Buying Guide: The best cameras under $2000
Sony Alpha a7 III
24MP BSI CMOS full-frame sensor | Hybrid AF system | In-body image stabilization
What we like:
- Great overall image quality
- Impressive AF performance
- Superb battery life
What we don't:
- Relatively complex menus
- Touchscreen implementation is lacking
- Viewfinder resolution a little low
The Sony a7 III is one of the smallest and least expensive full frame cameras on the market. It offers a well-judged mix of resolution, speed and features for enthusiast photographers and videographers interested in capturing subjects of all kinds.
The a7 III's grip is great with smaller lenses, but larger lenses can feel unbalanced. Menus and customization options remain complicated, but are extensive and useful after the initial learning curve. The touchscreen continues to be disappointing and the viewfinder resolution looks a little low these days, but the larger battery is a huge improvement.
The a7 III's autofocus system is lifted from Sony's pro-sports a9 model, featuring 693 on-sensor AF points that cover most of the frame. The tracking of subjects across the frame is more reliable than Sony's a7R III model, and Eye AF - where the camera tenaciously follows the nearest eye of a human subject - is also improved. With great autofocus performance at 10 frames per second, the a7 III is a worthy sports-shooting machine.
The a7 III's capability makes it a great option for just about anything you'd want to photograph
Image quality is fantastic on the a7 III. It's among the best low-light cameras on the market today, and daylight shots look great with the new sensor's wide dynamic range. Sony's JPEG engine has been updated with more pleasing colors and is still the industry standard for noise reduction and sharpening.
Based on our testing, the a7 III is the best Sony interchangeable lens camera for video at this time. It offers incredibly detailed 4K video, and uses the full sensor when shooting at 24p (there's a 1.2x crop for 30p, but detail is still great). You get tons of capture aids, including focus peaking and zebra exposure indicators, and you also get Log profiles for post-production flexibility. Rolling shutter is well-controlled, and slow-motion Full HD capture is an added bonus.
We state in our full review that the Sony a7 III sets a new benchmark for what we expect out of a full-frame camera at this price point. Unless you need more megapixels for large prints or even faster burst speeds for really demanding sports, the a7 III's capability makes it a great option for just about anything you'd want to photograph.