Gear Reviews Technology

The Sony a7R III Review

The Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

The Sony a7R III is the most recent mannequin in Sony’s Alpha line of mirrorless cameras. Sporting skilled grade specs in a small physique, Sony’s mirrorless cameras goal to revolutionize the skilled images world in light-weight, moveable packages.

Earlier than moving into it, I’m going to preface this assessment by stating that I’ve by no means used a Sony digital camera earlier than shopping for the Sony a7R III mannequin. I’m a longtime loyal Canon consumer – for over 16 years now.

I hadn’t even held a mirrorless digital camera earlier than grabbing this mannequin, not to mention used one. As such, this assessment are my unbiased, beginner opinion on this digital camera.

I picked up the brand new Alpha and took it for a run! And listed here are the outcomes of that experiment.

The Sony a7R III mirrorless camera[ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]

Mirrorless Versus Digital

Earlier than we leap into this evaluate, let’s have a fast chat on what a mirrorless digital camera even is. And the way this new know-how compares to digital cameras (DSLRs).

As chances are you’ll or might not know, a part of the best way that a digital digital camera works is that a mirror contained in the digital camera displays the sunshine as much as the optical viewfinder. That is additionally the way you see the picture earlier than you’re taking it.

In a mirrorless digital camera, there isn’t any optical viewfinder. As an alternative, the imaging sensor is uncovered to mild always. This provides you a digital preview of your picture both on the rear LCD display or an digital viewfinder (EVF).  

As such, a mirrorless digital camera doesn’t want nor have a reflex mirror, a key element of DSLR cameras.

Dreamy pet portrait of a dog standing on a beach, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

Because of the lack of mirror, the digital camera is made smaller and lighter than a DSLR. This is likely one of the most blatant variations between the 2.

However DSLRs are nicely trusted due to their true-to-life through-the-lens optical viewfinder system. This makes use of a collection of mirrors to mirror mild to your eye.

Mirrorless cameras, however, have an digital viewfinder or LCD display for picture monitoring. This was one thing that prevented me from making an attempt mirrorless cameras within the first place. Solely to seek out out that my preconceived notions about this have been mistaken! Extra on that in a bit. 

Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs have a tendency to return to a draw when evaluating optical high quality, picture sensors, technical features, and adeptness at capturing circumstances.

Each are equally spectacular, with every mannequin having their very own execs and cons (in fact). And it does come down lots to non-public selection.

A dog jumping for a Frisbee outdoors, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

Now that we’ve gotten this info out of the best way, on to the evaluation!

Sony a7R III Specs

A low light concert photography shot of a musician onstage, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

The technical specs of this digital camera are what attracted me to it within the first place.

In response to the producer’s web site, the Sony a7R III sports activities the next:

  • 42.four MP 35 mm full-frame Exmor R™ CMOS and enhanced processing system;
  • Commonplace ISO 100-32000 vary (higher restrict expandable to 1024005 and low restrict is 50);
  • Quick Hybrid AF with 399-point focal-plane phase-detection AF and 425-point contrast-detection AF. The focus modes embrace AF-A (Automated AF), AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C ( Steady AF), DMF (Direct Guide Focus), Guide Focus;
  • Face detection, with Modes: Face Precedence inAF(On/Off), Face Precedence in Multi Metering (On/Off), Regist. Faces Precedence (On/Off), Face registration, Max. quantity detectable: eight;
  • Excessive-speed steady capturing of as much as 10fps12 with AF/AE monitoring
  • 5-axis picture stabilization with 5.5-stop publicity benefit20;
  • 4K video recording;
  • Twin card slots with simultaneous or consecutive recording;
  • Silent Capturing Mode.

A low light concert photography shot of a musician onstage, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

The digital camera is suitable solely with Sony E-mount lenses. These inlcude G-Grasp and Zeiss lenses (wanted within the Sony world).

The facet ratio is three : 2, and the digital camera is ready to report nonetheless pictures in JPEG (DCF Ver., Exif Ver.2.31, MPF Baseline compliant) and RAW (Sony ARW 2.three format).

Because of the great amount of megapixels, pictures are fairly giant: 35mm full body L: 7,952 x 5,304 (42M). The digital camera does have built-in noise discount software program that you would be able to activate or off.

Bodily Construct

The digital camera itself is gorgeous. Aesthetically pleasing, the Sony a7R III is a shocking piece of kit. And it comes with wonderful package deal branding in addition.

A female model posing outdoors shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

The digital camera is sized at 5 inches lengthy, three ⅞ inches tall, and three inches extensive at roughly 1.45 kilos (with the battery inside).

The small measurement truly feels very snug in hand. And it has a textured grip properly shaped for holding. The physique is sturdy and climate sealed.

The design is clear and minimal. The button design and site have been somewhat odd for a Canon consumer. A number of the dials appeared illogically positioned (for my part).

I ended up switching the shutter dial and aperture dial because the latter was positioned within the again (an odd spot for it).

Ease of Use

A dog portrait on a beach shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

Though it took me a second to get used to the digital camera, it is extremely straightforward to make use of. The buttons are tender and responsive, and the LCD contact display is sort of delicate.

However the LCD is pretty ineffective aside from for choosing a spotlight level. The touchscreen functionality in any other case serves no practical function.

It’s notable to say that upon turning the digital camera on, the beginning up is fairly quick. The solely time the place I discovered it to lag goes between the again show to the EVF. It took a second to modify over to that viewing mode.

The show display does flip up and down. This helps get these low or excessive angle photographs with out having to contort your complete physique.

I discover this to be immensely helpful for my images. Particularly when photographing animals! My chiropractor is sort of impressed as properly, my again has been saved by the addition of a movable LCD display.

A close up of a man playing guitar shot with a Sony a7R II

The menu could be very straightforward to make use of and perceive, and humorous sufficient, extraordinarily just like that of the Canon DSLRs. Every side of the digital camera is totally customizable. As somebody who loves modifying gear for my very own consolation, this can be a welcome sight.

In any other case, the digital camera features the identical as any digital camera. Half press on the shutter to focus / lock focus and full press to take the shot.


One phrase: FAST. This digital camera is extremely quick. Even at 10 frames per second, the digital camera retains focus for all of your additional quick capturing.

I consider that the autofocus is the place the mirrorless really shines. It’s in entrance and nicely past most different cameras on the market.

A small dog sitting on a wooden table shot with a Sony a7R III

I photograph a number of motion, and I took this digital camera out to a frisbee canine competitors to check it out. I used to be blown away by the autofocus.

The digital camera was even capable of acknowledge the face of a canine with its facial monitoring autofocus (not only a individual). And it held the concentrate on the canine all through its whole trick-induced efficiency.

I’ve all the time needed to refocus a number of occasions on my DSLRs, however didn’t even need to refocus as soon as on the Sony a7R III.

With the 399 focus factors on the Sony a7R III and its capability to trace focus like no different, it’s onerous to get a shot that’s out of focus. This digital camera is like a man-made clever robotic. It could actually predict and work out precisely what you need in focus.

With the thumb joystick on the again of the digital camera you’ll be able to simply and shortly change your focus level. The AI Servo is out of this world. It might work out a whole define of a topic and maintain onto that for pricey life.

Three musicians performing, shot with a Sony a7R II camera

In addition to this, the digital camera has an ‘eye autofocus’ setting. You learn that proper.

The digital camera has the power to seek out eyes in your topic and lock concentrate on them with the push of a button. That is photographic witchcraft and I like it.

Sharpness and Readability

Though a lot of the ultimate high quality and look is the lens, on this case, the digital camera does play an enormous position. That is the place the Sony mirrorless cameras start to face out considerably.

The photographs are extraordinarily sharp and clear, to some, perhaps even artificially so. The look could be very distinct. Skilled photographers can fairly simply select a Sony mirrorless photograph from the remaining.

A woman and small dog on a beach shot with a Sony a7R II

With the Sony a7R III, the sharpness and readability is much more superior. Each speck of flying sand seen clearly when zoomed into the picture.

The file measurement is extremely giant because of the 42.four working megapixels. This implies you’ll be able to see each hair on a canine – no matter what lens you employ.

Some might discover this to be a bit too intense, however I personally like it. I not have to make use of Lightroom or Photoshop to sharpen photographs when utilizing this digital camera.

A musician performing onstage, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

Colour Rendering

Very similar to sharpness and readability, the colour vary can also be fairly distinctive to Sony Alpha cameras.

With vivid, vibrant, and deep colours, there’s little modifying I have to do with this digital camera. Even in low mild, the colours are typically fairly true.

Low Mild Functionality

Three musicians performingindoors, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

I photograph lots of stay live shows and low mild occasions. For this reason I used to be actually excited to see what this digital camera might supply.

For nonetheless portraits or nonetheless life, the low mild is great. Little or no noise at extraordinarily excessive ISO ranges. And the digital camera had no hassle determining the place the main target wanted to be and locking it. Colours are true and pictures are superbly clean and clear.

When it got here to motion at a live performance, that was a unique story. Sadly, the second strobes are concerned, the digital camera has vital points.

I shall be sticking to my Canon 5D Mark IV for stay live shows. The Sony A7R III is way too unreliable in troublesome lighting circumstances that contain strobes.

A musician performing onstage, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

Attaining focus in low mild wasn’t troublesome. If the digital camera hunts for focus, it does have an infrared focus help beam.

This can be the place the strobes brought on a problem, because the infrared might have been confused by strobing lights.

Battery Life

Like I’ve stated earlier than, I hadn’t beforehand used Sony Alpha fashions. My body of reference for the battery life is that of my Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 5D Mark III, and Canon 7D Mark II. All three are Canon’s newer mannequin cameras.

In my expertise, Sony batteries aren’t almost as highly effective or lengthy lasting as Canon’s batteries.

A dog jumping for a Frisbee outdoors, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

Once I bought my Sony digital camera, I went forward and purchased a second battery as properly. I’m glad that I did, as a result of the battery doesn’t final me all day like with the Canon cameras.

I seldom find yourself switching to a second Canon battery. Even after capturing a canine agility trial for eight hours with out turning the physique off.

However I discovered myself switching to the second battery on my Sony inside about 4 hours of use. I consider that is because of the LCD and digital viewfinder continually being in use.

So the battery life isn’t the robust go well with of the corporate. However chatting with different Sony Alpha house owners, the battery of the Sony a7R III is considerably improved over its predecessors.

The battery lasts about 1,500 photographs in regular capturing.

A dog jumping for a Frisbee outdoors, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

Last Ideas

This assessment is centered on the images / nonetheless portion of this digital camera. There’s an equal constructive novel that one can write on the videography portion.

I don’t do video sufficient to be the one to put in writing on this. However I can say that the autofocus makes video very straightforward to do on this mannequin!

I’ve completely no regrets in investing prime greenback on this mirrorless digital camera. I discover myself utilizing the Sony a7R III simply as a lot as any of my DSLRs (and I’ve three of them!).

Oftentimes, I’ll decide the mirrorless for extra complicated shoots because of its beautiful face monitoring with auto focus. The high quality is great, and storage is a breeze with its small measurement.

I nabbed a Metabones Sensible Adapter to have the ability to use my Canon L lenses on the Sony mirrorless physique. The pairing works brilliantly (so I don’t even have to adapt my package very a lot!).

A dog jumping for a Frisbee outdoors, shot with a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera

When you’re on the lookout for a mirrorless digital camera that may take your breath away, I consider that is the one for you.

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Anabel DFlux

Anabel DFlux is a printed photographer in Los Angeles, California. Having began her images enterprise on the age of 15, Anabel has devoted her life to her photographic ardour. From canine sports activities to unique animals, to a few of the largest musicians on the planet – Anabel’s work does not fall into any particular area of interest. She believes there are not any limits to what you possibly can create, and to photograph all the things that provides you that spark of inspiration.