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Sony a7III – My Initial Impressions

Everything you’ve heard about the a7III is true. These are my initial impressions. Read on…

Right out of the box, what surprised me most, was the weight.
The first thing I did was rotate it and check to see if the battery was in it…it wasn’t. So I put the battery in and naturally the weight increased. This was my first time seeing the a7III, so I had no idea what to expect.

It’s not heavy in a bad way, but it’s definitely significantly heavier than my a6000. But I’m OK with that. You can be sure when you’re carrying it around that it’s not a toy.

The a7III Menu

Since I started watching reviews on the Sony a7III, one of the common complaints from users was the menu. And yes I get it, it’s cumbersome and more than confusing. But does it really matter that much? No, not to me. It’s detailed because there are so many options. I can deal with that. At least they provide you with your own page called ‘My Menu’ that allows you to create your own menu.

And, how often are you going into the menu to begin with? The important features are built into the ‘FN’ button. If that’s not enough, there are 4 customizable buttons for you to create shortcuts. That’s really all you should need.

The a7III Battery Life

What can I say about the battery life. Impressive is the word that comes to mind. Many photographers complained about the battery that comes with the a6000, and rightly so. It was bad. Really bad! Many photographers bragged about carrying around up to 10 spares.

The a7III does not suffer from what plagued the a6000. The battery life is awesome. I’ve only used it a few times up to now, but I’ve been watching it.
I’m so confident in it that I’ve gone out shooting a couple times without the spares I bought. Yes, of course I bought spares, I’m not a psycho.
I just don’t see myself needing them very often. Maybe in the Winter. Batteries drain faster in the winter. I’m looking forward to not having to worry about…much.

Dual Card Slots

The Sony a7III comes with dual card slots. This provides you with a few things. Namely piece of mind. You don’t need to worry that the card you’re writing to is going to fail and leave you in an embarrassing situation, if you’re doing paid work. I’m not at this point so the addition of another card slot is not a necessity, just a nice to have. But of course I have 2 cards in the camera. Again, I’m not a psycho. I do it because it’s there and I can. I have 2, 128 GB Sandisk Extreme Pros in at the moment and I’m writing to both for redundancy and security.

It’s kind of cool that you can do that, but if you’re professional, this feature is an absolute must. Your client is not going to appreciate that sometimes SD Cards fail and you lost their images. They simply won’t and you’ll look bad.

The Buttons…So Many Buttons

There are a lot of buttons on the a7III. They added an additional Custom button the left side, added a scroll wheel for shutter speed, and a wheel for exposure adjustment. They also removed one, since this device doesn’t come with a built in flash, there’s no button to trigger it.. There’s a hot shoe in place of the flash. And it comes with a hot shoe cover for when it’s empty (apparently a drop of water at that spot can render your camera useless). No one used that anyway, as it was pretty basic and didn’t do a great job with lighting your subject.

So, you’ll have to purchase an off camera flash when the time comes, as will I. Godox (non-affiliated link) seems to be the manufacturer of choice for a lot of photogs, so I will look into that one.

The a7III Eyepiece Cup

I’ll add add a short note here to let you know that yes, the eyepiece cup on this device falls off as much as it falls off probably every other Sony Mirrorless camera. I went through 4 of these on my a6000 #disgusted.

Image Quality

The image quality of this device pretty much speaks for itself. I’ve included a gallery of images I shot in 2 days of using the camera, edited in Adobe Lightroom (I’ve included some of the unedited JPEGS as well). The results are really pleasing, especially in low light.
The sensor on the a7III is back-illuminated, this provides the ability to get better images in low-light. The ISO can be jacked up as high as 12800 without adding much noise at all.

Shooting in low-light with the a6000 was pointless, even with a fast 1.4 lens like the Sigma 16 mm 1.4 DC DN. It was a frustrating experience, believe me.
I wish I had some images to show the improvement, but sadly I went out in the evening on the 3rd day with the camera and hated all the images I shot.
Maybe I’ll update this post when I get some low-light images I’m happy with. Stay tuned…
In the meantime, feel free to browse some of the images shot with the a6000 and try to compare.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. I finally have a Sony a7III and things are looking up. I’m happier with my images and the limitations I previously experienced have been lifted.

I didn’t cover a lot of the a7III that makes it so awesome. Like the auto-focusing, the fact that’s full frame and not APS-C, the increased number of focus points, and the silent shooting.

I should also add that the RAW files on the a7III are uncompressed, compared to compressed on the a6000. This was unexpected, but I’m happy to see it.

I also didn’t talk much about the things that annoy me about the camera. But after shooting with a crop-sensor, I almost feel like I have no right to complain. So I won’t. The annoyances I’m experiencing will go away once I’m used to this camera. They’re mostly button layouts from the a6000 to the a7III. So they’ll go away in time.

If you have questions, please feel free to post them in the comments.

Until next time…