This Sony A7III review shows it’s as good in the real world as it is on paper

Mar 9, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Mar 9, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Since its announcement at WPPI recently, the Sony A7III has been the hot topic around the camera body water cooler. A lot of people had a something to say in the day or two that followed after having tried it for a little while. But now we’re starting to see some proper hands-on reviews with tests to see just how it performs in the real world.

In this in-depth video review, Jay P Morgan takes the Sony A7III for a spin around Vegas. He gives it a pretty thorough workout to test the limits of Sony’s new “basic” mirrorless camera. Looking at it on paper, it certainly seems to set the bar rather high now for entry level full frame cameras. With high ISO, video, burst mode and autofocus tests we get to see if it stands up to those specs.

YouTube video

The first test takes Jay P and the gang into the studio to test out the autofocus system with the subject walking toward the camera. Sure, it’s not quite the same as trying to follow a runner on the track with a 300mm lens, but it serves its purpose to demonstrate the how it performs in a common use scenario. Let’s face it, serious Sony sports shooters will just get the Sony A9.

It appears to hit almost all of the shots, gunning away at 10 frames per second without issue. The focus keeps up just fine, with only one or two slightly questionable shots. But in situations like this, you’re unlikely to be shooting that fast anyway.

ISO performance on the newly developed 24MP sensor seems equally as impressive. They couldn’t get a good exposure below ISO400, so that was the lowest they tested, but ramping it all the way up to ISO51200, it held its own just fine.

It does seem to lose a little in dynamic range when you take it as high as ISO51,200, but it still looks rather impressive. Video, too, is equally as impressive when it comes to ISO performance. And speaking of video, not much of a quality difference between full frame resized video and crop video, either.

The new “high plus” burst mode, too, looks to be particularly useful for those times when you need to shoot short rapid-fire bursts. Quick short bursts aren’t something I find myself needing all that often when photographing people. But sometimes I do it when shooting on location around rivers and waterfalls and I’m having my subject perform an action. It’s also very useful if you photograph animals or children when combined with the A7III’s powerful autofocus system.

Overall, the Sony A7III looks to be every bit as good as one would expect it to be, given the hype surrounding its release. You can read more of Jay P’s thoughts on the Sony A7III over on The Slanted Lens.

With Sigma’s Art series of lenses now for native Sony E mount now available to pre-order, it’s going to be an attractive combination for those looking to replace their existing camera or buy into their first serious interchangeable lens system. Nikon and Canon are going to have to both really step up their game to compete with this “basic” model.

 

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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16 responses to “This Sony A7III review shows it’s as good in the real world as it is on paper”

  1. Adam Santino Avatar
    Adam Santino

    I’m putting together the money to buy it. Switching from Nikon. My only issue is that I will only have the kit glass for a while.

    1. Shayful Kamal Avatar
      Shayful Kamal

      Get a adaptor as well in the mean time… though auto focus might be 100% of the time but you can still use manual focus. Thats good enough for now.

  2. Daniel R. Chang Acat Avatar
    Daniel R. Chang Acat

    Sandra pero la III

  3. Daniel Fernandez Avatar
    Daniel Fernandez

    Considering the D850 and it’s backlit sensor, I’d be really surprised if the D750 replacement doesn’t have a similar system to compete against the A7III.

    1. Carlos Rosa Avatar
      Carlos Rosa

      I kind of agree with Daniel, but, till then, what will happen? I’ve been shooting with Nikon well over 20 years, since my Nikon F3hp, but we had a break in to our house and I lost all my gear, everything. Now, at the moment I’m looking to start to replace my gear, I just won’t replace all at once because I had no insurance, but I still need some basic gear to be able to make some money.
      With the launch of Sony A7III and Fuji X-H1, I won’t go to the D750, or the D500, both amazing cameras, but D750 needs a replacement and I want to start explore video, so D750 won’t do it. D500 (which I love it) is not bad for video, but for someone that never record and want to start, is not a good idea at all, I need AF since it’s a new world for me.
      So, the two best options are Fuji and Sony. I tested the X-H1 and love it, but it’s a crop sensor, Sony in the other hand, it’s a full frame with more usable features, like 10fps, AF system, Eye AF, amazing low light capabilities, hardly any camera in the market can match it and a $2,700.00 (Canada), it’s unbeatable.
      I love Nikon, but since there’s no hope that anything good is on the horizon, no announcements whatsoever, not a clue if the D760 or whatever they will call, is on their plans, no clue if a full frame mirrorless is coming,
      No brain, I already order the A7III, now I’m just breaking my had to decide which lenses to buy first, since I have to buy just about everything, starting from SD Cards.
      Nikon it’s still doing great, and I would say, if they had a system like Dual Pixel Autofocus at the same level as Canon, they would destroy Canon. One has to be blind fan boy to still buy any Canon camera, they have being a great disappointment. All manufactures, but Canon and Pentax have being introduced some amazing tech and innovation, Nikon D850 it’s one of the best cameras ever, but Canon are sitting on their pride.
      As for me, well, it has being a pleasure to use Nikon, but I’m no longer a Nikon shooter and can’t wait for my new camera to be delivered.

  4. Scott Waltrip Avatar
    Scott Waltrip

    Except they will all still have a mirror in the way hindering their capabilities

    1. Meng Tian Avatar
      Meng Tian

      And i really good that trend will goes on. I still want to disable my screen and use my camera for a week traveling on one charge.

    2. Scott Waltrip Avatar
      Scott Waltrip

      Carry a couple extra batteries my hybrid SLT camera can shoot an all day event no problem I change the battery out after about 7 hours of shooting constantly…. All you battery life argument advocates act like you have to lug around car batteries and that it’s such a hassle to carry a couple spares that literally weigh a few ounces…. That moot point is getting so old to hear anymore for the benifits you gain that most of the photo community is just laughing at the people that keep preaching it.

  5. Tim Brakemeier Avatar
    Tim Brakemeier

    How much pays Sony for all this ads on DIYPhotography?

    1. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      Nothing. I shoot Nikon. It’s just an impressive camera, and Nikon & Canon need to step up their game.

    2. Henry Rodgers Avatar
      Henry Rodgers

      It’s about the images. No system has an advantage in producing images. Lighter weight nor eye auto focus will change that. Much ado about nothing.

      1. Mike Avatar
        Mike

        Eye focus is a pretty awesome feature if you shoot portraits.

    3. Tim Brakemeier Avatar
      Tim Brakemeier

      John Aldred , I thinks it’s obvious that at plattforms like DIYPhotography there are much more “I change to Sony” stories than sony photographers.

  6. Meng Tian Avatar
    Meng Tian

    The Sony marketing channel strikes again ^^

  7. Carlos Rosa Avatar
    Carlos Rosa

    I’ve been shooting with Nikon well over 20 years, since my Nikon F3hp, but we had a break in to our house and I lost all my gear, everything. Now, at the moment I’m looking to start to replace my gear, I just won’t replace all at once because I had no insurance, but I still need some basic gear to be able to make some money.
    With the launch of Sony A7III and Fuji X-H1, I won’t go to the D750, or the D500, both amazing cameras, but D750 needs a replacement and I want to start explore video and portraiture, so D750 won’t do it. D500 (which I love it) is not bad for video, but for someone that never record and want to start, is not a good idea at all, I need AF since it’s a new world for me, and the Eye Af will be a big plus as well.
    So, the two best options in my opinion are Fuji and Sony. I tested the X-H1 and love it, color science is a dream, ergonomics is great, the controls in this camera are the best in the market by far, but it’s a crop sensor, so there’s some trade off, like shallow depth of field. Sony in the other hand, it’s a full frame with more usable features for me, like 10fps, AF system, Eye AF, 693 AF points offer 93% frame coverage and are supported by 425 contrast-detection AF points, amazing low light capabilities, hardly any camera in the market can match it and a $2,700.00 (Canada), it’s unbeatable. This thing is a beast!
    I love Nikon, but since there’s no hope that anything good is on the horizon, no announcements whatsoever, not a clue if the D760 or whatever they will call, is on their plans, no clue if a full frame mirrorless is coming,
    No brain, I already order the A7III, now I’m just breaking my head to decide which lenses to buy first, since I have to buy just about everything, starting from SD Cards.
    Nikon it’s still doing great, and I would say, if they had a system like Dual Pixel Autofocus at the same level as Canon, they would destroy Canon. One has to be blind fan Canon boy to still buy any of their cameras, they have being a great disappointment, the A7III with half the price it’s way more camera. All manufactures, but Canon and Pentax have being introducing some amazing tech and innovation, Nikon D850 it’s one of the best cameras ever, but Canon are sitting on their pride.
    As for me, well, it has being a pleasure to use Nikon, but I’m no longer a Nikon shooter and can’t wait for my new camera to be delivered.
    In other words, I do believe that the new Sony A7III is the best value for the money full frame ever, it’s a very capable all around camera, just like the D850 is with less pixels, but I don’t need all that pixels and will draw a lot of people from Nikon and even more from Canon.
    In my opinion, Sony delivered this camera in a surgical time, couldn’t be any better, after the Great Canon Fiasco 6D MKII, the great success of the Nikon D850, right after the launch of Panasonic G9 and Fuji X-H1, and having exactly the same price of these cameras (with exception of the D850), and way more useful, they nailed it.

  8. Michael Avatar
    Michael

    Sony make what should be awesome cameras, great tech inside, fantastic sensor. But to use them the user interface needs quite a lot of work.