A7Riii impressions

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FujLiver Contributing Member • Posts: 781
A7Riii impressions

I walked into a shop to buy a A7iii on Black Friday and, guess what, the retailer had a special offer on the A7Riii so I succumbed .. now I’ve blown my budget and need to up the lenses I’m getting ....

I got into digital cameras in the early days, with the wonderful Sony Mavica (which took 3.5” diskettes !!) and then bought a variety of models from Minolta and a Canon 40D, but IMHO it was the Canon 5D where digital photography came of age, the images of which still hold up well today. After this I pretty much went to Leica M for digital and film.

I have tried different AF solutions over the years and although enjoyed myself, I have not particularly been blown away. Recently I have tested quite a lot of the latest range:

  1. Sony A7 - size was a revelation and photos lovely, but lack of silent shutter and somewhat noisy mechanical one was a downer. At the time not much 3rd party choices
  2. Sony A7Rii - really liked but it chomps through batteries and felt like a bit more speed would seal the deal
  3. Canon RP - Can’t get on with the DR and lens range limited to exotics
  4. Nikon Z6 - lovely build and switchgear but limited lenses, issues with AF and decision to use unusually large mount (somewhat shared by the EOS-R) means lenses are all big
  5. Leica SL - most beautiful (in a brutalist manner) and best joystick ever. Super sharp due to thinnest filters. However heavy and expensive, and heavy Panasonic and Leica lenses and limited premium, or SLR converted, Sigma lenses.
  6. Panasonic S1. Lots to love. Only FF mirrorless with no AA filter on 24mp (apart from Leica). EVF fantastic. No PDAF so no banding. However uncomfortably heavy, no Premium 1.8 lens strategy. Limited market penetration

The A7Riii is a different league. Its amazing how far Sony has come. It feels beautiful in the hand, very premium build and super-compact. I mean a camera can always go bigger, by attaching a grip, but never smaller. The compact nature also makes it less noticeable when doing street photography, give a nice small lens like the 35mm or 55mm, etc. Shutter has improved over time but could be a bit more damped, at least full electronic shutter is available now.

The lens array, both Sony and third party is dazzling. Loads to explore ..

One just needs to become familiar with the menus and work out the shortcut buttons.

The picture quality is superb. I just get a smile on my face whenever I load up and look on my PC.

Conventional wisdom on lenses should also be taken with a pinch of salt, this is an old plastic fantastic Canon EF 1.8 Mark ii on the Sigma MC-11 at 1.8, just pin sharp:

This is directly out of the camera JPG over WiFi to my phone - raw is even sharper and more dynamic when processed

I feel the colours are devastatingly neutral and natural, rather then the attempt to look more vivid but over saturating, like some other brands. With mucking around you can match any colour scheme.

The “noise” is also wonderfully analogue.

Due to its ability to extract the best out of lenses, I am looking at a different range. I already have the 35mm f1.8 for lightweight walkabout, I will probably get the two Tamron f2.8 zooms and Sony 85 and 185mm for the moment.

I am also tempted to try some old used Canon lenses, now I have the adaptor

Loads of fun and overdrafts await ...

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"No photograph survives first contact with the subject"

 FujLiver's gear list:FujLiver's gear list
Sony a7R III Leica CL Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Leica TL 18mm F2.8 Sony FE 35mm F1.8
Canon EOS 40D FinePix S1 Leica SL (Typ 601) Nikon Z6 Sony a7
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