Sony A7R III is my primary camera for phtot and video shooting since 2021 and in this review I will list my reasons why.
I have upgraded to A7RIII from Sony A6500 last year and before that I was using the A6500 for 4 years ever since 2017. I am really happy that I switched from Canon to Sony, because I am convinced that in the past 5 years Sony cameras are quite ahead of competition and countinue to be.
The things I like the most about Sony A7RIII:
The big sensor. There are people who claim that 42 MP is unnecessary big, but they are wrong. The big sensor not only captures light more efficiently and is very good in low light situations, especially when you don’t have a tripod with you, but also helps you correct for composition mistakes later in post processing. If you need to crop, you don’t have to loos valuable pixels.
The weight – on of the best in terms of MP / body weight ratios on the market. When you are a travell photographer this means a lot.
The autofocus is incredible. I personally prefer the phase detection over the contrast detection and Sony are definitely the leader in this type of autofocus. With 399 phase detection points and 425 contrast detection points you can bet you will be in focus 99% of the time. Honestly I didn’t have the opportunity to test the Eye AF mode, since I am not into wildlife or sports photogrpahy, but from what I have read it is working as it is supposed to. And for shooting video the AF is also very reliable as long as you have set the focus area to center or zone, other wise you risk to get a “breathing focus” in your footage, especially if you film flowing water or other difficult scenes where the camera cannot be very certain which of multiple moving objects to focus on.
The abilityto focus any part of a scene, while shooting video, by just tapping on the touchscreen, is indispensible, especially for achieving smooth focus shift within a scene.
The joystick is quite functional and it is great that you can move a focus zone with it very quick and easy, while building a composition of the shot on the touchscreen or in the viewfinder.
The 5-axis image stabilization at 5.5 steps combined with the very good noise suppression at low light and high ISO (you can get away with even 3200 ISO and still obtain professional looking photos) give you the flexibility to shoot landscapes into the golden and even blue hour without a tripod.
The buttons and dials on the camera body are easily accesible and with good functionality, the main menu is also easy to work with, once you learn what is where. You have also quite a lot of options to customize the available buttons and wheels.
The option to power the camera from external power bank through the USB port while shooting is very important for me especially for video shoots
The presence of S-log-2 and 3 is great, but honestly I prefer to shoot in the HLG (or hybrid log gamma) – it is much easier to colorgrade afterwards. Also the HLG can be quite usefull to get the optimal RAW exposure by employing the ETTR (expose to the right) technique.
Set one of your Picture Profiles to use ‘HLG’ for the gamma setting, enable Zebra highlight warnings, and set the Zebra level to 100+. Now increase your exposure until the moment you first see Zebra warnings. These settings, where you first see a hint of Zebra warnings, is your optimal Raw file exposure – it will be the brightest possible, but counterintuitively (since you’re seeing the warnings), all highlights you want to capture won’t be clipped.
This may not result in the ideal JPEG but it should be of particular value for landscape shooters wanting to capture high dynamic scenes, as it allows you to forego exposure bracketing. We’re hopeful that this sort of method may point to the possibility of Raw histogram displays in the future, as opposed to the JPEG only histogram displays currently available.
If the touchscreen was more flexible and flipping, with the option to rotate it would have been much easier to shoot through the touchscreen in tough situations and especially when the camer is set low relative to the ground.
If the camera was able to shoot 4K in 120 fps or even 60 fps this would have been the ultimate travel camera for years to come, but unfortunately it is restricted to 30 fps in 4K., so for the slow mo I need to rely on my GoPro Hero 10
I hope this review was useful and will help you in your decision for a camera body. If you are convinced that Sony A7R III is the camera for you I will be more than happy if you purchase it through the affiliate link I post below. I get a small comission from amazon for every item, purchased this way which will help me to continue to develop my website and make it even more useful and informative.