10 reason why the Sony A7RIII may be my Camera of the Year for 2017
By Steve Huff
Yes, it is the newest camera causing eyeball pops from some photo enthusiasts. The Sony train continues down the track on its way to digital imaging domination and with the latest release, the A7RIII, Sony shows no signs at all of slowing down the train. It has been 2 years and 3 months since the A7RII was released and I used that A7RII for 2 years straight, proclaiming it my most used camera of 2017. If you missed that video I made about my love for the A7RII a couple years after use, see it below:
My video on the previous gen A7RII – 10 reasons why it was my most used camera
Many are comparing it to the D850 and for me it is no contest because I do not shoot or buy DSLRs anymore, so for me, the 850 is out. The Nikon is probably (and according to some I truly respect) Nikons BEST digital DSLR ever. That’s saying a lot as Nikon has had some memorable camera models. The D850 seems like THE Nikon to get I you want a full frame DSLR. No question about it. It seems Canon has been lagging behind in tech as many I speak with in the camera industry today talk down Canon, yet talk up Nikon. Sony is also gaining massive respect lately as well. When I started reviewing Sony gear, most out there dismissed it. Today, Sony is taken seriously due to what they have accomplished in the digital imaging world. For me, it all started with the NEX-7 as that is when I truly saw the reality of Sony’s dedication to photography. It grew and grew and today we have some amazing options within the Sony realm and for mirrorless in general.
A7RIII and 40 f/1.2 Voigtlander E mount
The Sony A7SII, A7RII and now A7RIII and A9 are by far, for me, the best mirrorless cameras created by Sony.
To clear up some internet chatter that some trolls make, no, Sony does not release new upgrades every six months. It seems their upgrade path is around 2 – 21/2 years. It has been 2 years and 3 months since the A7RII. It seems next up should be the A7SIII. As for the A9, will it ever get an “R” model? I think yes, but I also think it could be a year off or more. I am not really sure though.
Many ask me about the RX1R series. I also feel that another one of those may not be coming. I could be wrong but I see Sony sticking with what is selling and doing well for them, and that would be the A7 and A9 series as well as lenses for the system. With the new 400 f/2.8 announced for a summer 2018 release, we can see they are pushing ahead full steam with those telephoto lenses which is the one weak spot in the current lens lines up. But look at how many lenses we now have for our Sony cameras. Amazing for such a short time.
Close to a full 100% crop here – A7RII and 24-105 G. This shot was underexposed and dark. I pulled out the shadows here just using the mid level JPEG!
Going back to the new A7RIII, it really is fantastic and yes, it has been improved in so many ways from speed to battery to usability to DR and IQ. Here are my 10 reasons why this camera is shaping up to be the best of the year for me in 2017.
My 10 Reasons why this just may be my Camera of the Year for 2017
- It now has the A9 AF algorithms. – While not full on A9 speed for AF, it uses the same A9 Algorithms which boost the A7RIII AF speeds in all areas (continuous, tracking, single shot) by more than double over the A7RII. I have used it, tested it and shot with it and yes, it is FAST. Not quite as snappy as my A9 but fast. For the 42MP sensor, I can see no one complaining about AF speed. It seems faster than my EM1 MKII.
- The new Battery System ROCKS. Sure, there are other mirrorless cameras with good batteries. The EM1 MKII is one but Sony has always lagged in this area and they have officially caught up with the A9 and now A7RIII. The new Z batteries are astonishing and give so much more life than the old batteries. I speak with many who shoot the A9 and have shot the A7RII and some get 2k images from a single battery. I own three batteries for my A9 and never ever have I had to dip in to use the 3rd.
- The EVF is from the A9, which is $4500. The A7RIII is $3199 yet offers much of what I love about the A9. The EVF is one of them. Bright, crisp and while my fave EVF is still in the Leica SL, the A7RIII blows past the Leica SL for IQ and tech and the EVF here is just under that one in the SL. It’s GREAT and a welcome improvement over the previous model.
- The EYE AF is AMAZING! I never used it that much but with the A7RIII test I did and was wowed over and over. If you use the camera correctly and keep it on the subject/model that EYE AF will stick to the eye and this means if you shoot with say and 85 1.4 at 1.4, you will have focus on the eye. No DSLR does this that I know of and yes, it works VERY well. On the A7RIII and A9, Eye AF is remarkable.
- The Extended DR. Shoot at base ISO and you will enjoy 15 stops of dynamic range. I have had a taste of this with the Hasselblad X1D and became addicted to it When you have massive DR, working on your files in RAW is a treat. The A7RII now goes from 14 stops to 15. THIS is good.
- Dual SD Card Slots. SO many wanted this, and now it is here. While this is still the same A7RII shell for the most part it has been modified to implement the new battery and SD slots. There is not much Sony did not think of here.
- 5 Axis IS inside. This has now been enhanced as well to offer 5.5 stops of stabilization. No DSLR has this!
- SO many lenses to choose from. Sony E Mount which now offers TONS of lenses. Leica M, Nikon, Canon and third part E mount from various manufacturers. We have SO many lenses we can use now. I can see myself with my A9 for my video work and an A7RIII using a Canon 50 L, Leica M mount lenses, a couple great G masters and a Voigtlander E mount or two. The versatility is FANTASTIC.
- Silent shutter options, so yes, we can shoot silently.
- Finally add in the touch LCD, the Sensor which has proven itself over and over and now has improvements in its performance, the 14 bit color depth, and the deep custom options of the controls and the A7RIII AND the new Pixel Shifting tech that is there for when you want the ultimate in detail and performance from tripod shots…well, I can think of no camera like it besides the A9, and even the A9 can not do all the A7RIII does (High Res). The A9 is still the flagship camera in the Sony lineup but for some, this A7RIII will be the flagship.
All with the A7RIII – Exif is embedded. Third shot has filters applied, and some PP. Last shot converted to B&W
This A7RIII is incredible guys, and a huge step up from what has come before it in the Sony line up. If I had the A7R or RII I would personally not hesitate to upgrade due to the speed enhancements and what Sony has brought over from the A9. BUT, BUT!!!! If all you care about is IQ, keep the A7RII. If all of the other new enhancements do not interest you (battery, eve, card slots, touch LCD, etc) then no need to upgrade. The A7RII is still a killer camera and can be had for a deal right now. IN fact, you can now get an INSANE deal on a new a7RII package with accessories. See it here at Amazon.
You can pre order the A7RIII now at Amazon and B&H Photo at the links below. It will ship starting November 30th, just about a month away!
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