Best DSLR For Indie Film: A7s vs. 5d Mark III


So, we’ve all heard the awesome low light capabilities of the Sony A7S camera line. BUT we’ve also heard about everyone and their mothers using the Canon 5D as the ‘classic DSLR.’ At Gear Savvy, we've used them both extensively in real world situations - from music video shoots to corporate gigs. 

This article will help determine which camera is better for you by giving you real world experience and the technical notes you need to know. Let’s dive in! 

Note: We won’t be comparing every technical aspect - rather the functions and features we found useful or important when using the camera!

Sony A7s vs. Canon 5d Mark III Comparison Table

Sony a7s
Canon 5d Mark III
Price (approx) $2200 $2500
Design 8.5/10
Exceptionally cool - sleek, slightly retro design.
Below average - nothing remarkable. Slightly bulky.
Noise/Low Light Capabilities Incredible.
Usable noise up until ISO 50,000 + You won’t believe it until you try it.
Shoot above a mere 12,800 and you’ll be wishing you didn’t even breach that turf.
Memory Cards? SD SD or CF (Dual Card Slot)
Megapixels 12.2 22.3
Lens Capability Sony E-Mount or Canon EF / etc. with respectable adaptor. (This can get pricey, however). Canon EF (can adapt as well, but less likely you’ll need to).
Battery Life Slightly below average, can be frustrating Consistently average
Cinema Profile Picture SLOG2 built in Superflaat / cinestyle, etc. but must download and install yourself
Where to buy? Amazon Amazon



This camera kicks butt, and you and everyone know that. It will allow you to take some incredible photos and shoot some beautiful video. Get that wonderfully smooth bokeh at sunset or in lower light. Canon EF is becoming such a popular mount you won’t need to worry about restricting your lens choices. The Canon 5d Mark III also has a strong body that is made to last.


Low light shooting doesn’t hold a candle to the A7S. Also, style-wise the camera isn’t designed for the look. Not a huge deal, but I enjoying loving every aspect of my camera - including the design of the product itself.

Bottom Line

If you’re shooting mostly things like Weddings, Corporate Events, interviews, etc. This is your camera. It will always be there for you, like a trusty, reliable pet dog - even when it grows old. Check it out here on Amazon.

This indie feature was shot on the Canon 5D MkIII. Check out the teaser below. Notice how the camera excels in natural light, especially near magic/golden hour. Compare this image look to that below of the A7S:


Sony A7s Review

The Guerrilla Filmmaker’s Dream Come True

Just decided to make an on-the-fly music video for your buddy’s band? You have no lights and it’s dark outside? No problem. Grab your Sony A7S and some charged batteries and hit the road. I’ve shot with this camera in virtually no light. Yes it can get semi-noisey at high ISO but that must be expected when you’re reaaaally pushing your image.

The sensor on this camera is break through and a must have for any indie shooter’s arsenal. Plus if you like adding film grain or post-noise like so many filmmakers do, you can really mask some of the noise if you’re pushing your iso. On top of that this camera’s build is beautiful. It has a slightly retro and top notch design. Can easily record out to 4k as well by renting or purchasing an external recorder (average rental is only $80 a day). 


Not as tough as a build as the 5D. Battery life can be questionable, however nothing to cry about. Photography is strong, but not up to par with the 5D. With only 12 megapixels compared to 22 on the 5D, this camera does lack in the photography area, but overall still produces great imagery.


If you’re a more DIY/guerilla oriented filmmaker, student or professional, this is your camera. The video capabilities are truly remarkable, it’s easy and cheap to record 4k if the occasion calls for it, and the photography features are still above average. Here at Gear Savvy we recommend purchasing the Sony A7S and going outside and making a movie. Check it out here on Amazon.

This music video was shot on the A7S. Keep in mind this lighting was all natural - from the dim subway tunnels to the nighttime exteriors or shadow heavy offices. The camera really coped well and still created stunning imagery: 


Author: Reynolds "WLF" Washington