Gold award and glowing review of Sony A7III on DPR

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,782
Re: Gold award and glowing review of Sony A7III on DPR

Clyde Thomas wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Has anyone shot with this thing in A mount forum? Is its autofocus really better than the Sony Alpha 99 II? At least they didn't cripple its video with an F3.5 restriction! .

I bought one and exchanged for a7RIII after three days.

a99II video restrictions are no problem for me. But the a7III video restrictions are. a7III only shoots full frame video in 24p. It will crop the frame in any other mode. My workflow is 30p full frame so a7III doesn't fit.

The a7III AF is very nice, but I shot a job with 85GM side by side with a99II+ZA85 and the hit rate was about the same. It didn't surprise me how well behaved the ZA was, but it did surprise me that the 85GM was not invincible. But hey, you really have to appreciate Steam Punk to like the ZA compared to the GM.

I now have a new a7RIII that I will be selling shortly, along with all my E lenses. I don't like separate switches for OIS. I don't like OIS as I find it less consistent than IBIS. I simply hate fly-wire acceleration, and I shoot too much manual focus to put up with it.

I don't like closed aperture shooting of EMount lenses. I shoot too much studio work of live models at f8/11 and the a99II is better suited for that shooting wide open. None of the viewfinder flashing with gain up for focus. a7III have nice AF assist light, but it can't project past the super fat GM lenses to make any difference. a99II doesn't need the AF assist light.

I still don't like the grip of new E cams. It's too tight for gloves with FE35/1.4 and GM. And when holding camera at my side, the ridge on the fat lenses bites into my finger knuckles. OK for zoo trip, but I work with camera in my hand all day, every day. It hurts.

Half the time I mount an E lens with aperture ring, I end up turning the ring from A, which sets it to f16. Setting back to A defaults camera to f4. So I often have to reset aperture. No problem with that on AMount.

The new E cams are really really great improvement from previous models. But for me, and I mean for me... there are some fundamental problems with the tech that I'm not willing to work with. As an example, the simplest of dozens, I didn't realize how much I appreciate the auto snap lock battery door of AMount, until I lost it on EMount. a99II is a very courteous camera by comparison.

If you're curious, I suggest you get an a7III and move forward knowing that your system will be well supported and provided for. I personally have everything I need with AMount. The total switch to E, for me, would be a downgrade.


EDIT: More...

There have been some interesting changes to the operation of the new 7 Ecams.

Eye-AF (as far as I can tell) cannot be separated from face detection. You're either in the mode, or you're not. So, if the mode is turned off, then I can't hit my Eye-AF button and expect it to override. But, with mode turned on, it will automatically override my selected AF point. i haven't found a way to separate the functions and make it work like an a99II. Perhaps it can, but I have't found the control.

Extra needless controls... For Peaking, new 7's have three controls compared to a99II two controls. The Ecam separates ON/OFF from low/medium/high. I keep peaking in my FN quick menu. And it takes up three boxes now, ON/OFF, low/med/hi, and color. a99II only takes up two boxes in the FN quick menu. OFF/low, med, hi, is one control. Color takes the other box. This means I had to dump a box from a7III quick menu. I don't like that.

Another setting I keep in the a99II quick menu is Quality and Size. When quality is set to RAW, then Size grays out. Size only appears when Quality is set for any JPG mode. But new E7's show the JPG Size (and allow changing it) even when in RAW Quality. This is very confusing as it leads me to believe it is shooting a lower resolution RAW file. It doesn't. I wish it grayed out the box to confirm the truth of the matter.

Bewildering... Each button on new E7's have Twenty Two Pages of items to choose from. Not 22 items. 22 pages. Why in Gods name are they still printing the factory default on the back of the camera? Having options is nice, but it can be really overwhelming. I have to cuddle with my a900 just to remind myself of a simpler time with elegant menu.

Weird Ergo... Yes it's better than before. But I have a really hard time NOT pressing the AEL button. They put it right on the crest of the thumb nub. I've never had this level of relearning muscle memory before. And it got me thinking... With a99II, I think about what buttons I want to press. With new E7's, I have to think about what buttons I don't want to press.

Always great to hear from you Clyde and I always learn something from reading your very thoughtful posts.

22 pages for configurable buttons!  Holy cow - that's wild!

Very interesting in particular that the combo of AR7III and GM not discernible better in AF than the A99ii and the old CZ85.  I love that lens on the A99ii!

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Sony A99ii-A77ii-RX10III-RX100V
Sigma: 8-16 f4.5-5.6, 500 4.5 EX DG APO.
Sigma Art: 35 f1.4, 50 f1.4, 24-105 f4.
Tamron: 70-200 f2.8 USD
Sony Zeiss Alpha: 24 f2, 85 1.4, 135 1.8, 24-70 2.8 SSMII
Sony: 16-50 f2.8, 100 f2.8M, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2
Minolta: 70-210 f4 ('Beercan').

 Douglas F Watt's gear list:Douglas F Watt's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony RX10 III Sony RX100 V Sony a77 II Sony a99 II +16 more
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