Proís and Conís of the Sony α7R iii

To put it mildly, Sony is the reigning king of the mirrorless market.

You could even argue that Sony is responsible for our recent obsession for mirrorless cameras due in part to the release of their flagship α9 and the α7R iii, a camera that almost overshadowed the release of every other mirrorless camera on the market.

Below, we’ll go over the features of the α7R iii and see how they stack up with others in the Alpha line.

Immediately, it’s apparent how ergonomically well designed the camera is. The buttons have been slightly updated to feature three memory recalls on the mode dial with four more hidden buttons that are completely customizable. Another card slot has been added, though only one supports UHS-II cards.

The rear screen, like in the rest of the Alpha series, does offer some movement but lags behind the Panasonic mirrorless line. Another issue is the touch screen; you can use it to choose focus, but not to navigate the overtly complicated menu. Nothing spending a little time with the camera won’t fix, but still an issue if you’re in a fast paced shooting environment.

In using the camera, however, it’s obvious that there’s a lot to appreciate. What could probably be the α7R iii’s greatest achievement is the fact that the camera can shoot up to 10 frames-per-second in compressed RAW or 8 frames-per-second in 14-bit RAW with a buffer for up to 28 pictures, (76 if shooting JPEG). That kind of performance from a full frame, 42.4 megapixel consumer camera is nothing short of astonishing.

That is due in part to the fact that the α7R iii has borrowed some very important features from the α9, including it’s autofocus system, EVF and Z-series batteries, all of which give it a huge leg up from the α7R ii. The autofocus system equips the α7R iii with more than double the amount of focus points that the α7R ii. The updated EVF comes with higher resolution and 35% more dots that that of the α7R ii, meaning a brighter but more color accurate viewfinder. The battery, rated by Sony to last at least a 650 pictures, has consistently passed the mark by more than double, a huge leap over the batteries we’re used to seeing with the Alpha cameras.

All these come in to play when actually using the α7R iii, giving you feel of the α9, but with a sensor with twice the resolution. When photographing people, the autofocus is almost mystical in its ability to find and track faces, almost eliminating the need to pre select AF areas. The dynamic range, at an apparent 15 stops, is almost too much to put it simply.

Though the α7R iii does record video, (120 fps at 1080p or 30fps at 4K), the camera wasn’t built with heavy video use in mind. Still, Sony does equip the camera with S-Log 3 for improved dynamic range

In summary, the α7R iii is the go to camera in the portraiture and event market for very good reason. With arguably the best baseline dynamic range and AF on the market, massive improvements from the α7R ii and high ISO performance that rivals the α9, the α7R iii is camera with little downside.


Pro’s

  1. 10 FPS at full resolution, 42.2 MP
  2. Bright and Responsive EVF
  3. Fast performing AF
  4. Excellent high ISO performance

Con’s

  1. No touchscreen control for menu
  2. Single slot supports UHS-II cards
  3. If setting to record to two cards for back up, the camera fills both.