Unfortunately, I am unable to purchase each of these systems individually and make a rational decision in that way. I am simply presented with the information on the internet and asked to determine the winner as all of you are. With that in mind I have become something of an expert at determining winners in this fashion.
I have compiled a chart of the relevant reasons to purchase each one of the above systems. As you may note I have excluded Nikon’s F mount for the simple fact that I know the least about it.
On the other hand, I have included Canon’s EF mount because it is by far the dominant mount even with the ongoing switch to mirrorless. There really isn’t anything wrong with EF mount from a technology standpoint.
I personally think that the industry is probably headed towards a mirrorless future, so I’ve decided to focus mostly on mirrorless. And because of the wide adoption of EF mount that Canon achieved I’m including EF lenses and cameras in this comparison chart.
A solid new system from Nikon with decent lenses and some exciting new camera bodies like the Z9.
Entry Level lenses are very good, but a little higher priced. Rapid improvements have been made with new iterations of camera bodies. Nikon’s newest Z9 is poised to be one of their best cameras ever, assuming they meet all the high expectations that have been set.
Nikon still makes decent gear, I’m sure they will find some followers. But it’s going to be hard to compete with the Sony hype machine that is in full swing right now. I read that there were issues with the early cameras which probably hurt them right out of the gates.
Nikon Z had some stumbles out of the gate, but they’ve started to catch up. Cameras like the Z9 have Nikon execs making big promises that it will meet all expectations. Whether the Z9 ends up being the revolution that Nikon promises remains to be seen.
The most established FF mirrorless system that has gained the most traction amongst amateurs although more and more professionals are picking up Sony bodies these days.
Well established in the mirrorless space, Sony has a lot to offer. Good cameras and an ever-improving selection of lenses. Sony helped push the market to go mirrorless and helped bring down prices in the marketplace. Kudos to them for doing that.
They easily have the most confusing lineup in the history of camera gear. All the models look practically the same, have very similar names that are typically differentiated by one letter or number added on. Are they trying to be confusing? So, there is an a7 III, a7s III, a7r III a7r IV, a7 IV, a7 II, currently for sale. The a7s III is newer and more expensive than the a7r IV… Say what? But the a7 IV is newer and cheaper than both of those…
Sony has their work cut out for them with Canon releasing some good cameras like the R5 and the R3. Sony immediately countered the R5 with the even more impressive A1. But it was a bit of a wet mop situation there. Priced at $6,500 the A1 is nearly $3,000 more than the R5. I’m not going to down the camera, it performs very, very well, and a Sony pro will be well served by the A1. I think it’s fair to say that while you may pay a lot for the Sony gear, you’re getting cameras and lenses that can do professional work.
The so far somewhat boring but functional mirrorless system from Canon. Unlike the other’s they seem intent on underachieving by as much as possible with each new release.
Canon always manages at least a few killer products. On RF mount they’ve been pushing boundaries with wider focal ranges and bigger apertures than we’ve seen before. Canon has been all over the map answering calls for lenses at all sorts of price points and focal lengths.
It’s hard to say what is and isn’t a con with Canon, if I had to pick one thing it’s that the company is boring to many people. Are they actually boring? Not really, but their presentation certainly is. Where companies like Apple could sell a shiny rock to their customers, Canon seems to believe that a policy of self-flagellation is what will sell the most cameras.
Canon doesn’t seem particularly perturbed by Sony or Nikon, although recent efforts like the R5 and R3 do point to at least a slight sense of urgency. Based on recent sales data Canon is selling strong in the FF mirrorless world, pretty much on par with Sony. The fact that acquiring some Canon gear is next to impossible is probably hurting their sales somewhat too. All in all, Canon seems well poised to continue having a big presence in the camera world of the future.
The market leader by number of users and still by far the largest system of the bunch. I think Canon claims to have sold around 130 million EF lenses.
Canon EF is a proven system with great lenses, solid cameras, and a nice upgrade path for amateurs to follow. If you like optical viewfinders, it’s not a terrible system to invest in as EF mount lenses are easily adaptable with full AF functionality to Canon RF.
EF mount may or may not stick around for long. No doubt there will be new cameras in the future, will they be as good or better than what RF mount offers? Nobody knows. The good news is, as of right now Canon seems pretty consistent about getting EF mount lenses to work on RF mount.
Nobody knows where EF mount is headed. But top EF mount L lenses are still as expensive as ever and appear to still be coveted by many photographers. Canon really built a great reputation with EF mount mainly through excellent lenses. It’s likely that EF mount may be left as is, but I do think it would be smart for Canon to release a couple EF mount lenses due to their ability to be mounted on any and all mirrorless camera bodies via an adapter.