First impressions of the A7 III!

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by JonathanF2, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I just received my A7 III today and I just wanted to chime in with my first impressions! The box comes with just the bare essentials. It didn't come with a charger and despite having USB 3.0, it only comes with a USB 2.0 plug and power adapter. The battery came almost fully drained and requires some time to charge it. The actual camera, feels very similar to the A7 II and shares almost the same dimensions. Though the mark III definitely feels heavier due to the bigger battery.

    Regarding the menu, it's even more complicated and convoluted. I highly recommend programming your custom functions right away and start adjusting your muscle memory. The handling feels similar to the mark II, but with more buttons. The live-view implementation is decent and slightly better than the II.

    Now to the actual image quality! It's definitely an improvement and from the test I shot it's more than capable hitting the high ISO numbers. Anyways, I'm about to knock out, but here are a couple photos of my A7 III next to the II! I'll follow-up with more of my impressions soon! :D

    My street setup:
    41690187351_92a538fe47_b.jpg
    a7iii_02
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    My portrait setup:
    41690189181_60a3aaa744_b.jpg
    a7iii_01
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
    • Like Like x 8
    • Informative Informative x 2
  2. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    461
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Interesting. While I don't have them side-by-side, I feel the A7RIII is a vast improvement over my since-departed A7RII. Ergonomics, speed, file quality, and just the feel are so much better. I used to post about the II as a being a "device," not a camera like my Nikon. But now it has crossed that threshold somehow with the bevy of improvements. It completely holds its own against my D850, the preference only being which viewfinder I want to shoot with. I would say the flash system still pales to Nikon's, but even that is getting better. The Sony rf kit still causes a shutter delay I'm not happy with, but it has improved to being tolerable.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    Regarding the overall handling and output of the camera it's definitely an improvement. The A7II in comparison is a bit basic. The only reason I mention setting up your custom functions right away is due to the amount of options available. It'd be a bit tedious going back and forth if you haven't set the camera properly. Honestly I don't know if I'd recommend this camera to a beginner though, there's so much tech packed into it, I almost feel like it's aimed at current and former DSLR switchers who need high customization. So far everything like Eye AF, silent shutter and 10fps are the real deal. EVF and LCD live view is a bit more smoother than the A7II.

    If I had only one complaint it's the fact that Sony doesn't provide a separate battery charger. I wouldn't mind if Sony used something like a magsafe style charger, but a mini USB 2.0 port is like the worst way to charge a camera, considering how easily they can break. I ordered a separate charger off of Ebay and I'm going to wait and see how the battery market pans out before picking up some third party batteries or if I can snag another OEM battery for cheap.

    Also I don't buy into that notion you need to completely switch systems like all these ridiculous Youtube switch videos. People keep forgetting Sony has adapters and I can adapt all my Nikon lenses onto the Sony. My Commlite and Techart AF adapters work great on the A7III and I can seamlessly use both systems together. Maybe I should make a Youtube video telling people you can run two systems with one set of lenses or something like that! :D
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. siftu

    siftu TalkEmount Regular

    42
    Jan 30, 2016
    I might add my notes to this from what I remember of the a7ii. The a7iii joystick is awesome, the shutter is far quieter but I run on silent 99% of the time so it's silent. The touchpad AF is good, battery life is decent unlike the a7ii. I totally agree with the USB charging. Not only does it seem easy to the break, the port cover gets in the way and the camera doesn't sit down flat when charging. I also have another charger on order, but really I'm not going to ping it on this, its the Sony way and cheap to get around. General responsiveness seems fine, it doesn't get in my way.

    I still don't like the position or the feel of the exposure comp dial, but its easy to assign this function to another dial which totally mitigates this. The "auto iso min shutter speed" setting is fantastic, it even works with the electronic shutter.

    The techart adapter is better than I expected as long as it stays this way and doesnt develop the wobble. Eye-AF works fairly well. What is a great bonus is when I have "Initial focus mag" set to x5.9 I can press the joystick once for magnify on the focus square I select with the trackpad while viewing the EVF, adjust focus and half press the shutter to get out of magnify for final composition. This is exactly what I wanted and very fast to manual focus, but it doesn't work this way with a dumb adapter. I'm hoping techart will produce another adapter without the motor helicoid which has a dial on it for lens presets with all the electronics the same. I would pay for this.

    Dynamic Range is amazing as is IQ in general. Even the colors imported into Lightroom are pleasant. This is another class of camera to me, I have worked around everything which has bugged me so far. No camera is perfect, but this is close.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    937
    Aug 22, 2012
    Nice writeup. I agree with everything, even siftu's point about the awkward EV dial. My favorite things are:
    • AF is so much better than A7 (I know the A7ii was better too, but two generations' leap is huge)
    • Joystick! Buttons! Dual SD cards!
    • IS (ok I missed the boat on the A7ii, but now having my FE55/1.8 and Batis 25 stabilized is AMAAAAZING)
    • DR boost from ISO 640: Amazing! I could see a small gain already on the back LCD when compared to my A7
    I had my A7, my brother's A7ii, and my new A7iii together last weekend. It is really quite something to put them all together and see what has happened in 4.5 years.

    I do miss how light the A7 is though. I know on the Internetz people complain it's "unbalanced" but I mean, how hard is it to put your left hand under the camera and hold the lens? It's actually heavier now than APS-C DSLRs (which is weird no one has noticed this when complaining about "unbalanced" mirrorless) so I won't be putting a half case on this one, despite using one permanently for the A7.

    Secondly, I found I actually like the A7's eye cup better. Maybe just me, but I swapped the eye cups around on the first day. I like the bigger recess and the sturdier material.

    Third (final) gripe: The touchscreen is really lackluster. I'm not even sure what the point is and I was so hopeful for it. But I've turned it off. Maybe I'll come back to it again when I get more comfortable with the rest of the camera.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    Went out for a little shooting today at LA's Grand Central Market bringing the A7III + Techart Pro Adapter + Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 Heliar II lens!

    This lens was slow to focus on my A7II, but on the A7III it's actually quick on the TAP. Also the BSI sensor fixes the color shifting corners that was seen on my A7II. My initial impressions is that I don't see much difference at the lower ISO range, but at higher ISO ranges DR stays intact. I'd have no hesitation shooting this camera at 3200 ISO and above. I also have a NR profile that I use in ACR that cleans up nicely on the A7III. Check out the shots!

    1.
    39901744620_070e7d42ea_b.jpg
    180425_A7III_VOIGTLANDER_15II_FRIOLO_018
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    2.
    41669107232_16dfb719b0_b.jpg
    180425_A7III_VOIGTLANDER_15II_FRIOLO_016
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    3.
    27840505858_24ce19ffae_b.jpg
    180425_A7III_VOIGTLANDER_15II_FRIOLO_004
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    4.
    40809936555_745fa8e036_b.jpg
    180425_A7III_VOIGTLANDER_15II_FRIOLO_009
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    5.
    40809959125_8978349dae_b.jpg
    180425_A7III_VOIGTLANDER_15II_FRIOLO_003
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    6.
    41708905481_72415a6644_b.jpg 180425_A7III_VOIGTLANDER_15II_FRIOLO_001 by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 7
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    All the complaints about the touch screen, EVF and LCD screen don't really bother me. I also disabled my touchscreen, the EVF looks fine to me and the rear LCD shows my photos, so it works!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I think the reason you are fine with the screen and EVF is because it is improved over the A7II. So for you it is better. It is the same as the A7RII. Which at the time was viewed as a lot better than the A7II.
    Since then, many other mirrorless cameras from other brands like Fuji and even the Sony A7RIII and A9 which preceded the A7III have far better EVF and LCDs. So essentially people are trying to get all the "best" technology in the "base" camera because it's the newest release. If it only has "good" technology, they say it sucks. Even if only a year ago that same tech was great. :hmmm:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I think the Sony A7III EVF is good. The refresh rate is definitely better compared to the A7II and there is less slow down in low light unless completely dark. Overall though, the camera is very solid and I have no complaints. It really lives up to the hype.

    Saying that I did shoot with the A7II next to the A7III and at lower ISOs they're not that different. Unless you need the extra functions and AF improvements I'd probably just save money and get the A7II or A7RII.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. siftu

    siftu TalkEmount Regular

    42
    Jan 30, 2016
    I guess this is different for each person. I can never recommend the a7ii and it's nothing based on IQ.
     
  11. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    If you want full frame and you can buy the camera used for cheap, I don't see why not? You get access to all the various adapters and 5 axis IBIS. The money left over can be used for glass.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  12. sapoeijoek

    sapoeijoek TalkEmount Regular

    97
    Oct 22, 2017
    Texas
    Edwin
    Hi Jon, great shots! #4 is my fav.
    I have some questions because I'm really interested in getting the TAP since I have too many manual lenses and focusing with aging eyes it really is a pita, do you have and use fd lenses with it? How accurate is the focus?
    I'm thinking of getting the SEL35 and 85 but I already have 85mm CFD and 35mm NKAI. Please convince me before I pull the trigger!
     
  13. siftu

    siftu TalkEmount Regular

    42
    Jan 30, 2016
    I have had limited experience with it so I'll give it a shot. The 35mm will work fine just setting the lens at infinity, the 85mm might require some rough focusing and then using AF to nail it. I cant speak to how long the TAP will last, but so far it has exceeded my expectations. There is a very good thread over at FM which will give lots more user experiences about the TAP.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. sapoeijoek

    sapoeijoek TalkEmount Regular

    97
    Oct 22, 2017
    Texas
    Edwin
    Thank you. Did you mean pre-focus it manually first then nail it with AF?
     
  15. siftu

    siftu TalkEmount Regular

    42
    Jan 30, 2016
    yeah I found on my 90mm macro you need to do this because it has more than 4.5mm of extension. Its still very quick and easy to get used to.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    Regarding the TAP, any lens that has a maximum focus longer than 20 feet before infinity will require some manual adjusting. Anything 20 feet and under should focus without any assistance. Most manual focus 85mm lenses go up to 30 feet or more. The only MF 85mm I know of that goes to 20 feet before infinity is the Nikon 85mm 1.4 AF-D lens.

    BTW - You get continuous Eye AF with the TAP on the A7III/A7RIII and A9 using manual lenses!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
    • Informative Informative x 3
  17. siftu

    siftu TalkEmount Regular

    42
    Jan 30, 2016
    Hi JonathanF2, are you able to share your NR preset or settings? My default settings in LR are way to strong on sharpening and I would like a NR profile someone has spent time on.
     
  18. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    Sure, I have several sharpening profiles, but when I get to my computer I'll send you a base setting and you can tweak it to your liking.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  19. sapoeijoek

    sapoeijoek TalkEmount Regular

    97
    Oct 22, 2017
    Texas
    Edwin
    Awesome.
    Actually I’m getting A7III and just ordered the TAP. Thank you Jon!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    648
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.