF 100-100 and in comparing it with the SONY 200-600/a9 ii rig. The first two images presented here today — Friday 3 December 2020 were created during my first session with the Canon gear; the Anhinga image was created two days later during my second outing with the Canon gear. All three of the images were converted in the latest version of Capture One Pro 20 which did a fine job. I had close to zero good flight chances in either session so this blog post will not go there.

Speaking of flight, I have run into many folks who use a system that involves using one or two or even three back buttons to activate different AF Methods when photographing flying birds because Face detection + Tracking/AI Servo AF sometimes has a hard time acquiring focus. They acquire focus with one AF method and then switch mid-stream to another method using one or more of the back buttons to focus on the bird (thankfully not at the same time of course) and then press the shutter button to create a series of images. Can you say cockamamie? Remember that I gave up back button focus many years ago after finally realizing that it is always easier to do one thing than it is to do two (or more!) See the excellent exchange of comments in the previous blog post here. That said I have picked up some great tips from the Comments that I will be trying out asap.

Two topics that will be addressed in the future are a comparison of the stabilization systems and the phenomenon known as rolling shutter (that may or may not affect images made when using Electronic Shutter).

I can keep the Canon loaner gear until the end of December though I am hoping to extend the loan till after I get back from San Diego in late January.

Understand that I have used my R5 only with the RF 100-500 lens and almost always with the RF 1.4X teleconverter.

I can say one thing for sure as a result of my playing with the R5 for two whole sessions: if you are married to Canon with a nice collection of EF lenses, you will surely want to purchase either an R5 or its less expensive little cousin, the 20 MP R6. Several folks I know who own Canon EOS-1DX III bodies have retired them and are using an R5 all the time. Weight alone is a fine reason for doing so. As far as I can tell, R5 performance on EF lenses via one of the three adapters is superb on all counts.

I am sure that I will have lots more to say about both systems in the coming month (at least) and equally sure that I will be using both systems. When I need f/4 I will be counting on my SONY 600 GM. And I am sure that I left out something important in this post. As always, feel free to ask questions or leave a comment or opinion below. Most R5 users will surely learn something by revisiting the last blog post here and reading the comments. (I suggest that several times in this blog post for good reasons.

At present, I would say that my chances of ever switching full time back to Canon are less than 1%. But there is a good chance that I will purchase an R5/RF 100-500/1.4X TC rig just for the fun of it (and so I can do a comprehensive User’s Guide) for all of my Canon friends. A single thought keeps visiting the back of my mind; how much fun would it be to head to San Diego or to the Southern Ocean or to any location with lots of tame birds with only a lightweight, do-almost-everything Canon kit?

Confused by what I was seeing with my R5 images in RawDigger, I e-mailed Patrick and Iliah Borg with questions. On Wednesday night I spent more than an hour in a Zoom meeting with Patrick as he explained to me what he had learned from Iliah. We both learned a ton during this meeting. As a result, the publication date of the final RawDigger e-guide has once again been pushed back.

So why all the effort as far as the R5 is concerned? First off, I was intrigued by what I was hearing and wanted to see for myself. And I always like learning new stuff about bird photography. Second, lots of folks wanted to hear what I had to say about the R5/RF100-500 rig.

Most Importantly

As always, if what you read or learn here inspires or convinces you to purchase an R5 or 6, and/or the RF 100-500 lens, and/or the RF Extender 1.4X, please use my B&H affiliate links or get in touch with Steve Elkins at Bedford to save 3% on your new gear and get it a lot quicker …

Great R5/RF 100-500 News from Bedfords

I spoke to Steve Elkins at Bedford Camera on Thursday and was excited to learn that he will be getting his biggest-yet shipment of Canon R5 bodies and RF 100-500 lenses early next week. You can save 3% on your order by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax (if any is due) total. In addition, by using the code you will get free 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

If you buy the Canon rig that I am testing you will save a very handsome $212.91. Using any of my affiliate links is the best way to thank me for the work that I do here on the blog.

Back in Stock

We now have eighteen of the hugely popular Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro tripod heads in stock. Click on the preceding link to learn more about this amazing head, the ballhead that thinks it’s a gimbal head and — thanks to the amazing counter-balanced spring mechanism — works great with any rig from the longest, heaviest super-telephoto lens to a camera-body-mounted wide angle. The latter is possible because of the bi-directional clamp; it is no longer necessary to travel with a gimbal head for long lens photography and a ballhead for scenic photography. And after just a moment’s adjustment, the double ball enables you to ensure that every image you take is on the level.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs approaching zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes can always help out by clicking here if they see fit.

Topaz Still on Sale!

Right now Topaz is offering price reductions on the Utility Bundle and the Creator Bundle. The former normally sells for $359.96. It is on sale now for $249.95. Click here, scroll all the way down to the sale, and enter the ARTHUR15 code at checkout to save an additional 15%! The Creator Bundle usually sells for #279.97 and is now on sale for $149.99. Using the ARTHUR15 code at checkout brings the price down to $127.49!

The BAA Used Gear Page

The Used Gear page continues to be red hot! It is BAA Used Gear Page is the place to sell your used photographic equipment. We will help you to get your gear sold quickly for 20 to 60% or more than what the big guys are offering … Doubt me? Check out the Recent Sales list for the past ten months at the bottom of the page.

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Great Topaz News!

Folks who use the BAA Topaz link to purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or the Utility Bundle (or any other Topaz plugins) will receive a 15% discount by entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout. To get the discount you must use my link and you must enter the discount code. Be sure to start with this link.

Topaz Stuff

As I said just a while back and have said often many times before, I should have listened sooner. If you, like me, are new to the Topaz party, please use this link to purchase. Right now I can wholeheartedly recommend both Topaz Sharpen AI and Topaz DeNoise AI. Though I have not yet worked with JPEGtoRAW AI or Gigapixel AI, I have installed both of these plug-ins and look forward to trying them on some I-Phone 11 images fairly soon. If you are thinking like me, consider the Utility Bundle that includes all four plug-ins mentioned above at a money-saving price.

Again, those who purchase Sharpen AI or DeNoise AI using my link, can e-mail to request a short Getting Started with Topaz e-Guide. I had a bit of trouble getting the two plug-ins installed and having them appear in the Photoshop Filter Menu. In addition, I will explain how to best learn about the two plug-ins by applying them on a Layer (in Photoshop). I amazed myself yesterday by completing this guide in the car on the way to and from Sebastian. Huge thanks to Anita for doing the driving. Please include a copy of your Topaz order when requesting the guide.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free overnight shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

This image was created on 27 November 2020 at Fort DeSoto Park. I used the handheld Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens with the Canon Extender RF 1.4x (at 700mm) and the highly touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 800. Exposure determined by experience and luck and confirmed as near-perfect by RawDigger: 1/2000 sec. at f/10 (wide open!) in Manual mode. AWB at 7:51am on sunny morning.

Face detection + Tracking/AI Servo AF was active at the moment of exposure and performed well.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Great Egret immature landing in early morning light

Picking up the Canon Gear for the First Time

I loved the feel and fit of the R5 from the moment I picked it up. The feel of the body is more like rubber than plastic or metal. The camera felt great in my hand. The first time I held an a9 it felt like a toy. The a9ii with its slightly deeper chassis was somewhat of an improvement.

Advantage to Canon

Weight Comparison

When I picked up the Canon rig for the first time, I was amazed at how small and light it was. The R5/RF 100-500 rig with the tripod collar removed with one battery and a card tips the scale at 4 pounds, 12.8 oz. The SONY 200-600 with the lens foot removed with the a9 ii weighs 6 pounds, 8.1 ounces. With the R5’s poor battery performance (see more on that below), I’d recommend the purchase and use of the Canon BG-R10 Battery Grip with an extra Canon LP-E6NH Lithium-Ion Battery (7.2V, 2130mAh) to be mandatory (unless you are comfortable changing batteries in the field). Most serious folks will probably wish to add a second set of batteries as well. With the addition of the battery grip and a second battery, the Canon rig weighs in very close to 5 pounds, 11.2 ounces thus reducing the weight advantage to less than one pound.

Advantage: Canon

The R5 Story Begins

The Great Egret above was the second bird that I photographed with the R5. Working with a new system is always a challenge as your fingers struggle to find the right button or dial. Or with the zoom direction. You go clockwise with the SONY 200-600 to zoom to the longest focal length. With the Canon 100-500, you go counter-clockwise to get to 500mm. There is no advantage here to either system. That said, as this young Great Egret flew at me right down sun angle, I attempted to zoom out to keep the bird well in the frame but turned the zoom ring the wrong way.

Face detection + Tracking/AI Servo AF

The first bird I photographed with the Canon rig was a small-in-the-frame Little Blue Heron in very low light. I was stunned at first by the performance of the subject/eye detection technology of the R5. I placed the AF point on the eye and recomposed. The AF point stayed glued to the subject’s eye. Animal eye detection with the SONY bodies works well only some of the time but is very inconsistent.

Great Advantage: Canon

Note: the great advantage above goes to Canon only as far as Animal eye detection (with the SONY bodies) is concerned. Note that SONY’s Tracking Flexible Spot does quite well in similar situations though it does not perform as well as Face detection + Tracking with the R5. Furthermore, I recently tried a new SONY Focus Area that out-performs Tracking Flexible Spot. Patrick and I had incorrectly dismissed this Focus Area in The Sony Camera User’s e-Guide (and Videos). While we had not planned on updating the SONY e-guide, this is such an important discovery that we will be sending an update covering the use of this Focus Area on Friday. If you own the guide and do not receive your e-mail update by Saturday, please contact me via e-mail.

While I was stunned by the performance of the subject/eye detection technology of the R5, which placed the AF point on the face of the incoming Great Egret in each image even with the bird relatively large in the frame, I was — at first — less than thrilled with the sharpness. In retrospect, part of the problem there was that I was struggling using brand hew gear and was attempting to zoom wider while panning (not so) smoothly (the wrong way) with the incoming bird. See below to learn how Topaz Sharpen AI saved yet another image; it showed that the problem was motion blur and not inaccurate focus.

You can see the AF point on the LBH image and on one of the landing Great Egret images in the recent blog post here.

Getting the Right Exposure

While you can Enable Exposure Simulation on the R5 and view the histogram in the viewfinder, the R5 offers Zebras only with video. I did OK with the R5 exposures mainly because of my two decades of experience with digital and my vast knowledge of exposure. With SONY, I can teach you how to consistently make perfect or near-perfect exposures in two minutes with ISO on the rear dial. Or, you can learn this technique easily in The Sony Camera User’s e-Guide (and Videos). With the R5, you need to make and then evaluate a test exposure. This wastes valuable time and can easily cause you to miss the shot, especially with flight and action. As far as exposure is concerned, working with a camera body that does not offer Zebras is like being back in the Stone Age.

Huge Advantage: SONY

Dial & Button Set-up, Menu and Customization Options

Fortunately, I was — with Brian Sump’s help — able to re-configure the Canon buttons and dials so that control of ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture was fairly similar to what I have become used to with SONY. As far as the Menu and Customization Options, I feel that the SONY Menus are more intuitive than the R5 Menus and that SONY offers more options for customizing he various buttons and dials.

Advantage: SONY

Lens Speed

The RF 100-500 is f/7.1 at the long end while the SONY 200-600 is f/6.3 at the long end.

Small Advantage: SONY

Focal Length Ranges and Focal Lengths

On the surface, versatility, as determined by the focal length range of each lens alone, is just about even with each of these fine telephoto zooms offering a 400mm spread. (See more below Image #2 on what happens when you add a 1.4x teleconverter …) The focal length advantage (at 600mm) of the SONY 200-600 would seem to go clearly to Sony as compared to the Canon 100-500 at 500mm. There is, however, a fly in the ointment. The SONY lens exhibits considerable focus breathing — the length of the lens does not change when you zoom in or out. This is called internal focusing. When you are working with the SONY 2-6 at less than infinity, the focal length is well less than 600mm. Near the Minimum Focusing Distance (MFD), you are working somewhere in the vicinity of 540mm. As the 100-500 changes its physical length as you zoom, it exhibits less focus breathing than the SONY 200-600. Be sure to see the item on Focus Breathing in the blog post here.

That said, with the size of the bird in the frame being proportional to the square of the focal length, 29 (540 squared) is greater than 25 (5 squared). With distant subjects the math is even more striking with 36 (6 squared) being a lot greater than 25 (5 squared).

Advantage: SONY

Note that for ease of handling and when working on a tripod, I far prefer zoom lenses that focus internally (despite the problems related to focus breathing).

Minimum Focusing Distance

Continuing the close focus tradition of the Canon 100-400 II, the RF 100-500 at 500mm focuses down to 3.94 feet or 1.2 meters offering 0.33X maximum magnification. In comparison, the SONY 200-600 at about 540mm, focuses down to 7.87 feet of 2.4 meters with a maximum magnification of 0.2X. While the MFD of the SONY 200-600 is about half of the MFD of the SONY 600mm f/4 G lens, it pales in comparison to the MFD of the Canon RF 100-500. The latter will prove to be amazingly effective for mega-tight tame bird work, large flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, snakes, frogs, and the like.

Big Advantage: Canon

Note: according to the manufacturer’s specs, the Canon 100-400 II offers 0.31 X magnification at the long end while the SONY 100-400 GM offers 0.35X magnification at 400mm. The magnification is always greatest at the MFD.

Be sure to click on the image to better see the noise reduction on the water background.

Image #1A: Topaz DeNoise AI on Auto on the Great Egret immature landing in early morning light image at 100%

Topaz DeNoise AI on the Great Egret immature landing image

This screen capture dispels the myth that R5 images are pretty much noise free. As expected, you can see what I call “small pixel” noise in the before image on the left. Small pixel noise is a given with high megapixel cameras like the R5 (45 MP). Then note how beautifully Topaz DeNoise AI completely removed the noise from the blue water background. The unsharpness of the face, head, and eye are obvious at 100%. Topaz Sharpen AI to the rescue (as immediately below).

Be sure to click on the image to better see the increased sharpness on the face and the eye.

Image #1B: Topaz Sharpen AI on Auto on the on the Great Egret immature landing image at 100%

Topaz Sharpen AI on the Great Egret vertical image

Note that Topaz Sharpen AI on Auto has used the Stabilize mode; this indicates that the unsharpness about the head was primarily caused by motion blur. That said, I believe that the sharpest focus was slightly in front of the eye toward the bill tip. Note that in this case, I left the Noise Suppression slider at (the relatively low value of) 10, as it seemed to further reduce the background noise without doing anything funky to the image. Most of the time I will move that slider to zero when I have already run Topaz DeNoise AI on an image.

Again, Sharpen AI has taken a pretty poor, pretty much unusable image and transformed it into one that would look just fine when published or printed large.

This image was created on 27 November 2020 at Fort DeSoto Park. Again, I used the handheld Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens with the Canon Extender RF 1.4x (at 700mm) and the highly touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 800. Exposure determined by experience and luck and confirmed as near-perfect by RawDigger: 1/1000 sec. at f/11 (stopped down 1/3 stop) in Manual mode. AWB at 8:19am on then mostly sunny morning.

Face detection + Tracking/AI Servo AF was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Two Dunlin resting. The front bird is in first winter plumage.

Price Comparison

The Canon rig currently goes for $7,097.00. The SONY 2-6, a9 ii/FE TC 1.4X prices out right now at $7,044.00.

Advantage: let’s call this one a tie

Be sure to click on the image to better see the noise reduction on the out-of-focus Dunlin background.

Image #2A: Topaz DeNoise AI on Auto on the Two Dunlin resting image at 100%

Topaz DeNoise AI on the Two Dunlin resting image

Here again, this screen capture dispels the myth that R5 images are pretty much noise free. As expected, you can see what I call “small pixel” noise in the before image on our left. Small pixel noise is a given with high megapixel cameras like the R5 (45 MP). Then note how beautifully Topaz DeNoise AI completely removed the noise from the out-of-focus Dunlin background.

Note that the increased sharpness in the After image on our right, the crispy eye-skin, and the incredible fine feather detail as well. That brings us to File Size, Image Quality, Sharpness, and Fine Feather Detail (FFD) following Image #3.

This image was created on 29 November 2020 at Lakeland, FL. I used the handheld Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens with the Canon Extender RF 1.4x (at 599mm) and the highly touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 2500. Exposure determined by experience and luck and confirmed as perfect by RawDigger: 1/1000 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode. AWB at 7:52am on sunny morning.

Large Zone AF: Horizontal/AI Servo AF was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Image #3: Anhinga head portrait in early morning light

The color, image quality, and fine feather details of sharp R5 images are superb. This is a small crop from three sides yet the amount of detail in the eye and the feathers is reminiscent of that in sharp a7r iv images. I was becoming somewhat frustrated with the inability of Face detection + Tracking to acquire and hold focus so I tried Large Zone AF: Horizontal and was very impressed: 28 AF points plastered the bird’s head, face, eye, and the base of the bill.

With the RF 100-500’s f/7.1 aperture at the long end you are at f/10 with the 1.4 TC. I have a habit of stopping down 1/3 stop most of the time. I must admit that working at ISO 2500 in bright sun was a bit strange. This image exhibited plenty of noise that was easily cleaned up in Topaz DeNoise AI. Welcome to the new world of digital photography.

File Size, Image Quality, Sharpness, and Fine Feather Detail (FFD)

File size for the R5 is 45 MP. File size for the a9 ii is 24.2MP

Image quality is very good to excellent with the a9 ii, superb with the R5 (as a result of the R5’s larger files size).

Accurately focused files from the a9 series bodies are sharper as they come out of the camera than R5 files because the R5 has an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor and the a9 ii does not. Many so-called internet experts have missed this important distinction. Traditional out-of-camera sharpening methods, or — better yet — the non-destructive sharpening provided by Topaz DeNoise AI, render R5 files as very sharp. A9 ii files often appear insanely sharp right out of camera.

FFD detail with properly sharpened R5 images is- as seen in the DeNoise screen capture above (Image #3A) –incredibly superb. a9 ii FFD is excellent.

Advantage: Canon

Canon’s advantage as far in the file size, image quality, sharpness, and FFD category is tempered by the following:

With a 2x application of Topaz Gigapixel AI, image quality and FFD with a9 ii images rivals that of R5 images.

File size for the SONY a7r iv is 61MP. The AF system is excellent but not as good as with either the a9 ii or the R5. I use my a7r iv often for static bird portraits, flowers, and the occasional spider. Image quality and FFD with sharp a7r iv images is astounding.

The Canon Extender RF 1.4x

So far, I have used the RF 1.4X teleconverter for almost every image that I have created with the R5/RF 100-500 combo. AF performance and image quality and sharpness have been superb with the TC in place. The same can be said of the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter with the a9ii/200-600 rig.

Advantage: tie

The Canon Extender RF 1.4x: Design and Size

When I was photographing the Dunlin at DeSoto, there were two birds sleeping about a foot apart; I thought that they might make a nice wide image. But a funny thing happened on the way to zooming out: the RF 100-500mm lens got stuck at the 300mm mark — 420mm with the 1.4X TC in place. At first, I thought that the lens was broken, but then I remembered hearing that with the TC in place the 100-500 would only zoom out to the 300mm setting because the front element of the TC prevented the lens from zooming out fully. So instead of having a 140-700mm zoom with the TC in place, you actually have a 420mm to 700mm zoom. This severely hampers the versatility of this combination. Coming in at 280 to 840mm, the SONY 200-600 with the TC is far more versatile.

The RF 1.4X TC is physically larger and heavier than the Sony FE 1.4X TC. At 7.9 ounces (almost a full half pound), it is 34% heavier than the Sony FE 1.4X TC (5.9 ounces).

Advantage: SONY

Both manufacturers are to be chided for their failure to place red indicators as needed on the camera bodies, lens mounts, and especially on the front and rear teleconverter caps. Having to struggle to mount or get the caps on a TC will often cause you to lose valuable seconds and miss a good shots. I mark all of my caps with an indelible silver Sharpie, but the marks wear off in time and I cannot do that with my Canon stuff as I do not own it … Yet?

Audio Clicks in Electronic Shutter

Both the a9 ii and the R5 are advertised at 20 fps when using the Electronic Shutter. The frame-rate of the R5 might or might not drop when the battery charge is less than 60%. (The literature indicates that the R5 frame-rate does drop when the battery charge is less than 60% and you are working with the Mechanical Shutter, but says nothing about working in Electronic Shutter with reduced battery power.

Two years ago, I had long been accustomed to hearing a sound when the shutter releases. When I first played with a SONY a9 series body, it killed me that the camera was silent when in Electronic Shutter. I could not tell when the camera fired. I learned quickly that there is a Menu Item that allows you to add a click sound when the shutter releases even when in Electronic Shutter. To do that, go to Camera 2 (Purple) and then to screen 11/11. You will see Audio Signals. I set mine to On: e-shutter only so that I hear the click each time that the shutter fires.

The R5 is 100% silent in in Electronic Shutter. A white frame flashes around the edge of the viewfinder with each shutter release. The a9 ii performs similarly except that the box is black and well inside the edge of the viewfinder. I do not like having to rely on this type of aid because doing so keeps you from concentrating on framing and image design …

The first time that I used the R5 I could not tell when the camera fired. As a result, I wound up creating 15 to 25 images each time I pressed the shutter button. I typically shoot in bursts of three. I checked around and learned that you cannot add an audio click when working in Electronic Shutter. For me, this is a big negative.

Advantage: SONY

Frame-Rate

Both the a9 ii and the R5 are advertised at 20 fps when using the Electronic Shutter. The frame-rate of the R5 might or might not drop when the battery charge is less than 60%. (The literature indicates that the R5 frame-rate does drop when the battery charge is less than 60% and you are working with the Mechanical Shutter, but says nothing about working in Electronic Shutter with reduced battery power.

To me, the frame rate of the R5 (in Electronic Shutter) seems much faster to me than the frame rate of the a9 ii. This might be due to one or more of the following:

1- The lack of an audio click.

2- A more sensitive shutter button.

3- My possible tendency to be lighter on the shutter button when I can hear the shutter firing.

I might try slowing down the R5 from High Speed Continuous Plus to High Speed Continuous; I need to do some research to see what that does to the frame rate.

Advantage: Canon

Battery Life

As noted above, battery life with the R5 seems poor. On my first day of working with the Canon gear the battery was dead by 9:00am despite that fact that it was not a great session. Battery life with all of the high-end SONY bodies is excellent. I do not use a battery grip (to save weight) and I have had to change a battery in the field only once. Anita North — who shoots a lot more aggressively than I do — always has an extra SONY battery or two with her in the field, and she changes them fairly often.

Big Advantage: SONY

Flash Cards

There is a ton online about the R5 buffer filling with slow-to-read and slow-to-write SONY and SanDisk flash cards. The R5 has slots for both CFexpress Type B and UHS II flash cards. I never thought that I would get used to the small size of the UHS cards, but I have. I was glad to learn that the R5 accepted the Prime SD UHS II cards that I have used with my SONY bodies from Day 1. Better yet, they are super-fast. Despite creating as many as 25 images with a single press of the shutter button, I never filled the R5 buffer. I use both 64 and 128 GB Delkin Power SD UHS II cards.

You can learn why I have been using Delkin cards for the past two decades in the blog post here.

Advantage: Delkin

Power SD UHS II cards

SD UHS II

You can purchase the world’s best SD UHS II cards in the BAA Online Store by clicking here. These are perfect for all of my SONY bodies and more recently, for the Canon R5.

Typos

Feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :). with love, artie

36 comments to An Honest and Extensive Comparison: the Canon R5/RF 100-500L IS lens/Extender 1.4X versus the SONY a9 ii/200-600 G OSS lens/FE Teleconverter 1.4X. And more Topaz DeNoise AI and Sharpen AI examples & tips.

  • avatar Al C.

    The R5 will continue to shoot at 12 fps well below the documented 60% rate. I can go down to to 42% battery life and still get 12 fps, but after that it takes a nose dive. You can also get 12 fps with the 7D2 batteries (LP-e6n). I don’t shoot with the electronic shutter, at least not yet, so I can’t attest to that. I use a battery grip (always have with all cameras) because I hate having to ever change batteries in the field, which, in the past, has proven to always happen at the wrong time (i.e. missing fishing Eagle shots). The small weight penalty, but better ergonomics and extended battery life, is worth it to me.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Al. Whatever works for you is best. I have done 99% of my work with the R5 with Electronic Shutter. Correct me if I am wrong, when you use Mechanical Shutter you are putting mileage on the tires so to speak …

      with love, artie

      • avatar Al C.

        I’m not sure about the mileage thing. I have not used the electronic shutter, but maybe once. I have not had many opportunities for BIF shots and don’t want to sift through 100 of the same static images. Now, that it’s colder up North, we are getting water fowls, so I will have some opportunities for more BIF shots and get some use from electronic shutter. Btw, do you have any experience with the Electronic First Curtain Shutter?

        Peace…

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Hi Again Al,

          What I was thinking with the mileage count is that with mechanical shutter I would assume that you are increasing the shutter count which at times reduces the resale value. And I do not believe that that is the case when using ES.

          with love, arite

  • avatar D Kettles

    Thanks for these comprehensive comments on the two systems.
    Must admit to a chuckle about Zebras. I wholeheartedly agree that this is a huge plus for Sony, and seriously wonder whether this must be able to be added to R via firmware. Seems plausible? I am hoping so!
    Nevertheless, you are the guy who can teach exposure and share that knowledge with others, over decades. Nail it every time. Now you need zebras….. I think that it simply demonstrates how technology advances, we take advantage of that, adapt our technique accordingly, and get better and better images….Enjoy the rest of your Canon learnings….and thanks for your many inputs.
    Dave.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Dave. Thanks for leaving a comment. Zebras for still with the R5 and R6 would be welcomed at least by me.

      And yes, horse-drawn wagons worked well at the time, but cars and trains and planes are pretty neat. Working extensively with the Canon loaner gear met biggest problem is with exposure. SONY Zebras make it so, so easy, and easy to adjust on the fly. Canon is tedious — the histogram does not see or register the highlights well and having to take test images is a huge setback to progress …

      with love, artie

  • avatar Ray

    My first interest is the price

  • avatar Doug

    Nice review Art.
    I am told the R5 files are 14 bit when shooting mechanical shutter but 12 bit when shooting electronic shutter. Is there a real world difference when editing the two files.

    Doug

  • Good evening Guru. Hope you’re doing fine.

    Read your great review of the Canon mirrorless systems. Thank you very much for that.

    Since I’ve invested in some great Canon glasses; I was thinking how about an MILC body, preferably EOS R6! Perhaps I might get one shortly.

    In that case, I’ll use my regular companion EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II with 2x full time via an adaptor. I may even stack one 1.4x with it as well to further enhance the reach knowing fully well even this combo will AF on that body.

    Thanks again.

  • avatar Ryan Sanderson

    Artie,

    If you don’t want to do the back button focus as your go to method, I think you may still want to consider adding a spot focus BBF option that you can utilize if your camera loses focus on a distant background and refuses to try and find your near subject. (I know you don’t want to do BBF, but perhaps your readers are interested in this strategy.) You could leave the shutter mechanism as Face Tracking and use it by default, but if you end up having the camera get stuck focused on a distant background, it can be exceedingly difficult to get it to try to focus on something near. It will much more easily focus with the precision spot focus AF point. It may get confusing using BBF on occasion, though.

    If you point the lens at the ground nearby the camera will AF 99+ percent of the time …

    I was a focus on the shutter button guy forever, but switched to BBF and felt completely at home in about one hour of usage. My AF-ON button is set for precision spot focus (and this is also active on the shutter button focus), the * is set for eye AF, and I have zone AF set on the button to the right of *. There is no way someone could toggle through the various focus options with the top right button and the M-Fn button as fast as one could switch between the three back buttons because the M-Fn button requires the shutter finger to move back and forth.

    I will give you a call on that …

    My typical usage of these modes is as follows: I usually have been using the Face Tracking/Eye AF mode by default if my subject is obvious in the viewfinder. By obvious, I mean that is is not obscured or buried deep in foliage. Birds in flight that are fairly large in the frame do great in this mode (with initial AF point set to AUTO). I rarely if ever touch any other AF methods here, although if I notice that I’m having a really difficult time picking something up or tracking it, I will try the wide zone AF area. I don’t use the spot option for BIF.

    I am good with that (but for the method …)

    If I use the spot option, I almost always use it to try and pick out a somewhat obscured bird, or one that is not necessarily obvious in the frame. Once the bird is in focus in the center of the EVF, then I switch to Eye AF and it usually picks up the eye and tracks extraordinarily well.

    I try to stay away from photographing obscured birds πŸ™‚

    The other piece of information you may want to consider is that the R5, when comparing it to the pixel density of the A9II, is essentially double. This is almost he equivalent of having a 1.4X TC built in with R5. This doesn’t account for the larger aperture of the 200-600, though.

    I am loving that and the R5 image files …

    Overall I have found my R5 to outperform the 1DX3 in nearly all measures except for trying to AF on a bird perched in dense foliage. The precision AF point of the DSLRs allows for a much faster focus and finding of these subjects in these situations where the R5 often gets stuck on a distant background and refuses to try and find the subject you’re looking for, particularly if using the zone or face tracking modes.

    Thanks for that.

    I hope you’ve been able to try some flight shots with the initial AF point set to AUTO. That seems to work better than the A9/200-600 did with the small zone AF area for BIF for me, although I never got to compare the two rigs side by side. I owned the A9/200-600 for about 8 months prior to getting my two Canon R5s.

    I had a few chances on the vultures and AUTO worked very well.

    thanks with love, artie

  • Hi Artie,

    I like to lay low in the mud at Jamaica Bay, which makes weather-sealing important. As I understand, the R5 is very well weather-sealed, and as per the reviews, even the battery compartment door sports strong sealing. What I could not find is mention of is if the integrity of the sealing is maintained when the battery grip is equipped (or even if the grip itself is sealed). Do you have any insights on that front?

    Best,
    -Matthew

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Matthew,

      What time of year at JBWR?
      I have not used the grip on the R5. It seemed to be quite well sealed. I will check with Rudy Winston of Canon. I do know that my a9 ii and my a7r iv each took direct hits from waves (saltwater, of course), and both are still ticking. I would not be very concerned about a bit of sand or mud.

      If you get one and a grip, please do so via Bedfords. Right now he has very few adapters and is saving them for folks who buy an R5 or an R6.

      with love, a

      • Thanks Artie. Appreciate your guidance. I will check out Bedfords when I get closer to pulling the trigger.

        I frequent JBWR through-out the year, as I live in Queens.

        Best,
        -matthew

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Thanks. The only mud-crawling I know of was July through maybe October …

          Have things changed?

          with love, a

          • Apologies for the lack of clarity. I am already planning for next year. πŸ™‚ Things at JBWR have not changed with regard to the lowering of the East Pond waters to expose the mudflats. The waters of the East Pond have been flooded and the waterfowl have taken up residence.

            I visited Nickerson last weekend and ran into a decently sized mixed flock of dunlin, sanderlings, various gulls, with a few horned larks slightly up the beach; no snowy owls.

            Best,
            -matthew

  • avatar Adam

    #2: I too like the button and dial layout of the a9 ii better than the R5 but that is due in part to familiarity with the SONY gear …

    #3: I am confused by your last sentence: I have the R5 set up with ISO on the large rear wheel, same as with SONY.

    For BIF since I am less likely to change aperture, I have the small vertical thumbwheel as Tv, the large posterior wheel as aperture, and the small horizontal wheel just above the BBF buttons as ISO. This way, I can rapidly and efficiently adjust ISO especially in changing light conditions. It’s simply one approach.

    I find the wheel much easier to turn than the small horizontal wheel … And I am betting that if you switch you will too. Furthermore, you would rarely need to change the aperture when doing birds in flight. Sometimes better is simply better πŸ™‚
    ————————
    What do you mean by ES Servo??? Do you know the difference between Continuous High Plus and Continuous High on the R5?

    ES – Electronic shutter. In ES mode, there isn’t a difference (see specifications table in manual). In ES, HS+, HS, LS are all 20 FPS. In EFCS/MS, it is 12, 8, 3, and in MS 12, 6, 3. Recognize that battery capacity affects only EFCS/MS and MS.

    How much sense does this make: “In ES, HS+, HS, LS are all 20 FPS”? None, actually.
    ———————-
    The other points are largely observational differences. I loved my Sony gear and enjoy my Canon stuff as well. As I mentioned, if I didn’t have such an extensive library of Canon glass which had been so depreciated, I probably would have switched. Interestingly, I am waiting to see whether one system or the other performs better in adverse conditions. Last year, I had my Sony gear in the rain and temperatures as low as -5 deg F and it functioned flawlessly. Will the Canon rig do as well? Conversely, how will they perform in hot environments as I had my Sony stuff at 104-108 without heating issues, noise, etc?

    The R5 seems quite sturdy. Sometimes looks can be deceiving …

    Likewise, I could care less what systems people use as long as they are having fun, learning, and accomplishing what they set out to do. The technological advancements have been stunning and with the prospects for the new lenses and gear from Sony and Canon, it has never been a better time to be out there shooting.

    Cheers.

    I could not agree more.

    with love, a

  • avatar Carol Nichols

    Artie – Thanks so much for this extensive comparison. I am a Canon user and have been waiting for a Canon mirrorless camera that rivals Sony’s.

    I have a question about the buttons, dials and menu on the R5. You said that you don’t like the R5 buttons, dials and menu as compared to the Sony menu that you are used to, but since I would be coming from the 5D4 menu, would it be a relatively easy adjustment to go to the buttons, dials and menu on the R5?

    Thanks!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      For the most part, yes. Get in touch with Steve ASAP πŸ™‚

      with love, artie

      p: if I were still using Canon gear I would own two of these.

  • avatar Joel Eade

    Great, informative review….Thanks!

    I would like confirm that the RF to EF adapter works flawlessly.

    It is merely a spacer (no glass) with the proper mounts on each end and the required electronic connections to maintain communication between camera and lens. It is less than an inch deep and the weight is negligible.

    All my EF lenses work perfectly, no degradation of AF performance or image quality.

    The cost of getting all new glass is the primary reason I chose the R5 as opposed to switching to Sony.

    • avatar Adam

      “The cost of getting all new glass is the primary reason I chose the R5 as opposed to switching to Sony.”

      This is a very compelling reason for a lot of users, myself included. About a year and a half ago, I had started the transition to Sony though held on to my extensive library of Canon EF glass. The market for Canon lenses had dropped out and it was difficult for me to sell these perfectly capable lenses at such a steep discount. The R5 came on the scene, was competitive, and made the glass whole again.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        I am glad for Canon folks that they finally have a great AF body that is light in weight, high in speed, and produces lovely image files.

        with love, a

  • avatar Adam

    A fantastic and largely accurate review, Maestro though I would add a couple of thoughts:

    Thanks, Doc. I am sure that I left some stuff out and equally sure that I will learn a ton more in the coming weeks. Heck, I already did that this morning. I tried Geoff’s suggestion for improving Face detection + Tracking AF this morning doing cranes and vultures in low light and there was a big improvement. Huge thanks to Geoff.

    1) Anti-alias filter. The R5 purportedly uses a redesigned AA filter from the 1dxmkiii though it has a fairly strong effect in my opinion. The a7riv does not use an AA filter (more susceptible to CA and Moire) while the a9 has an AA filter (https://blog.kasson.com/a9/sony-a9-has-an-aa-filter/). I still give the edge to Sony though it might be a more accurate comparison to look at a9ii vs. R6.

    Agree. And thanks for pointing out my error. The low light R5 images were looking very sharp right out of camera this morning …

    2) BBF. I know this is a bone of contention of yours and in some respects, it is not ideal. Like many ergonomic and operational differences, it is a learned function. While it might not be ideal, I have no difficulty using two buttons side-by-side programmed one for Face Tracking + Eye vs. Large Horizontal zone to take advantage of AF limitations. FWIW, though I like the button layout and feel of the A9(ii) better, along with the multifunction ability of the large rotating dial, the R5 is actually easier to manipulate manual ISO changes (if one is not in auto ISO) with the convenient ISO control knob.

    #1: With SONY I use Center Zone for flight, acquire focus almost instantly, and 99% of the images are razor sharp on the eye. I do not want to have to jump through hoops to do flight photography. At least we agree that the situation with the R5 is less than ideal πŸ™‚ And then there’s that thing about an old dog …

    #2: I too like the button and dial layout of the a9 ii better than the R5 but that is due in part to familiarity with the SONY gear …

    #3: I am confused by your last sentence: I have the R5 set up with ISO on the large rear wheel, same as with SONY.

    3) Battery life. Big advantage for the Sony though, if one doesn’t use the touch control screen (I have mine turned around) and makes some other changes, it is still very good. With the new battery and a spare, I can easily accomplish a full day of shooting in the field.

    You need to come to Florida or San Diego where we will quickly run down your SONY batteries πŸ™‚

    4) Frame Rate. The edge in my opinion goes to the a9(ii) because it can be adjusted unlike the R5. While I love the 20 FPS in ES (which doesn’t decrease with remaining battery life, unlike MS)

    Thanks for that. I can always use a good researcher πŸ™‚

    it is the only frame rate for ES servo mode. If Canon added a second, say 10-12fps, it would be ideal and I don’t see why this can’t be accomplished in a firmware update.

    What do you mean by ES Servo??? Do you know the difference between Continuous High Plus and Continuous High on the R5?

    Agree that the shutter button is way too sensitive and the lack of feedback whether visual, audio, or vibrational is a disadvantage.

    My brain was somehow better connected to the flashing frame this morning so I was better able to manage excessive captures …

    Interestingly, you didn’t discuss the differences between the bodies in ES vs. MS modes, nor the distinctions between the EVF’s and LCD’s.

    No knowledge, no comment. When I use the R% or the a9 ii I always want to be prepared for action and flight. But on second thought, you may have a good point. With 45mp the R5 can go both ways very nicely. I will need to add that to My Menu.

    5) IQ. A very subjective and sensitive subject and I am impressed that the a9(ii) images upscaled so favorably in your opinion to the R5.

    I have done very few but have been impressed. I am sure that more discerning eyes than mine might feel differently … Not to mention that sharp a9 ii files do not suck πŸ™‚

    It may be the result of the lower noise and weaker AA filter. That being said, there are two additional observations I would add. First, the a9(ii) preserves highlights better than the R5. I haven’t played around with preserve highlight features which was added to Canon several years ago, however there is a noticeable and significant difference.

    I am not sure that I agree there. If you do try Highlight Priority Tone remember that you must convert in DPP4. On a possible related note, I have seen that you need to be really careful of the highlights with the R5 when the sun is out. I toasted quite a few images on that first morning in Lakeland. But I think that that is more a matter of fine-tuning the exposures with the R5 — that is much more difficult to do without Zebras. That is one of the huge advantages of the a9 ii over the R5.

    The lack of zebra function in the R5 is huge and a big miss IMHO.

    Bigger than that for me.

    Overall, apart from the relatively reduced sharpness compared to the a9(ii) files and highlight issues, I find the Canon colors more pleasing and the images require less manipulation in post processing.

    Again, I am not sure that I agree here. I convert my a9 ii images in Capture One with very little time and effort and they have always looked pretty good to me. Judging IQ and color in raw files from different camera bodies is 100% personal and subjective …

    The R5 AWB is better and I find myself spending less time tweaking color balance.

    Disagree again πŸ™‚

    Again, this is very user dependent.

    Agree!

    6) Adapted Lenses – while you didn’t specifically test this feature, the availability of high quality, comparatively less expensive adapted EF glass is a game changer in my opinion.

    Very confused; the last time that I checked the Canon 600 III goes for $12,999.00 and the better balanced lighter-by-one-ounce SONY 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens goes for a dollar less, $12,998.00 πŸ™‚ Not to mention that the EF lenses are not ideally optimized to work with the R5. So yes, Canon has lots or EF lenses but they seem less expensive because folks already own them πŸ™‚

    Though I know you’re not a fan of using adapters, Canon smartly took advantage of their extensive catalog of lens offerings and made sure they worked on the new R bodies. And work they do, flawlessly.

    Let’s see what folks say when Canon comes out with an RF 600mm f/4 for about $17,000.00. πŸ™‚

    A user can pick up a used 400 do is II, 500 is ii, 600 is ii (or iii) for relative peanuts compared to Sony.

    500 II and 600 II are relatively heavy. Another way to look at it is that nobody is selling their SONY lenses because they are so good. Not to mention that the Canon RF 100-500 goes for $2699.00 while the SONY 200-600 costs only $1998.00 — $601.00 less then the 1-5 (if my math is correct).

    While I give the nod to the 200-600 for a variety of reasons over the Canon 100-500, apart from jumping to the $13k Sony 600 f/4 there is a huge vacuum in the Sony line for birders or WL photographers.

    I agree but only 100%. SONY needs a 300mm f/2.8 and some sort of 500mm, either an f/4 or a lighter f/4.5 version. And a 180 or 200mm macro. Those for starters. What else is missing?

    A good used Canon 500 is ii can be had for $5-7k and a 400 do is ii can be picked up in the mid $3k. That reason alone is sufficient for many people to consider the Canon bodies.

    I do appreciate that money is a concern for many. In truth, I could give a rat’s a _ _ whether folks use Canon or Sony or Nikon or Olympus (as Andy Rouse does). What I am trying to do is learn about possibly excellent gear and share my thoughts and opinions so that folks can do what is best for them. I just hope that they use my affiliate links when they purchase new gear or the BAA Used Gear Page when they are looking for used gear.

    Cheers!

    Thanks, Adam. And thanks for sharing your incisive thoughts, comments and questions. I wanted to make sure that I was using incisive correctly so I came up with this: intelligently analytical and clear-thinking. I was right!

    with love, a

  • avatar Narayanan

    Hi Artie,

    Thanks for the great comparison ! I am renting an R5 and 70 200 this Christmas. What adapter do I need to use my Canon 500mm F4 IS II ?

    Would like to know why you stated ” at f/10 (wide open!) “. Also, I have wondered what is the ideal aperture while shooting birds in flight. I found it very hard to get all the bird in focus in such situations.

    Thank you
    Narayanan Mangalath

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Narayanan,

      You are welcome. You can find all the info on the adapters in the blog post here. You might want to consider buying an R5 from Bedford right now and saving the money spent on the rental. Why? When you use it you will want it.

      The 100-500 at the long end is at f/7.1 You lose one stop when adding the TC. f/8 with one stop lost is f/11. So f/7.1 with one stop lost is f/10 πŸ™‚

      With rare exception, I work wide open or stopped down 1/3 stop when photographing birds in flight? Why? The are nearly always far enough away so that the wide open d-o-f is more than enough to “cover” the whole subject. Remember that d-o0f increases as the distance to the subject increases … In addition, wide open gets you the fastest shutter speed for a given aperture.

      Lastly, if the bird in flight is really close stopping down will not help get the whole thing covered by the d-o-f. Get the eye sharp and damn the d-o-f πŸ™‚

      with love, a

      • avatar Narayanan

        Thank you for the explanation of wide open and the adapter blogpost reference Artie !

        I am yet to use my 1DX, that I bought used from birdsasart, to its full potential. I need to do more in flight. I don’t see buying R5 any sooner πŸ™‚ Anyway, renting it will be one step closer in understanding the mirrorless world ! I am definitely feeling the weight of 1DX and 500 II. It is definitely pulling me back from going back more often. I used to go out more often when I just had the 400mm 5.6 prime !

        The adapter blog is awesome, Thanks again Artie !

        Thanks
        Narayanan

  • avatar ChicagoJeff

    Artie – Regardless of brand, what are the advantages of a mirrorless camera body?

    MCBs are far lighter. Many — but not all — offer far superior AF systems. No blackout when using electronic shutter allows you to improve your panning. Exposure simulation in the viewfinder, trumped by SONY’s amazing Zebras where you see the blinkies live in the viewfinder without the need to take a test exposure.

    Also, don’t you think the “Focal Length Ranges and Focal Lengths” advantage would go to Canon since there are approximately a bazillion EOS lenses on the market from 8mm to 800mm?

    This article compares the Canon RF 100-500 to the SONY 200-600, so to answer your question, “No.” Yes, Canon has a quadrillion EF lenses in their line-up but you need an adapter to use them. Though by all reports, the adapters seem to work very well, they are a bit clunky and cumbersome and add a bit of weight as well.

    I said to Brian Sump when visiting him in Colorado, have your checkbook ready when Canon does release an RF 600mm f/4 lens. I suspect that one will set you back somewhere between $16,000 and $18,000 US.

    with love, a

    Have a great weekend.

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Possibly a typo re the winner under the Canon Extender design & size?

  • avatar Jordan Cait

    Thank you for sharing this unbiased review. You have raised some interesting points. Do you plan on comparing these two cameras with available primes? I appreciate that, at this point, you would have to use the Canon adapter to compare 600 f4 as the only long RFs are at f11.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Jordon, You are most welcome. I do not plan on comparing the R5 with the a9 ii with any long prime lenses. What would be interesting is an adapter that would allow me to effectively put an R5 onto the SONY 600mm f/4 OSS GM lens. That would get my attention, at least until the SONY a9 X is released πŸ™‚

      And yes, there are no fast, long RF primes available from Canon at present. SONY has two — the 600 GM and the 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS. And great TCs to go with them.

      With Topaz DeNoise AI the very slow RF 600mm and 800mm become more viable (though surely less than ideal).

      with love, artie

  • avatar Dietmar Haenchen

    Hi Artie,

    thank you for this comprehensive comparison. I learned a lot here. With regard to comparing the teleconverters on the long zooms under “The Canon Extender RF 1.4x: Design and Size” you stated “Advantage: Canon”. I concluded that the advantage should be with Sony. Erroneous statement?

    Regards,

    Dietmar

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