Sony a7III Review

Sony a7III Review featured photo

I have been in the photography industry for a while now. I’ve used my old reliable camera for years, and it has served me well. But one day, I decided to upgrade my outdated gear to the relatively new and highly-regarded Sony a7III. And I wish I haven’t waited too long to do so!

I currently use the Sony a7III for everyday photography as a hobbyist. I couldn’t be any happier with my switch to the full-frame sensor, as it gives me more flexibility in low-light situations. I also love its fast autofocus and video recording capabilities. I think it is a solid all-around camera.

In this Sony a7III review, I will share my first-hand experience with the mirrorless camera. I’ll include its specs and features to let you know what you’re getting out of the box. I’ve also researched both positive and negative user reviews across the web. I will cover them below to help you decide if the Sony a7III fits your needs.

Sony a7III Overview and Specifications

Sony a7III Overview and Specifications

The Sony a7III is a highly-rated full-frame mirrorless camera geared towards enthusiasts and professionals. Sony launched the a7III in 2018 and described it as a “basic model.” However, there is nothing basic about it as it is a very capable camera.

The a7III camera features a 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor with an enhanced ISO range, making it great for low light. It also offers built-in stabilization that corrects up to 5 axes of movement. There is also an ultra-fast autofocus system and continuous shooting. Beyond photography, the Sony a7III is a great contender in video with its 4K recording capability and great dynamic range.

Below are the specifications of the Sony a7III for you to look over.

  • Model Number: ILCE-7M3 (camera body only)
  • Sensor: 35mm full-frame (35.6 x 23.8mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • Image Processor: BIONZ X
  • Megapixels: 24.2 effective megapixels (6,000 x 4,000), 25.3 total megapixels
  • ISO Range: 100-51,200 (ISO is expandable to 50-204,800)
  • Shutter Speed: 1/8000 s to 30 s, BULB
  • Continuous Shooting: 10 frames per second
  • Autofocus: 693-point phase-detection AF / 425-point contrast-detection AF
  • Metering Type: 1200-zone evaluative metering
  • White Balance: Auto White Balance / Daylight / Shade / Cloudy / Incandescent / Fluorescent / Warm White / Cool White / Daywhite / Flash / Custom White Balance 
  • Video: 4K UHD at 30/24fps, Full HD at up to 120fps
  • Viewfinder: 1.3 cm electronic viewfinder, XGA OLED (2,359,296 dots)
  • Display: 3-inch tilting rear LCD touchscreen (921,600 dots)
  • Recording Media: 2 slots for memory stick, SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards (one slot can accept UHS-II compliant cards)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery: Rechargeable NP-FZ100 battery pack
  • Dimensions: 126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7mm 
  • Weight: 650 grams (1.43 lb)

Sony a7III Key Features

After covering the Sony a7III specs, let us take a look at the features of the camera.

Features At A Glance

  • High-resolution full-frame sensor
  • Impressive low-light performance can retain detail in challenging lighting conditions
  • Advanced autofocus system keeps the subject sharp and in focus
  • Real-time eye autofocus is perfect for portraiture, events, and wildlife photography
  • Fast continuous shooting speed can freeze the action
  • 5-axis in-body stabilization corrects camera shake
  • 4K video capability gives you professional-looking footage
  • Enhanced battery life lets you take up to 710 shots and 210 minutes of video recording 
  • Tilting LCD screen allows shooting from different angles
  • Wireless connectivity options enable you to control and share media in real-time
  • Compatible with a wide range of lenses, whether from Sony or third-party brands

What’s In The Box

If you decide to purchase the Sony a7III, you can expect to receive the following items.

  • Sony a7III camera itself
  • AC adapter
  • Accessory shoe cap
  • Body cap
  • Eyepiece cap for the viewfinder
  • Micro USB cable
  • Rechargeable battery pack
  • Shoulder camera strap

Those who will purchase the Sony a7III body with the 28-70mm kit lens will get all the items above and some extras. These include the following:

  • Lens cap
  • Lens rear cap
  • Lens hood

Note that you will get other free items if you buy the camera from another store, depending on their existing bundle packages. For example, I got a free camera bag and SD memory card with my purchase.

Build Quality

The Sony a7III is a mirrorless camera. And as I expected, it is smaller and lighter than most DSLRs.

The a7III weighs around 650 grams (23 ounces), which is lightweight for a full-frame camera. If you have the 28-70mm kit lens, the camera body and lens combination will have a total weight of 945 grams (33 ounces). Even if you use a longer telephoto lens, the a7III will not significantly weigh you down.

Size-wise, the camera is relatively compact. I’m impressed at Sony because they managed to pack so many features into a small body. However, I’ve seen some users complaining about the hand grip being too bulky compared to the Sony a7III. For me, it was fine (great even!) because I wanted a larger grip that is still small enough so that my thumb can reach a few buttons. If you are used to a DSLR, you may find the grip too small. At the end of the day, it is a matter of preference, so be sure to try the a7III in-stores before buying it.

In terms of material, the Sony a7III has a solid feel to it. That does not come as a surprise because it uses magnesium alloy material. While the camera lacks weather sealing, it can effectively resist dust and moisture. That means you can use this camera during light rain, fog, or sand storms. Meanwhile, the mount is made of stainless steel. The dials and switches also feel good to use, which is a testament to the high-quality camera build.

Button Controls

Button Controls

Speaking of the dials, let us move on to the controls of the Sony a7III camera.

On top of the grip, you will find the shutter button. Just below the shutter (when viewing the camera from the top), you get two customizable buttons designated as C1 and C2. You can set them to any setting you want for easy access. I use these custom buttons as the Drive Mode and Focus Mode, respectively.

The mode dial is also located at the top. Feel free to choose your preferred shooting mode, whether that is Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual Exposure, Movie, or Scene Selection. 

There is also another control dial situated at the top of the Sony a7III. It lets you adjust the exposure without delving into the settings (aperture, shutter, and ISO). I find this exposure dial handy for situations when I don’t have time to change settings, such as an outdoor wedding on a cloudy day.

You will find more buttons on the back of the camera where the LCD display is located (more on that later). Starting from the upper left, you have the third custom button (C3) and Menu button. You get the AF-On and AEL buttons (also customizable) near the upper right.

Finally, you can find the multi-selector dial, Fn (quick settings) button, control wheel (with four-way customizable buttons), playback button, and delete button (also functions as C4).

As you can probably tell, the Sony a7III is a highly customizable camera. It offers four official custom buttons (C1 to C4). However, it lets you change the functions of up to 13 buttons to fit your needs. 

Overall, I find the button controls of the Sony a7III very useful. If I have one critique, it would be the feel of some of the buttons, as I find them too squishy for my liking.

Display Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony a7III features a tilting screen that lets you shoot from above or below eye level. It can tilt up to around 90 degrees, whereas the downward angle is limited to 30 degrees. The display automatically rotates to whichever direction you have angled the screen. 

However, the LCD screen is not vari-angle or fully articulating, meaning it does not fully rotate. It prevents you from flipping the screen away from the camera body, which is useful for shooting from different angles. I don’t see the lack of a flip-out screen as an absolute con, though, because I can live with the tilting screen.

Quality-wise, the Sony a7III screen is not disappointing but not impressive either. It provides a clear display to help you read information and preview photos. But it does not have a high resolution and can be unreadable on bright days.

Meanwhile, the touchscreen features respond in real-time, but they have limited functionality. For instance, I couldn’t use it to navigate the menu system or choose playback. I can only select an autofocus point using the touchscreen.

Fortunately, the electronic viewfinder is better than the LCD screen, in my opinion. It has 2.36 million dots which helps you compose an image properly. The electronic viewfinder also has little lag when capturing photos up to 10 frames per second. 

As for the free eyepiece cap included in the package, I don’t bother with it. It tends to fall off whenever I attach it to the electronic viewfinder.

Mount and Compatibility

Thanks to the Sony E mount, the Sony a7 III offers impressive lens compatibility. It can fit native Sony lenses to deliver high-quality images and blazing-fast autofocus. Feel free to choose from primes and zooms to wide-angle, standard, and telephoto lenses. There is also an option for more specialized lenses, such as macro and fisheye.

The Sony a7 III also provides support for Sony A-mount lenses via adapters. It is also compatible with several third-party manufacturers to further expand your choices. Just make sure to use the right adapter and maintain realistic expectations. Note that third-party lenses might fit your Sony camera, but they may have limited functionality. 

Image Quality

Now, let us talk about the meat of this Sony a7 III review—the image quality. 

This full-frame camera has 24.2 megapixels, which is more than enough for most photographers. The maximum image size of 6,000 x 4,000 gives you stunning clarity and details. It also lets you crop the image for a magnified view of the subject. However, I recommend a 50% crop only to prevent a sizeable loss in picture quality.

In terms of low-light performance, the Sony a7 III is considered a beast in the market. It is often regarded as among the best low-light cameras you can get today. It offers a native ISO range of 100 to 51,200, with an option to extend it to 50 to 204,800. While you probably wouldn’t use the highest ISO (because of noise levels), you can still get relatively “clean” shots using high ISO speed. For instance, ISO 10,000 has acceptable image quality with moderate grain. But based on my research and personal experience, ISO 5,000 is safe to use for dimly lit conditions. This setting delivers stunning images at night with minimal noise. 

Let us move on to the dynamic range. It describes the ratio between the lightest and darkest areas of the photo. The Sony a7 III has a 15-stop dynamic range, with each stop representing a double or half of light. It captures different tones, from bright highlights and deep shadows, with minimal detail loss. It is ideal for high-contrast scenes, such as shooting landscapes on a sunny day.

As for the image files, Sony a7 III captures JPEG and RAW (using the Sony ARW format). JPEG files look great despite having a smaller file size and compressed quality. Use JPEG for casual situations when you don’t need to edit a lot of settings. Otherwise, stick with RAW images. Uncompressed RAW files give you flexibility in editing because it captures all the details, from white balance to exposure.

Overall, the Sony a7 III offers impressive image quality in most situations. It is among the best mirrorless cameras to get if you want professional-looking stills. 

Video Performance

The Sony a7III full-frame camera also does not disappoint when it comes to video features. 

It offers 4K resolution video using two different frames per second. It records 4K/24p footage across the full sensor width. That means it captures 6K resolution before downsampling it to 4K. What is the result, you may ask? You get a highly detailed video. Meanwhile, the 4K/30p video is oversampled from the 5K capture with a 1.2x field-of-view crop. It gives you slightly less detailed footage, but still great overall.

There is also an option to shoot at full HD resolution (1080p) with the Sony a7III camera. You can record at 24, 60, or up to 120 frames per second. 120 fps is great for slow-motion footage or high-action scenes.

And speaking of slow motion, the a7III offers a unique S&Q mode. It creates ready-to-use slow motion (S) and quick timelapse (Q) videos. However, quality and bitrate are reduced a little bit in exchange for the convenience you get.

As for the picture profiles, the Sony a7III has four main ones. These give you flexibility when shooting video.

  • Movie (it uses a standard curve)
  • Cine 1-4 (1-2 gives your videos a soft look, while 3-4 offers a high-contrast look)
  • S-Log2 and S-Log3 (it saves a wide dynamic range, ideal for post-production and color grading)
  • HLG or hybrid log-gamma (a balance between Cine and S-Log profiles)

Finally, the Sony a7III shows zebra warnings and peaking to help you achieve the right focus and exposure. 

Autofocusing System

Autofocusing System

The Sony a7 III features 693 phase-detection autofocus points that cover almost the entire sensor. It also has 425 contrast-detection AF points. On paper, it has one of the most powerful autofocus systems on the market.

The Sony a7 III can quickly find the subject, even in poor lighting conditions. The highly advanced AF system can work down to -3 EV, which is ideal for low-light or night photography. 

There is also an option to switch focus points, depending if the mirrorless camera is in the horizontal or portrait orientation. You can even adjust the focus tracking sensitivity. It is helpful if you want the camera to refocus on a moving subject or find a subject blocked by other elements in the frame.

The Sony a7 III has two main autofocus modes: single-shot AF and continuous AF.

  • Single-Shot AF – Also known as AF-S, this mode focuses once and holds it until you let go of the shutter button. It is ideal for capturing static subjects, such as architecture and landscapes.
  • Continuous AF – AF-C constantly refocuses when you half-press the shutter. It can track moving subjects across the frame. This focusing mode is suitable for action, wildlife, and even portraiture. It also stands out when shooting video.

On top of these autofocus modes, the camera offers two dynamic settings. 

  • Automatic AF – AF-A combines single-shot and continuous autofocus modes. At first, it focuses on a stationary subject. But once it detects movements, it automatically changes to continuous tracking. 
  • Dynamic Manual Mode – It uses AF-S mode until you move the focusing ring of the lens. It is useful if you want to use both autofocus and manual focus.

Plus, the Sony a7 III has six autofocus area modes to suit your needs. These determine the area that will be in focus. 

  • Wide
  • Zone
  • Center
  • Flexible Spot (Large, Medium, Small)
  • Expanded Flexible Spot
  • Lock-On Area (tracking versions of the above modes)

These area modes differ in size, from a “Wide” area to a specific “Spot” within the sensor. The Lock-On focusing mode lets you track a subject across the frame when you half-press the shutter. However, it only works with continuous autofocus or AF-C.

To sum up, the reliable autofocus of the Sony a7 III is one of its biggest selling points. It has fast, accurate performance to ensure sharp photos and videos.

Image Stabilization

The Sony a7III has in-body image stabilization. It can detect and correct movement along five axes: pitch, yaw, horizontal, vertical, and rotation.

I find the image stabilizer useful when shooting handheld with a slow shutter speed. I also use it during low-light situations to keep the image steady and sharp. When anticipating shaky movement, I always turn on image stabilization to capture photos and videos.

However, I don’t rely on image stabilization the entire time. I still stabilize the footage in editing when needed. But this is a great feature to have with the camera.


In terms of connectivity, the Sony a7III camera covers all the bases. It offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC or near-field communication. 

I find it easy to transfer files from my camera to the computer using these connections. I can quickly see and adjust the controls on the Menu screen.

I can also stream videos live using the Wi-Fi and the included USB cable. I simply go to the Menu, click Network settings, and press the center button on the Control Wheel to change the access point. Then, I configure the settings of my preferred streaming software. 

Finally, I like the fact that I can remotely control my camera using my phone via the Imaging Edge software. I simply connect my phone using the USB cable. However, I find the Sony application laggy at times, and based on my research, I’m not the only one with the same experience.

Battery Life and Storage

Battery Life and Storage

The Sony a7III has a good battery life performance compared to its predecessors. It offers around two times the stamina of previous a7 models. To be exact, Sony says the camera will capture 710 shots from a fully charged battery. 

Of course, how long the battery lasts will depend on how heavily you are using the camera. For example, if you use continuous autofocus and image stabilization, expect the battery to drain faster. But if you are using the basic camera settings, you can get a whole day of shooting out of your camera.

As for storage, the Sony a7III provides dual SD card slots. Only one card slot accepts higher-speed UHS-II class memory cards. I would prefer if both slots support UHS-II cards, but I’ll take what I can get. 

I do appreciate the convenience of dual cards, though. I can use them in sequence, meaning if the first card gets full, the camera automatically records using the second card. There is also an option to save files on both cards for a mirror backup. You can even split one file type (RAW) to go to one card, while the other file type (JPEG) is stored on another card.

Price and Value

The Sony a7III is a great all-around camera that comes at a reasonable price. It retails at around $2,000 for the camera body only. Meanwhile, it is priced at around $2,200 for the camera and lens combination. Depending on your budget, the camera and its features might be worth it or not.

In my opinion, though, the Sony a7III offers bang for the buck. It includes advanced features that will cost a lot more money on another model. At the end of the day, only you can decide if a camera is worth its value. But for me and many reviewers, we think the a7III is worth considering.

What Is The Sony a7III Good For?

Now that you know the key features of the Sony a7III, you may wonder about its applications. Is the Sony a7III good for everything? Or is there anyone who shouldn’t buy it?

First of all, let us talk about beginners in photography. While it seems tempting to buy the a7III, new users would probably find it too overwhelming. The camera is packed with a lot of features that you may be unfamiliar with. Plus, it can be expensive for beginners. It is best to start with a simpler and cheaper camera.

However, photography enthusiasts will find the Sony a7III an excellent camera. As a hobbyist myself, I can say that it ticks most, if not all, of the boxes I’m looking for in a camera. It particularly excels in low-light and portrait photography. It can also suit action photographers due to its advanced autofocus and 10 fps burst mode. Plus, it is small and compact enough for street and travel photography.

Finally, professionals are also likely to appreciate the Sony a7III camera. It has a high-resolution sensor, good dynamic range, fast autofocus, and a reliable image sensor. All of these features will help pros capture the best possible photo. That said, professional filmmakers might find the video capabilities of this camera limited.

What Are Alternatives To The Sony a7III Full-Frame Camera?

So if you’re a beginner, a filmmaker, or anyone who is not impressed with the Sony a7III, you may ask: will there be another camera worth considering?

The good news is: yes, you can find several alternatives to the Sony a7III camera. I understand that not everyone has the same preferences and requirements, so I also took the time to research other options.

  • Canon EOS RP – It is the most affordable alternative to the Sony a7III.
  • Fujifilm X-T5 – It offers almost the same specs as the Sony, but it has an APS-C sensor. That means it is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the a7III.
  • Nikon Z6 II – It has a faster burst rate of up to 14 frames per second, making it ideal for action shooters.


That is the end of my detailed review of the Sony a7III. I hope this post helped you determine the pros and cons of this camera.

I highly recommend the Sony a7III for both enthusiasts and professionals. It has a high resolution, blazing-fast autofocus, a sturdy yet lightweight build, an incredible stabilization system, and other impressive features. It is among the best full-frame mirrorless cameras today. But if you are looking for something with stunning video, fast burst rates, or an affordable price, then this camera might not suit you. Consider my other recommendations above instead.

Feel free to use our links above once you have decided to purchase the Sony a7III. Save time and get back to taking photos/videos!