Sony A7 III Comparison Review
The Sony Alpha A7 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in February 2018 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24 megapixel.
Is the Sony A7 III a good camera? The A7 III has a Camera Elo of 3291. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The A7 III ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A7 III ranks among the top 20 percent.
|Sony A7 III|
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|10 shutter flaps per second|
|610 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 96 x 74 mm, 650 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony A7 III vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A7 III alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Sony A7 III||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Nikon Z6« »||5.3 in||4.0 in||2.6 in||23.8 oz||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999||Nikon Z6|
|Sony A9 II« »||5.1 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||23.9 oz||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7R III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A7R II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.0 oz||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.1 oz||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||Sony A7|
|Sony A850« »||6.1 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||31.6 oz||880||Y||Aug 2009||1,999||Sony A850|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony A7 III was launched in the US market at a price of $1,999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Sony A7 III features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony A7 III among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95||Nikon Z6|
|Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Sony A7R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90||Sony A7|
|Sony A850||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||23.8||12.2||1415||79||Sony A850|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The A7 III indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A7 III can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A7 III has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2359k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.78x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony A7 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Nikon Z6||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7R III||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A7R II||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
|Sony A850||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||n||Y||Sony A850|
One feature that differentiates the A7 III from many other cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7 III reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A7 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Nikon Z6||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7R III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A7R II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7|
|Sony A850||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A850|
It is notable that the A7 III has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A7 III. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Sony A7 III FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A7 III.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the A7 III?
The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Sony equipped the A7 III with the BIONZ X image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the A7 III?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha A7 III?
Sony mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the A7 III. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the A7 III over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Sony A7 III?
Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your A7 III has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony A7 III?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Sony Alpha A7 III has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony A7 III?
The A7 III offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Sony A7 III feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The A7 III's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.
Does the Sony A7 III support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s) in its first slot, and UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s) in its second slot.
Which battery does the A7 III use?
The camera gets its power from the NP-FZ100 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the A7 III?
Yes, Sony offers the VG-C3EM as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Where can I find the best deals for the A7 III?
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Sony A7 III
- Leica TL2 vs Sony A7 III
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Sony A7 III
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony A7 III
- Nikon D7200 vs Sony A7 III
- Nikon D780 vs Sony A7 III
- Panasonic G1 vs Sony A7 III
- Panasonic G90 vs Sony A7 III
- Panasonic GH3 vs Sony A7 III
- Panasonic GX1 vs Sony A7 III
- Panasonic TZ200 vs Sony A7 III
- Sony A7 III vs Sony A7S II
|Camera Model||Sony A7 III|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 1999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.6 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||847.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.83 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-51200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-204800 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||96|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||3730|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Single UHS-II|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||NP-FZ100 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||610 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
127 x 96 x 74 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||650 g (22.9 oz)|
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