Photographers and filmmakers constantly argue over what camera takes better images and video, but when asked to pick whether footage was shot by a Canon or Sony camera, these YouTubers struggle to tell them apart.
Youtuber Parker Walbeck and members of the film school Full Time Filmmaker captured 10 clips on both a Canon R5 and a Sony Alpha 7S III using identical settings and color graded them to get them to look as close to the same as possible.
Walbeck then showed the two clips to a set of YouTubers to see if they could tell which clip came from which camera: Peter McKinnon, Sam Kolder, Daniel Schiffer, Jared Polin, Armando Ferreira, Matti Haapoja, and Sam Newton. To up the ante on the drama, Walbeck put money on the line: whoever guessed the most correct would win $10,000.
Each test was designed to highlight specific categories — such as resolution, low light, focus tracking, or focus racking — to give the viewers something to base judgments off of other than color, which as mentioned was specifically designed to look as close to identical as possible.
When it was all said and done, a majority of the YouTube judges could not tell the difference between the Canon and Sony footage with anything better than 50% accuracy. McKinnon took the win though and managed to guess seven out of 10 clips correctly.
Walbeck says at the beginning of the video that the idea behind the test was to see which was “better,” Canon or Sony, but the results of this test don’t really do that — a fact they later admit to. Instead, the reaction from each of the judges shows that there was next to no discernable difference between the quality of the two cameras. Before the results were shared, just about everyone felt as though they did poorly and none spoke confidently about their picks.
As they eventually say in the video, most would agree that in most of these tests, unless you saw them side by side — and even then — it would be difficult or impossible to tell the difference. Admittedly, the professionals who use these cameras daily still picked incorrectly half the time.
In short, neither camera is “better” and either would work splendidly in the hands of a creator. For more from Parker Walbeck, make sure to subscribe to his YouTube Channel.