The Sony A7RIII. What more can I say? It’s phenomenal, and is my Camera of the Year 2017

The Sony A7RIII. What more can I say? It’s phenomenal, and is my Camera of the Year 2017

By Steve Huff

So I have been using the A7RIII here over the last few days and weeks and I have noticed the same things I noticed when I first tried it out weeks ago. It’s phenomenal. It’s really mind-blowing to me that today we have many camera that could and would please just about ANYONE. Basically, PICK YOUR style and go with it. But this Sony offers so much for the money and while not perfect, it’s as close as I have seen to perfect in a 35mm full frame mirrorless camera. Sure some will say “The Nikon D850 Is Camera of the Year” and to that I say, “that is a DSLR and I am not a DSLR guy”. So my pick for camera of the year will never be a DSLR ; ) The Nikon D850 is almost equal in performance to the IQ of the Sony, in fact they are so close technically, the Nikon loses out only in EXTREME low light and higher ISO use. The A7RIII does it all and does it in a slimmer, smaller body that is uber responsive, fast, has great battery life and really does all genres well. Oh, and it uses a high quality EVF vs OVF, so pick your preferences there as well.

Landscape? CHECK! The A7RIII and its gorgeous sensor will deliver details, color depth and resolution that you can smile at. Rich files, huge dynamic range and everything one would want in a landscape camera.

Portraits? Yes indeed, this camera is great for that as well. Slap on an affordable and small Sony 85 1.8 or 85 1.4 or the Zeiss Batis 85 f/1.8 and again, the sensor in the A7RIII will deliver the goods. I want for nothing really when it comes to portraits.

Shallow DOF? Yep, being full frame all you need to do is just add a fast lens to get where you need to be…

Video? CHECK! The video of the A7RIII is fantastic. Again, leave me wanting for nothing.

Full Frame 50 1.4 Zeiss Bokeh on the A7RIII

Speed? While being so much faster than the MKII, and approaching A9 speeds, the A7RIII is a huge step up from the older versions. Fast to start-up, fast to respond and no lags anywhere in the pipeline. From tracking to just all out AF speed, this one rocks. Not as good as my A9 but close, for much less cash. You ca indeed shoot sports with the A7RIII.

Street? Yes indeed. Slap on a small lens, either a manual Leica M lens or even a small Sony 35 f/2.8 Zeiss and be ready to rock and roll.

Super Low Light? Nothing beats the Sony sensors for low light whether that is in a Sony camera or the Hasselblad X1D MF camera. Sony sensors are class leading for minimal noise at higher ISO compared to other brands. NOTHING beats them in 35mm, APS-C or Micro 4/3. The only thing better than my Sony at high ISO and super low light is the Hasselblad X1D. So from bright light (with its huge DR) to super low light (highest ISO) the Sony will not make you compromise.

So the A7RIII can and does do it all. It’s funny when you own it or have used it for an extended time. It CAN spoil you for IQ, and function. It WILL spoil you for DR, resolution and even speed at this kind of resolution. From video to low light to bright harsh light to sports, street, portraits, studio, fashion…this is one camera that can do whatever you need to do. Give it some very good glass and it will reward you.

The Only Weakness for Me with the Sony A series cameras today in 2018…

The Sony cameras today (A7RIII and A9) perform VERY well. Amazing actually. But the A9 and A7RIII are not “perfect” (NO CAMERA IS) for me, and the only reason why is that I find the design and style of the bodies to be, well…boring. They do not inspire me to take it out, they do not speak to me or my soul like a Leica does or the X1D does. It’s plain, boring and some will say ugly (and I am sure some will say beautiful as well). The menu system is too cluttered as well for my tastes in order for it to be my “perfect camera” but in all other areas, performance and usability, it is the best mirrorless 35mm full frame, APS-C or M 4/3 camera I know of today. Period.

The A7RIII does everything well and really has no weakness when it comes to performance. For some, it will be overkill and for others it will be heaven. For some it will be a tool they use for their work to get paid and for that it is excellent.

Our family Christmas portrait 2017 – 24-70 GM and the A7RIII

Yes, it is my Camera of the Year 2017 but there are cameras I like better for their design, build and style. But since cameras should be graded on performance most of all AND THEN usability and then design…the Sony is just too good in all areas of performance for any other camera that I know of to beat it here at the end of 2017. Sony is truly going full force to spread the word on their newest cameras and technology and they are doing a great job as I know of MANY….A LOT….TONS who have switched from Canon or Nikon to Sony with the A9 and now A7RIII. Most reviewers have praised these systems over and over and the A7RIII is even the first Sony I know of to still be sold out weeks after it was released. Usually Sony never sells out as they deliver a ton to dealers but the RIII is so popular, its the hot camera of this year along with the DSLR crowds Nikon D850. (It’s now in stock though, see it at Amazon HERE)

I have to ask…what happened to Canon? Lol. Nikon and Sony are kicking some ass in 2017 without question. Leica has done well this year, Olympus is still doing what they do and Panasonic is even stepping it up. While I love the little Canon M6 for Vlog work and some video, it’s hardly a mirrorless system to challenge Sony. It’s also not the best for video quality even though it is touted as being an amazing “Vlogging” camera. The Canon M6 video quality leaves a lot to be desired IMO, especially when compared to these Sony’s. It’s night and day. So c’mon Canon, get to it and make a camera worthy of challenging Sony ; )

The Zeiss 50 1.4 and the A7RIII

As I predicted…

As I predicted on these pages a while ago, cameras will start becoming nicer, ore pricey and designed to fill a niche that sells well. The Enthusiasts and the Amateurs who really want to dig into photography are buying up cameras like the EM1 MKII, A7RIII, and top end Fuji’s. etc. As these next few years go by, and smart phones and other tech creep in to steal sales from traditional cameras, these companies will start offering models that are more high-end, more unique and more expensive to offer us enthusiasts what phones can not. We see it with Sony, we see it with Panasonic, we see it with Olympus and now Fuji with their GFX system. The every day Joe who used to buy a Canon rebel at Best Buy is becoming more and more rare as smart phones become the standard for the mass public.

So cameras today are being sold to Pros who need them for their income and ENTHUSIASTS. People like me, you and others who LOVE the craft of photography and the gear as well. We will be heading into interesting times over the next few years, and you can bet I will still be here to cover the good stuff 😉

The Sony A7RIII IS the best Mirrorless 35mm full frame camera you can buy today as of January 2018. IMO, it is the best full frame digital camera available as of Jan 2018. Period.

I have used almost every camera made over the last 10 years, and yes, even many DSLRs. I am lucky in that I get to test and try whatever I want, and for me with all of this experience trying out cameras over the years I have never seen a camera as complete, and capable in the world of mirrorless as the Sony A7RIII. I have written tons about it already, and after using it more and more, I realize there is nothing new I can say as the HYPE was REAL with this one. No matter what I need it for, it just works. It does what I want and does it better than I could have hoped for. I feel there are no real weaknesses with the camera though if I had magical abilities to change anything about it, I would do this:

Add an even better EVF. Leica SL style or better. 

Change the body style to something more attractive. 

That’s it. Lol.

So if you are on the fence with the A7RIII don’t be. It’s all you have heard it was. It’s as good as everyone is saying and while it is not the most beautiful camera to hold, it’s performance is off the charts. This is a camera that will last you many years, if. you want it to and do not succumb to GAS when the next models come out ; ) This one my friends, is the most complete Sony camera ever made IMO.

BUY THE SONY A7RII at my 100% Trusted Dealers below:

B&H Photo A7RIII

Amazon A7RIII (Prime)

Links to relevant reviews….

Sony A9 Review

Sony A7RIII in a Helicopter

Even MORE images with the A7rIII

Hasselblad X1D Review

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66 thoughts on “The Sony A7RIII. What more can I say? It’s phenomenal, and is my Camera of the Year 2017

  1. I’m still considering switching for my needs from the 1dx2 (newspaper work/sports) and 5d4 (portrait) to the a9 and a7r III for a couple of reasons. My question is this: last night while photographing a politician his camera guy had a a7sII and I loved the EVF it looked great. Later that night while shooting basketball a guy had the a7rIII and I didn’t like how bright and sort of tv screen like the EVF looked–do you know why that would be I would expect the a7riii to be better since it’s newer. Obviously I need to spend time with them before I make the leap but I can def. see some of the advantages sony is offering thanks!

  2. I just wish Sony would put more soul into the aesthetics of the A7 series. They have no character and lack that style that makes you want to grab it and go have fun shooting. Then again that could be said for most sony products except the original walkman. They have the best technology but with a design that is very tech like and just generic. Just my opinion please dont attack me Sony fanboys. Thanks for all the hard work Steve.

  3. Steve, appreciate the commentary on the A7RIII. How do you feel it compares with the Leica SL paired with Leica glass.

    1. Well, it will deliver (The Sony) quite a bit better resolution, dynamic range, high ISO performance. The only area where the SL beats the Sony is in build, easy menu system, and EVF. A Sony A7rIII with a Zeiss 50 1.4 will beat an SL with 50 Lux ASPH IMO. But the Leica will be more pleasing to use, and offer its own color signature (much like that of the M 240 instead of the Q and CL). So depends on if you want the build quality and color of the SL over the advancements of the Sony. Most Leica glass will perform VERY well on the Sony as well, sometimes better than the SL. Depends on how you shoot, if wide open, those M lenses are beautiful on a Sony A7RIII. Personally, I love the SL for its design, ease of use and EVF. It’s just larger and limited in ISO and DR compared to the sensors of today. If they release an SL II with a new sensor that can do really low light I would buy one over a Sony.

  4. One of your readers seems to have a question about noise. Maybe the best place for him to judge the typical noise profile would be the DP Review studio scene comparison.

    When you pixel-peep at DPReview, most people say that the Canon 5D MIV, the Nikon D850 and the Sony A7RIII are all very similar. (The Canon JPG noise reduction is worse at 12,800 and above, but the RAW shots are so similar that they may as well be the same camera.)

    He also said he could see noise at ISO 800. Even the most critical nit-pickers at DPR didn’t notice any noise at level.

    Still, in case Sergey wants to sell his camera, I will be keeping an eye on your “Buy and Sell” section for any new bargains.

  5. Thank you for the review, I have been a “silent” follower for years and always enjoyed your “field test” review style, and looking back on the site, there are so many beautiful shots.
    This review however puzzled me a lot, “The camera of the year” and not one picture that
    I find inspiring or even interesting.
    I have waited with this comment and returned to the pictures again and again, but what I still see is lots of resolution with a color rendition I find awful and lifeless, simply put: Borring and to put it politely, not your best review shots…..
    Well thats just my five cents, and moving up to the Leica / Summaron NY street shots was a relief.
    Very clear to me that technical perfection is not what creates or inspires to make beautiful and emotional pictures,
    thanks again.

    1. FIRST, this is not a review. No where does it say REVIEW ; )

      You must have missed my 4 other posts on this camera. I have posted a ton of photos from the A7RIII, since before it was launched. So it was not a normal review style, it was more of an ongoing type of review, so one must see all of the posts to fit it all together. Just search, using the easy search tool here, “Sony A7RIII” and you will see many posts about this camera, with images. Portraits, Landscape, etc. It’s all there.

      In case you do not feel like using the search, here are SEVEMN recent posts on the A7RIII with photos, videos, and thoughts.

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/11/27/shooting-the-nfl-sony-a7riii-vs-the-a9-by-chad-wadsworth/

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/11/16/the-sony-a7riii-in-a-helicopter-loads-of-new-image-samples-and-video/

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/10/30/10-reason-why-the-sony-a7riii-may-be-my-camera-of-the-year-for-2017/

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/12/18/crazy-comparison-the-olympus-25-f-1-2-vs-sony-50-1-4-just-for-fun/

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/10/26/my-sony-a7r-iii-hands-on-samples-thoughts-and-video-this-camera-wow/

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/10/24/the-hot-rod-sony-a7r-mkiii-everything-you-want-to-know-is-here/

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/10/31/video-10-reasons-why-the-sony-a7riii-is-awesome-and-get-a-deal-on-the-old-rii/

      1. Sorry my bad
        And I have read your other post(s)
        But
        I stand with what I wrote I do not like the color rendering
        Technical perfection? Maybe, but borrning
        Sorry, just my five cents

        1. Bo, it’s not Steve’s fault. I think he lives in Arizona, were there are no greens, blues, or yellows, and the only colors are shades of pale reds.

  6. The first A7R came out towards the end of 2013. It shocked and delighted many of us with its high resolution full frame files. Nonetheless with its consumer oriented ergonomics, only 2 lenses and a shutter that would rattle your teeth, it wasn’t deemed a threat by the big boys. That the latest R version is now considered a powerhouse professional camera by many and on par with the venerable Nikon D850 (and not by just enthusiasts but Pros as well) in only 4 years is remarkable IMO. Sony has, with each iteration, removed just about every criticism the first unit came with e.g. lenses, speed, IQ, DR, color, high ISO, uncompressed RAWs, etc. etc. etc… I think (I hope) Sony is just a tweak or two away from rendering the mirror box obsolete. IMO the A7RIV needs a redesign (like cars mgr. do every 4 years) with a slightly larger chassis especially the grip & buttons, Pro DSLR battery life, lossless compressed RAWS. Add Pro DSLR buffering, Leica Q EVF; make it pretty like the X1D and say goodbye to the mirror for all but diehard zealots and vintage collectors 😉

  7. Steve,
    Thank you for your review. If you had to choose between A9 and A7R III
    for wildlife and birds in flight photography, which one would it be?
    I don’t print, just view on my computer. I am currently using Olympus OMD MKII, and while resolution seems OK, DR and ISO qualities are lacking.
    TIA,
    Emile

    1. For that specific purpose, it would be the A9 as the tracking is better on the A9 without question. The A7RIII is good with AF tracking as well but the A9 sticks like a magnet to your subject.

    2. Don’t forget to check out which Sony lenses you wanna use for birding! There is no native lens faster/longer than 400 mm f/5.6…. The announced 400 f/2.8 GM will be $$$$$….

  8. Steve, thanks for making the effort and great summary! What are your absolute favorite lens choices to pair with the Sony A7R III? Curious what your “dream team” would be to invest in!

    1. Well, if you want to stick with native Sony glass? You said Dream Team so I am guessing cost is no object? Either way MY Dream team would be different from most, as I like weird lenses, lol.

      But here are some great choices:

      NATIVE LENSES:

      Sony 16-35 GM – Light, and amazing performer.

      Sony 35 1.4, 50 1.4 Zeiss – The 50 especially is pretty amazing. The 35 is up there with the best I have used in a 35.

      Sony 85 GM

      The 24-70 GM is also beautiful but a tad heavy.

      If you look outside of Sony, you can go with

      Zeiss Batis 25 and 85, gorgeous lenses with AF

      Or if you want to feel like you are shooting a manual camera, try the Loxia line by Zeiss. I have reviewed almost all of them but the 21, 35 and 50 are great and small, and lovely to use. Some of my faves.

      The Voigtlander 40 f/1.2 is my fave E mount lens right now and has been for 3 months. GORGEOUS lens and more like a premium exotic lens than a $1000 lens.

      There are loads of lenses one can go with on their Sony. With adapters it opens up to anything. I also like the cheaper 28mm f/2 with Sony, and use it often. It’s small, light and has a nice quality to it. Not to crisp and not soft, but IMO just right.

      1. Hi Steve,
        I’m curious as according to the “MY GEAR” page you use the 55 1.8, but you’ve stated elsewhere that it isn’t great and you never seem to recommend it. You don’t mention the Voigtlander 40 1.2 or Loxias on the “MY GEAR” page either, is it up to date?

        1. I owned the 55 1.8 for YEARS since 2 weeks before it was officially released. Just because I own it doesn’t mean its a preferred lens ; ) It sat for years, never getting use until I recently sold it. The 40 1.2 is a gorgeous lens, and probably my fave e mount lens, since it shipped. I own the X1D, a Sony A9, an Olympus PEN-F, EM1 MKII, and Canon M6. I own many cameras as I am a reviewer so I keep what I really like, for later comparisons to whatever replaces the gear. I have various lenses for each system, and almost own all of the pro glass for Olympus. Way too much for me, but I keep what I truly love. Thank you.

  9. The absence of lossless compressed RAW in the A7rIII is a serious omission.

    Also, Sony would be smart to make non-E mount + thin sensor cover glass A7rIII and A9 variants for photographers using competing systems who already have complete lens collections. Nikon F mount, Canon EF mount, and Leica M mount versions of the Sony camera bodies with full electrical, mechanical, autofocus, and optical compatibility would surely be big sellers, and would be a welcome gateway easy first step for switchers to Sony who would prefer to avoid putting up with the limitations of adapters.

  10. I have had this camera for about a month now with the new 24-105. That lens has incredible AF speed. It just locks on instantly! non of the jitter you get with most mirrorless cameras I’ve tried. The camera is the best camera i have ever shot with. Battery life is great, AF speed is great. BUT….the white balance is terrible under incandescent lighting. I have often been framing a shot only for the white balance to completely change! Maybe it is connected to the metering?
    I am getting this horrible yellow/orange colour cast (skin) in the upper mid tones on the LCD (even in B&W mode) but its not nearly as bad when viewing on the EVF. When i view on the comp its still noticeable. Not sure if this is a SONY color thing. I think i may have to return it. But the store told me it is a 40 day turn around! Welcome to Sony!

    1. IT’S MY FAVE CAMERA OF ALL TIME! YES INDEED. But it can not be camera of the year, as it is not appealing to most who shoot. It’s too expensive, it doesn’t have slighting speed AF, it doesn’t do good video, and it is medium format digital. When deciding on the camera of the year I have to keep in mind cost, specs, performance and everything. The A7rIII is much more appealing to the masses as it is cheaper, and usable for just about anything. It’s versatile as it can get, and priced right, so therefore my camera of the year ; )

  11. 2017:
    favorite camera used: Leica III
    camera most used: iPhone 5S, Sigma DP2x
    camera most disappointing: Leica M240 (failed in May in Iceland and has been in repair since, 3x returned).
    favorite new released camera untested: Olympus OM-D 10-III (because it does most of the jobs)

    2018:
    looking forward to:
    – use my Leica M240 again
    – get an iPhone XI (non-face-detect, with even deeper pixels)

  12. Hello Steve,
    thank you for your A7rII review. Why did you leave out the Sony A7s ii while comparing low light capabilities??
    The A7r iii attracts me a lot as an unobstrosive tool for people photography. However, I will probably wait until the A7s iii comes out, hoping that it is as good for stills. Doing a lot of concert photography I need low light capability.
    What do you expect from the A7s iii?
    Henning

    1. The A7RIII is about the same in low light as the II. For me, the II was very close to the A7SII. So much so, that I would not choose the A7SII over the RII or III for low light. The X1D beats the A7SII in low light as well ; ) But today, any Sony release will have fantastic low light performance that is above all others. I know of no other camera, mirrorless or DSLR that can beat the Sony A7RIII or A9 in low light. While the A7SII may reign supreme at the highest limits, up to 100K the RII and III stand up to it very well while giving all of the other improvements in the III such as battery, EVF, dual slots, speed, etc.

  13. I’ve had the A7II and A7s as recommended by Steve when it was launched. And to be honest after I bought the A7II I had a bad 3 year run of GAS. Not until I sold some gear that I at least slow cured it. No I can’t say I’m cured because I have a lens coming. Eitherway I never use the 2 Sony because the results were really not inspiring plus the handling. Reviewing the pics I took I love the Olympus EM5 M1 + Leica Pana 15mm better. What is left in my bag often recently is either the Leica M9, Ricoh GXR, and Xpan2. Sold most of my film gear and now I’m really eyeing the M10 the only thing holding me is my eyes. They are getting old as well. The CL is tempting because it is actually nice to handle but I’m worried I’ll lust for a full frame later. I agree the that the X1D is really something else but for the price I’d wait patiently for the 2nd generation which I’m sure will be great. As for the A7RIII, this really honestly something I’d consider compared to the CL since they have the same price range. Thanks for the reviews Steve. Cool.

  14. Any comments on the grip size and comfort in shooting and holding for long periods of time?. I have a Canon 6D and it feels good holding. With the A7Riii grip I feel like its not going to comfortable walking qround and shooting.

    1. Feels like an A7RII or A9. The grip is about the same, maybe a tad deeper than the II. The grip is plenty big and comfy IMO, no issues at all. I feel that DSLR’s are way to chunky and I am not a fan of DSLR grips so maybe depends on hand size (mine are small). If you have large hands, then maybe the grip may feel small. I’d suggest trying it out in a shop if possible.

  15. I have two remarks, Steve.
    1) Dear Sony, YOU NEED TO MAKE A “SIMPLE VERSION” OF THIS CAMERA!! For so many of us. (See “OPINION: Let’s go back to simplicity with cameras. What I would love to see.”, published here on December 20).
    2) You wrote: “This is a camera that will last you many years, if you want it to and do not succumb to GAS when the next models come out.” Well, being an MF shooter and only doing stills, that’s exactly what I thought after buying the A7Rii. So right now, the only model that could get me some GAS would be this back-to-basics Sony “A7Miii”.

    1. I wholeheartly agree with Dirk De Paepe,- if SONY would make a simple a7 Modell, Dirk calls it a7MIII, it would be heaven. Even if this version could “only” be used by all the Leica lens owners around the world optimaly. And even by all the SLR wideangle guys who would be able to get rid of most of their corner problems.
      We are A LOT of customers all over the world.
      SONY, don’t you want to earn a lot of easy gained money???
      To make it clear: all they have to do is to replace their very thick filter stack above their sensor with a thinner one, like Leica (and Nikon, Canon).
      I would not care that in this case I couldn’t use Sony and Zeiss e-mount lenses if I could use all the other ones.
      Very sadly, I don’t believe that SONY will ever do this, for reasons I don’t know. Maybe they don’t want to force stubborn Nikon and Canon to their knees. Honorable but very sad.

  16. Not much of a fan of Sony but I always respect Steve’s reviews and opinions.

    I only have 1 difference of opinion, and that is where Steve writes “But since cameras should be graded on performance most of all AND THEN usability and then design…”

    IMHO I would amend that slightly and say for enthusiasts, that usability and design often count more than performance. With all cameras being so capable these days, it is often the handling and feel of a device that matters more. As long as performance is good enough, then usability wins out. That is why smartphone cameras are so popular: for most people they are the most user friendly equipment.

    (Of course if one is a pro then one has to consider performance advantages more closely.)

    One thing I like about Steve is that he always remarks in his reviews that one should go with the gear that one feels more comfortable with and enjoys the most.

  17. I’m moving away from Canon after using them for 15 years. They are seriously lacking behind in sensor design. However, despite them trailing the other brands, I can say without question their control layout and ergonomics are still the best after trying out most other manufacturers – including Sony. I mean that giant wheel on the back of the 5D is the best, and perfect for exposure compensation which is the most commonly adjusted function for most people when they photograph. Add to that the three function buttons near the shutter button each with dual function it allows you to adjust 6 settings one handed while never taking your eye away from the viewfinder.

    Give me a 5d body design with mirrorless and a Sony sensor and it’s game over. I’m tired of waiting though so it’s time to try something different.

  18. Thanks Steve for the review. I have been debating selling my Q for the Sony, and your article convinced me that it wouldn’t be a bad move. Glad I’m not the only one who hates the menu system, but I find myself in too many situations where I wish I could change lenses. I’ll be buying following your links, hope you get credit! One question though, if you could start with one lens would it be the 24-105?

  19. Steve, just got my A7riii , took few pictures and the noise is terrible even at 800 ISO?!
    Did you have same problem?

    Thank you,

    1. NO, you either have a defect or are exposing incorrectly. The A7RIII is one of the top high ISO/low light cameras made in 35mm I also have all NR turned off in camera, and I can shoot at crazy ISO levels, and do. I shoot regularly at 6400, 12800 and even 25600 in LOW light.

  20. When Sony releases the 400/2.8 (hopefully with matching 1.4x and 2x TCs) that will be the official end of DSLRs. Of course you can adapt third party lenses to the Sony, AF and all, but the native lens will take Sony over the top.

    They also need to release a few more pro E mount lenses for the A6000 series. I shoot with E mount cameras, and I’m happy with adapting manual focus lenses. But that’s not for everyone.

  21. The Sony looks good but I agree to many button’s keep it simple as the Leica and Hasselblad X1D. I have tried out the Leica which is wonderful and simple controls. Even the Cl looks a possibility as my eyes are not as good. Have yet to try the X1D. Are you going to review the 30mm and 90mm for the X1D. I here they may be even sharper then the 45mm.

    1. The X1d is my fave camera ever. It has it all, but sadly it is too expensive, even for me (though that didn’t stop me). It has the design, build quality, IQ, DR, low light capabilities, EVF, and decent AF. I shot with and talked about the 90 in one of my many X1D articles. Have yet to try the 30 though it appears to be a fantastic lens.

          1. The reason I am asking because I heard XD1’s AF is just ok (not that fast) unlike the Leica Q which I am using currently.

          2. The X1D AF is m much quicker than most will lead you to believe. Many tested it when it first came out, and since it has had numerous firmware updates that have improved the camera in all areas. The AF speed is snappy, and just about on par with your Q.

          3. Thanks so much for the info. You now made XD1 my aspirational camera . I need to save up my money mate (don’t want to sell my Q)

      1. I’m imagining an A7RIV with a brand new chassis that is strikingly similar, if not exactly like the X1D 😉 add the Leica Q EVF and BOO YA! Nikon and Canon will have to stay home with their mirrorless ambitions 😉

  22. Agree with the article! I’ve owned it since the day it came out and is a huge step forward in regards to speed, EVF quality, and battery life compared to the RII. With that said, it is a ugly camera and I wish they would put a little more effort in designing a sexier camera. I think right now the sexiest mirrorless camera without question is the Hasselblad X1D. If you could combine the insides of the Sony a7R III with the medium format sensor of the Hassy and it’s external body, you would have in my opinion the best camera every made!

    1. No of course not, I have written and made videos on Olympus over the last few weeks.The EM1 MKII is a phenomenal camera but will lag behind compared to the A7rII in a few key areas. Low light, Resolution, and it is not full frame so we lose some Dynamic Range as well. Video is better on the Sony as well. But price reflects this as the EM1 MKII, the pro Olympus, comes in at $1800 or so. The Sony is $1500 more. Only pro lenses are incredible though, and make the system shine. At the end of the day though, Micro 4/3 can not compete with full frame in some areas, though it is quite capable as it is, and good enough for 99% of us ; ) I will say the EM1 MKII and PEN-F are more fun to use, for me, than a Sony.

  23. So I think if Sony hired a European designer to make the body aesthetically inspiring and simplify the user interfaces, and then also took out the video capabilities to make the camera even smaller, I think then we have that perfect camera that has been eluding Steve.

  24. Steve,
    2 months ago I was contemplating between A7RII vs Leica Q, I ended up with The Q for precisely the only reason that you mentioned in this article, the design is boring(borderline ugly) and it doesn’t inspire “my soul” like a Leica does.

    Thanks for the honest review as always!

  25. Hi Steve!
    I agree with everything you wrote here and would like to add that Sony A7riii is also a lot heavier and less attractive than Sony A7r first edition. In my opinion the first camera was most estheticly proper one.
    Love Sony anyway!
    Happy New Year! All the best in 2018!

  26. You wouldn’t mind as much, it being ugly if it were functionally ugly, like the new G9 with that big grip. With the Alphas, you get ugly and hand cramps as a bonus 😉 On the follow up to the A7RIII, I’d like a large comfortable grip please. Nice review Steve and great shots. HNY!

    1. I have the A7s and the AR7II and never experienced hand cramps. Ugly, Beautiful, that is in the eye of the beholder and as individuals, each to their own.
      Changing cameras every two years is crap, I’m holding on to mine for a long time as they serve me well despite any issues they may have. The investment says I should when the kind of rubbish prices you get if you sell to upgrade We have to ask ourselves, are we collectors or photographers whether amateur or professionals ? Professionals at least have a point when they upgrade as these are their tools for their work.The camera of the year is the one you have with you when you need it most!!!

      Happy New Year to you all and thanks Steve for running this site.

      Vic

  27. Nice review Steve! I have mine for a month now and I love it too. Coming from the A7r it’s a UGE step up.

    I disagree with your comments on the body. Imho it is great as it is. Hope Sony keeps it this small.

    My wish is a 135mm 1.8 or 2.0 GM. Hope it comes. And a small(ish) and light 200mm 2.8 GM. Then all my wishes became true.

    Keep up the good work Steve! Thnx!

    1. Dave, what about noise factor with Sony? That’s the only problem I have. Even at ISO 800 the noise is terrible vs Leica M 10

      1. Sony offers far superior low light performance over the M10, I mean, it’s not even close. I shot the M10 in low light at ISO 10k, and had plenty of noise. I shoot the Sony at 12800 and it is MUCH cleaner, MUCH and usable for print if needed. The Sony has greater DR and low light high ISO performance over the M10, at least where it matters, in low light.

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