Welcome to the Sony Alpha 7III review. This 24.3 – Megapixel Full-Frame Mirrorless camera model by Sony boasts a well-rounded and comprehensive specification that suits the needs of almost every enthusiast.
With the A7 Series, Sony set the precedent for mirrorless cameras, sharing the competition stage with DSLRs. So, how does the Sony Alpha 7III fair?
Specifications at a glance
Resolution: 24.3 – Megapixels
Image Sensor: Full-Frame ExmorR CMOS (35.6×23.8mm)
Maximum Image Resolutions: 6000×4000
AF points: Full-Frame :693 points (phase-detectionAF),
APS-C model with full-frame lens: 221 points (phase-detectionAF),
425 points (Contrast-detectionAF).
AF system: FastHybrid (constrastAF / phase detectionAF)
Metering: 1200 – zone, spot, spot standard/large, entire screen average, highlight and center-weighted.
Shutter Speed: 1/8000sec – 30 seconds & Bulb
ISO Range: 100 – 51200 (expands to 50 – 204800) + Auto
Continuous frame rate: 10 frames-per-second (fps)
LCD: 3 inch, 921,600 dotvari-angle touch screen monitor.
Size and Weight: 126.9×95.6×73.7mm, 650g (including Battery and card)
Storage: Dual-slot SD (SDHC/SDXC)
Official Website: www.sony.com
Sony Alpha 7III Full Review
The “Sony A7 Series” has been with us for over 6 years now. Since the launch and release of the first A7 and A7R at the beginning of 2014, the A7 series has grown and has been enhanced to make Sony a force to reckon with in the market. The A7 Series is arguably one of those camera models that has promoted mirrorless cameras as solid alternatives to DSLRs.
The Sony Alpha 7 Series comes in a number of options:
- The 36.4-megapixels A7R II ($2000), and the 12.2-megapixels A7S II ($2240), which are both superseded by the A7 III. These two models offer options for people who need ultra-high sensitivity and those who want the maximum resolution.
- The 24.3-megapixels A7 III ($1999 – Body only/$2199 – with 28-70mm lens). This is a more affordably priced model. However, it offers a variety of features that will please a lot of users who capture a general range of subjects.
While it is slightly heavier, The A7 III is similar in appearance to the previous models. It houses a full-frame sensor in a compact, well-built body. Magnesium alloy is used on the camera’s top cover, the internal frame, and the front cover. Even better, The A7 III has a slightly larger handgrip that improves overall handling. In addition, it has seals throughout the body, that minimize the risk of entry of moisture and dust.
The controls are neatly laid out with an additional joystick and an AF-On button. Input dials at the front and rear ensure that settings can be quickly changed, while those at the top handle exposure modes and exposure compensation.
The rear four-way control with an integral wheel speeds up operation further. You’ll also notice the many custom function buttons that really help you customize the camera to your shooting requirements. This means that you’ll take a shorter time setting up your camera, even if you’re not familiar with the Sony A7 series cameras.
The A7 III features a relatively spectacular 921,600-dot resolution, 3-inch LCD screen. It is important to note that the screen can only be rotated up and down but not sideways. You can set the AF points using your finger, thanks to the touchscreen LCD screen. However, you can’t activate settings or navigate menus using the Screen.
The Sony A7 III has a 2.3-million resolution electronic finder, the same as the previous models. However, it has a slightly high magnification of 0.78x, up from the 0.71x in previous models. The 2.3-million electronic finder is sharp and bright. I can’t really complain, but I wish it had the 3.68-million finder found in the Alpha 7R III and the A9.
While the A7 III’s exterior looks very similar to its predecessor, there are some really extensive updates that offer features that meet the requirements of professionals and enthusiasts alike. Just as its predecessor, it has a 24.2-megapixel. The image sensor has however been improved and updated with the BIONZ X Processor, which along with black-illumination, offers an increased sensitivity range (up to ISO 204800). In addition, the upgrades ensure better noise performance and an increased dynamic range of approximately 15 stops (with 14-bit Raw). The A7 III uses a sensor with low-pass filters but this does not affect the image sharpness.
Videographers will be impressed by the variety of menu options that the A7 III offers. For example, the microphone and headset sockets are hidden underneath a cover. The full-width sensor is used when shooting at 24fps, meaning double the amount of data is needed to capture 4K before being oversampled, thus assuring video quality.
Sony tweaked the five-axis body-integral stabilization found on the A7 II, giving the A7 III five stops of stabilization benefit.
One of the places where this camera really shines is its Auto-focus system, which is very similar to the one found in the A9. You will enjoy the 425 contrast AF points, coupled with the astounding 693 phase-detection AF points covering most of the image frame. Even more, there’s an extensive range of AF area modes, including, zone, center, and wide. This gives a lot of options for all types of photographers.
When shooting portraits, the additional Eye AF gives reliable tracking of a subject’s eye. Wildlife and Sports photographers will be pleased by the AF-On button at the back. In addition, they’ll be impressed by the A7 III’s continuous AF, which is precise even when subjects are moving erratically or at speed. The updated buffer, which can handle sequences of up to 177 JPEGs is welcome, alongside a maximum burst speed of 10fps.
Storage and Battery
Two SD card slots ensure that you have plenty of storage capacity.
Improvements have also been done to the battery life. Sony says, with just a single charge, you can take up to 600 shots (using a viewfinder). Our tests confirmed that 500 and more shots were possible.
You can set the mode dial to SCN and use the rear controls and the LCD screen to choose among the full set of exposure modes that are available.
Through NFC and Wi-Fi, the camera can be remotely controlled and share images using the PlayMemories app. Location info can also be shared via Bluetooth.
With the little time I’ve spent with the camera, I can arguably say that it is a good performer. The AF is excellent, as is the metering system. Excellent tonal range, contrast is good, and colors are nicely reproduced. Noise is also really well controlled. However, the image quality is a little wanting.
Besides the lack of a top-plate info LCD and the limited touchscreen capabilities, I don’t have much to complain about.
Closest Rivals of the Sony Alpha 7III
- Canon EOS 6D MK II: At only $1549 (Body Only), this is one of the toughest rivals to the Sony A7 III. It boasts of a 26.2-megapixel resolution full-frame CMOS, 6.5fps, and a vary-angle touchscreen monitor. However, it falls under the Sony A7 III in many areas.
- Nikon D750: Even after all these years, It’s one of the best full-frame DSLR cameras. It features a 24.3-megapixel resolution, great performance and strong specifications. Costing around $1529 (Body Only), it’s also fairly cheaper.
- Pentax K-1 Mark II: It’s the update to the original K-1. It features a full-frame 36.4-megapixel sensor and Full HD Video. It is however way bulkier than the Sony Alpha 7 III.
- Fujifilm X-H1: This model provides a well-rounded set of features and strongly competes with the Sony. While it is not full-frame, it features a 24.3-megapixel X-TransAPS-C sensor, excellent image quality, and 4K video.
Whether you’re using the Sony Alpha 7 III for shooting Portraits, Landscapes, Travel, Wildlife, or Sports, you get a ton of features to choose from. Its well-rounded set of features, compact size, and excellent image quality makes it a very attractive choice. It’s one of the best mirrorless cameras under $2000 and so far, gives DSLRs their strongest competition.
I hope you found this review useful. However, if you’re on a budget, check out our top picks for the best DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras under $1500. You can also check out some more related reviews below. Also, if you found the review useful, share it with your fellow photographers. Thanks.