Top 15 Reasons to Upgrade to Sony a7R III

sony-a7r-iii-whats-new

Sony a7R III is Available for Pre-Order NOW!

This is the camera many of you have been waiting for. This is no minor tweak – it’s a major upgrade on an already great camera! Here’s why you want to pull the trigger:

[dropcap1]1.[/dropcap1]A7R III uses the NP-FZ100 Lithium-Ion Battery from Sony a9

Finally a7RII gets a battery with LOTS of life! While results will vary, I’ve been able to shoot over 4,000 frames of continuous focus action shots Raw + Jpeg using a single NP-FZ100 battery ($79.95 here).

Sony a9 NP-FZ100 Battery Size
Size comparison of Sony a9 NP-FZ100 Lithium-Ion battery, left, next to NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion battery.

If you need even more battery life, a7R III is compatible with Sony VG-C3EM Vertical Grip ($348 here) which allows you to keep two batteries locked and loaded.

[dropcap1]2.[/dropcap1]USB 3.1 Type-C Connection for Tethering!

If you tether, this may actually be Number One on your list. Sony really needed to update the USB-2 multi-terminal port used for tethering in previous Sony cameras. Tethering has been moved to a much faster USB 3.1 Type-C Connection while the multi-terminal port remains for remote triggering and in-camera battery charging.

sony-a7r-iii-usb-c-multi-terminals

In addition, you can now choose save images BOTH to the SD card and PC for redundancy or select options like saving RAW to SD card and while sending only Jpegs to your PC for faster edit.

[dropcap1]3.[/dropcap1]Dual SD Card Slots

Another great new feature from a9 that comes over to a7RII is Dual Card Slots including a UHS-II SD card slot for best faster recording.

[dropcap1]4.[/dropcap1]New Image Processor and LSI for Better Image Quality

How do you get better image quality from the same 42.4 mp sensor? Drop in a better engine. Sony a7R III’s new Image Processor and front-end LSI provide more horse-power to allow it to get better quality out of a 42.4 mp sensor that’s also been re-wired for better performance.

[dropcap1]5.[/dropcap1]10 FPS Continuous Shooting with Either Mechanical or Electronic Shutter

While a7R III can’t match a9’s 20 FPS, it’s mechanical shutter offers the ability to shoot with flash up to 10 FPS – twice the speed of a9! Sony a7R III can shoot 10 fps with it’s mechanical shutter using studio flash for lightning-fast sequences. This enabled me to shoot moving still portraits of up to 80 frames in a single burst at 10 frames-per-second.

As a portrait photographer I’m always looking for that moment when it happens, but being able to tell the subject to go through a series of poses very quickly. This gives you the ability to capture the split-second “moments” happening in front of you at 10 frames-per-second.

Here’s a look at portraits shot at 10 fps using Profoto D2 studio strobes.


Sony a7R III | Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS | Profoto D2 1000Ws AirTTL Monolights at 10 FPS

[dropcap1]6.[/dropcap1]Enhanced Eye AF

Sony has offered Eye AF for a while now – but this Sony’s fastest and most accurate AF yet making finally ready for professional use. Check out the 10 FPS video above to see how well AF-C Enhanced Eye AF works at 10 FPS.

[dropcap1]7.[/dropcap1]Pixel Shift Multi Shooting

If you shoot architecture, product or landscape photography and can lock your camera and subject down, you’re going to want to try out Pixel Shift Multi Shooting for the most accurate color ever in a fullframe sensor. Pixel Shift combines four sequential captures (shifting the senor one single pixel at a time). This allows each pixel to capture Red, Green and Blue which eliminates the need for color interpolation and eliminates the Bayer de-mosaicing.

a7r-iii-pixel-shift

Due to the extreme precision required of the sensor positioning system, shooting in pixel-shift mode is rather slow. You can select intervals between the four shots of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15 and 30 seconds. So a complete set of 4 exposures will take anywhere from 4 to 120 seconds, depending on the interval you choose.

[dropcap1]8.[/dropcap1]3.3 Times Larger Buffer

The a7R III buffer size more than tripled from a7RII going from 23 to 76 Compressed Raw frames, plus it clears much more quickly when using a UHS-II SD card in card slot 1.

[dropcap1]9.[/dropcap1]Joystick & Touch Focus

Once again, some of you would have made this number one on your list, Sony a7R III features a dedicated joystick and allows Touch Focus providing the focus options that many of you have requested.

[dropcap1]10.[/dropcap1]15 Stop Dynamic Range & 5.5 Step 5-Axis Stabilization

Dynamic Range jumps yet another stop to a best-in-class 15 stops! Image Stabilization is improved one full shutter speed over previous generation.

sony-a7r-iii-5-axis-is

[dropcap1]11.[/dropcap1]New Low-Vibration Shutter

Every generation of a7R seems to get a much quieter shutter and Sony a7R III feature a brand-spankin-new shutter that’s quieter with less vibration than ever before.

sony-a7r-iii-shutter

[dropcap1]12.[/dropcap1]PC Terminal

Like Sony a9, Sony a7R III now includes a PC Terminal for hard-wire flash connection instances where a hotshoe flash trigger is not an option.

sony-a7r-iii-pc-terminal

[dropcap1]13.[/dropcap1]4K HDR with Hybrid-Log-gamma S-Log3

Features like 4K HDR with Hybrid-Log-gamma S-Log3 all but eliminate the need to own different bodies for stills and video

[dropcap1]14.[/dropcap1]New Menu Setting for Wireless Flash

On previous Sony cameras, Wireless was treated as a Flash Mode. This was not a problem except if you wanted wireless flash with Rear-curtain flash sync – which was Flash Mode. Sony a7R III separates Wireless Flash from Flash Modes. This enables you to use Wireless Flash in conjunction with Rear-Sync. (Once you enable Wireless Flash in the menu there’s no reason to turn it off)

[dropcap1]15.[/dropcap1]More Choices to Assign as Custom Functions

You have a much larger selection of menu settings that can be assigned to Custom Buttons than in any previous a7 Series camera allowing you to set up you camera for the way that best suits your shooting style

And Many More!

I’m sure I’ve left quite a few off, so my apologies if I haven’t mentioned your favorite upgrade, but you get the idea, Sony engineers really packed in a lot of cool new stuff!

Sony a7R III is Available for Pre-Order NOW!


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56 thoughts on “Top 15 Reasons to Upgrade to Sony a7R III”

  1. Not convincing for an upgrade yet from my point of view, I think Sony should have waited and come with more breakthrough enhancements, however the camera looks great.

    Brian do you know if Sony has any plans to jump into the medium format segment?

    Thanks for your posts!

  2. Brian, can you tell us why Sony dropped support of the PlayMemories apps on the a9 and now on the a7RIII? Like many other Sony a-series owners, I use the Smooth Reflections app all the time. Is Sony going to support the apps in the near future?

    1. It’s possible that Sony is looking for another way to implement them rather than the current system. I’ve never received any positive comments related to apps before they were removed.

  3. Brian: A9 minimum aperture for PDAF is f/11 and f8 for the A7Rii. Do you know what is the limiting f-stop for the A7Riii?
    Thanks,
    Gary

      1. Thanks. When I shoot outdoor sports with the 100-400mm/1.4 TC with my A7Rii, this combination sharpens up when I stop down to f11, but sports and contrast sensitivity are a no go.

    1. Once again, either Capture One Pro for Sony ($50) or Sony Software (Free)

      Lightroom will not support native tethering of ANY Sony camera – but Capture One Pro is much better anyway.

      1. Brian…I am looking to purchase Cpture One, is it possible to fully replace Lightroom with CaptureOne?…I am still usin CS version and dont want to pay CC subscription. Thanks

  4. I wonder why argument number 10 combines two separat points rather then lets 15 reasons become 16 good reasons.
    (“15 Stop Dynamic Range & 5.5 Step 5-Axis Stabilization”)

  5. Brian, I have an a7RII and an a9, both bought 3 months ago after deciding to switch to Sony after 38 years a Nikon user. I shoot real estate and architecture mostly and am interested in the pixel shift feature. There’s not much detail being said about this. Is it something you switch on and off as required? If the subject has to remain still I’d imagine so, but I can’t see much written about it. Also the 15 stop dynamic range – is that at ISO 100? And do you know how the dynamic range of the III compares once the ISO rises up to around 2000?

  6. Brian, how do we know the volume of pre-orders for a7riii? As someone who has pre-ordered, I do not want Sony to end up with a poor estimate on orders and not being able to deliver on time. I presume unless Sony is transparent and declares the volumes (like Apple and Tesla do), we may not know. Was wondering if there is a back-door channel on volumes from the dealers.

  7. Hi Brian. What is the fastest write-speed the A7Riii can push from buffer to card? Is an SD card that claims 300 Mb/s a waste of money, or is that statistic really about writing to the computer? Thank you in advance!

  8. Hello Brian, Can you please recommend a good quality 4-5m long USB-C cable (and where we can buy it) I preordered the a7RIII and indeed my #1 reason to upgrade is faster tethering connection 😉
    Thanks in advance!

  9. This last question prompts me to ask something I’ve been curious about for a while.

    A) In your experience, what is the longest tether one can use before signal attenuation is the limiting factor?

    B) Is that limit the cable length, quality, power of the sending device or all of the above?

    C) Is this an answerable question without experimentation?

  10. Pingback: Sony Releases 650 Page a7R III Help Guide

  11. Hey Brian! Thanks for all of the info on the A7riii. I have been waiting to pull the trigger on a total swap over from Nikon to Sony. Professionally I shoot humanitarian photography for mission organizations and non profits. I also shoot sports on the side. I have been over the pros and cons at least 100 times. I am still a bit hesitant but the announcement of the A9 pushed me a lot closer and now the A7riii has me standing on the ledge. Do you have any words of wisdom that may either make me take that leap or take a step back? Thanks in advance.

  12. Hi Brian
    Would you really recommend moving from RII to RIII?
    Do you think there are enough merits to doing this kind of move?
    DR is not that much better, IBIS is one stop.. and the other things are nice but I have 7 batteries, and the chances to use the pixel shift are pretty slim for me..
    The FPS increase is great, but I haven’t heard anything about faster review after shooting – the RII has a serious lag in that respect which I understand..

    1. These are the more than enough reasons for me, but a7RII is still a great camera! As for quicker review, you’ll get faster (and better quality) review playback if you shoot Raw + Jpeg instead of RAW only. Raw images must first build the preview image before you can review it. Shooting Raw + Jpeg eliminates that step.

  13. I am currently shooting with the a7sii. I have been amazed at the shots I take at night, but disappointed with the lack of detail in a 12mp image, slow shutter speeds, and the slow auto focus.

    I am on the fence about whether to pick up the a7rii or iii while keeping the a7sii as a backup for timelapses while shooting and night photography.

    I have a feeling the battery alone will justify the $800 premium for the iii on longer off the grid trips.

    1. Makes sense to me.

      While High ISO noise is lower on Sony a7SII than a7R III when viewed at native resolution, if you down-res a7R III to 12mp they are virtually identical. So you give up nothing to gain resolution, better AF, much-improved battery life and lots more.

      I would expect that we’ll see an a7S III at some point in the future. (That’s not inside knowledge – just logic). While I wouldn’t be surprised to see PDAF in the next generation – I’d expect it to remain at 12mp and the whole point of a7S Series is pixel-for-pixel 4K and that’s exactly the number of megapixels that provides it.

  14. Hi Brian, since A7R-III is not supported by Play Memories, is there any way to do remote tethering shot with smartphone? Thanks

  15. “In addition, you can now choose save images BOTH to the SD card and PC for redundancy or select options like saving RAW to SD card and while sending only Jpegs to your PC for faster edit.”

    Can you tell me how to do this or give me a link? I cannot find information on this anywhere and it’s something I’d really like to do. Thanks.

          1. I’m not the one saying “Here’s an article with helpful information for you to check out. Please read it.” In any case, thanks for the article.

  16. Hey Brian, the a7rii has gone so low in price, if I am coming from an a7s is it worth it to buy a 1600$ rii instead of a 3200$ riii?

  17. Brian, I already own the A7Rii, I am not a pro and will never do weddings or sports photography. I use my camera for some landscape, city and portrait of my model wife for her instagram and hope to make some money with that but it is more a hobby than a job. I like to get the best but only if it makes sense. I am also into video. Is it worth it in my case to upgrade to A7riii? while I enjoy the better battery (I have 3 for my A7rii), better AF (I am not doing any paid photography), and would be nice to do slow motion videos for b-rolls, want to make sure if it is a good idea to sell mine, lose $1k and then buy the new one at a higher price.

  18. I was thinking about upgrading from my a6000, in your opinion is it worth the added expense? I generally do landscapes, lunar and astrophotography.

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