I had the chance to foster the new Sony A7III for a few days; it was an excellent opportunity for me to get to know more about this camera.
The Sony A7III is the first full-frame camera I’ve ever used; I usually use an APS-C camera for my paid jobs.
I am sharing my view from a guy who never owned a Sony full-frame camera before.
Is the Sony A7III worthy for you to do the switch? I am here to share…
In a nutshell, the Sony A7III looks very much similar to her older siblings, and I find the design seems less sexy compared to other camera makers. However, you will grow to love her day by day as you discover her capability in delivering well-focus images.
Tears of joy! – The Sony A7III inherited the joystick form her mother Sony A9. I find it easier to navigate thru the menus with the joystick thou. Back to A7III shall we.
On the right side compartment of the camera, you will find two SD card slots that support UHS-II SD cards. It is an excellent plus point for me when I am shooting events. You know lah, being Singaporean is always “kiasu” and “kiasee”. If one card fails, another card can be my backup.
On the other side of the camera, you will find the 35mm headphone jack, and USB-Type C port (this is what I call the future). Not only this port allows you do faster data transfer, but I can also charge the battery passively with a power bank and USB C cable whenever I am on the go.
Clunk, Clunk It’s Big Head Tiko
The mechanical shutter produces noticeable slapping shutter sound; some may like it, some may not. The camera is not for silent operation; instead, you might alarm your subject when you “happy trigger” on continuous high mode. To kerb, this issue, use the electronic shutter.
Again and again, if you are not a seasoned Sony camera user like me, you find that going thru the pages of operation menu is a pain.
The Sony has tonnes of customisation buttons, give yourself some time to learn to control her, and set the buttons to your preference.
It is good that Sony hardly changes the orientation of the buttons among the camera models, so you won’t feel awkward when you use another model as a backup.
Eye Eye Captain
The Eye AF is nothing new, as it already been there in the first Sony Alpha 7 camera. In the past few models, you need to ransack this Eye AF function in the menu and set it in one of the customised buttons.
And now, Sony implanted the Eye AF function in the centre of jogged dial button; so you can activate easily while in AF Continuous mode.
In the previous camera model, fellow Sony users told that the Eye AF is only available in Single Focus mode; however, it is also possible to use the Eye AF in continuous focus mode. Cheers!
With Native lenses, I can activate the Eye AF by pressing the shutter release button halfway. Last time one need to activate by pressing another button, most program to AEL button.
Battery – Bigger is Better
On paper, Sony uses the Z-series Rechargeable Battery Pack claiming to shoot 710 shots. In my experience, a full charge battery can last me 3 hours of event photography easily with 40% remaining.
I have also used the Sony Battery charger (not included) to charge the battery.
It took me approximately 1.5 hours to charge the battery from empty to full charge. Why doesn’t Sony include battery charger in the standard package as other brands do? I don’t understand (sigh).
Superior Fast Auto Focus
The focus is equally fast as the Sony RX100V, which I have reviewed in one of my articles. Set the AF to Wide, and I saw the swan of “green bees” hunting my subject accurately.
Sony calls this the 4D focus, the AF algorithm stays focused on the action, and even predicts your subject’s next move, without getting distracted by any obstacles in the frame.
When using the Sony A7III, I became lazy, and I often rely on the accurate AF “Bees” and touch screen to determine my focus point, hardly use the electronic viewfinder. Unlike those olden day with DSLR camera where I rely on the exposure meter and chimping after every shot.
Videography is not my strength, for the review sake, I tried recording a 2 minutes 4K video from the light show at the light event (handheld). So far no overheating issue, the battery just dropped 2%.
Comparing to my friend’s A7RII (42.4megapixels), the A7III (24.2megapixels) images are less noisy. The file size is a lot manageable, I don’t think you are going to print it on a billboard right? With her superior accurate autofocus, plus with big battery capacity juicy battery, she provides me better confidence in tracking and capturing my subjects while I am doing my events assignment.
All bells and whistles, but don’t forget that Full frame lenses are usually more cumbersome and costlier than APS-C lenses. Alas, in seeking of sharper images and creamier “bokeh”, you are opening to another can of “poison” lenses such as Zeiss, GM, G Master to mount on her.
Sony marketed the A7III as the “Basic” camera; I say that this it is an understatement; Bullshit! The Sony A7III has a lot of enhanced features, so much to offer at a reasonable price tag RRP $2,899.00 (body only). It is a worthy buy for someone who wants to upgrade to a Full Frame Camera.
One More Thing
Please get a UHS-II card; the main reason is not about ability to store the photos while shooting in continuous high mode. To me, it allows me to scroll thru the images faster when I review them on the camera. You may want to consider in getting the Sony SF-G Series UHS-II SD Memory Cards.