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March 5, 2018

New Sony A7 III Reviews – Still On The Fence? Now is the Time to Switch!

Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera

Now that the Sony A7 III has been announced officially for a few days, the regular crew of expert camera reviewers has gotten their hands on the new beast. In this article I go over the thoughts I have on this new A7 III so far, and the state of the camera industry as a whole as far as how I see it. I will also share the newest quality Sony A7 III reviews that I think you need to check out if interested! (My initial A7 III Article/ Breakdown Here)

After watching these new reviews myself, I must tell you the new A7 III looks to be the best new all around full frame camera ever made! Sony has not only pushed, but literally shoved people off the fence with this new camera in my opinion. I was already convinced Sony had the best all around package, but now it is glaringly obvious to pretty much everybody…

Hey Canon Users: With Sony’s Full Frame E-Mount lens line now full enough for most pro’s to jump on board, the A7 III’s $1998 price point, and the fact that you can use all your Canon glass with great af performance as well, why not consider switching at this point??

The time is now people!

Sony recently introduced the A7r III which is their high resolution mirrorless camera model. It offers great AF and the next generation camera body which basically includes a much needed battery upgrade, touchscreen, Pixel-Shift Technology, and a better more refined camera body design. (My Full A7r III Breakdown Here) The price tag was still really high at $3200 on the A7r III however, and left a lot of people waiting for the A7 III to come out before committing to the A7r III.

Well, not only was it worth the wait for the A7 III, but Sony may have even out done themselves a bit! It’s like Sony is throwing us fans a huge bone, and giving the full frame entry level users still on the fence the final nudge needed to push them over….

 

Sony A7 III – Key Features:

  • 24MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • 693-Point AF System & 10 fps Shooting
  • No Optical Low-Pass Filter
  • 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
  • Max ISO 204800
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Dual SD Slots
  • Thumb Joystick
  • USB Type-C Port
  • Weather-Sealed Design
  • NP-FZ100 battery
  • Weight = 1.43 lb / 650 g
  • Price = $1998 US >>
 

Sony A9 vs A7r III Vs A7 III?

24mp Vs 42mp vs 24mp

20fps vs 10fps, vs 10fps

693-AF Points vs 393-AF Points vs 693-AF Points

$4500 vs $3200 vs $2000 

A friend of mine recently purchased the A7r III and now wants the A7 III instead. I can’t blame him one bit and if anybody is interested in a very lightly used A7r III, be sure to let me know! He does not need the resolution, but wants all the other features for way less cost. The A7 III is the better camera for his purposes for sure!

Sony gave the A7 III every feature that matters to most, a very fair price, and at the end of the day offers the best value for the dollar of any full frame camera system on the market today. Do you agree?

So the Sony A9 is now only for the very few who must have full frame coverage and 20fps speed, the A7r III is for those that must have the 42mp resolution, and the A7 III is just for everyone! No matter what specs your looking for, the A7 III has something to offer. Lowest price, a killer 24mp sensor that is enough for almost anything, the awesome A9 AF system, 10fps, excellent High ISO performance, excellent battery life, and great 4k video is also part of the deal with the new A7 III.

Who will not want this camera is more like the question?

Some cameras offer better this or that, but when all the features are accounted for, the New Sony A7 III is the best full frame camera for the money today!

 

Is DSLR Vs Mirrorless still a thing?

sony-dslr-vs-mirrorless

Focusing on the the big picture yes, a lot of Pro’s and hardcore photographers still use DSLR’s in the field, but they have also been acquiring mirrorless cameras as second bodies and are now beginning to phase out the DSLR I think. Many users have already switched to mirrorless entirely, don’t get me wrong, but most are still transitioning I would say. If you are a new up coming photographer looking to upgrade to the full frame format however, mirrorless is definitely now the way to go in my opinion.

Sony a7iii 693-Point Hybrid AF System

Sony A7III and A9 – 693-Point Hybrid AF System

Sony A99 II AF Focus Points

Sony A99 II – AF Focus Points

The mirrorless camera af is finally good enough and the the FE lens line is finally full enough. Two key ingredients when considering the switch. The other key features that will push anybody off the fence when considering switching in my mind, would be the ability to use alternative glass. That feature is huge for many professionals. Other features like the killer image quality, light weight camera body, dual SD memory cards, and other next level technology are what set Sony apart from the competition. The advantage of a live viewfinder, killer video, 5-axis sensor stabilization, powerful focus modes like Eye-Af, touch to focus, and so much more.

Sony A7iii 5-axis stabilization

Not a professional photographer? Well, just because you might not be making a living taking pictures, does not mean you don’t want the best possible photos. Therefore, at some point your journey might bring you to the doorstep of the killer full frame format. At that point a decision needs to be made and it is far from easy. With so many awesome camera systems in the landscape to chose from and all… When I was faced with this question so many years ago, I chose Canon. Today if I had to make that decision, I would certainly pick Sony Mirrorless!

Sony Mirrorless Camera Guide >>

Sony now offers many more affordable full frame e-mount lenses in their line-up like the FE 28mm f/2 Lens, FE 85mm f/1.8, FE 50mm f/1.8, FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro, FE 24-240mm Lens, and FE 70-300mm G Lens for example.. Sigma recently announced a entire new line of super fast auto focus glass that should cheaper than the Sony GM or Zeiss Glass (Article on New Sigma Lenses here)

Sony E-Mount Lens Guide >>

 

It’s Time

Sony A99 II w/ 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens

Sony A99 II w/ 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens

I recently reviewed the Sony A99 II DSLR style Camera and absolutely loved it! That super advanced focus technology was the best I had ever used, and the $4500 Mirrorless Sony A9 was basically just as good from my testing.

However, the A9 had almost full frame coverage of the AF points, where the A99 II had the smaller phase detection spread combined with the Sensor AF area. In my mind the Mirrorless had finally proven to be as good if not better than the DSLR style camera.

Now, clearly the mirrorless already had huge advantages, but in the real world focus accuracy when it matters is #1 priority. Missing the shot at a critical moment is what a pro can’t deal with, so Sony has been chipping away at the DSLR legacy AF technology year after year.

The A9, in my opinion, hit the pinnacle of equilibrium, with the advantage of using almost the entire sensor area and having real DSLR AF speed and accuracy. Remarkable to say the least, but the $4500 price tag was to high for most people I would say.

Fast forward to today and Sony allowed the killer Sony A9 auto focus technology and the 3rd gen A7r III camera body to trickle down into the entry level  full frame A7 III with a price that is under $2k…

Pre-Order the Sony A7 III @ BHPhoto | Amazon

 

New Sony A7 III Reviews and More

There are many new reviews on the web, but these below really cut to the chase in a variety of areas for those really interested in the details that matter.

Sony a7 III, The GOOD, the BAD and the MEH! Two week review.

 

Astrophotography with the Sony A7 III

 

Sony A7 III vs A7S2 – Detailed Comparison for Video Shooters

 

Sony A7 III Hands-On Field Test in Las Vegas – TheCamerStoreTV

 

Tony & Chelsea Northrup – Sony A7 III Review

Tony and Chelsea do a great job pointing out the advantages the Sony A7 III has over the competition in particular….

 

The Sony A7iii will be the Reason Why Many Canon Shooters LEAVE Canon and Switch to Sony Mirrorless- Jason Lanier

Another great video from Jason Lanier on the A7 III, this time testing non Sony Glass on location…

 

A7III Detailed Review for VIDEO Shooters – Max Yuryev

Max does an excellent job breaking down the video specific features of the new A7 III in this video!

 

The SONY A7III Takes Flight!! My 1st few Days in Video, Photo and Word by Steve Huff

 

Sony a7 III Hands-On! – by Kai W

 

Why you will LOVE the SONY A7 III – The Art of Photography

Very interesting and informative discussion!

 

Have SONY & SIGMA just CHANGED the game? – Dave McKeegan

Excellent breakdown on the current situation!

 

A7III vs. A7RIII vs. A9: How to Decide Which To Buy????

A very interesting take on the Sony full frame mirrorless offerings courtesy of Patrick Murphy-Racey

 

Sony A7iii vs A7r iii , showing some more hidden differences and speculate

Great for those wanting all the little details!

 

Sony A7 III movie mode review – 4k, slow motion, crops and more!

Courtesy of Gordon Laing

 

Sony ?7 III In-Depth Camera Review

Courtesy of The Slanted Lens

 

Closing Remarks

Clearly the Sony A7 III is a game changer with the entry level pricing and pro level performance! Awesome 693 point 93% sensor coverage AF, 24mp w/ 15-stops dynamic range, Dual Memory card slots, + 700 shots per battery, and a $1998 price point.

From where I am sitting, the New Sony A7 III is by far the best full frame camera available today for the money. Combine this news with the New Sigma super fast prime lens announcement, and we have a combination of affordable top quality performance that must have Canon and Nikon awake at night!!

That is about it for this article, but please let me know what you think below in the comments area! Are you looking to get the A7 III? Did you get the A7r III or A9 and are now looking to switch to the A7 III? Are you a Canon or Nikon shooter looking to make the switch? Let me know below and lets talk about it. Have questions??

Catch up with you later,

Jay

Pre-Order the Sony A7 III @ BHPhoto | Amazon


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Thanks,
Jay

 

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18 Comments


  1. David Stahl

    Jay, I’ll be interested in what you find out in the coming days regarding whether or not the A7III does or does not have an anti-aliasing filter. Two of the video reviews coming from attendees of the Sony event said ‘yes’ it does have an AA filter. I asked a third attendee about it via Twitter and he said that when he asked, Sony’s reply was that they do not disclose that. Two other possible answers came from reading comments posted on the many A7III videos: one commenter said that the AA filter is a user option while another said that it is only used with the electronic shutter. Lastly, the B&H web site explicitly states in the ‘Overview” information for the A7III that it does NOT have an AA filter.


    • Jay

      Hi David and thanks for the question! I believe the A7 III has NO AA filter. I just checked the specs and I can’t find out specifically as Sony left that out of the data info. BH is usually correct on such matters as well 😉

      If I find out a concrete 100% I will certainly let you know! I’m thinking for sure it does not have the Optical Low Pass filter at this point, but I could be wrong…

      Jay


  2. Carlos Rosa

    Well,
    I’ve being a Nikon shooter for over 20 years, I did use Canon as well, but Nikon was my favorite since my beloved Nikon F3hp, but I got all my gear stolen and I needed/want a new one.
    When I saw Nikon D850 I new that 2018 would be the year, so I decided to wait and it was worth it. I saw Jason”s Lanier video right after Sony announcement and right there I new that this is the camera I’ve been waiting for.
    No my dilemma is about lens, what to purchased as lens. If I had all the money at my disposal, I would go with 16-35 f/2.8 GM, the 35 1.8 zeiss, the 85 1.4 GM, the 70-200 2.8 GM, 90mm 2.8 macro and 100-400 f/4, but I don’t have all that power 🙂
    I might go with the 24-105mm f/4, maybe the 16-35 f/4 (the price of the 2.8 GM is prohibited, I know is an amazing lens) and the 90mm 2.8, I’d love to have a 85 1.8 as well, but it’s already a lot of money.
    I hope they’ll start to ship soon and I’ll be one of the lucky ones to get first.


    • Jay

      Hi Carlos,

      Thank you for the comments and sorry to hear about the gear getting stolen! That is frighten and horrible to say the least…. I did hear sometime in early April they should start shipping the A7 III however 🙂 Lenses are always a compromise. I agree with your choices almost 100% given the situation. Really awesome pics and choosing where to sacrifice is the hardest part, but also key to getting what you actually need.

      If all my gear got stolen I would totally go with the Sony A7 III full frame camera body and FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens as my first optical purchase/ all around go to lens. Then save and going for the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens for occasional pro work and stuff. I would be totally tapped at that point for sure, so…. Save… In addition to that, I would want the FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens and/ or wait for the NEW sigma FE lenses to be available. The Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro lens is killer, and a must have if Pro macro work, but I would have to wait and/or save a bunch and go for the FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens instead reluctantly. I would then save for the FE 100-400mm GM Lens and/ or FE 12-24mm G Lens perhaps…

      Thanks again for the comments and be sure to let me know what you end up getting!

      Jay


  3. I have A Sony A77ii which is very good. I have been waiting for the A77iii and am now wondering if it will ever come out. Switching to the full frame A7iii is a nice thought until you consider the cost of the camera and a few good lenses, It becomes very expensive for an amateur photographer. I suppose the other option is the a6500 (or perhaps 6700) with an adapter.


    • Jerry Suppan

      There is no 6700 to the extent of my knowledge, unless it’s a pipe dream. I had the a6500 in the past. The cost is not that much more for this new full frame versus the a6500. As for lenses, I try to avoid the GAS factor and don’t ‘collect’ lenses. One good all around zoom (24-105mm or equivalent) to cover 80% of my shooting, and maybe one good wide and bright prime serves my needs just fine. But everyone’s objectives are different.


    • Jay

      Hi David,

      Thanks for the comments!

      You can use all your A77 II A-Mount Lenses on the A7 III on A6500 via the Sony LA-EA3 Lens adapter which is $198. They will work in crop factor mode if crop factor lenses. Otherwise, yes the lenses needed are full frame E-Mount and not the same as the A77 II. I’m not sure if Sony will come out with a A77 III soon, but at some point they might. The A77 II technology is so good already however, what would you like more of out of that camera in particular? Just curious 🙂

      Jay


      • I am happy with the A77iii but I imagine that an upgrade will have improved noise reduction, better AF and better video. 4 years is a long time for camera development. The other thing when considering the A7iii of course is the idea of switching to full frame. Not sure I can justify the expense considering the cost of decent lenses. The 1.5 magnification when using crop lenses though is a positive some of the time.


      • Jay

        Very good points David and that makes sense to me for sure! I was just curious at what specifically you wanted as a user. I know the AF is awesome on that camera, so I suspected better High ISO and better video options… Thanks again, and I agree switching to full frame is not a cheap venture….

        Jay


  4. Jerry Suppan

    I used to own the NEX 7, and then the A6000 from way back when. I jumped ship for awhile and went to M4/3 currently owning Olympus flaghip E-M1 Mark-II. Well, this one is just too much of a temptation. And, Sony being the ‘king of sensor technology’, not only for itself but OEMing for others, time to get off the fence again. I pre-ordered the Sony A7-III yesterday. It goes on sale here in Japan on March 23rd. April 10th for the U.S. market I think. Looking forward to the return.


    • Jay

      Hi Jerry from Japan, and welcome back! I remember you from a while back asking some questions 😉 I think you will enjoy the A7 III, but may miss some of those Olympus features?? I know you went over for a reason? I agree that having the 24-105mm is a great option for having pretty much everything covered in one package at a reasonable price with great overall quality. I’m looking forward to reviewing that lens asap! Lenses really are special in the fact that they all seam to offer some potential to each user, but some will not like or use, and others will love depending.

      Thanks again for the comments!

      Jay


      • Jerry Suppan

        Hi Jay. Thanks for the feedback. Well, frankly speaking, I may very well keep both the Olympus and the new inbound Sony A7-III rather then becoming an issue of one or the other. Both have there strengths. The fM4/3 flagships (Olympus and Panasonic) have increased from 16 to 20MP. The touch screens (both Olympus & Panasonic) are about the best in the industry. Instant AF AND shutter release all in one light tap is really an attractive feature I’ve used often holding the camera in awkward positions in which through the EVF did not work well. The 60fps capability of the Olympus in electronic shutter mode using their Pro lens line is also awesome! It means there is a very good chance to capture that moment the bald eagle begins to take flight with that fish clenched in it’s claws just snatched from the river (or a sequence of shots of the same). Full weather proofing, less bulk, size, and weight, etc. the list goes on and on but I won’t belabor the iss. After all this is a Sony forum. So….

        One of my friends has been touting to me the merits of the larger Sony full framed sensor. As a general rule, the larger the sensor, the larger the pixels, the more light gathering capability, and overall better quality of the photo. Also, bokeh will be improved. I do concur on these points, not to mention (again) Sony being the king of sensor technology. 🙂 I would not be surprised if they even OEM for Panny and Oly. They shun my query at trade shows without giving a straight answer. 😀 Anyway, maybe overkill, but will most likely keep both each with it’s own merits.

        I will look forward to your review of the 24-105mm lens. It is quite a practical lens if one goes on a trip and wants to carry a simple all-in-one solution. If one does not mind to shoot in the APS-C crop gaining 1.5x, that can be further extended to 36 – 137mm or so. I thought of obtaining the 24-240mm as being even more practical and cheaper, but I read articles not giving it much praise in a review. Not sure why. I know you lose on light F3.5-6.3 vs F4 through all the focal lengths on the 24-105mm, but I would tend to think, Sony’s reputation of quality at higher ISO settings would (should) offset such concerns.


  5. Richard Hogben

    I am a nature photographer from South Africa, primarily wild life, landscapes and BIF.

    I left Canon and switched to Sony – the a7rII – in 2016. I switched back to Canon last month. Why:
    Sony has limited use for wild life photography and BIF
    Good for clean work, it performs poorly in hot dry dusty conditions – and don’t try to change a lens because you are certain to get dust on your sensor. I gave it an extensive try in Namibia for 3 weeks and was disappointed.
    I found it impossible to run Sony and Canon in parallel, so I’d rather be all Canon than all Sony.

    But I have kept my a6000 – its a great walk about camera


    • Jay

      Hi Richard and thank you very much for sharing your comments and user experience in the wildlife areas of South Africa! I must agree that the Sony Mirrorless Cameras are not really rugged enough in that type of environment for extended periods of time. Clearly they can be used and I have seen testing done in these environments, but I would be concerned about dust and moisture for sure if out for days on end. I would say the same for the ultra wet rain forest and extreme cold Antartica type conditions as well. A fully weather sealed borderline waterproof camera body is a better option for that type of work I would say, and Sony does not offer enough killer E-mount long glass for hardcore Wildlife yet anyway. They do offer the FE 100-400mm and are coming out with a 400mm f/2.8 GM lens at some point however! The Sony A99 II DSLR would be a great solution from Sony for that type of work, but the Sony A-Mount lens line is not near as extensive as the Canon EF line when it comes to super telephoto options which is needed for wildlife.

      I have seen people adapting Canon long glass to the a7r II (extra body) via the metabones in the field for wildlife and depending on the conditions it’s a great option! However, these folks always seam to have the DSLR as well….

      I think you are doing what works best for you, so thanks again for sharing and have a great day,

      Jay


      • Richard Hogben

        Thank Jay

        just a comment on the Metabones V: Canon prime lens work great on Sony bodies using this converter, but I found mega zooms lost AF at extended – 200 + – focal lengths.


      • Jay

        Thanks for the clarification Richard! I had that same problem with my older 70-200mm f/2.8 L Lens. The newer Canon EF lenses however, seam to work really well though, and many sports photographers are using the Sony A9 and Canon long glass on the field for that killer 20fps… I have not tested anything like this myself, but have seam some live footage of the camera and lenses working amazingly for side-line sports. See Here: Canon Long Lenses on Sony A9 >>

        Thanks again,
        Jay


  6. John

    Jay, Thank you for your great review of the Sony A99II and 70-400mm and the recent A7iii announcement.

    I want to upgrade from the A77ii and considering either A99II with 24-70mm F2.8 ZA or the new A7iii with Sony 24-105mm G. I’m having a really tough time choosing between the two. Any suggestions? The A7iii seems like it is going to be pretty amazing.


    • Jay

      Hi John,

      I think your really going to need to consider the ruggedness differences when deciding between the A7 III and A99 II. The A99 II is just built way more durable in my opinion. Like it would survive a drop better for example. It is also a fully refined ergonomically oriented product compared to the still evolving mirrorless cameras in my opinion. The A7 III offer less weight, smaller size, better video, better low light performance, and touchscreen. With the E-Mount lenses you have way more options when factoring in lens adapters. The A99 II you have just the A-Mount lens line offerings which is pretty good, don’t get me wrong.

      At the end of the day if I were shooting in sandy or wet conditions all the time, I would go for the A99 II. If I were pretty much never shooting in the sand or rain, I would go for the A7 III for sure. Even if I was in the elements here and there the camera would be fine, it’s more the extended time in dust or wet that concerns me about the Sony mirrorless still. The doors seals and what not are pretty good, but not like the A99 II when compared. That is just my opinion, and I’m somebody who tries not to use my gear in those conditions if avoidable. Who wants to use a camera in the rain or sand storm? Not me, but if you do, a super rugged camera body is preferred and this is where the DSLR still has an edge over the mirrorless in my opinion.

      All that being said, I have seen the Sony mirrorless being used in all sorts of harsh environments. So they are capable, but I have heard of dust causing the buttons to stop working, cold temp camera stops working, super hot temps the cameras stop working. They are just not made for the super harsh conditions and I don’t think they can take the same amount of abuse. Also, in this comment section a gentlemen reported having issues in the field shooting wildlife and ended up going with a Canon solution which works awesome for him. It really depends on what you want and actually need.

      The A99 II is such an amazing camera, but I personally would still go with the new A7 III and FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens combo. It’s significantly cheaper total and you are getting a more capable package in the end I would say. If you need the ruggedness, then you could always use the A77 II 😉

      I hope that helps John and it’s never an easy decision!

      Jay



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