I am testing a full-frame mirrorless Sony A7 III. I check how its value for money is. Is it worth buying? Will it work better than Sony A7R III?
The mirrorless cameras have accustomed us to being smaller than SLRs. In the case of the Sony A7 III the body weight is up to 650 grams, including the battery, and the size of the body is large. This is understandable: the new Sony camera is definitely a professional equipment, so it can not be too small. The housing has been covered with a rough, resistant material. It should provide adequate protection against dust and moisture.Body A7 III is large and has been well profiled, so that even a few hours of work with this camera is not a problem. Compared to its predecessors, the camera has a changed button layout. In short, it's better. At the top of the body, you'll still find the mode dial as well as exposure compensation. Within the body, we also find knobs that help set the aperture or the shutter. In turn, the knob on the menu will be useful for quickly changing the ISO value. A few significant changes can be found in the front of the body. The REC button finally, similar to the Sony A9 and Sony A7R III, landed in the front, and therefore in the most intuitive place. Of course, users of older models will need some time to get used to the new place. A novelty is the joystick. This solution, known from DSLR cameras, will help you set the focus point when you use the digital viewfinder. On the other hand, the buttons for setting the autofocus and blocking the exposure have been separated – this is a much better solution than before. The garbage button can be used as a function and labeled C4. Ultimately, we can use it to set the touch of the screen. The touch is used to select the focus point – a solution that should have been found in the manufacturer's cameras for a long time. Using it, however, we still will not be able to move around the screen. There are a number of inputs on both sides of the camera. Headphones and microphones were placed separately. There was also a USB 3.1 port, which not only allows for fast file transfer, but also allows you to charge the camera, even using a power bank. There was also an HDMI micro version, and the camera also supports wireless connectivity – it has WiFi with NFC support. So we can connect the camera with a smartphone. For Sony cameras, the manufacturer has also prepared a lot of paid applications that can be downloaded using WiFi. A big change is also the battery, whose capacity has been increased more than twice and currently is 2280 mAh. In the previous model it was 1080 mAh and this difference is clearly visible. Finally, the camera can be used freely, and the results on one battery are not much worse than in the case of Canon 6D. On one charge, we will make over 700 photos and record a lot of film material, also in 4K and with support for matrix stabilization.
Touch and tilt screen
A big change from previous models is the fact that the screen has finally been equipped with a touch. Still, it is not the level of touch support offered by the competition. We can focus on the touch, which is definitely the most important issue. However, we can only move around the menu using the buttons. The last one has undergone a fair facelift – some colors and a whole lot of new options have been added. Anyone who has already got used to the previous look will have to take a moment to find himself in it again.Many items in the menu have been rearranged and placed in completely different places than before. Often, even quite obvious functions like turning off the sound are not so easy to find. The undoubted advantage, however, is that we get our own menu, in which we choose any of the most interesting options . This, in combination with a shortened menu, activated by the Fn button, ensures comfortable work. The screen has standard parameters that do not exceed the average, but guarantee a good display quality. Its size is 3 inches, and the resolution is over 921 points. The screen is tilted, similar to older models . In turn, the digital viewfinder offers very high image quality and its resolution is 2.359 million points. The eyecup is large and well contoured, which ensures comfortable use. Thanks to the sunny day function, the picture on the screen is quite clearly visible even in strong light, but in many situations it will be better to use the viewfinder. Especially when we want to make sure that the exposure is correct or the image is properly sharpened. An unusual change is that the viewfinder will not turn on automatically when the screen is moved away . I must admit that this solution irritated me a bit when using the camera.
The quality of the photos is the highest shelf
A full-frame matrix of the new generation and modernized BIONZ X processor, designed to operate almost twice as much as in the predecessor were to provide unprecedented image quality in the previous models, and it must be honestly acknowledged that it succeeded . The quality of the pictures taken with the camera is so high that it is difficult to accuse anything. Thanks to the full frame matrix we gain so much a wide tonal range that you can draw incredibly much from RAWs. In the case of filming, such a wide tonal dynamic was previously offered only by professional cameras. The A7 III camera market will not find many competitors. 24 megapixels of resolution will not give as much detail as in the case of A7R and we will probably not cut the picture as if we could do it using that camera. However, the ability to frame the picture is not so important for many people, and those who have enough 24 MP will be completely satisfied with what the camera offers. Photographing with this model, I deliberately made many pictures of lush trees, open air, trying to catch difficult frames – full of details and extremely exposed – very light and dark elements. In each case, the camera coped well with the deployment of the scene . And I'm talking here about automated settings, so the P or A modes. Rarely when a small manual exposure correction was necessary. For many of you, however, one of the most important issues is probably how the camera deals with high ISO. The answer is: great, You can see that the new matrix type has a very positive effect on the already high performance of ISO with great ISO . In the case of A7R series cameras, a large number of pixels have a very negative impact on noise, which is already noticeable at the value of 6,400. Sony A7S fights this problem by lower resolution of the matrix. In turn, the Sony A7 III has a standard resolution, but at the same time offers ISO very similar to what we find in the S series. This means that we can raise the ISO to really high values, without worrying too much about noise. See for yourself.Let's not forget, however, that the next strong point of this model is autofocus. The manufacturer did not save in this respect and the camera received the best system. Such as in the most expensive models. It is therefore significantly better than what we find in all twos and does not differ from what the models offer almost twice as expensive. It has 693 focus points, 425 fields with contrast detection. Focusing using such autofocus is instant and very accurate. Below are some sample photos. Full resolution cadres – traditionally – can be found in the gallery . Very rarely happened that the camera did not hit with sharpness. In the case of portraits, it will be useful with the AF function with eye priority. Using it, we can be sure that it will be sharpened. The screen with the possibility of focusing by touch is very easy to work with. It is invaluable especially when you want to use selective depth of field to blur the background. Pointing to the camera of a point to be sharp is quick and easy. The matrix with the power of up to 5 EV gives great results . Using it and the possibility of high ISO, we can take pictures in low light conditions without any worries in many cases without a tripod or flash.
Movie mode has what it takes
We are still waiting for the Sony A7S III premiere, but for many people filming the Sony A7 III will be completely sufficient equipment. For movies, we get everything that is currently set by market standards. In movie mode, we will record an image in Full HD quality with a high bitrate of 50 Mbps and an efficient XAVC S codec. An interesting fact is that the AVCHD 50p mode has disappeared . Instead, we get another 50p mode with the XAVC S codec, but with a bit smaller bitrate – 25 Mbps. This is an interesting solution. Certainly 25 Mbps with the XAVC S codec gives a better effect than in the AVCHD, and at the same time we do not lose as much space on the card as in the case of 50 Mbps. The camera, of course, did not lack the possibility of filming in slow-motion Full HD, so at 100 frames per second. The difference is that in Sony A7III the slow-motion mode got a separate position, we select it via the S & Q position on the mode dial. Thanks to it, we can also create movies with accelerated pace, and so timelapse. There was also a 4K mode, which is offered at 25 fps. Using an external recorder, we can record the image without compression with a huge bitratem. Of course, some people will say that 4K 25p is a standard today and one would expect something more. Remember, however, that this is not a camera dedicated to the filmmakers, and therefore more possibilities will give the Sony A7S III, but what offers the A7 III and so impressive. In contrast to Sony A9, there are even flat profiles , including logarithmic ones. The quality of the video is great, the matrix with 5EV power allows you to film from the hand even at a long focal length, and additionally it works with the stabilization in the lens. Let's add great quality with high ISO and it seems that there is nothing to complain about the possibilities of film.
Summary and evaluation
Full-frame A7 III mirrorless Sony defeated not only competition but also itself. Looking at what this model offers, many people will give up the more expensive and, theoretically, more advanced A9 model. At the price of less than 10,000 for the body on the day of the premiere, it is one of the best priced models , if we take into account the price-quality ratio. I would like to add that we are talking about an apparatus that can be used by professional photographers and filmmakers without any problems. Great tonal range, high sensitivity, efficient matrix stabilization and – finally – a powerful battery. It all makes the tested camera really worth buying . If you do not care about high resolution, you do not need to buy A7R III. If you reconcile yourself with a slightly worse viewfinder and louder shutter, then it is not worth buying A9. I do not see many reasons to buy the A7S II, since this camera also can do great on the film. I highly recommend the Sony A7 III and I give him the distinction "Selection of redaction". [Show_rating]