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A7iii or A7Riii

bdbits

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I have read about this before though not recently. My takeaway was that higher resolution sensors magnify lens characteristics. So for example if your lens is soft in the corners, it becomes more noticeable on the image, moreso if you print or view it large of course. On the other hand, if it is sharp across the field, it really shines on the higher resolution. Same for technique, so it does require more attention to details and perhaps more tripod use for genres like landscape. Or so I've read.

I do not know if it is that I am trying to capture more difficult images now, or ever higher resolution sensors, but attention to detail really has become more important over time. My technique has improved (I hope) over time as well, so hopefully it will not be any more difficult on 42mp. As far as lenses, I have reworked my kit over the last 1-2 years. I am now using primarily Voigtlander emount primes, and from what I have seen reported by people who routinely shoot high resolution I am pretty confident they will be up to the task. I also have a manual Tokina Firin 20mm, and my lone AF zoom, a Tamron 28-75mm. I think they will be fine, also. I do still have some legacy glass, mostly Minoltas, and will have to see if they do well or not.
 

bdbits

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I thought I would post a brief follow-up. My A7Riii has arrived. While there is a lot that is familiar, it is also quite a step up. I've only taken a few test shots, and used it for about 15 pictures at a family gathering this evening. I noticed the 42mp from the very first test shots even when zoomed out, and it appears to be much better at higher ISOs. Eye-AF is downright amazing, even tried it on the cat. Almost makes me second-guess my strong preference for manual primes - almost. The high-res EVF/screen is really nice. The body definitely has a bit more heft to it, but it still feels pretty compact. I have a long ways to go to figure out everything, and have not decided what to customize yet but did tweak a few things to be as they were on my A7ii. Anyways, I am pretty excited to get using this camera even during what is a normally very low-volume time of year for me primarily due to weather.

Here is a test pic of - what else - one of our cats (say hello, Gracie). The second pic is a 100% crop from the first (so same image), some light editing in Capture One v12 pre-crop to deal with the heavy backlighting. Tamron 28-75/2.8 wide open at 75mm, handheld - I think there is a touch of motion blur. I also used animal eye-AF.


ILCE-7RM3    E 28-75mm F2.8-2.8    75mm    f/2.8    1/400s    ISO 100



ILCE-7RM3    E 28-75mm F2.8-2.8    75mm    f/2.8    1/400s    ISO 100
 

mnhoj

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I'll be up for this decision in the upcoming year - hopefully.
I've given myself a strict upgrade guideline which I normally don't do.
When the A7iii is sub 1K. And I threw in the clause of having the choice of an RIII regardless of the price. ( :
Hopefully the pricing trend stays.

I'll gladly welcome the upgrades but honestly for the work I like doing the A7II is plenty good.
And it keeps my skills honed. < Joke. I have very little.
 

bdbits

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Oh yes the A7ii is still a very good camera. I have had it 3 years next month and it has served me well. I decided to do an upgrade now because
a) it seemed like the iii series cameras are pretty stable and have had probably the last big firmware upgrade they will get
b) I wanted to try a higher megapixel camera, with somewhat better performance/range, the bigger battery, and some of the other features on the newer bodies
c) I think the usual push down on prices from upgraders to the A7Riv has run its course - crazy deals on the A7Riii (used which is how I normally upgrade)
d) assuming I can sell the A7ii for what I think I can reasonably net currently, I had the funds available - hope that works out, lol

None of those makes the upgrade mandatory, but the timing seemed right for me.

Since the A7Riv is out for a while now, I expect the A7iv will be announced soon, which may push those used A7iii prices down enough for you to meet your guidelines.
 

Richard Crowe

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Upgrades are never mandatory... Almost any relatively modern camera will produce very good to excellent image quality virtually all the time.

Where an upgrade is really enjoyable is in the fun of shooting with it.

I am in love with the Eye-AF and the Animal Eye-AF on the latest Sony cameras, both full frame and APSC...
 

mnhoj

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Upgrades are never mandatory... Almost any relatively modern camera will produce very good to excellent image quality virtually all the time.

Where an upgrade is really enjoyable is in the fun of shooting with it.

I am in love with the Eye-AF and the Animal Eye-AF on the latest Sony cameras, both full frame and APSC...
So true.
Once I try GENiii eye-AF I'm sure I'll convince myself that it is mandatory and I can't live without it.
 

SpecFoto

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Oh yes the A7ii is still a very good camera. I have had it 3 years next month and it has served me well. I decided to do an upgrade now because
a) it seemed like the iii series cameras are pretty stable and have had probably the last big firmware upgrade they will get
b) I wanted to try a higher megapixel camera, with somewhat better performance/range, the bigger battery, and some of the other features on the newer bodies
c) I think the usual push down on prices from upgraders to the A7Riv has run its course - crazy deals on the A7Riii (used which is how I normally upgrade)
d) assuming I can sell the A7ii for what I think I can reasonably net currently, I had the funds available - hope that works out, lol

None of those makes the upgrade mandatory, but the timing seemed right for me.

Since the A7Riv is out for a while now, I expect the A7iv will be announced soon, which may push those used A7iii prices down enough for you to meet your guidelines.
Hi Bob. Just wondering if you could do a small update on what your feelings are on the A7Riii, now that you have had it almost 7 months. How has it worked out for you? I am considering trading up from my A7iii for 2 reasons, the higher resolution/detail and the APS-C crop mode with my 100-400 GM.
 
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bdbits

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Bear in mind I went from the A7ii so it was a bigger step for me. And I don't use AF a lot, only have one lens that even has AF, mostly I use CV manual lenses. And I am definitely just an amateur.

Short answer - I am not at all regretting the upgrade. The A7Riii can certainly do more than I ask of it. I have explored the manuals and menus pretty thoroughly but there are a number of things I still am not certain how to use. That's on me - there are just a ton of options. So off the top of my head...
  • Much improved screen/EVF - I did not think it would be that big a deal but the newer EVF is really, really nice. Makes everything easier, including manual focus. I can hardly imagine what the new A7Siii with 9MP EVF must be like to use. I do not know if the A7Riii EVF is higher resolution than the A7iii EVF though.
  • The extra megapixels (42 vs 24) have proven very useful, moreso than I even expected. I can crop pretty heavily and for on-screen/internet resolutions it still looks pretty great to my eye. As I lack any long telephotos this has been really handy at times. I still want a 100-400 though, heh.
  • I think the A7Riii sensor is really quite good still. IQ looks great to me. Personally I would not want the 61MP of the A7Riv (more bytes than I want to deal with).
  • Better performance in low light / higher ISOs / wider DR has also come in handy. Higher ISOs seem a lot cleaner to me vs the A7ii.
  • I've not been a video guy but wanting to dip my toes in there. So the 4K will be nice. Not A7Siii nice, lol, but still nice.
  • Not really applicable for you since you already have a Z battery, but it is sooo unexpectedly nice. I am a relatively low-volume shooter but I have yet to run the battery out, even though I do not recharge every time. I have not even bought a 2nd battery, it just does not seem necessary for me.
If I recall correctly from what I have read, the A7iii you have now has somewhat better AF performance, and I think more AF coverage/points and such. More A9 like, if you will. So that might be a negative.

But it's been great for me.
 

SpecFoto

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Bear in mind I went from the A7ii so it was a bigger step for me. And I don't use AF a lot, only have one lens that even has AF, mostly I use CV manual lenses. And I am definitely just an amateur.

Short answer - I am not at all regretting the upgrade. The A7Riii can certainly do more than I ask of it. I have explored the manuals and menus pretty thoroughly but there are a number of things I still am not certain how to use. That's on me - there are just a ton of options. So off the top of my head...
  • Much improved screen/EVF - I did not think it would be that big a deal but the newer EVF is really, really nice. Makes everything easier, including manual focus. I can hardly imagine what the new A7Siii with 9MP EVF must be like to use. I do not know if the A7Riii EVF is higher resolution than the A7iii EVF though.
  • The extra megapixels (42 vs 24) have proven very useful, moreso than I even expected. I can crop pretty heavily and for on-screen/internet resolutions it still looks pretty great to my eye. As I lack any long telephotos this has been really handy at times. I still want a 100-400 though, heh.
  • I think the A7Riii sensor is really quite good still. IQ looks great to me. Personally I would not want the 61MP of the A7Riv (more bytes than I want to deal with).
  • Better performance in low light / higher ISOs / wider DR has also come in handy. Higher ISOs seem a lot cleaner to me vs the A7ii.
  • I've not been a video guy but wanting to dip my toes in there. So the 4K will be nice. Not A7Siii nice, lol, but still nice.
  • Not really applicable for you since you already have a Z battery, but it is sooo unexpectedly nice. I am a relatively low-volume shooter but I have yet to run the battery out, even though I do not recharge every time. I have not even bought a 2nd battery, it just does not seem necessary for me.
If I recall correctly from what I have read, the A7iii you have now has somewhat better AF performance, and I think more AF coverage/points and such. More A9 like, if you will. So that might be a negative.

But it's been great for me.
Thank You Bob! This is exactly what I was looking for and very helpful. I am with you in not wanting to deal with the 61 MP files of the A7RIV, plus it seems some longer lenses have a tough time with AF and that camera, specifically the Sony 200-600 though and not the 100-400GM (which is an awesome lens!!), but who knows I may want to try that longer lens someday. 42 MP is fine and hopefully will allow me to finally retire my Nikon D800 36 MP camera and lenses that I have been using for landscapes for almost 8 years.

As my screen name implies, I am into specs, part of my lifelong business in dealing with architecture, and I came up with some key differences between the 2 models and made a list, see below. Yes the AF of the A7iii is slightly better in that the AF points cover more of the screen, but still at 399 AF points and 68% coverage of the screen the A7Riii is no slouch, and way better then the 51 AF points in my D800. I think the buffers size is the same, but the larger file size of the A7Riii means less number of shots before the buffer fills. The EVF on the A7iii is pretty basic, the one on the R is much better. And you are right the larger Z battery, plus the ability to charge it in-camera via USB, makes battery life almost a non-issue.

Based upon all this I have placed an order tonight for a 1,300 shutter clicks, lightly used A7Riii at a very good price, less than I paid for my A7iii new! Thanks again!

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bdbits

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Nice chart. I do that a lot too, but I am a tech guy, so apparently the habit crosses career paths. :)

Only 1300 clicks, that is amazing - practically new. I hope you will enjoy yours as much as I do mine (not that the A7iii was a slouch). Maybe a few months from now, we can ask how it worked out for you! :D
 

Ziggy99

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I got an R III as a 2nd body for when a landscape popped up while I was out for birds. Then found when paired with the 400/2.8 for bird shots the plumage detail could be stonking.
 

Tipton

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There is some downward price pressure on the A7RIII because of the presence of the A7RIV in the market. Same thing will happen with the A7III when the A7IV comes out sometime next year.

The two year release cycle is hard to keep up with.
 

SpecFoto

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Nice chart. I do that a lot too, but I am a tech guy, so apparently the habit crosses career paths.
pastedGraphic.png
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Only 1300 clicks, that is amazing - practically new. I hope you will enjoy yours as much as I do mine (not that the A7iii was a slouch). Maybe a few months from now, we can ask how it worked out for you!
pastedGraphic.png
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Here is my initial impressions after shooting with the A7RIII at 2 events in the 15 days I have had it. One event was a gathering of folks at a Thai temple my wife and I help support, and the other was a shoot with a model in the hi-desert. So 99% of photos with people in them where they were the main subject.

For the temple shoot I wanted to use my new Voigtlander 21mm f3.5 Color Skopar MF lens. Yes, it is MF, but you can set it at f5.6 and pretty much everything is in focus from a meter outward. And while 21mm may not be the best for people shots, the inside of the room we were in was wide and I wanted to show more than normal, which the 21mm FOV does very well. But if I needed reach I have mapped a button to the APS-C mode which makes the lens a 31.5mm. This worked far better than I hoped, and I am very happy with the resulting 18MP file, see below.

For the model shoot I used my Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 and Batis 135mm f2.8, both of which have OIS. Having a A7III for 2 years and this being the same combo I used so successfully, I shoot my portraits roughly 65% in vertical and 35% in landscape orientation using the fantastic Eye AF and tend to crop in camera. One of the reasons I upgraded was to use the APS-C function make my 85mm a 127mm or my 135mm a 202mm without remounting a lens, it worked excellent in this case too. Almost everything was just fine and I can see that with the extra MP's, I no longer have to crop so closely in camera as I have in the past.

But I discovered one difference between the A7 and A7R model when shooting vertical. The A7RIII has 68% screen coverage for AF points and when turned vertically this can mean a model with her eyes in the upper 1/4 of the screen may not be selectable by the AF as it is with the A7III and 92% coverage. I got a weird pulsing on the EVF where the picture was growing and shrinking about 10% and the AF point would not lock, nor would a picture be taken. (Priority set to AF) If let go of the shutter release it stopped, but if I pressed the shutter again the pulsing started. This only happened a few times but I finally realized I had gone outside of the AF points coverage, something that had never happened on the A7III.

As my Batis lenses do not have a AF lock button this means I either need to go back to BBAF or use the old school focus and recompose like I did on my D800, which only had 51AF points coverage in the center 1/3 of the screen. Not a big issue, but as I had become so dependent upon the excellent Eye AF in the A7III, it is something I need to have a quick solution to work around in the field with the A7RIII. It would be nice if there was a way to show the AF Points coverage on the EVF, anybody know if this can be done?

Taken with MF Voigtlander 21mm set to APS-C mode, so 31.5mm. BTW, this was about the only photo where everyone did not wear a mask. I told them all to hold their breath.

_JW_0532.jpg
ILCE-7RM3    Voigtlander COLOR-SKOPAR 21mm F3.5 Aspherical    21mm    f/5.6    1/30s    ISO 800
 
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bdbits

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It would be nice if there was a way to show the AF Points coverage on the EVF, anybody know if this can be done?
You can put a frame around the phase detect (PDAF) area. In the menus, Setup 1, page 8 of 14, "Phase Detect. Area".
I cannot recall a similar option for the contract detection (CDAF) area, which is a little bit larger.

I am guessing a bit here, but that growing/shrinking may have been the camera switching between PDAF and CDAF in an attempt to focus on the eye, which it could not find inside the AF regions.

Good to hear you are otherwise enjoying the camera. I have not used all the Sony bodies but I do really enjoy my A7Riii even as a mostly manual focus photographer. I will say I've been dipping my toes into more autofocus with my one AF zoom lens, a Tamron 28-75. I find myself more intrigued as it is surprisingly good to me. I still cling to my Voigtlanders for the time being, though.
 

SpecFoto

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You can put a frame around the phase detect (PDAF) area. In the menus, Setup 1, page 8 of 14, "Phase Detect. Area".
Thanks Bob, that is perfect! Is shows a couple of [ ] in the EVF, just what I wanted. And I felt the pulsing was the PDAF vs CDAF too. It might have taken a photo if I had the Priority set to Release instead of AF.

Yes, the Voigtlanders are addicting, I am really happy with the new 21mm. Now looking at the 40mm f1.2 for the series E, but I need to clear out some other photo gear before adding anything else. And hopefully it might go on sale during the Nov. Thanksgiving holiday.
 
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