When you buy a dslr, you don't buy just a body and a kit lens but you buy into a system.
Canon is far better than Sony in this regard. Sony's OEM lenses are pretty expensive, and third party lenses and accessories are relatively limited.
Canon on the other hand has a wide range of offerings in terms of both price and capability, all the way from consumer zooms to pro level super telephoto primes and most of these are relatively easily available. The used lenses/accessories market for canon is also better than that of sony. So, in the long term, Canon is easily the better choice as a system.
canon does make the best lens's in the world,and sony tries to make everything under the sun
When it comes to camcorders Sony is the king. always has been the king and probably always will be. Just look at the broadcast world and you will see a good 95% of all camera's being Sony.
Camcorders are one area that Sony are the masters of.
The Elura is a good line no question, but Canon should stick to photo imaging, not video. Being good at photo imaging has really nothing to do with video cameras. two completly different areas. Head to head, go with the sony mini dv line, you won't regret it.
I have the Sony a350 and love it, my friend is a professional Photographer and swears by the Sony (he has A900 and A700 as backup)
Canons lenses are better than sony lenses, but I use Sigma lenses in any case as they are as good as canons if not better.
My sister swears by canon all the way, what you need to do is actually play with each one and decide from there, and sony does use propriety memory in some things but all the alpha range use CF which is the best memory format for DSLR
sony isnt really even worth looking at for dslrs. how many professionals do you see out there shooting them? nup, not even that many. none.
its really a matter of canon vs nikon, and it always have been. since they put the d in dslr. if you have more money than god, you could look at things like leica, but youre kidding yourself if you think youre getting value for money/
Sony cameras may have built-in image stabilization, but IS in the lens is proven to be better than IS in the camera body. I find Canon SLRs to be easier to use, especially since there are designated buttons for functions you change the most. I think Carl Zeiss only manufactures the professional Sony lenses. Canon lenses are typically better than Sony. cameralabs.com shows side-by-side comparisons of zoomed-in images. I'm sure there's one that compares Canon to Sony. In the end, Canon wins in image quality. The only thing Sony is good at in SLRs is its Live View. The auto-focusing is by far the best in the budget SLRs.