Like all markets, there are quite a few segments to the photography market.  Entry-level, entry-mid, prosumer, professional, etc.  Not sure whether those are the actual names, but hopefully you know what I mean.  The competition in the entry-mid segment for is fierce: the Fuji XH-1, Nikon D750, and Canon 6DII, and the aging Sony a7II.  Tonight that changed, with the new Sony a7III.  How will it stack up to the competition?  Um…game over, Sony wins.  Let’s take a look.

The Camera Body

As I predicted earlier, the a7III will have mostly the same body as the a7rIII, which itself is based on the Sony a9.  What’s great about this is the a7III will be able to use the same accessories as the a7rIII and the a9!  Featuring a more robust grip and body, the a7III will have a premium feel at a competitive price.  This bigger grip allows for the bigger Sony battery, which has 2.2x the capacity of the previous model, which I can personally vouch is a huge improvement from the smaller one.  I love taking my a7rIII out and not having to worry about battery life or whether or not I have enough spares.

The body also features something professionals have been wanting for years: dual SD card slots.  Having your camera write to two cards instead of one (yes, you can configure how this works, raw to one and JPEG to the other, for example) is both convenient and peace of mind in case an SD card is lost or corrupted.

Another huge improvement over the a7II is the focus joystick and the addition of an AF-On button, for those who like using back-button focus.  There’s another custom button and the Record button has been moved to a less conspicuous place to prevent accidental presses.

The LCD screen is now a touchscreen, which I never thought I would use on my a7rIII but end up using it all the time now.  It’s even good for a simulated rack focus effect in video mode.

The Specs

The a7III comes, as expected, with a new 24.2 megapixel sensor which should stay true to the Sony alpha sensors legacy of dynamic range and low-light performance.  In addition to 10 frames per second still image shooting you’ll be able to record internally in 4K resolution, down-sampled from 6K!  The 4K is awesome but even more awesome is the ability to shoot 120fps slow motion at 1080p!

The autofocus system has been improved, along the lines of the a9 and a7rIII, and should be competitive against the D750 and the 6DII.  With an incredible 693 autofocus points, covering 93% of the sensor, you’ll be able to compose your shots without having to worry about where the autofocus points are.

The Price

The a7III will retail for $1999 (body only) and $2199 with the very capable 28-70 kit zoom lens.  Pre-orders start tomorrow morning at 10am EST, I’ll update with Amazon links (which pay me a commission, thanks for your support) as soon as they’re available!

Wait, are you telling me this is basically the a7rIII with just fewer megapixels???!

Yep!  The a7III is the a7rIII with fewer megapixels.  What a monster!

How does it compare to the competition?

This camera blows away the competition.  It shoots faster than the D750, shoots better video than the 6D Mark II, and is a full-frame camera unlike the Fuji XH-1.  Honestly I don’t even think it’s close.  Never before have all of these features been available in a “basic” model.

Am I getting one?

Nope!  I’m super happy with the a7rIII and a7rII as a backup (I’m selling my a6500 at the moment actually).  I will heartily recommend this camera though for people wanting to make the switch from another system to Sony, particularly because it’s so easy to adapt lenses from other manufacturers to the Sony ecosystem.  Sony’s lens lineup is growing quickly on its own and we’re finally seeing some lenses from third parties like Sigma and Tamron designed for the Sony full-frame system, which is long-awaited and very welcome news!

What do you think?  Are you going to run out and get an a7III?  Is there anything you wish it had?  What are you most impressed with?  Tell me in the comments below!

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