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Sony A7R III Comparison Review

The Sony Alpha A7R III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in October 2017 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 42.2 megapixel.

camera

The Sony A7R III has a Camera Elo of 3395. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The A7R III ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A7R III also falls among the top 10 percent.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7R III
Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses
42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100-32000 (50-102400)
Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1440k dots
Tilting touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
650 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 A7R III vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony A7R III vs credit card front
A7R III versus credit card top view
A7R III and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A7R 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R III 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Nikon Z7« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 330 Y Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
 
Pentax K-1« » 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 760 Y Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
 
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 28.6 oz 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony A7R III was launched in the US market at a price of $3,199. 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 A7R III:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Sony A7R 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 A7R III among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Sony A7R III sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
 
Nikon Z7« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.314.6266899Nikon Z7
 
Pentax K-1« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i25.414.6328096Pentax K-1
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589Sony A99

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The A7R III indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A7R III can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7R III has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3686k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.78x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7R III and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R III3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
 
Nikon Z7« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n Y Nikon Z7
 
Pentax K-1« »optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 4.0 n n Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 6.0 n Y Sony A99

One feature that differentiates the A7R III from many other cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7R 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 A7R III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
 
Nikon Z7« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z7
 
Pentax K-1« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
 
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Sony A99

It is notable that the A7R 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A7R III handle or perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R III++90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Nikon Z7« »+89/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
 
Pentax K-1« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
 
Sony A7 III« »++89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »++89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7R II« »++90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »+-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« »++82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« »-84/1004.5/5o4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Sony A7R III FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A7R III.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the A7R III?

The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

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 A7R III with the BIONZ X image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the A7R III?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 32000, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha A7R III?

Sony mentions a shutter rating of 500 000 actuations for the A7R 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 A7R III over, say, three years, one would have to take about 500 pictures each and every day.

How to find the current shutter count on my Sony A7R III?

Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your A7R 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 A7R III?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Does the Sony A7R 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 A7R III's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Sony A7R 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 A7R 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 A7R 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 A7R 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 make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony A7R III
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2017
    Launch Price USD 3199
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 42.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7952 x 5304 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.52 μm
    Pixel Density 4.90 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-32000 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 100
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 26.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 3523
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3686k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    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
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    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)650 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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