When Sony first released the Sony A7 in 2013 I was instantly intrigued.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t quite where it needed to be for professional use, specially in the realm of nuptials photography.
Later the release of the Sony A9 however, things were looking very promising, just with a very steep cost of entry.
Incredible autofocus and high ISO performance. All-time value full frame mirrorless camera of the year.
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Now that we have the Sony A7 Three though, we get some of the best features of the A9 for a fraction of the cost.
But is the A7III where it needs to be for professional utilize… and is information technology practiced plenty for me to ditch my Fujifilm system in favour of a Sony photographic camera?!
Sony a7 3 Review | The ‘Basic’ Model
- Amazing AF coverage
- Splendid dynamic range
- Impressive high ISO performance
- v-centrality image stabilization
- High level of customization
- Underperforming buffer
- Only one carte du jour slot supports UHS-II
When theSony A7 Iii was released, they chosen it the ‘basic’ model. While this may be true when information technology comes to price, this isfar from true when it comes to features.
This new model features a new 24MP sensor that boasts xv stops of dynamic range and ISO from 100-51,200 (expandable to l-204,800).
The astonishing thing, is that although this sensor is different than the one found on the A9, it has thesame AF features – things like 693 stage-detection AF points covering 93% of the frame.
Coming from a DSLR, y’all’ll beblown away past this coverage. I was fifty-fifty impressed coming from the Fuji XT-two, which I used to think had amazing AF coverage.
It’s worth mentioning that these 693 AF points are the fast type! Y’all still get 425 contrast observe points that comprehend the entire frame, perfect to become the most out of the best lenses for the Sony a7III.
Coming from the Fuji XT-ii, the AF lonely would be worth information technology for me to switch to the A7 III.
Not simply did the camera focus faster, more accurately, and in lower light, merely it likewise has something called Eye AF.
IQ, DR & ISO
Theparadigm quality from the Sony A7 Three is exactly what you take come up to expect from Sony.
For me, 24 MegaPixels is the perfect residual between having data to crop but non and so much data that you have a huge behemothic file.
dynamic range is amazing. At depression ISO I can hands push and pull a file to my heart’s content. This sensor is like most though, where it’southward a lot easier to recover shadow details so information technology is to recover highlight item.
This is bully for me since I tend to shoot the majority of my images underexposed. I similar to expose for my highlights since that’southward the limiting factor of the dynamic range. From there I can easily push the file to retain those highlights and recover the shadows.
Apparently this is dependent on the ISO level you have dialed in though, so the college y’all go in ISO, the more dialed in you demand to accept your exposure to where you want it in the terminal image
Speaking ofISO, the loftier ISO capabilities are amazing. The Sony A7 III actually scored better in low light than its brothers the A7RIII and A7SII over at DxO Mark.
This seemed to be accurate in my testing, although I never really had to boost my ISO as loftier as I usually would due to the image stabilization.
It’south pretty rare for me to need to capture fast moving subjects in low light. About of the time is people sitting by candle light, in front of a burn down, or even the light from a cell phone.
So like in the image above, I can easily rely on the image stabilization to keep the camera shake steady and use a much lower ISO than I ever could before.
Features & Shortcomings
If you have never seen Centre AF in action, it’southward worth checking out. But afterward using it in person, I was convinced of its usefulness.
One thing I always struggled with was taking pictures of my son. The unpredictable movements of a kid, specially close up, will give any AF system a run for its money, but the Sony A7 3 knocks information technology out of the park.
No more trying to micro adjust your camera position in an endeavor to keep an AF point over an eye as your subject moves.
Now all you have to do is press one button and the camera locks onto the closest heart. The camera will so proceed to track that eye throughout the frame and automatically adjust to the other eye if it becomes the closest eye.
This is agame changing feature, eastespecially with fast-moving and unpredictable subjects.
One other feature new to this round of A7 cameras is the addition of dual retentivity card slots, which is something that most working professionals place a lot of value on.
Something worth noting is that that the Sony A7 III does support UHS-Ii fast retention cards, merely only for i slot. This ways that if you are shooting with the camera set to write each paradigm to both cards, the write speed will exist bottle-necked past the slower card.
This essentially makes using the more expensive UHS-II cards pointless if you plan to shoot RAW images to each carte. The just option you could take is to shoot RAW to the fast carte du jour and a JPEG fill-in to the slow menu.
Since I tend to shoot almost of my images underexposed a decent amount so I can push them in post, this isn’t really a feasible option for me.
When dealing with the buffer, the Sony A7 Iii is listed as having a buffer that can hold 76 RAW images. Information technology’due south important to note that this is referring tocompressed RAW images, which are a 12-bit file instead of fourteen-bit.
Switch to uncompressed RAW and this drops toless than half the buffer size.
While having a 30 prototype buffer is definitely manageable, it still means only 3 seconds of shooting when at 10FPS. As you can meet in the champagne spray image above, big buffers can mean getting the perfect moment.
Another thing I constitute strange was but how long it took to format a retention card. Using the exact same card, my Nikon D750 can format in about a second. For some reason the Sony takes almost an entire infinitesimal to format the card. Zilch close to being a deal breaker – I just constitute information technology strange and partially abrasive.
One feature that the Sony A7 III has that I found surprisingly useful is the image stabilization. More specifically, v axis stabilization.
Using the Sony Carl Zeiss 35mm f/two.viii lens, I’1000 able to become a precipitous image at 1/4th of a second handheld!
This means when shooting dull moving subjects in low light, I tin can use a much lower ISO to requite me a cleaner image.
The epitome above was shot handheld at 1/10th of a second, and is tack precipitous – something that wouldn’t be possible without this level of image stabilization.
I also hear this feature is great for people that shoot video.
When information technology comes to the physical camera, I feel like the Sony A7 III has a proficient button layout and a nice feel in my hand.
I do wish it had the dial on the left side like the Sony A9, only not a deal breaker.
I also heard a lot nearly the Sony A7 Iii having a lower end EVF, just unless yous are shooting it side by side with an Sony a7R III or Sony A9, you probably won’t even notice – the prototype in the EVF is plenty precipitous and has no trouble with its refresh rate.
The Sony A7 III has the same resolution as the Fuji XT-ii, which has always been regarded every bit a peachy EVF.
The only issue I had was every and then often, something would lag and cause the EVF not to turn on when I put my eye up to the viewfinder. Information technology happens and so rarely information technology’due south not a huge deal, but happens enough that I noticed information technology was doing something weird. In the same price range, Canon EOS R has a ameliorate viewfinder. You can check Sony a7 three vs Canon EOS R comparison guide for detailed differences.
The level of customization that is possible with the Sony A7 III isastonishing. At that place are options that I’d never fifty-fifty idea about before, but now that I have them, it would be hard to go back.
For case, I shoot with back button focus, and then my default focus settings are Flexible Spot with AF-C. Now I also have another button prepare to lock-on Flexible Spot, and yet some other button set to Eye AF.
And so that leaves me3 buttons I can use to appoint the AF depending on what the state of affairs calls for, and Inever have to alter a single photographic camera setting.
Another example of the customization options is the power to have 1 button recall a Custom Retentiveness Function.
And so say yous are shooting in full manual and using flash – you lot could take a button fix then that when you hold information technology, information technology will switch the camera to Aperture Priority, engage AF in the setting of your choosing, and set the flash not to fire.
Sony A7 3
y’all can chop-chop and hands jump from i shooting state of affairs to the other without actually changing whatsoever settings!
As for shooting flash, the Sony A7 Three is in line with nigh other models. It has a 1/250th sync speed and can shoot with transmission, TTL, and HSS.
My flash of selection is the Godox AD200, and if you oasis’t seen this flash, practice yourself a favor and look into it – it’s amazing!
[Ed – Cheque out the
Godox AD200 review
after reading this, and as well my
recommended accessories for Sony cameras
One quirky thing that you must know earlier using flash with this camera though is that out of the box, the electronic front curtain shutter is set to ‘on’ by default.
Without getting into the boring details, this feature does not play nice with high speed sync – I learned this the difficult way.
Having it turned on is something you volition probably desire in almost other shooting conditions. So instead of having to call up when to plough information technology on as well as having to dive into the menu to do so, I put those amazing customizations on the Sony A7 III to good apply.
When I am in Memory Office ane on the main punch, the camera sets itself to my default settings (Aperture Priority, front electronic shutter on, AF-C, Etc.).
When I fix the punch to Manual (which I always apply when using flash), the camera automatically switches the electronic forepart drapery shutter to off.Amazing!
Last thing I want to talk near is the price. This camera comes in at simply nether $two,000.
That’s about the same price as the Fuji XH-1, which is an APS-C crop sensor photographic camera. And so for a mere $100 more with the Sony A7 3, y’all become a full frame photographic camera with some of the best AF, ISO, and dynamic range you lot can go far a mirrorless camera.
Now, for this price you only get the body, a strap, the battery, and some documents. You lot don’t fifty-fifty get a battery charger!
Instead, Sony provide a cheaply made cable for charging via the micro USB port. I empathize it’southward part of getting the price so low, but how much can it really toll them for a battery charger?
Sony a7 III RAW Samples | Editor’s Comment
Editor: since I ain the Sony A7 III, I thought I’d include some RAW sample images from my recent wedding photography work with this camera.
Note that all these images have hadabsolutely no post production practical any, except for a slight bump in exposure (since I tend to shoot underexposed). I haven’t even added any sharpening for the spider web – these are JPEG versions of the RAW files, substantially directly out of photographic camera.
This is only to requite you an idea of what the Sony A7 III is capable of in different lighting conditions during an average twenty-four hours.
Sony a7III Firmware Update
Perhaps taking the cue from its primary competitor in the mirrorless photographic camera market, Sony has thankfully decided to continuously improvement the functionality of their products via complimentary firmware updates.
…and in the case of the Sony a7III, this is a significant 1!
For those who don’t know, a firmware update is something that aims to improve your camera ‘from the within’ – i.east. your photographic camera’s software.
This means that you can continue using the same hardware (i.due east. your photographic camera) for many years, safe in the knowledge that the technology inside it is still upwards to date.
In Apr 2019, Sony released Firmware Update Version iii.00 for the a7Riii and a7iii cameras. Benefits and Improvements hither included:
- Real-fourth dimension Eye AF for animals
- Enables the possibility to operate the existent-time EYE AF by half-pressing the shutter button, or by pressing the AF-ON button in AF-S and AF-C (there is no longer any need to hold down a custom cardinal)
- Addition of the interval shooting office
- Allows the operation with the wireless remote commander RMT-P1BT
- Other improvements:
- [MENU] tin exist assigned to a custom key
- [Menu] tab operation with the Fn push button
- Improves the overall stability of the camera
Evolved Eye-AF brings the A7 series in line with the A6400 and A9 (after its recent version 5.00 update).
Get the Sony a7III firmware update here.
Sony a7 III Review | Conclusion
At the end of the day, the Sony A7 III is not the perfect camera… but I don’t think there volition ever be an all round perfect camera.
But for me, what I do, and how I like to shoot, the Sony A7 3 comesas close to perfect as I have ever seen.
I accept always been a huge fan of Fuji cameras and take shot the Ten-Pro2 and Ten-T2 since their release. I absolutely love the fashion Fuji does business and the manner they constantly release firmware updates… but after shooting with the Sony A7 Iii, I can’t go dorsum.
There are things I wish could be fixed or added that volition probably never happen, but even knowing that,I’chiliad jumping all in and selling my Fuji and Nikon kit.
TheSony A7 Iii is a pocket-size camera that packs ahuge dial for a small price. All other photographic camera manufactures take a lot of piece of work ahead of them if they want to stay competitive.
Incredible autofocus and high ISO operation. Best value total frame mirrorless photographic camera of the yr.
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