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Sony Alpha A7 Mark III (ILCE-7M3) Expert Review - Performance

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Sony Alpha A7 Mark III Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response 0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response  0.2secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.0secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.7secs
Shot to Shot with Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10fps (170 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 10fps (79 shots)

Focus speed and shutter response is very quick, and the camera can take a very good number of continuous shots at 10fps before slowing down. Tested with the Sony 24-105mm f/4 GM lens, and a Sony UHS-II SD card.


Sony Alpha 7 III Other sample images

Sample Photos - Images produced by the camera look good straight from the camera, and colour reproduction is good, although may not be to everyone's liking. However, you can easily adjust the colour profile ("Creative Style"), with a number of different presets available. These can be customised with options for contrast, saturation, and sharpness. 

Focus performed well even in low-light conditions. Exposure is reliable, with the camera giving a good balance. DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) does a good job of recorded dynamic range in photos. You can also shoot HDR images, in-camera, if you want to record more in your photos, to avoid over-exposed highlights, and under exposed shadows. Even if you do end up with under-exposed shadows, it is possible to recover shadow detail even from JPEG images. There is no automatic panoramic mode.


Sony Alpha 7 III Lens test images

Lens Performance - Results from the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens are excellent, with a very sharp and detailed images being produced. The lens is also capable of producing pleasing bokeh (background blur) making it an excellent all-round lens, and far better than we expected. There is some vignetting when shooting at the wide-angle end of the lens, but nothing that can't be easily fixed. The lens is also quite resistant to flare, even when shooting towards the sun. The closest focus distance is 38cm. Lens correction options are built-in to the camera, with options for: shading (vignetting) compensation, chromatic aberration compensation, and distortion compensation - we left these on Auto. Some purple fringing was visible when shooting trees against a bright sky. 

The in-camera image stabilisation is designed to work with the lens' optical image stabilisation (if the lens has it), and we found we were able to take some sharp photos at shutter speeds as slow as 1/10s and 1/13s at 70mm. 


Sony Alpha 7 III ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise performance is impressive, from ISO50 all the way up to ISO6400, with detail remaining good. At ISO12800 and ISO25600 there is a slight drop in detail recorded, but the low levels of noise, even at this speed is very impressive. There is more noise visible at ISO51200, however this should still produce usable images (depending on your needs). Noise becomes stronger, again, at ISO102400, and colour saturation drops off. Noise at ISO204800 is high, and we'd avoid using this ISO setting if possible. High ISO NR options of Normal, Low, and Off, the default is Normal. Long exposure NR can be set to On or Off, and the default is On. We took these shots with the default settings. 

Noise compared to the competition...

Noise performance is up there with the best, with impressive noise performance even at ISO51200. For similar performance you would need to look at the more expensive Nikon D5, D850, Canon EOS 1DX Mark II. The A7 Mark III gives noticeably better noise performance than the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway, that the A7 Mark III gives noticeably better performance than the best APS-C cameras, such as the Nikon D500 and D7500.  


Sony Alpha 7 III White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs extremely well under fluorescent lighting. The fluorescent presets aren't needed here. AWB performs well under tungsten lighting and you can quickly set up the AWB to perform how you would prefer with options for Standard (which gives a fairly neutral result), Ambient (which gives a warm result), and White (which gives the most accurate result). AWB performs well under mixed lighting. 


Video - The camera offers 4K UHD video at 30/25/24fps, with stereo sound at 100mbps or 60mbps. The image is downsized from 6K, giving you very sharp and detailed video footage. Focus performance is very good while recording video, and the camera's sensor based image stabilisation does a good job to keep video steady and stable even when holding the camera handheld. Focus performed well even when using the camera in low-light conditions.

As well as setting a "Creative Style", you can setup "Picture Profiles" specifically for video (these options are in the first set of photo menus), with options to set the black level, gamma, black gamma, knee, colour mode and saturation. In colour mode there are options for: Movie, Still, Cinema, Pro, ITU709 Matrix, Black and White, S-Gamut, S-Gamut3.Cine, and S-Gamut3. There are Time Code options in the Setup menus. 

Watch a 4K sample video recorded with the A7 Mark III below, or watch more on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.

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Photographs taken using the Sony Alpha 7 III

Evening at Telford SouthwaterMushrooms VIIAutumn coloursMushrooms VIMushrooms VWaterfall On Afon Camlan II.In the old forestMushrooms IVPensiveMushrooms IIIWaterfall On Afon CamlanMushrooms IISofiaMushroom ISophia

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Oxygenum 6 2 Poland
28 Feb 2018 11:23AM
Video is unavailable in Poland ! :-(
Please share for all regions !

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joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2018 11:29AM

Quote:Video is unavailable in Poland ! :-(
Please share for all regions !

This will most likely be due to the music used in some of the videos. You can find more videos here:
Oxygenum 6 2 Poland
28 Feb 2018 11:37AM
I mute sound while watching this movie Wink
JJGEE 14 7.6k 18 England
20 Apr 2018 12:22PM

Quote:In terms of this camera being a "basic" model, the Sony Alpha A7 Mark III is hardly what we'd call "basic"

If Sony are classing this as "Basic" can one assume they are aware of an " Advanced" model coming in the future ?
josa 7 25 Czech Republic
20 Apr 2018 6:39PM
Is that a "geek girl" we used to see here a long time ago?Smile
22 Apr 2018 2:01PM
I've had mine for a few weeks with Sigma lenses and their MC11 (no Sony lenses) and am in agreement it ticks so very many boxes for the money it's really worth it. However I've some warnings for potential buyers:
- It can't focus on horizontal edges (in phase detect). It just can't! Isn't that worth mentioning? Hopefully it's just on Sigma lenses. Anyone else know?
- Only my Sigma Art 35 lens produces good results. The 12-24 and 70-200 aren't bad, the 85mm isn't great.
- Yes it's a mini a9 in some respects but the focus tracking is certainly a little more indecisive than the a9, and as it says here silent shooting of moving objects falls victim to bendy pictures. The latter is an 'edge case' I know.
- Eye AF is cool in studio but not worth trying to use on a shot you might miss.
- Just as they don't mention which pd sensors are H,V or cross, No-one mentions which of the pd points are more sensitive - a Sony engineer said the central ones are a bit better but I haven't been able to measure it.
- Compared to my old Canon DSLR, the controls are a bit more laggy especially moving ISO around. But there are more controls because it does so much more. I'm getting the hang of just putting the setup I like into a memory as I did with the Canons.
-This won't surprise anyone but in case someone was wondering - no the Tamron 24-70 doesn't work well at all with the Sigma (clue's in the name) MC11.

On the plus side, the dynamic range and colour stability are great. In particular, colours in high iso dark areas remain stable, which is a hangup I had with my old 6D and 5d3 - they just couldn't produce stable blacks.

Thanks as always for the great reviews.
TornadoTys 4 27 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2018 12:29PM
I really want an A7iii !
26 Apr 2018 1:31PM
My own reviews focusing on the ergonomics, handling, menus en customization ! Wink

3 May 2018 8:19AM
Is it possible use any lenses other than Sony like Canon & Nikon ?

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