The Alpha A7R III is Sony’s most recent high-resolution mirrorless camera. It is an upgrade to the superb Alpha A7R II, which was responsible for enticing many photographers away from the ease and convenience of their Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
This latest model appears to draw on many of the technologies used in the speed-oriented Sony Alpha A9, which is just as well because the Alpha A7R II was beginning to look a little pedestrian in comparison to other cameras, such as Nikon’s brilliant D850, which offers an irresistible combination of high resolution and high performance.
With some impressive improvements to performance, as well as tweaks to handling, and the peace of mind of a five-year guarantee, is it possible that the new Alpha A7R III will result in even more second-hand Canon and Nikon DSLRs appearing on the shelves of camera stores as more photographers make the switch to Sony?
Sony a7r III Build Quality.
The Sony Alpha 7R III looks similar to its predecessor, the Sony Alpha 7R II. Still, when you look a little closer, you’ll notice that there have been a variety of improvements made to the camera’s design.
Although the new camera does not come with a separate drive mode dial or focus mode selector like the one found on the Alpha A9, it does come with a multi-selector joystick that is quite similar to the one seen on the Alpha A9.
Because it enables considerably speedier AF point selection, the introduction of the joystick has brought about a significant improvement in handling in comparison to the A7R II. This may appear to be a slight change. Additionally, the A7R III incorporates a separate AF-ON button for back-button focusing, just like the A9. This feature was previously only available on the A9.
Sony a7r III Features
Although many people may have anticipated that Sony would increase the number of pixels to compete with or even outdo DSLR competitors like the Nikon D850 and Canon EOS 5DS, the company has decided to maintain the exact pixel count as the Alpha A7R II.
Although Sony has adopted some of the advancements from the 24.2MP Alpha A9 and combined them with this more densely packed chip, the 42.2MP back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor is still at the heart of the A7R III.
For starters, there are gapless microlenses, and there is also a new anti-glare coating. Additionally, the Alpha A7R III has a new front-end LSI that virtually doubles the readout speed of the sensor.
In addition to this, it makes use of the most recent version of the BIONZ X image processing engine. Taken together, these improvements give a jump in processing rates up to 1.8 times faster than those of the A7R II.
Sony a7r III Performance
Due to the increased processing power included within the Alpha 7R III, the burst shooting rate has been increased from 5 frames per second (fps) on the A7R II to 10 fps, and this is while maintaining continuous AF and AE tracking. It can maintain this state for as many as 76 JPEG/raw photos or 28 uncompressed 14-bit raws simultaneously.
You have the option of utilizing the mechanical shutter on the A7R III to do this, or you may choose to use the electronic shutter on the camera for quiet shooting if that is more to your liking.
And even though the camera is writing a significant number of photographs to the memory card, it can still utilize a substantial number of the A7R III’s essential features, so there is no need to wait.
The Alpha A7R III is equipped with Sony’s 5-axis optical image stabilization technology, modified for the new camera to produce a 5.5-stop shutter speed advantage. This is an improvement over the A7R II’s system, which only offered a 4.5-stop gift.
A new low-vibration shutter mechanism has been developed to lessen the likelihood of image blurring caused by vibration, mainly while shooting at 10 frames per second.
Sony a7r III Image Quality
It would be difficult to tell the difference between the photographs captured by the Alpha A7R III and those captured by the more densely packed sensors found in the 45.2MP Nikon D850 and the 50MP Canon EOS 5DS. The Alpha A7R III is capable of resolving an impressive amount of detail.
At the end of the day, if you want to generate huge prints of the A2 size, you won’t be dissatisfied with the results that you get from the files produced by the Alpha A7R III.
Another area in which the Alpha A7R III excels is in its ability to suppress background noise. Even when shooting at the top end of the native sensitivity range, the noise levels are kept well under acceptable limits, giving appealing pictures with natural-looking granular noise and little Chroma (color) noise. This is achieved by keeping noise levels within acceptable limits (up to ISO32,000).
As with the vast majority of cameras, we recommend avoiding the high expansion settings (the highest on this camera is ISO102,400) unless taking a photo is more crucial than its final quality.
Additionally striking is the Alpha A7R III’s performance in terms of its dynamic range. Suppose you are shooting at low sensitivities and intentionally underexposing the shot to retain highlights. In that case, you will need to push the file in post-processing before you see any signs of quality beginning to deteriorate in the shadows. This is because shooting at low sensitivities causes more noise in the image, which can be seen in the shadows.
If you wish to do some general editing of raw files and recover some of the detail in them, the files produced by the A7R III provide you enough of leeway to do so.
Sony a7r III Specs
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||7952 x 5304|
|Image ratio w:h||3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||42 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||44 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 100-32000 (expands to 50-102400)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||50|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||102400|
|White balance presets||10|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|Image stabilization notes||5-axis|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||5.5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Extra fine, fine, standard|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Number of focus points||399|
|Lens mount||Sony E|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||Yes|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)|
|Flash modes||Off, Auto, Fill-flash, Slow Sync, Rear Sync, Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 25 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||Two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II support on one)|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (micro HDMI)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (wired, wireless, smartphone)|
|Battery description||NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery and charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||650|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||657 g (1.45 lb / 23.17 oz)|
|Dimensions||127 x 96 x 74 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.91″)|
Sony a7r III Verdict
If Nikon believed that it was going to be able to have its way with the D850, the company had to rethink its strategy. The new Alpha A7R III from Sony is a far more competent and well-rounded product due to Sony taking one of our favorite mirrorless cameras and improving its performance.
It is no longer necessary to choose between performance and resolution, as we have seen with the Nikon D850. You may now have both.
This camera is sure to appeal to an even wider variety of photographers than the earlier model did because of its potent combination of 42.2 megapixels and excellent performance, which features 10 frames per second (fps) burst shooting and a very clever autofocus system.
This is the kind of camera that wouldn’t seem out of place in a recording studio or on the sidelines of a football game if you set it up on top of a mountain.
The Sony Alpha 7R III is now not just the most complete and all-around mirrorless camera that can be purchased. Still, it is also among the most excellent cameras that are currently available.
Sony a7r III Pros & Cons
- Intelligent Suspension System with 5 Axes
- 10 fps at 42.2 megapixels.
- A performance with a fast AF
- Improved handling
- Extra-Visual Display that Is Both Big and Bright
- Battery life might be enhanced even further.
- Only a limited amount of control through the touchscreen
- There is just one SD slot that is compatible with UHS-II cards