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:
1. 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).
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.
2. 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.
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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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
14. 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)
15. 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!