The Great Mirrorless Camera Showdown, Round 1

Mirrorless camera tournament


Welcome to a bracket-style tournament that will determine the favorite mirrorless camera among filmmakers
These are the match-ups of round 1: Sony FX3 vs. A7s III, Sony a1 vs. Alpha A9, Canon R5 vs. R6, Panasonic GH5 II vs. S1H
We asked the Artgrid filmmakers to vote for their favorite mirrorless camera. Find out the results.
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Choosing a camera is one of the most important and often tricky tasks for video creators. For one, it involves a significant financial investment, even if you’re looking to buy the best budget video camera. Another reason is that buying a camera is a commitment to that model’s features, image quality, advantages and, more importantly, disadvantages.

Since the best way to learn is from experience, we asked filmmakers who have it to spare – the filmmakers who create stock footage for the Artlist catalog. And in the spirit of March Madness, we decided to make a bracket-styled tournament out of it, one that will determine the favorite mirrorless camera among filmmakers.

Mind you, the operative word here is favorite and not best because we feel there is no objective metric that can decide between cameras of the same tier, so we’re dealing here with subjective opinions. And when you gather many subjective opinions, you get as close as possible to objectivity, also known as the wisdom of the crowd.

For the sake of conciseness and sanity, we gathered 8 of the best mirrorless cameras out there (instead of 64) and pitted them in 4 head-to-head match-ups, asking our filmmakers which camera they prefer.

Here is the bracket.

mirrorless camera tournament

So let’s break down the match-ups of the first round.

Sony FX3 vs. Sony A7s III

sony a7s iii vs sony fx3

Feature FX3 A7s III
Price $3,898 $3,498
Max video resolution 4K/120fps 4K/120fps
Viewfinder N/A 1.3 cm Quad-VGA OLED
Sensor Full-frame Full-frame
Cooling Internal fan N/A


Last year we broke down the differences between the FX3 and the Sony A7s III, but now we asked our filmmakers for their thoughts.

The FX3 and the Sony a7s III have more similarities than differences. Still, when it comes to our filmmakers’ preference, the results were pretty clear.

Most cited FX3’s lack of a viewfinder and A7s III’s versatility as the deciding factors between the 2 models.

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What our filmmakers say

Lester Platt: “The a7s III is such a versatile camera. You can use it to film a wedding one day and photograph your road trip the next. The FX3 lacks a viewfinder and is more focused on video recording. It takes nice pictures, but you’d miss the viewfinder. If you’re mainly into video, then the FX3 is for you, but for me, the A7s III wins for its versatility.”

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Chuck Cascio: “The FX3 not having a viewfinder is a dealbreaker for me. Imagine being out in the bright sun, forced to cup your hands over the LCD screen or your external monitor, squint profusely and pray that you’re seeing enough to capture the shot you’re after.”

Winner: Sony A7s III

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Sony a1 vs. Sony Alpha A9

sony a1 vs. sony a9

Feature a1 a9 II
Price $6,498 $4,498
Max video resolution 8K/30p | 4k/120p 4K/120fps
Megapixels 50 24.2
Sensor Full-frame Full-frame
Autofocus 759-Pt. Fast Hybrid AF, Real-time Eye AF 693-Point Phase-Detection AF System

These 2 models have some of the best autofocus systems on the market, but the a1’s 8K ability and higher megapixels make it a superior camera. However, if budget is a concern, then you might want to take a look at the much cheaper a9 II.

What our filmmakers say:

Jose Prada from JRVisuals: “The Sony a1 has higher resolution and superior video quality.”

Filippo Chiesa: “I will say that the a1 is the best mirrorless hybrid camera on the market without any fear of being contradicted.”

Winner: Sony a1

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Canon R5 vs. Canon R6

canon r5 vs canon r6

Feature R5 R6
Price $3,899 $2,499
Max video resolution 8K/30p Raw | 4K/120p 10-Bit Internal Video 4K/60p | FHD 120p 10-Bit Internal Video
Megapixels 45 20
Sensor Full-frame Full-frame

The 2 best Canon mirrorless cameras go head to head. And here, too, the R5’s higher megapixels and 8K capabilities come at a significant cost.

What our filmmakers say:

Kristian Ozer Kettner: “Not only does the R5 have 8K video, but it also produces 8K Raw timelapse.”

Tim McGlinchey, writing for the dissent: “This is where the differences in features don’t seem to make up for the price difference. While 8K is nice to have, unless it’s a game-changer to your own shooting needs, it comes with a huge price tag. On the other hand, the R6 has stronger low-light performance than its more expensive sibling, a benefit I’d take over higher resolution/megapixel count any day.”

Winner: Canon R5

Panasonic GH5 II vs. Panasonic S1H

panasonic gh5 ii vs panasonic s1h

Feature GH5 II S1H
Price $1,497 $3,498
Max video resolution DCI/UHD 4K/60p Video, 10-Bit Internal 6K/24p Video, 4:2:2 10-Bit DCI | 4K/UHD 4K
Megapixels 20.3 24.2
Sensor MFT Full-frame

When Panasonic launched the GH5 in 2017, it created a mini-revolution among creators who finally found a high-quality camera at a very affordable price. The S1H, launched in 2019, is a full-frame mirrorless camera that reaches 6K. So will the superior specs manage to overcome the friendly price tag and comfortability?

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What our filmmakers say

John Richter: “Although it’s not a full-frame camera, I find the video quality on the GH5 is better than the S1H. And the battery life is AMAZING.”

Filippo Cinotti: “The GH5 is a super comfy camera for run and gun shooting and has a flexible monitor.”

Winner: Panasonic GH5 II

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Wrap up

That’s it for round 1 of the Great Mirrorless Showdown. Whether you agree with the results or not, you are more than welcome to share your thoughts on these match-ups on our social media channels.

The semifinals round will take place next week, as the Sony a7s III goes against the Sony a1 and the Canon R5 matches up with the Panasonic GH5 II. Until then, stay creative!

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