Canon 1D X Mark III Versus Sony a9 II: Which Camera Should You Buy?

When it comes to flagship cameras, most photographers tend to buy into one brand and stick with them. It's not very often that people who shoot with these cameras switch from one camera brand to another. A big reason for this is because familiarity is valuable and especially useful when shoots are critical. 

Over the last few years, it seems that more photographers have been switching brands. With companies like Sony now producing competing flagship cameras, even photographers that shoot with these types of systems have seemingly started to shop around. We've seen how Sony has managed to gain a huge chunk of the photography market, and cameras like the a9 and a9 II have played a big part in that. Having the ability to shoot 20 fps without any blackout is pretty incredible and extremely useful.

Not to be outdone, Canon's latest release, the 1D X Mark III, looks like it's all kinds of wonderful. It too can shoot up to 20 fps, and although it may not be without any blackout, it manages it with the mechanical shutter; making it very useful when shooting a fast subject. The major downside of this camera is the price point. The Canon is $2,000 more than the Sony, but does it offer $2,000 more in terms of camera? 

A recent video from photographer and YouTuber Jared Polin discusses the main differences between both of these camera systems. If you're on the fence between both of these cameras, then you may find this video useful. 

Check out the full video to see how both cameras compare to one another. 

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stuartcarver's picture


g coll's picture

Okay, but why not?

stuartcarver's picture

Because I have zero interest in Canon nor Sony.. and never will have.

g coll's picture

I don't understand why you commented then.

stuartcarver's picture

I don’t understand why you needed to reply to me either, but here we are.

The author posted a question saying which one should you buy, my answer is neither, it’s quite a simple concept to understand.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

The previous model, a9. I swear, if Sony does the $1000 rebates again this year like they did last year, I'm snatchin' one.

Tony Tumminello's picture

Why settle for anything less than both?

davidlovephotog's picture

Depends if you have an iphone cause you know, it's magic and stuff.

Deleted Account's picture

A global economy where the wheels are coming off. Yeah, spending a bucket load of money is a grand idea.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Like I'm going to click on a video from that guy! No no, I'm not making that mistake again!

super steel_'s picture

him and northrup. I liked when jared was more humble. hes gotten arrogant and you can see it.

northrup is a whiner. he likes to poke to instigate and make things seem bad. constantly pinning one against the other. just to create drama. and that old mans wig....why is he wearing a wig?

Rayann Elzein's picture

Oh yeah, Northrup too haha! But hey, it works, right? They probably both make a fortune like that, and we're the ones doing it wrong haha!

sam dasso's picture

With Olympics canceled, with all sports canceled, with stay at home orders for bunch of people - why would anybody want to pay full price for either of these two cameras?

super steel_'s picture

everyone is in hunkered down in survival mode. I guessing a very select few are buying these at full price,and because of the situation and no sports or anything to shoot.

super steel_'s picture

im a single digit nikon user and would love the canon. they really went all in. the d6 is a slight step up but the canon really was invested in.

Alex Yakimov's picture

Its not a good time for switching brands. Stay home, happiness comes from within.

Reginald Walton's picture

I would "suppose" that if you're in either the Canon or the Sony ecco system already, the choice is obvious.

C H's picture

Which Camera Should You Buy?

Easy choice: The camera with the mount you have already bought in with thousands of dollars in high quality native lenses.

This is a question you can better ask with entry level cameras.

Edgar Moskopp's picture

“I am sure that people who plan to buy either of these 2 cameras will rely on a verdict from this guy”. Said no one ever.

vik .'s picture

...give me the one that can stand a strong rain or a hard drop, i'm tired of toys i wanna a work tool.

David Pavlich's picture

I understand the 'hunker down' condition that we're in. Does that mean that we can't read an article that talks about buying one or the other? It's just an article. Should this sort of article be banned from F Stoppers because it isn't about photographing during a lock down?

We have plenty of gloom and doom and all the stories that it's generating. Fact is, if you're reading this article on your computer, there's a better than 50/50 chance that you're at home. Take it for what it is.

Now, to answer the question, if I had the correct lottery numbers, it would be the Canon, no doubt.

Richard King's picture

What's the obsession with comparing cameras

If you are the sort of professional that shoots with a flagship camera, you don't care for all this stuff

Each professional has a different need. For some it's bulletproof resilliance in hostile environments. For others is how fast they can get the image to thier press desk. Others work in a team that all shoot one brand, and use a pool of cameras and lenses from that pool of gear

These sorts of qualities don't really come out in side by side comparisons

David Pavlich's picture

"If you are the sort of professional that shoots with a flagship camera, you don't care for all this stuff"

True enough. How about someone that wishes to adventure into this sort of camera? I know several photographers that pretty much shoot the same thing that I do that use D5s and 1Dxs, none of which are pros. Doing online research is part of what I do when thinking about a new lens or camera and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I know the video guys that I trust and will go to there webpages and You Tube sites to see what they think. I can't put my hands on that stuff and test it out in the real world. I'd say we're lucky in some respects that there are those out there that have the where with all to do this sort of comparison.

sam dasso's picture

Completely disagree. You need to compare brands when you buy your first camera, not the top of the line. I have $35K in Sony cameras and lenses, I'll be stupid to look for Canon for an upgrade. Same is true for Canon user who already has substantial investment in Canon system. These two cameras are designed for sports photojournalists and I bet they don't need an advise from some random guy on YouTube.

David Pavlich's picture

Opinion vary. As far as being 'stupid' making a move to Canon, if it's in your budget, I'd say it would be a good move. ;-)

Richard King's picture

This is true, I still have my first Nikon film camera

I chose it, because it felt the most natural and comfy in my hands

I have recently shot with other photographers Canons and Sonys. They still feel awkward ergonomicly for me