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I recently had a chance to spend some time with the new Sony a7III and I’ll make this review incredibly short for those of you who don’t want to read my exasperatedly verbose prose: it’s incredible.  Fuji got close with the X-H1 but absolutely no one has put the amazing features together in one package for a reasonable price like Sony has.

a black camera with a silver circle on the front

The Review Video

First off, check out the video review on YouTube!

Ok welcome back.  Let’s do a quick review of the tests and look at some images.

The Sports Photography Test

The a7III can shoot up to 10 frames per second, absolutely perfect for capturing motion and making sure you get THE shot.  The 693 autofocus points and the amazing autofocus system from the a9 are wonderful as well (as you could see in the video, it tracked my friend Jaymee really well).

a woman running on a grass field

The battery life will help sports shooters too, the new battery lasts 2.2x as long as the old battery used in the a7ii.

Landscape/Cityscape Test

I used a classic scene from Dallas for this shot (which you’ve probably seen before).  I threw the a7III onto a tripod with my Sony 70-200 G Master lens and it took an incredibly crisp picture of downtown Dallas with the bed of the Trinity River providing a nice frame for it.  I underexposed the image a bit since I knew the a7III would have good dynamic range and let me recover plenty of detail from the shadows.  It definitely passed the test!

a city skyline with a bridge and trees

See the full-size image here (8 MB)

Food/Macro/Non-native Lens Test

There are tons of people on the interwebz saying they’re going to switch to Sony “one of these days”.  Well the a7III represents a really good opportunity for those folks!  I wanted to test out the camera’s ability not only by taking pictures of food, and not only from a macro perspective, but I also wanted to test how the a7III would handle autofocusing with a non-native lens, in this case the Canon 100 f2.8 L macro lens.  I used a Sigma MC-11 adapter and it did a great job!  As I said in the video, autofocus with a macro lens is a bit hit and miss in any case but I was really happy with how the a7III handled it.

Here are some of the food/macro/non-native lens pics.

a group of green macaroons on a wood surface

Click here for the full res image

a group of green macaroons on a wood surface

Click here for the full res image

a group of green macaroons on a wood surface

Click here for the full res image

Low-light Autofocus Test

This was really impressive.  I turned the lights out in my apartment, put the a7III with the Sony 50mm f1.4 lens on a tripod, connected the camera to my phone to remotely trigger it, and gave the camera exactly one chance to find me and focus correctly.  Oh, and I also ramped up the ISO to 8000, just to see how bad it would look.  Here is the result.

a man smiling at camera

(not posting a full size image because nobody wanna look at my face that closely haha)

At web resolution ISO 8000 looks perfectly fine in my opinion!  The a7III was able to find me, even at f1.4, and it gave me a well exposed image.

Final Thoughts

I think the a7III is a great example of Revolution By Evolution.  Sony took flagship features from other cameras and threw them together in this new “basic” model.  Pricing for the a7III is not cheap but is a reasonable $2000, although they’re hard to find in the States at the moment.  I’m strongly considering getting one after using it for a weekend, it was simply that good.  There are simply no holes in its feature set.

As I said in the video, a lot of you will ask “is this camera worth $2000?” and I’ll say it again: no, it’s probably worth a lot more.  With its absurd combination of autofocus points, high-speed shooting, internal 4K video, HD 5x slow-motion video, incredible dynamic range, and great battery life, I predict the a7III will be looked at as the camera that finally brought mirrorless into the mainstream.  There’s simply nothing it cannot do.


What do you think about the a7III?  Are you planning to get one?

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