This morning Sony announced the Sony a7rIII!
The camera looks, well, pretty similar to my a7rII, but let’s talk about the improvements they made. While I’d argue the jump from the a7r to the a7rII was revolutionary, these changes are more evolutionary. Pre-orders will start today or tomorrow and the camera will be released November 30 in the USA.
First things first: Sony loves to push the megapixel war forward, but they didn’t do it here. The a7rIII has the same 42.4 megapixel sensor as the a7rII. Sony, however, improved almost everything around the sensor with lessons they’ve learned from their super-amazing (I’ve shot with it, it’s incredible) a9 camera released this summer.
- The biggest thing that people will probably like is the grip: it’s bigger and more robust, basically it seems to be the grip from the a9. The reason people will like that is the a7rIII uses the newer/bigger battery from the a9 which has more than double the capacity of the previous batteries
- Memory card slots? No longer is there just one SD card slot, there are now two. Same as the a9: a UHS II and a UHS I
- The a7rIII uses the autofocus system from the a9 but doesn’t have quite as many autofocus points, although the numbers are still impressive: 399 phase-detection autofocus points and 425 contrast-detection autofocus points
- High-speed shooting. The a7rIII can shoot 42.4-megapixel RAW images at 10 frames per second (using the compressed raw function) with a buffer size of 87 images, so almost 9 seconds of images! #whoa
- Sony claims there will be 15 stops of dynamic range, an improvement over the a7rII’s 14 stops
- Touchscreen controls like the a9 as well as a higher-quality LCD screen
- Pixel Shift technology to create 170 megapixel images by shooting 4 images and moving the sensor 1 pixel between each frame for the ultimate in resolution and detail
- Autofocus joystick
- On the video side, the a7rIII shoots 120fps at 1080p, which is a welcome enhancement
- Camera body remains virtually the same size as the a7rII
Quick reaction and initial impressions
There are probably some things I left off the specs above but I tried to hit the main points. I think this is a fantastic evolution of the a7rII, which I still cannot believe is over two years old! Sony is typically the first to push the envelope with new tech or crazy cool headliner features (extreme megapixels, the electric shutter in the a9, heck even the first full frame mirrorless camera back with the a7, etc.) but there really aren’t any crazy mega awesome headliners to point at here, maybe with the exception of shooting 10 frames per second.
All in all I think the a7rIII represents a wonderful evolution of one of the world’s best all-around cameras. It is packed with features which Sony shooters have been requesting for a long time and comes at a very reasonable price point: $3200, the same as the a7rII when it was first released.
Am I getting one?
I imagine I will get one at some point, but there’s no rush for me. My a7rII still works as good as ever and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I have better uses at the moment for $3200 so I’ll probably hold off until next Spring or Summer.
Who should be REALLY REALLY excited about this?
Honestly? People who want to buy an a7rII. It’s still a phenomenal camera and the a7rIII’s release means the a7rII will keep coming down in price. I would still put the a7rII up against any Nikon or Canon camera out there, except the D850. So if you want to save some money, pick up an a7rII for less money than before (or buy a used one from a buddy upgrading to the III) but if you feel like you’re ready to make the jump to the a7rIII I certainly won’t blame you, looks like it’s going to be a wonderful camera!
What do you think of the a7rIII? Will you be getting one? Tell me in the comments below!