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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.

camera

Is the Sony A7 III a good camera? The A7 III has a Camera Elo of 2925. This rating puts the A7 III among the top 20 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A7 III ranks among the top 30 percent.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7 III
Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100 - 51 200 (50 - 204 800)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Tilting touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
610 shots per battery charge
127 x 96 x 74 mm, 650 g


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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.

Sony A7 III vs credit card front
A7 III versus credit card top view
A7 III and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A7 III alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
2.
 
Canon 6D Mark II 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i
3.
 
Nikon Z6 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999i
4.
 
Sony A7C 124 mm 71 mm 60 mm 509 g 740 Y Sep 2020 1,799 i
5.
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
6.
 
Sony A7R IV 129 mm 96 mm 78 mm 665 g 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 i
7.
 
Sony A7R III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199i
8.
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
9.
 
Sony A7R II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 625 g 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199i
10.
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999i
11.
 
Sony A7 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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.

Sony A7 III:
Check Amazon price

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.

Sony A7 III sensor measures

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 alternatives.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
2.
 
Canon 6D Mark II Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
3.
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995
4.
 
Sony A7C Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7340795
5.
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
6.
 
Sony A7R IV Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p26.014.8334499
7.
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
8.
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
9.
 
Sony A7R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498
10.
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
11.
 
Sony A7 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890

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.

Feature comparison

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.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
2.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIoptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.5 n n
3.
 
Nikon Z63690 Y3.2 / 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
4.
 
Sony A7C2360 n3.0 / 922 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 n Y
5.
 
Sony A9 II3686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
6.
 
Sony A7R IV5760 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
7.
 
Sony A7R III3686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
8.
 
Sony A93686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
9.
 
Sony A7R II2400 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
10.
 
Sony A7 II2400 n3.0 / 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
11.
 
Sony A72400 n3.0 / 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n

The LCD screen on the Sony Alpha A7 III is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the A7 III

One feature that differentiates the A7 III from many older 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.

Connection comparison

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.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
2.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
3.
 
Nikon Z6Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Sony A7CYstereo / monoYYmicro3.2YYY
5.
 
Sony A9 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
6.
 
Sony A7R IVYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
7.
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
8.
 
Sony A9Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YYY
9.
 
Sony A7R IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony A7 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
11.
 
Sony A7Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-

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.

Expert reviews

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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +4.5/589/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
2.
 
Canon 6D Mark II4/5+4/580/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i
3.
 
Nikon Z65/5..5/589/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999i
4.
 
Sony A7C3.5/5..3.5/586/1004/54/5 Sep 2020 1,799 i
5.
 
Sony A9 II....5/590/1005/55/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
6.
 
Sony A7R IV5/5+4.5/591/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2019 3,499 i
7.
 
Sony A7R III..+ +4/590/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199i
8.
 
Sony A95/5+ +4.8/589/1005/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
9.
 
Sony A7R II5/5+ +5/590/1005/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199i
10.
 
Sony A7 II5/5+4/582/1004.5/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999i
11.
 
Sony A75/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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 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 free online shutter count finder 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?

Grey imports from Asia, as found on eBay, are often very attractively priced. However, these cameras come without a warranty from Sony.

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.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony A7 III
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2018
    Launch Price USD 1 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 847 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 42.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6 000 x 4 000 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 - 51 200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 204 800 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
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-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
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    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
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FZ100 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)610 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 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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