• Lens Mount: E-mount
  • Image Sensor: 35mm full frame EXMOR R CMOS
  • Resolution: 24.2MP
  • Display: 1.3cm Electronic viewfinder, 2.95-inch TFT screen
  • Connectivity: USB, NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Storage: SD, SDHC, SDXC, microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC
  • Dimensions: 126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7mm
  • Weight: 650g (body only)
  • Pros:
  • Very versatile
  • Detailed 4K recordings
  • Cons:
  • UI sometimes laggy

Third Time For The Win

Sony’s launch of the α7R III in Malaysia was soon followed by the launch of the α7 III. Like the former, this new camera is a full frame mirrorless camera that is targeted at professionals. Note that its kit-lens package packs an affordable FE 28-70mm zoom lens, but this camera is compatible with all full-frame e-mount lenses.

You’ll quickly find that the α7 III shares its sibling’s design and button layout. It’s lighter by a bit but features the same sturdy magnesium alloy body that’s highly resistant to dust and moisture. Also, the buttons are all in comfortable reach and its LCD screen supports touch operation for autofocusing purposes. As expected, the only thing we could find slightly unsatisfactory is that the camera’s UI isn’t as snappy as a DSLR’s.

Under the hood, this camera packs a 24MP Exmor R CMOS sensor that has a native ISO range of 100-51,200 and extended range of 50-204,800. With this sensor, it’s capable of video recording in 14-bit RAW mode. It also has an astounding total of 693 phase detection areas, the same number that the α9 has.

Tracking fast moving subjects won’t be an issue with its Fast Hybrid AF system. We used it with the 10fps continuous burst shooting mode, which really helped in better capturing moving subjects like running athletes or blinking RGB LEDs. The 5-axis stabilisation is particularly useful for low-light conditions, showing its worth whenever you need to use longer exposure times.

Not only does the α7 III work well in scenarios like sports, it’s great for a variety of other uses. For example, you can turn on silent shutter while taking your shots, which is handy for wildlife photography. Its excellent dynamic range, detail, and noise reduction capability also makes it excel at landscape photography. For videos, the camera captures in either 6K or 5K (depending on recording setting) and oversamples it to 4K footage, resulting in footages with plenty of detail. However, 1080p recordings aren’t as detailed, possibly due to crop factor. If users want to get 1080p footage, our suggestion is to just record in 4K and oversample it to Full HD.

With two memory card slots and a powerful battery 2,280mAh NP-FZ100 battery, users get to enjoy longer usage with this camera. At the very least, you won’t run out of juice after just an hour at a major trade convention. On an average, you’re looking at about almost 700 shots before you need to swap batteries or charge it.

CHIP CONCLUDE: It’s not exactly an entry-level offering, but if you need a full-frame with convenient features and the performance to match, do yourself a favour and seriously consider this one.

(previously published in issue June 2018)