My Photography review of the Sony A7sIII - For those that might be interested

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syrcular Regular Member • Posts: 183
My Photography review of the Sony A7sIII - For those that might be interested

I’m an A7rIII owner but on a whim decided to purchase the A7sIII for a couple of reasons.

1. I’ve wanted to finally have video on the Sony eco system that supports 10-bit color and 4K 60p.
2. The other use case I wanted to use the A7sIII for is low light or unpredictable lighting conditions. I shoot documentary photography and often in conditions of unpredictable lighting and since the A7sIII is touted as the low light king with very clean low light high ISO results, I thought that was a major pull towards this camera. Something that the A7rIII is not as good at.

So I thought I’d share my review of this as an A7rIII user and touch mainly on photography instead of video since there’s so much coverage on the video aspect of this camera and for the most part agree with the vast majority of reviewers on it.

In short, this is my favorite Sony Alpha camera currently. I’ve now tested all of the current versions of each camera line Sony offers and (pending the release of the A1), I believe that the A7sIII not only offers the best video features that Sony offers but also in photography!
I don’t think many people really consider this camera a legitimate photography camera but I’m hear to say, by some magic, Sony’s “measly” 12megapixel sensor produces stunningly sharp images even when cropped at up to 100%!! The dynamic range is on par with all Sony cameras and continues to perform well in both highlight and shadow recovery, arguably the best in the industry, and the autofocus is out of this world.
I’ve been spending this week comparing the A9 II I rented for this test against the a7sIII and you can tell that there has been a significant upgrade in the overall autofocus function compared to incremental releases of Sony cameras of the past, such as when they released the A9 II and A7rIV last year. Definitely slight upgrades but for the most part felt like the original A9 autofocus system which for the most part has been gold standard.

This new autofocus system on the A7sIII (and I suspect on the upcoming A1),has more autofocus points and coverage on the sensor and feels notice-ably quicker. The real-time autofocus tracking and eye autofocus are also much more sticky and accurate and perform really well in low light conditions. The mechanical shutter has a nice dampening mechanism making the shutter a joy to press as it’s nice and quiet. In the past Sony cameras like the A7rIII and even A7 III had a slight hesitation sensation when triggering single shots consecutively while in AF-C (continuous autofocus). When you switched to burst mode things were always fast but sometimes I like controlling when and how fast my shutter actuates. And I like to stay in single mode. The A7sIII does not hesitate at all. I think with the lower resolution of the sensor and bump in overall performance as well as the introduction of the updated autofocus, this camera makes for a much faster experience than even the A9 II from my tests.Low light is incredible on this camera! The image is clean in high ISO’s and if you switch between the native base ISO’s you get some extremely sharp and clean images regardless of high ISO numbers.

Ergonomics are amazing and well balanced in the hand. The camera feels updated in every way. It’s hard to believe, especially in autofocus speed and features how they could top what is offered currently in the A7sIII. By spec it looks like the sIII and the A1 share the same autofocus engine but I suspect with the increased processors and stacked sensor there are even more improvements not fully implemented in the A7sIII but will show up on the A1 to carve its flagship status out.

For now believe it or not the A7sIII is my main photography camera! How can I get by with 12megapixels? Well it wasn’t so long ago that everyone was shooting at 10-12 megapixels so it is still possible to print high quality generously sized prints without seeing compromise. Plus like i said there is something magical about the sensor that stacks up well against my old A7III images.
Right now my A7rIII will be my portrait and high res camera when I can setup lights or can be in a good lighting situation, often with staged productions and shoots, while the A7sIII will be for everything else tackling any type of unpredictable lighting conditions and easily switchable to video mode.

I highly recommend this camera for both photography and video. If you regularly produce images for large formats and do editorial work in fashion, or landscape, than the A7rIV is going to be your jam.
But if you shoot mainly for online work in social media or website and print magazine, while also having a use case to capture professional video, the A7sIII is seriously a perfect blend.

What I’m excited to see is what will come of the A7IV. I imagine it will inherit the autofocus engine and a stripped down version of the video features of this camera, making it the perfect mid resolution tier all a-rounder camera for the majority of us.
For now if you don’t want to spend $6500 for a camera like the A1; have a compelling need for really good quality video and still need excellent quality stills; get the A7sIII - You won’t regret it.

Sony a7 III Sony a9
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