Canon 1D X Mark III Versus Sony a9 II: Which Has Better Autofocus?

Canon 1D X Mark III Versus Sony a9 II: Which Has Better Autofocus?

The two heavyweights when it comes to flagship sports and wildlife cameras are the Sony a9 II and the recently released Canon 1D X Mark III. The ability of the autofocus to track a subject is critical, so how do the two compare when placed side by side?

This short video from Jared Polin shows the Sony and the Canon going head-to-head. The differences between the two are incredibly subtle, which might be something of a surprise given that the Sony is a mirrorless camera, while in this real-world test, the Canon is a DSLR with its mirror locked up.

Both offer 20 frames per second when using the electronic shutter, and some will argue that the Canon’s 16 fps when shooting with its mechanical shutter — compared to the a9 II’s 10 fps — offers it a distinct advantage when shooting under artificial lights, as it can produce less banding.

The performance of the 1D X Mark III in mirrorless mode bodes well for Canon’s future mirrorless cameras, such as the EOS R5 that is due to be released later this year. Canon clearly has the potential to produce a mirrorless camera with autofocus to match the Sony a9, but it remains to be seen whether it chooses to pack the R5 with enough processing power to give that performance.

Blog credit to Fstoppers (Andy Day)

Video Credit to Jared Polin

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