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Sony A7R III Quick Review: A Less Ridiculous A9

by John Nieves  November 23, 2017

We go hands-on Sony’s new camera

When Sony unveiled its top-tier flagship full-frame A9, we wondered when the camera’s top-tier features would trickle down to lower-priced models. Surprisingly enough Sony didn’t take long to announce the A7R III, which had many of the same features that made the A9 great in a slightly cheaper package. But how does Sony’s new baby perform? Spoiler alert: really, really well.

Initial impressions: Almost the same size and design as the previous iteration but with way more features and controls

It was a little difficult identifying the A7R III when we first saw it in the flesh yesterday at Sony’s presser here in Singapore, simply because it shares much of the same design as the previous generation camera. But as familiar as the body of the new camera is, Sony’s put in quite a few improvements to it based on the feedback of users. First, the camera uses a bigger battery pack (the same as the A9) for longer shooting, which was one of the biggest pain points of the previous generation.

There’s also two SD card slots on the side, so you’ll be able to keep shooting all day without having to switch cards on the fly.

There’s also a new joystick that allows photographers to navigate through menus and photos easily, taken from the A9. The display now has touch capability, and connectivity has also been improved, with a new dedicated remote flash plug, as well as USB Type-C connectivity for faster data transfers.

Most of the new stuff is on the inside of the camera. While the A7R III uses the same 42MP BSI CMOS sensor as the previous iteration, there’s been a bunch of improvements done that make it far superior. First off, the camera is able to shoot ridiculously fast, using either its mechanical or electronic shutter, at 10 FPS via either RAW or JPEG. There’s also no shutter blackout when you’re shooting, which gives you better situational awareness.

The AF of the A7R III is also incredibly fast, and has 399 phase detection AF points as well as 425 contrast AF points. Sony’s also put in an eye AF mode, which allows you to lock onto their face with via their eyes, though the feature only works when the camera is on continuous AF mode.

The camera still has Sony’s class-leading 5-axis image stabilization system, which is rated at 5.5 stops when used with a 50mm lens. The camera also has Pixel Shift shooting capabilities. Pixel Shift shooting basically combines several photos into one for an incredibly detailed shot, though it only works with static subjects.

Sony’s boasting that the A7R III is capable of capturing incredible details with its sensor, and we’re inclined to believe them. Crops of our shots with the device show excellent detail, like the spider webs in the wooden dragon as well as the people on the walkway. It’s an excellent camera to be sure.

All photos taken in the gallery below were taken with Sony’s new FE 24-105 F4 G OSS G-master lens.

While we weren’t able to test it, the A7R III is also capable of shooting 4K capture with Super 35 oversampling mode, and also has the ability to shoot in 120FPS at full HD. The camera also supports shooting HDR via the hybrid log gamma HDR standard, as well as S-Log 3 support.

The Sony A7R III will retail for Php 179,999.

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