WHY WE BOUGHT THE SONY A7III IN 2021
THE SONY A7III SET A NEW STANDARD IN CAMERA TECHNOLOGY.
Blending advanced firmware with rock-solid hardware to create a new dynamic in photography.
AUTOFOCUS & TOUCHSCREEN
The Sony A7III’s autofocus system is the main reason we upgraded from the A7RII. It utilizes Sony’s 4D Focus system (Area, Depth, and Time), its 693 phase-detect points, and 425 contrast-detect points blow the A7RII out of the water. The eye AF has vastly improved over the A7RII, and as creative portrait professionals, this is a game-changer for us. Eye AF enables us to close our already slim margin on missed focus and ensure we nail the shot even if conditions change. We’ve had this (and other) feature(s) on our A6400 for a while, and we love it so much we needed it in full frame.
Believe it or not, the A7III produces a better image. Sure it’s not as high resolution as our now-6-year-old-A7RII, but with higher resolution comes more image noise. When comparing the images side by side, this becomes obvious. The A7III offers a better dynamic range as well. 14.7-stops of dynamic range, compared to 13.9 stops on the A7RII.
This is especially useful to us as we shoot a lot in low light. It’s part of our aesthetic & creative style, and the benefits here push out enough of a difference on the top end of shadows & highlights to matter.
If you’ve used Sony cameras before the last few years, then you know how terrible the battery life is. Those NP-FW50 batteries aren’t enough. We had 13 batteries for two bodies. While that is certainly overkill, if you’re out for a full day and using the wifi inside your camera, those things are going to drain fast. The Sony A7III fixes that issue with the NP-FZ100 battery. It’s a more significant capacity power source and combined with new management firmware in the camera; they’re SO much better. We have yet to exhaust one in an average day of non-event photography fully.
You can pick up a pair of highly-rated third-party batteries with a dual charger for less than the cost of one Sony branded battery. We did without regret.
BUILD, HANDLING, & DRIVE
When comparing the A7III to our older but still fully capable A7RII, there are some key differences.
First, the grip. Sony’s larger battery slot helped improve the hold, and while it’s not a huge difference, it certainly helps the body feel more balanced and fits better in my bear paws.
The second is control. I often find myself using flexible spot focus, and the experience for this on A7III is so much better! The body has a joystick and a touchscreen enabling me to perform this operation much faster than the A7RII’s wheel-based movements — something that feels archaic in 2021.
Dual card slots. This seems to be something many pros have been asking for, but I find myself not caring about it all that much. I’ve never lost files or had a card crash, and for events, I have strategic intervals where I offload to a backup solution anyway. While I see the benefit here and appreciate the UHS-II speed (one card only), I’ll likely still offload as I find it to be a great practice and helps my workflow in post.
The A7III gives us ten frames per second shooting which is double the A7RII 5fps. The buffer is substantially better, too- 23 raw/23 jpg shots on the A7RII vs. 40 raw/163 jpg on the A7III.
The A7III also has a more rigid mount. Sony has increased the number of screws to six to handle heavier optics more efficiently than previous models.
We’ve made the switch to Sony’s Tough SD Cards and are delighted with their performance.
You can pick them up here: Sony Tough SD Card
The Sony A7III is a fantastic camera for any session that requires us to be outside of our studio and on the move. In a completely controlled environment, the Sony A7RII is still a pros camera. Its high-resolution sensor is a must for any commercial work. While two more models have succeeded the A7RII in its specialist lineup, it still performs well and is a capable camera.
The A7III, however, fills the need for literally everything else we do. Which, frankly, is the bulk of our work. The majority of our clients do not need billboard-size prints, and a smaller file size combined with all the benefits I mentioned above make this our daily driver. The Sony A7III is a camera that performs outside of its class, and its low price point removes a barrier to entry for anyone just getting started in photography.
You can get one at Adorama: Sony A7III