Sony A7 III Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera Review

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • The A7 III has a 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor and 693 PDAF points
  • Battery life and image quality are good, and 4K video is supported too
  • The Sony A7 III is priced at Rs. 1,64,990 for just the body in India

 

Sony’s camera division has had a pretty eventful first half this year in India. From launching its latest action camera, the RX0, to announcing the sixth edition of its highly popular point-and-shoot camera, the RX100, the company has shown no signs of slowing down. Earlier in the year, we also got a refresh of the famed Alpha 7 or A7 line of full-frame mirrorless cameras, called the A7 III.

This third iteration comes nearly three years after the A7 II was launched in 2014, and it’s considered to be the ‘basic’ model in Sony’s full-frame lineup. Last year, the company refreshed its other series that specialise in high-resolution photography (the A7R III) and introduced a new flagship full-frame camera called the A9 that’s geared for speed. The new Sony A7 III is designed to offer a balance of video and still photography features at a more approachable price point. Let’s take a look.

 

Sony A7 III design

The Sony A7 III has a design that’s similar to its more expensive cousins. The magnesium alloy body is fairly light but also ensures durability for long-term use. The outer covering of plastic and rubber feels premium, and the hand grip is of a comfortable size. The body is also designed to resist dust and moisture.

You get a good number of customisable buttons (C1-C4) that are spread out across the back and top panels. Besides these, you can also remap the functions of the labeled shortcut buttons, giving you more flexibility. We liked the placement and feel of the buttons, which have a soft tactile response and don’t make any sound. You also get a jog dial at the back for shifting the focus point. Alternately, you can use the touchscreen at the back to set the focus point, even when looking through the electronic viewfinder (EVF).

 

Sony A7 III features and specifications

Here is where we see many of the A9’s features trickle down to a lower price point. In the body of the A7 III, there’s a 24.2-megapixel full-frame Exmor-R CMOS sensor with 5-axis stabilisation. Just like the A9, the A7 III also gets 693 phase detection autofocus points, in addition to 425 contrast detection points, which covers nearly 93 percent of the image area. This is massive improvement over the A7 II, which had just 117 PDAF points and 25 contrast detection points.

The camera also has an impressive ISO range of 100-51,200 for both stills and video, and this can be expanded if needed. There’s 10fps burst shooting with AF/AE tracking, as well as a silent mode. Eye-AF is also present, which now works in the AF-C mode. During our testing, we found it to work quite well, at times even when our subject wasn’t looking directly into the lens.

 

Video recording tops out at 4K at 30fps without pixel binning, which means that video is recorded at a higher resolution and then downsampled to 4K. You also get advanced shooting modes like S-Log and HLG (which can be selected from the Picture Profile sub-menu) for creating HDR content or simply allowing advanced grading in post-production

 

Sony A7 III performance and battery life

In our ISO test, we check to see how well a camera handles noise at high ISO levels. ISO adjustments can be made in half and one-third stops so you can really fine-tune the level. An expanded range is also available, which boosts the ISO level all the way to 2,04,800 but as you can tell by the shot below, it’s not particularly useful. With the native range, detail level is preserved very well till about ISO 6,400. There’s barely any discernible difference up to that point.

 

 

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