The Sony A7III Review Part 1. Why this may be the one you have been waiting for.

The Sony A7III Review Part 1. Why this may be the one you have been waiting for.

By Steve Huff

First things First! The Sony A7III SPECS: 

  • 24MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • 693-Point Hybrid AF System
  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 2.36m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF
  • 3.0″ 922k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • ISO 204800 and 10 fps Shooting
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC, Dual SD Slots
  • USB Type-C Port, Weather-Sealed Design

Ahhh yes. It seems like just yesterday I was writing about the Sony A7RIII. Now I have had a chance to use the brand spanking new A7III for a few days and while I only had a brief time with it (along with 30-40 other journalists and YouTubers) shooting most of the same subjects, I pretty much have a feel for what it is all about, and what it can do for photographers who have yet to step up to full frame, or are rocking an older full frame camera. Also for those who want to switch to Mirrorless it is my opinion that right now is THE TIME to do so.

Mirrorless is hot, it is gaining steam, and for very good reason. Todays Mirrorless is nothing like the mirrorless from a few years ago. The A7III has now brought incredible full frame quality to those without a fat wallet.

While not cheap by any means, there is no camera today, that one can get for $2k or less that does what the A7III does. It gives us so much, for not so much money especially when compared to the competition.

This is an important camera as it is the first to offer full frame, 15 stop DR, 4K video, dual slots, amazing AF speed of the A9 and a battery that is rated to over 700 shots for this kind of investment. Weather sealing is here, as is EYE AF, as always with these Sony cameras. This may be called “The Basic Model” by Sony but I feel they are doing that as some sort of joke as this camera is far from basic.

This is indeed a sort of stripped down A9, and of course you do not get all of the benefits of the $2500 more expensive A9, but you do get that AF system from the A9 as well as some other features from the new bodies that Sony has recently introduced (Joystick, Dual Card Slots New Battery System) Sony has also created an all new sensor for this camera and it performs VERY well. It should as Sony makes sensors for many cameras and they are a world leader in Sensor technology.

Sony A7III with the Voigtlander 40 1.2 at f/2. So rich, so much depth  – but that is partly the lens. This lens is so beautiful I recommend it to all Sony shooters. It allows you to really experience that manual focus experience and delivers f1/.2 for low light. Small in size and such a high performance lens. 

I remember like it was yesterday when Sony released the little NEX3 and 5 (see my 2010 review of those HERE), I had them ALL back then and bought almost every Sony released like a crack addicted man out of control. Compared to what we have here today, those were like baby toys in all ways from build, speed, performance, size, lenses, etc. Sony has come a LONG way and pretty quickly I will add. We now have so many full frame lenses from Sony and tons from 3rd party manufactures such as Zeiss (Loxia and Batis line), Sigma,  Voigtlander and others. One of the benefits of these Sony cameras and mirrorless in general is the ability to use the camera with almost any lens made, by any manufacturer. Have an old Canon lens? An old Leica lens, a Nikon? Get an adapter and use them on the Sony A7III, A7RIII, A9 or any Somy mirrorless! In fact you can change the entire way this camera shoots. Plop on the GORGEOUS Voigtlander 40 1.2 E Mount and have a small, solid, manual focus experience that will make you feel amazing when you nail that perfect shot.

My 1st Look Video..more video to come on the A7III soon!

Being full frame, these cameras like the A7III can use all of the lens (make sure to use a full Frame lens of course) and produce all of its character. Unlike an APS-C or Micro 4/3, full frame allows one to really use exotic and other brands of glass and shows their full character. With higher end M 4/3 and APS-C models these days almost hitting the $2k mark, to get this a7III with a new generation sensor and loads of features and amazing amazing speed is pretty remarkable.

What about the old A7 and A7II?

Yep you can get the original A7 for under $800  and the A7II for under $1100. Even less than the III, so why not just go that route and save even more?

Well, you can, as those are great cameras for IQ. The original A7 though would feel turtle like in comparison, but if one wanted a Sony body only for manual lenses, that would be a great buy for $900 or so. But the original lacks in speed, response, has an older EVF and is a first gen product. The Mark II was lovely but lacks the battery life, the speed and dual slots and joystick of the III. If those things do not matter, a II could be a great buy at under $1100.

A7III JPEG – CROP from full frame with the 85 1.8 – Click for larger.

Whats the differences between the A9, A7RIII and this A7III?

The A7III is touted by Sony as their “Basic” model for “Everyone”. The A7RIII is for RESOLUTION and some pros need that extra OOMPH in the pixel dept as the 42 MP sensor provides plenty of megapixels for 35mm full frame. The A9 is the flagship pro model and offers pro weather sealing, speed that can not be matched by any camera (Not even the Nikon D850 beats the A9 AF Tracking)), no blackout EVF, 20 FPS, and better build and control. To me, the A9 feels the best made in my hand, then the 7RIII and then the 7III. All are fantastic though and feel very similar in use. The speed jumps from these latest Sony cameras is astonishing compared to previous generations. The battery life is also HUGE as is the dual card slots. They have come a long way and fast.

Here are some of the most important differences between the models:

The Sony A9 – King of Speed. Auto focus and FPS. At 20 FPS you can shoot without any EVF blackout, and it is an incredible experience. See my full A9 review HERE for all of the details. The A9 also has the most solid and well made body, the most extensive weather sealing and amazing battery life. It has a high res EVF that looks like an HDTV when you frame with it, and of course the dual slots (now all have this), the joystick (now all have this) that all models now have. This camera comes in at $4500 and is the most expensive Sony camera they make. It is the flagship and really meant for pro sports and action shooters though anyone can benefit from the speed and response.

Massive crop from an A7III JPEG, click it to see it larger

The Sony A7RIII – That resolution. 42 MP is what this one pumps out so those who seek the ultimate detail in 35mm mirrorless, this is it. Landscape pros, this is your body! It offers near A9 speeds while giving us this incredible almost medium format like resolution, and it also gives us the same EVF, battery, and most of the features of the A9 besides the new control dial the A9 added. It shoots at 10FPS instead of 20 and offers pixel shift for high res images. It is like a slightly slower high res A9 without the no blackout EVF or 20 FPS. Coming in at $3300, it is not cheap but $1200 less than the mighty A9. In low light this thing rocks as well. But all Sony’s do these days.

A7III with 24-105 for a quick grab shot…

The Sony A7III – At $1999 this is now the lowest cost current A7 body. All that we lose from the two above is the higher res EVF (A9 and A7RIII), the no blackout EVF (A9), Extensive Weather Sealing (Though this is weather sealed), Pixel Shift from the A7RIII and the backside is made from more plastic than the other two. We still keep the dual slots, joystick, and the speed is increased from the A7RIII and uses the A9 focus system, which is incredible. 10 FPS like the RIII. So we do not lose much while we are saving a ton. I forsee pros using the A9 and a7RIII and some pros using the a7III but also many enthusiasts, hobbyists and those who have smaller formats like APS-C, Micro 4/3, Phones, etc. If you ever wanted to jump into full frame, as I said, no better time than now.

Click for larger. Voigtlander 40 1.2 and Sony A7III

The A7III is giving us the most bang for the buck of all the NEW Sony cameras, meaning we pay less and get almost as much as the big boys. 

The IQ from the new Sony is very similar to the character and color from the other two, and they have that Sony signature about them. All cameras render images differently as each sensor is different. The lenses we use are like our paint brushes and the sensor, the canvas. This is why some choose certain brands over others. Fuji is known for their amazing color simulations, Olympus is known for their warm happy colors, Leica is known for their own unique color character and Sony has one as well. The funny thing is, I have shot Sony cameras for A LONG TIME, going back to the 1st Mavica floppy disk camera and then the F707 which was so cool for its time. Even then, I see similarities in color signatures from the old to new Sony cameras. Of course, the new models are 10000X better but color wise, these still have the Sony look.

EVEN THIS JPEG IS PRETTY DETAILED AND IMPRESSIVE! Click it for larger and full crop! Sony 85 1.8 for this one.

15 STOPS OF DYNAMIC RANGE

This is now becoming the norm it seems. Dynamic range is huge on the A7III. If you underexpose, no worries you can bring it to life easily during the RAW conversion or even on the JPEG. Fifteen stops, or up to that, is incredible. Makes it tough to blow highlights really. Even for video we get that high dynamic range, and this camera does video very well. Sony is up there with video and this model offers S Log 2 and 3 (Unlike the A9). Not many cameras out today can reach Sony’s level of Dynamic Range, besides the expensive pro Nikon models that will cost much more and be much larger.

From a Helicopter with the A7III and 24-105 (shot through glass in a helicopter)

MENU SYSTEM

The Menu system is the same as previous Sony’s and that was no surprise. Me, I find the menus in the Sony cameras to be WAY to jam packed for my tastes. Makes me feel l like I am setting up some high tech difficult piece of tech but in reality, it is quite easy once you get the hang of it. I prefer simple menus like Leica and Hasselblad deliver. But that is a small complaint as most do not mind the Sony menus. Once you learn it, and set it up, you should be good to go as all buttons are programmable. So make it your own when you get it and you should not have to worry about it later.

This camera is important, and mark my words…it will be the best selling Sony this year. I thought the a7RIII would be it, but I had no idea what Sony had planned for the A7III. Costing only $2k means it will indeed be the camera many jump to and I am already seeing it. I had emails this week from Nikon and Canon shooters who are finally making the switch due to THIS camera. Crazy how fast some have jumped on this.

Gotta love the rendering from the 40 f/1.2! This is still my most used lens on my Sony. See my review of it HERE. 

This camera will be the reason for many to upgrade to full frame and experience the extended DR and full depth of field control. It will even convert some who use their phone I think as NO PHONE can do what a good camera can do, period. END OF STORY.

If I were to choose one Sony today to buy, for me it would now be this A7III. With the money saved over an a9 or a7RIII I would buy a good lens or fund a scenic vacation. When using it, it feels like the others and provides similar color and IQ.

Again if you do not need the FULL OUT crazy speed of the A9 or the higher res of the A7RIII or the higher res EVF, then the A7III is a no brainer from what I have seen so far. I have had extensive use with all three, and all previous gens. To me, the a7III is the best model for those who are not sports or landscape pros as it gives you everything you need, for the least amount of cash outlay.

JPEG through Glass (in a helicopter) – click them for larger

Why are you showing JPEG only Steve?

Well, there is no support for this camera yet (as of this writing) when using Adobe or C1 products. You can convert using Sony software as of today but that may be the worst software I have ever used. So I will wait for other software to support. I believe C1 will be ready in a week or so. So all images I have shown have been JPEG shot in either Standard, Vivid or B&W in camera. Part 2, when I get a chance to use the camera MUCH more, will only show RAW processed images which will be a step up in IQ as RAW is always the preferred way to shoot.

Harrahs Casino. I used to see this statue 15 years ago at this casino and swore it was bad luck which is why the Cason put it in! Of course that’s not true but back then when I would play blackjack I would lose anytime I saw this statue on my way, so I later avoided it and never had a losing streak there again! I no longer do ANY gambling but it’s fun to look at. 

A7III and Voigtlander 40 1.2 – Click for larger. 

What about M lenses on the A7III?

I feel it will perform the same as the A9 and A7rIII with Leica M mount lenses. Which is very good. But only for 35mm and up. Go wide and you will most likely see the corner smearing we see on the other bodies as these cameras were not made for M glass. Even so, they work great with M lenses, especially 50mm and up. The best performance for M glass these days is with the M10, without question.

BATTERY LIFE

This camera has INCREDIBLE Battery Life!  Rated to 710 shots but you can get even more just as many are doing with the A9 and RIII. The new Sony Battery system was well worth the wait. I only need one battery instead of five ; )

LOW LIGHT AND HIGH ISO?

We are at a point now where ANY of these modern Sony cameras will deliver amazing low light performance. The older A7SII, the A7RIII, the A9 and this A7III are wonderful when the lights get low. When I get a review unit I will test it in low light clubs shooting music, but I already know it is amazing. The ISO range is from 100-51200 and it is expandable to over 200K ISO. Not really usable at 200K but at 51K? Sure if you need it. THAT IS AMAZING as I remember when ISO 640 was tough to get without noise. Anyone remember the ORIGINAL Canon 1dS? ISO 640 looked like ISO 51k does on the Sony a7III!

Below are a few ISO samples from high to EXTREME! All with the A7III and 24-105 Lens. Click them for larger. 

So today we no longer have to worry about low light or cranking the ISO if we need to do that. Get a fast lens, turn up the ISO and you can create very cool images in any light. Same with the opposite end of the spectrum. Bright light is OK as the Dynamic Range is almost unstoppable. I can not believe we are getting this much in a camera for $2000.

This is just  part one of my review. Part two will have ISO tests, detail comparisons, and video tests as well as a video to go along with it. But the A7III is hot, and should be. I speak the truth and from the heart and try to avoid the noise and technical jargon. I also try to avoid the extensive microscopic evaluations as that has nothing to do with taking pictures, and enjoying your new camera. Trust me, I see nothing from any manufacturer when it comes to performance and features for the money that beats this a7III.

If you are a enthusiast, a pro, a hobbyist and have been getting that itch for full frame….take a LONG hard look at the A7III. If you have an older A7 or A7II, take a look if you are wanting more from your camera.

More to come, and also more with the a7RIII as well. 

You can pre order the A7III at Amazon or B&H Photo

You can order the Lenses I used here:

Voigtlander 40 1.2 (Review)

Sony 85 1.8 (My Review)

Sony 24-105 

 


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93 Comments

  1. I have read that the EVF on the A7iii has blackouts, bad lag time, or long refresh rate, is that true?

  2. Dear Steve,

    Like many Sony mirrorless fans I am stuck on the same problem, whether to get a A7R 2 or an A7 3!

    I know you have been asked this in a variety of ways already, but each person has their on caveats (i.e. for potraits/landscape/astro/action etc.)

    As an amateur who does a bit of everything, what would you suggest as an all rounder?

    Factors that are influencing me are:
    – I am coming from the NEX7. The main issue I have with this camera is that it is terrible in low light.
    – The UK cheapest prices I can find are £1460 for the A7R2 and £1780 for the A73. Both body only. That is a 22% increase.

    Kind regards, Nick

  3. Steve, great info. I like to shoot landscapes and astro. I don’t do much if any video. I’m trying to decide which a7 to buy. I love the a7R3 but its pricey. Would the extra mp’s make that much of a difference in IQ ? Would you buy the a7R2 for a few hundred more, or just buy the new a73 ?? Also can you suggest a few lenses either Sony or or manufacturer for landscape, and fast wide angle for astro. I like the GM’s but way to pricey for me.

  4. Great review and comparison. I am D750 shooter. (have many nikon glasses 24-70 2.8, 85mm 1.8, 24-120 f4 and 50mm 1.8 and SB700 flash unit). Not a professional. Just do photography as hobby. Ever since a7rii hit the market, I am craving for the eye autofocus, touch screen and now IBIS. Do you think nikon will ever want to go to that path and provide these three incredible features or it is time to switch to sony. According to you how much will I have to add($) if I sold all of my nikon gears and buy A7III with G-master 24-70? Thank you for your time and suggestions.

  5. I’m all Canon. For me it’s about being able to use the tool more than it is the slight advantages. I’m kind of torn between the A7iii or a backup 6Dmkii to go alongside my 5dmkiv though. I’m not as upset at the rest of the world at the 6dmkii 3% drop in dynamic range lol. But I do like the advantages it offers in terms of dual pixel, phase detection, flip screen and most importantly the ergonomics, the button layout is superb for 1 handed blindsight shooting. Saying this the Sony A7iii has a similar layout obviously sparkly specs. Torn between the 2 anyway. Dual card slot and autofocus but handling is very important as I often shoot with 2 cameras at the same time. Any thoughts in terms of handling from those who made the switch? Wedding photographer/videographer. Thanks, Paul Liddement Wedding Stories.

  6. I have been shooting on my Olympus omd em5 for years ever since you reviewed it. I have been saving my money to upgrade to omd em1 Mark II ($1,600) now I see this and wonder if I should consider it for just a little more? Are these camera bodies even comparable? Which would you choose today? Thanks for all of your hard work on this site.

  7. I’m debating on upgrading to a full frame camera. Do thing I should invest in the sony a7iii or go with the sony a7. I’m looking to use it for taking pictures of my travels and landscape

    • My friend, I think the A7 is the BEST FULL FRAME CAMERA per dollar you can buy today (on the used market) and the image quality and functionality is 90% that found on the A7.3 !!!;-)

      • Incorrect. The Af on the original A7 is about 25% of the a7III. The low light is about 65%, the AF accuracy is far behind the A7III. Battery life is 1/4 the A7III, the build is less, the body is different, no eye AF, no joystick..no dual slots, I can go on and on an on.

    • I have been shooting for 35Y+ now. I have been shooting with Canon since 1994 and was very happy. My last canon has been a 5DmIII with 3 main zooms 16-35 f2.8 24-70 f4 70-200 f2.8 and 50 f1.4 85 f1.8
      For my 50th birthday I bought my self a Sony A7rII (as it was offered at a very good price and I don’t need fast autofocus or FPS). I am happy like a kid!
      This is a dream come true as now I am able to attach “any” lens I have home, not only Canon AF but all my old Rokkor prime lenses. All lenses have now IS (this makes a big difference). When I am going to places like India I can now go around with very small equipment that doesn’t look like a professional camera!!! Last thing, A7rII at 42mp gives you the opportunity to print enormous enlargements with an incredible detail that I would compare to a 6×7 film or even to a 4×5!
      I process my files with Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw and it is quite fast using a small MacBook Pro.

  8. Would you recommend the A7RIII or the A7III for portrait photography for a new photographer? Is the extra megapixels worth it for this kind of photography?

    Thank you!

  9. Every time I think about moving to a Sony body, I see the pictures and they always look horrible to me. The Panasonic GH5 video still eclipses what any Sony can deliver. The a7s is great in low light, but the video, even in good light doesn’t look great. Also, sure that ISO 8000 pic doesn’t have any noise reduction, but if I reduced the noise on my GH5 to match that image, it would be of the same quality as that one is at it’s actual size. Again, Sony is placing bets on specs and marketing. I almost jumped again, but everything I actually see and feel when handling the cameras keeps me away. A lot of other photographers feel the same way. It looks like a great camera, but not for me.

    • Deveren, what do you mean with ” they look horrible”? To vivid colours (aka electronic looking)? I have experience with Fuji bodies and the colours are so much more similar to film reproduction and the camera parameters let you adjust them to find the best results for you. Perhaps sony does not support so much flexibility in this regard.

    • Must be a matter of personal preference because my experience the Sony full frame A7S looks much better to me in all lighting conditions. I do tune the color a bit.

  10. Steve. Great review. I have purchased a loxia 35mm for the a7iii. Honestly is MF tricky with the a7iii evf or should I stump up the extra dough for the A7riii with the higher res evf?

    • Well, I have no issues with it, nor did I with the A7rII. But it seems some do here and there. So this is a question I can not answer for you. I am Ok with it and have no issues.

    • Give you a favor and look inside the EVF of the new FUJI X-H1 in low light and than inside the one of SONY A7III…what a difference for precise manual focusing. It is way better on the FUJI, unbelievable!
      I will test further FUJI vs SONY @ high iso because seems the fuji perform as good as the sony in low light. Effectiveness of IBIS seems also better on Fuji H1.

      • Ive handled and shot a few frames with the XH1. Feels like a big DSLR, and they modeled it after the GFX. I will admit ,it is much more solid than the usual hollow feeling Fuji bodies. Even Fuji admits this. The EVF? Still can not compete with the EVF in the Leica SL and is on par with the EVF in the Sony A7RIII and A9. The Fuji will be larger, more bulk, better EVF, and not as good in low light shooting environments. (I’m talking LOW light when you have no light and need ISO in teh range of 10k-25k. I will have a shoot out in 2-3 weeks shooting at a low light music bar. Would be sooner but I am traveling for the next two weeks. The new Fuji feels nice, solid, and an improvement over what has come before it in regards to Fuji but is still APS-C, still lacks in LOW light and high ISO and is larger. Both are great cameras and will appear to those who like Fuji and Sony.

          • Unfortunately that ISO test is useless to me. High ISO changes depending on the light available. ISO 6400 in dark light conditions will be much more noisy than in studio conditions. No one jacks up ISO in studio conditions. The true test will be in a real world low light scenario, and only in a real world low light scenario. Studio ISO tests, no matter who does them, are IMO, unless. I have said this for 10 years. I also always turn off all in camera noise reduction (if they allow it) to avoid blurring and smearing. With that said, the XH1 Looks to be a new kind of camera for Fuji. I look forward to giving it a go in low light, and everyday real world tests and shoots. Thank you.

          • Seems DPREVIEW hear you and post the comparison test.
            I think even in LOW LIGHT the Fuji X-H1 make sense against Sony A7R.3 (aka A7.3), at least till 6400ISO with comparable noise.
            For the jpeg files personally I prefer the more film like noise of Fuji @51200ISO against electronic appearance of Sony noise, but this is a subjective taste.
            Anyway Kudos Fuji!

          • I shoot regularly between 10K AND 25K AND PRINT AT THOSE ISO’S! Sony and Hasselblad have been the only ones that work well. ISO 6400, any camera can do well these days. But I will test them in a torture test, with noise reduction OFF. If the Fuji can hang at ISO 12k-25k, in very low light, without NR, then I will be amazed and will buy one without question. I like what Fuji has done with the XH1 in all areas actually. I have not seen the DP review shots, but if they tested ISO in a studio setting, useless to me. High ISO performance can only be shown in low light as if we give light to the scene, it is not anything close to being real world. As in, who jacks up ISO in a studio setting? ISO performance varies dramatically depending on the light available.

            http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/09/13/the-hasselblad-x1d-review-part-2-torture-test-high-iso-low-light-handheld/

            and an X1D ISO 25k image without any noise reduction in a very dark location…

            http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/25KBW.jpg

          • Hey Steve, you might have missed it, but DPR do TWO studio tests that you can toggle between. One is daylight balanced with bright light like you mentioned, which doesn’t really test high ISO performance. BUT they also do a tungsten low light test you can toggle to. This is what I always look at when comparing high ISO noise between sensors.

          • I have yet to see any real low light tests from DP review or any large review site. Their studio tungsten test is not real world in any way, shape or form IMO. I am out of town for the next 10 days but will be getting to work on my own low light real shooting tests between the 7III and RIII to see what the differences are after 3200. Thanks.

          • What is wrong with their second test? A 25w tungsten incandescent light bulb sure sounds like a real world low light test. They even light it unevenly, giving people the option to download the RAW file to see how the shadows lift at these underexposed high ISO settings with a bulb that sits around 3000k. Try a 25w bulb in a dark room Steve and you will see it’s pretty low light. I see this as a true no frills low light test.

            From their website:

            “We offer two lighting conditions, a ‘Daylight’ mode that is illuminated to 10EV using daylight-balanced Kino Flo RF55 lamps, and a low light mode lit by a 25W tungsten incandescent light bulb.”

  11. Startup… I own a Sigma dp 1S and a dp 2M. So I don’t compare ; )
    Black out…. did I mention I own twe Sigma’s?
    No, just wanted to remind everybody about Pentax, when talking about wheatersealing. And I don’t have one! I’m just a Minolta-lover that had to marry Sony after the divorce. Pity about the second (E)mount though, when I started being a nex-user too.
    Still having fun (too) reading here, keep on the nice work!

  12. Would you buy this or an XH1 to shoot daily still and wedding photography in low light (with some light though).
    I’ve heard the Fuji 16 55 f2.8 is fantastic but I’ve heard mixed opinions about Fuji ‘s sensors.

    Thanks.

  13. My understanding is that the A7 iii has an AA filter and the A7R iii does not. Is that correct? If so, it seems that would be another benefit of the A7R iii.

      • Thank you for your reply, Steve.

        The Art of Photography YouTube channel says he checked with Sony support and was told “R” cameras do not have an AA filter but the others, e.g., the A7 III, do.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVnMQAHjbLg

        I apologize if it sounds like I was asking a question I already knew the answer to; I didn’t have the information at the time I asked you the question.

        • Yes I stand corrected. I did not think it did as someone mumbled to me that it didn’t a few days ago. I couldn’t tell that it did while in use, and it appeared no less sharp to me at 100% than the RIII does. Thank you.

    • Well there is no best, just different. I love the Zeiss Loxia line. Sony’s 50 1.4 is fantastic but large. Sonys 35 1.4 is also awesome, but large. Sigma art lenses are also fantastic on Sony. There are many choices and all deliver a different character.

  14. Hi Steve, did Sony implement full touch screen functionality for menu navigation like Fuji x t2 or h1 or is it only a AF spot positioning tool?
    What about very long exposure, timelapse, raw conversion and multiple exposure functionalities completely in camera with no external accessories necessary: Fuji have those, Sony A7iii loose Playmemories support!
    I can’t decide between a Fuji model or the new Sony a7iii.
    My feeling is Fuji is designed with functionality in mind while Sony is a beautiful sensor with electronic stuff around. Give me your opinion…thanks!

  15. Steve,

    Any feedback on Tamron’s/Sigma’s new FF emounts? Very curious to see how it compares with Sony’s G lenses.

  16. I’ve been a Canon shooter for almost 40 years but i just preordered the 7iii yesterday. So glad I waited and did not settle for a Canon Miii or IV or the earler A7ii. This looks to be the last camera I will ever buy

  17. Steve,
    Is the A7III a significant upgrade over the A7RII? Is the only advantage for the A7RII the 42MP? I am considering making the swap, but I don’t want to do it if it’s close. It just seems like I have a lot to gain as portrait and occasional wedding shooter.

    • The a7III is a downgrade from the A7RIII. As stated, with the a7III you lose the High Res EVF, Higher Megapixel Sensor, Higher Res LCD, Pixel Shift Mode, and more substantial weather sealing. This is why it is $1300 less than the RIII. It is faster with continuous AF over the a7RIII though, so that is one upgrade. You will get longer battery life with the a7III due to the lower res EVF, etc.

  18. Thanks Steve for the review, great as always.

    Did you test A7 III silent mode rolling shutter issue? On both stills and videos. I believe it definitely worse than A9. But would like to know how it compares to A7R III. And can it be an “issue” if shooting sports or events moment capture using the amazing 10 FPS silent mode?

    Thanks!

    • I had it for a couple of days, and had a schedule of events during that time. I am now back home. I do not have an A7III and will not have one for 2-3 more weeks. Maybe 4. As for rolling shutter the only Sony that eliminates it is the A9 as that is part of the sensor design, so you will still see some of it in the A7RIII and a7III I am sure. For sports, the A9 is king.

  19. I have bought the a6000 3 years ago, as my first enthusiast grade camera. I have purchased some FE lenses since, awaiting the perfect time to upgrade once I know what I’m looking for in a camera. Today I know that is a great performance in low light, and superb Dynamic Range. If this camera can actually deliver the promised 15 stops of DR (the a6000 has about 13 stops) and major improvements in Low Light performance (with the a6000 I won’t shoot in low light above ISO 3200), That might tempt me to spend more than X4 the amount I’ve spent on my a6000 for a new FF camera.

    • Well, blackout on any modern camera would never ever bother me as it’s really borderline non existent. I never shoot more than 1 FPS but have tested the 10 FPS on this Sony. Blackout is a non issue here. It’s a cool feature of the 9 to have no blackout, as it looks like you are watching a mini TV as you shoot 20FPS but is it needed? I do not think so, but some feel it is. With this camera, blackout is not an issue at all. Not sure when it became an issue as blackout on old film cameras could be insane ; ) These cameras, blackout is a non issue.

      • Thanks Steve! I’m upgrading from A7 first version which seems to have an unusually long blackout time. This is my “poor man’s leica” camera (or at least a host for my M & R glass) so anything that makes it more “rangefindery,” like lower blackout time, is welcome. Thanks for a great part one, looking forward to the sequel.

  20. Great review Steve!
    Does the A9 lack some of the video profiles (S Log) that the A73 actually has? How about video AF between the two?
    Thanks.
    John

      • Do you know if Sony is planning a firmware update to bring the a9 “up to speed” with the a7III in terms of SLOG?
        Also, does the a9 use 6K down-scaled to 4K like the a7III?
        It is hard to find much in the way of video comparisons between these cameras.
        Glad to see you are still going so strong with the website. I purchased my Leica M9 years ago based off this site.

  21. What can you do to shoot that 40/1.2 in bright daylight wide open on the A7iii? I assume the e-shutter can go higher than 1/8000 or could the ISO be set to lower than 100?

    • You can add on an ND filter which makes it easy. Just use a high quality one. Can also go Electronic shutter. I believe the a7III does not have an ISO 50 mode as the RIII does.

      • Very interesting – I just read from some other review that the electronic shutter is also capped at 1/8000 instead of going 1/32000 like on other current mirrorless bodies. Could you check that out?

  22. Steve, I know the EVF and LCD resolution is lower than the A7Riii. Do you think it’s negligible? I’m a hybrid shooter and video is just as important to me as photos. I was just about to buy the A7R3, but now I’m torn.

    Thanks!

    • It is noticeable but I have never had an issue with that EVF. I shot the a7RII for a long time using manual lenses, and never had an issue. This one is the same, no issues. Would I want a higher res? Sure, I’d love that Leica SL EVF inside of one of these (Which I still feel is superior to what is in the a9 and a7RIII) but for the cost savings I would have no issue with what is there. It’s a good EVF.

  23. Steve if you were to judge just JPEG IQ from the A7III compared to the A7S, is it a noticeable, minor, or negligible improvement?

  24. If money were no object and imagine quality the most important feature, which of the three is the best choice?

    • Any of them, just go by what you need. Resolution? RIII. All out speed? A9

      A7III has near A9 speed for continuous AF, but you get a lesser EVF and less resolution than the RIII. ALL ARE AMAZING and top tier cameras. Most will not need the 20FPS and no blackout of the A9, some will not need 42 Megapixels. Some will be OK with last gen EVF to save $1300 or $2500. They are all similar in use, feel the same, put out similar IQ and color. All are wonderful in low light. They are all more similar than different.

      • I was hoping you would commit to one but ok. Now how about lenses? Focal length and speed notwithstanding (meaning I don’t care 😉 which FE lens do you like the 2nd most after the Voigt 40? Sony Zeiss 50MM? Thank you.

    • I could NOT reproduce it and I tried. I spoke with other reviewers who said they have not see it either. So not an issue for me. I tried to reproduce it with backlit subjects, no go.

    • I think it’s hard to reproduce it, but it appeared for one photographer. This doesn’t mean it has to appear for everyone, does it ? I mean it is a small fault and maybe Sony can handle this with a firmware update, but the response to that is kinda huge in my eyes.
      It’s a very good camera body, not a perfect one.

    • I downloaded a raw file from the DPReview sample gallery showing the banding issue and was able to solve the banding by using the free and open source software Rawtherapee (excellent program would recommend). My settings under the demosaicing tab or the checkerboard icon, vng4 for demosaicing algorithm, somewhere between 50-100 for line noise filter in the preprocessing tab. Then undo the slight softness of the vng4 demosaicing algorithm by using deconvolution sharpening with a radius of .80-.88 getting a result that resolves fine detail pretty well. Overall, I would recommend Rawtherapee, as it gets excellent results, and with the processing technique I laid out, there is no reason for you to not buy an a7iii if the banding issue is a deal breaker.

  25. I’m really curious to see some real, third-party stress tests on the weather sealing of the A7.3. From what I’ve seen of other Sony A7 cameras (either in videos or articles), the sealing is just ok. The cameras aren’t as well sealed as those from other manufacturers, and may let water in/short out temporarily, but after drying out are functional again.

    I’ve put my old Canons and current Olympus gear through the ringer a number of times, be it waterfalls or heavy downpours, and it’s very freeing to not really worry about the weather. For the A7.3 to be a real switch option for me, I don’t want a huge regression in that aspect.

    • The A7III has the lowest sealing of the A9 and RIII. The A9 has pro sealing, the RIII good sealing and the III standard sealing. I’d say light rain OK, downpour, probably not.

    • This is my big concern. I would love increased low light performance. Really the only thing I wish Olympus was better at, and it seems I do shoot a lot in low light, But I’m also constantly in the desert, sand, mountains, high wind, snow, and freezing temps so oly’s weathering sealing feels like a must for me.

    • I like to see better low light performance on Olympus cameras as well. IQ is good enough. The rest like build quality, handling and ofc. the Pro lenses are just awesome.
      Right on the day i bought the Em1Mk2 and the 12-100mm f4, even when it wasn’t intended i was shooting outdoors in pouring rain. Had so much fun.
      Can’t imagine a similar situation for the Sony cameras.
      But i consider to get one with one or 2 Voigtlander lenses when i have the money avaiable.

      • Sebastian, I completely agree with you…a camera is so much more than SPEC ALONE…Olympus and Fuji have a completely different feeling operating wise and ARE WATER RESISTANT (I owned OLYMPUS E-M1mk2 and FUJI X-T2). These camera are made for the hardest conditions …my Sony A7SII (and I suppose the rest of the A7 series, too) is a sort of computer camera with slow startup, dated menu system and most important A POOR WEATHER SEALING.I had a serious issue during a video session under severe rain last October, NO MORE!
        Read this, please: https://petapixel.com/2017/12/07/sony-a7r-iii-weather-sealing-closer-examination/

        • The a7III starts up in about 1 second. Ready to shoot in that time. IT is weather sealed (water resistant) and feels much more solid than any Fuji I Have held, besides the GFX and X-H1. The cameras with the best weather seal are from Olympus, without question. Teh A9 has pro weather sealing as well but Olympus is one company who really does well here. Fuji camera feel much lighter and hollow in comparison to Sony, or Leica or whoever. The VIII Sony bodies are a whole new ball game, so competing V1 or even V2 bodies is not even a fair comparison. The Sony A7III will slaughter any Olympus, Fuji, Canon, for AF speed, continuous AF, Eye Af, battery life, and of course dynamic range and low light. Fuji can not compete in these areas nor can Olympus or Panasonic.

          • I think both look like garbage for IBIS in that video. Bottom line is the Fuji can not compete at high ISO with Sony, and this guy went out of his way to make this look bad, for both cameras.

          • Come on Steve, 1 second is a huge amount of time for photoreportage or children or streetphotography…my fuji t1 startup in approx 0.3 seconds and sometime I feel it is to slow to catch the MOMENT.I hear Nikon too is much better in this…

          • 1 Second is an estimate. If the Fuji fits your needs, be happy and stop reading reviews of competing products, lol. ; ) My favorite camera ever made, that I bought and own, is my X1D. That is a 6 second startup ; ) Best camera I have ever owned. Fuji lags behind in low light, that includes color reproduction and noise. I’d rather have a 1 second startup and have amazing low light performance and better DR than saving a half of a second start up time. But we each have our priorities, and we should choose with those priorities in mind.

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