Sony a7 iii review for Shotkit

Sony Alpha a7III Camera Review

Impartial Sony a7 III review by wedding photographer Jason Vinson. Read why Jason switched from shooting Fujifilm & Nikon to Sony for the Sony a7 III mirrorless camera.

When Sony first released the Sony A7 in 2013 I was instantly intrigued.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t quite where it needed to be for professional use, especially in the realm of wedding photography.

After the release of the Sony A9 however, things were looking very promising, but with a very steep cost of entry.

Sony a7III

Incredible autofocus and high ISO performance. Best value full frame mirrorless camera of the year.

Check Current Price

Now that we have the Sony A7 III though, we get some of the best features of the A9 for a fraction of the cost.

But is the A7III where it needs to be for professional use… and is it good enough for me to ditch my Fujifilm system in favour of a Sony camera?!

Sony a7 III Review | The ‘Basic’ Model

  • Amazing AF coverage
  • Excellent dynamic range
  • Impressive high ISO performance
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • High level of customization
  • Underperforming buffer
  • Only one card slot supports UHS-II

When the Sony A7 III was released, they called it the ‘basic’ model. While this may be true when it comes to price, this is far from true when it comes to features.

This new model features a new 24MP sensor that boasts 15 stops of dynamic range and ISO from 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800).

The amazing thing, is that although this sensor is different than the one found on the A9, it has the same AF features – things like 693 phase-detection AF points covering 93% of the frame.

Sony a7 iii review image quality example. Full-frame mirrorless with electronic viewfinder, great autofocus system, 15 stops dynamic range, fast live view, ok menu system, amazing battery life and 4k video!

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/250 f/2.8 ISO 25600

Coming from a DSLR, you’ll be blown away by this coverage. I was even impressed coming from the Fuji XT-2, which I used to think had amazing AF coverage.

It’s worth mentioning that these 693 AF points are the fast type! You still get 425 contrast detect points that cover the entire frame, perfect to get the most out of the best lenses for the Sony a7III.

Coming from the Fuji XT-2, the AF alone would be worth it for me to switch to the A7 III.

Not only did the camera focus faster, more accurately, and in lower light, but it also has something called Eye AF.


The image quality from the Sony A7 III is exactly what you have come to expect from Sony.

For me, 24 MegaPixels is the perfect balance between having data to crop but not so much data that you have a huge giant file.

Sony a7 III image quality - battery life is great for a full-frame mirrorless with 2 card slots, fast af system, stellar image quality, flexible raw files, fast live view and plenty of af points. Better high iso than others in a7 series

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/1600 f/2.8 ISO100

Sony a7iii autofocus system is incredible in live view at 10 fps for a full-frame camera with electronic viewfinder and long battery life

The dynamic range is amazing. At low ISO I can easily push and pull a file to my heart’s content. This sensor is like most though, where it’s a lot easier to recover shadow details then it is to recover highlight detail.

This is great for me since I tend to shoot the majority of my images underexposed. I like to expose for my highlights since that’s the limiting factor of the dynamic range. From there I can easily push the file to retain those highlights and recover the shadows.

Obviously this is dependent on the ISO level you have dialed in though, so the higher you go in ISO, the more dialed in you need to have your exposure to where you want it in the final image

amazing battery life for full-frame mirrorless. 2 card slots, fast electronic viewfinder, ok menu system, amazing autofocus system, great image quality and 4k video

Sony a7 III + Sony 85mm f/1.8 | 1/4000 f/1.8 ISO100

Speaking of ISO, the high ISO capabilities are amazing. The Sony A7 III actually scored better in low light than its brothers the A7RIII and A7SII over at DxO Mark.

This seemed to be accurate in my testing, although I never really had to boost my ISO as high as I normally would due to the image stabilization.

It’s pretty rare for me to need to capture fast moving subjects in low light. Most of the time is people sitting by candle light, in front of a fire, or even the light from a cell phone.

Sony a7III slow shutter image stabiization. Great image quality for a full-frame mirrorless camera. 2 card slots, good battery life, decent electronic viewfinder and autofocus system.

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/4 f/2.8 ISO640

So like in the image above, I can easily rely on the image stabilization to keep the camera shake steady and use a much lower ISO than I ever could before.

Features & Shortcomings


Sony a7 iii review for Shotkit. Continuous shooting on a full-frame camera is impressive. 2 sd card slots, good focus point coverage. No compressed raw files and awkward menu system.

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/2000 f/2.8 ISO100

If you have never seen Eye AF in action, it’s worth checking out. But after using it in person, I was convinced of its usefulness.

One thing I always struggled with was taking pictures of my son. The unpredictable movements of a kid, especially close up, will give any AF system a run for its money, but the Sony A7 III knocks it out of the park.

No more trying to micro adjust your camera position in an attempt to keep an AF point over an eye as your subject moves.

Now all you have to do is press one button and the camera locks onto the closest eye. The camera will then proceed to track that eye throughout the frame and automatically adjust to the other eye if it becomes the closest eye.

This is a game changing feature, especially with fast-moving and unpredictable subjects.


Sony a7III review - af system is amazing on a7 iii. 4k video also great. Image shot at fast shutter speed. 0.78x magnification, 10fps continuous shooting to 2 sd card slots.

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/13 f/2.8 ISO640

One other feature new to this round of A7 cameras is the addition of dual memory card slots, which is something that most working professionals place a lot of value on.

Something worth noting is that that the Sony A7 III does support UHS-II fast memory cards, but only for one slot. This means that if you are shooting with the camera set to write each image to both cards, the write speed will be bottle-necked by the slower card.

This essentially makes using the more expensive UHS-II cards pointless if you plan to shoot RAW images to each card. The only option you could have is to shoot RAW to the fast card and a JPEG backup to the slow card.

Since I tend to shoot most of my images underexposed a decent amount so I can push them in post, this isn’t really a viable option for me.

When dealing with the buffer, the Sony A7 III is listed as having a buffer that can hold 76 RAW images. It’s important to note that this is referring to compressed RAW images, which are a 12-bit file instead of 14-bit.

Switch to uncompressed RAW and this drops to less than half the buffer size.

While having a 30 image buffer is definitely manageable, it still means only 3 seconds of shooting when at 10FPS. As you can see in the champagne spray image above, big buffers can mean getting the perfect moment.

Another thing I found strange was just how long it took to format a memory card. Using the exact same card, my Nikon D750 can format in about a second. For some reason the Sony takes almost an entire minute to format the card. Nothing close to being a deal breaker – I just found it strange and partially annoying.

Image Stabilization

Sony a7 iii mirrorless camera with 4k video. Slower shutter speed can be handheld. 0.78x magnification. Mirrorless cameras can be expensive.

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/10 f/2.8 ISO1600

One feature that the Sony A7 III has that I found surprisingly useful is the image stabilization. More specifically, 5 axis stabilization.

Using the Sony Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens, I’m able to get a sharp image at 1/4th of a second handheld!

This means when shooting slow moving subjects in low light, I can use a much lower ISO to give me a cleaner image.

The image above was shot handheld at 1/10th of a second, and is tack sharp – something that wouldn’t be possible without this level of image stabilization.

I also hear this feature is great for people that shoot video.


fast shutter speed available. Long battery life at approx 710 shots. Continuous shooting at 10 fps

When it comes to the physical camera, I feel like the Sony A7 III has a good button layout and a nice feel in my hand.

I do wish it had the dial on the left side like the Sony A9, but not a deal breaker.


Sony a7 II + Sony 85mm 1.8 - 710 shots per charge - great for mirrorless cameras. 4k video on a7 iii impressive too. Full-frame sensor unrivalled for low light shooting at high iso

Sony a7 III + Sony 85mm f/1.8 | 1/320 f/2.8 ISO100

I also heard a lot about the Sony A7 III having a lower end EVF, but unless you are shooting it side by side with an Sony a7R III or Sony A9, you probably won’t even notice – the image in the EVF is plenty sharp and has no problem with its refresh rate.

The Sony A7 III has the same resolution as the Fuji XT-2, which has always been regarded as a great EVF.

The only issue I had was every so often, something would lag and cause the EVF not to turn on when I put my eye up to the viewfinder. It happens so rarely it’s not a huge deal, but happens enough that I noticed it was doing something weird. In the same price range, Canon EOS R has a better viewfinder. You can check Sony a7 iii vs Canon EOS R comparison guide for detailed differences.


Sony a7 iii custom buttons. Focus point coverage is good on sony cameras like the a7 iii. Also has 4k video

The level of customization that is possible with the Sony A7 III is amazing. There are options that I’d never even thought about before, but now that I have them, it would be hard to go back.

For example, I shoot with back button focus, so my default focus settings are Flexible Spot with AF-C. Now I also have another button set to lock-on Flexible Spot, and yet another button set to Eye AF.

So that leaves me three buttons I can use to engage the AF depending on what the situation calls for, and I never have to change a single camera setting.

Another example of the customization options is the ability to have one button recall a Custom Memory Function.

So say you are shooting in full manual and using flash – you could have a button set so that when you hold it, it will switch the camera to Aperture Priority, engage AF in the setting of your choosing, and set the flash not to fire.

With the Sony A7 III you can quickly and easily jump from one shooting situation to the other without actually changing any settings!

As for shooting flash, the Sony A7 III is in line with most other models. It has a 1/250th sync speed and can shoot with manual, TTL, and HSS.

My flash of choice is the Godox AD200, and if you haven’t seen this flash, do yourself a favor and look into it – it’s amazing!

[Ed – Check out the Godox AD200 review after reading this, and also my recommended accessories for Sony cameras!]

One quirky thing that you must know before using flash with this camera though is that out of the box, the electronic front curtain shutter is set to ‘on’ by default.

Without getting into the boring details, this feature does not play nice with high speed sync – I learned this the hard way.

Sony a7 iii flash issue on camera with 4k video

Weird banding caused by the electronic front curtain and HSS flash

Having it turned on is something you will probably want in most other shooting conditions. So instead of having to remember when to turn it on as well as having to dive into the menu to do so, I put those amazing customizations on the Sony A7 III to good use.

When I am in Memory Function 1 on the main dial, the camera sets itself to my default settings (Aperture Priority, front electronic shutter on, AF-C, Etc.).

When I set the dial to Manual (which I always use when using flash), the camera automatically switches the electronic front curtain shutter to off. Amazing!


Sony a7iii test shot

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/2500 f/2.8 ISO100

Last thing I want to talk about is the price. This camera comes in at just under $2,000.

That’s about the same price as the Fuji XH-1, which is an APS-C crop sensor camera. So for a mere $100 more with the Sony A7 III, you get a full frame camera with some of the best AF, ISO, and dynamic range you can get in a mirrorless camera.

Now, for this price you only get the body, a strap, the battery, and some documents. You don’t even get a battery charger!

Instead, Sony provide a cheaply made cable for charging via the micro USB port. I understand it’s part of getting the price so low, but how much can it really cost them for a battery charger?

Sony a7 III RAW Samples | Editor’s Comment

Editor: since I own the Sony A7 III, I thought I’d include some RAW sample images from my recent wedding photography work with this camera.

Note that all these images have had absolutely no post production applied whatsoever, except for a slight bump in exposure (since I tend to shoot underexposed). I haven’t even added any sharpening for the web – these are JPEG versions of the RAW files, essentially straight out of camera.

This is just to give you an idea of what the Sony A7 III is capable of in different lighting conditions during an average day.

Sony a7III Firmware Update

Perhaps taking the cue from its main competitor in the mirrorless camera market, Sony has thankfully decided to continuously improvement the functionality of their products via free firmware updates.

…and in the case of the Sony a7III, this is a significant one!

For those who don’t know, a firmware update is something that aims to improve your camera ‘from the inside’ – i.e. your camera’s software.

This means that you can keep using the same hardware (i.e. your camera) for many years, safe in the knowledge that the technology inside it is still up to date.

In April 2019, Sony released Firmware Update Version 3.00 for the a7Riii and a7iii cameras. Benefits and Improvements here included:

  • Real-time Eye AF for animals
  • Enables the possibility to operate the real-time EYE AF by half-pressing the shutter button, or by pressing the AF-ON button in AF-S and AF-C (there is no longer any need to hold down a custom key)
  • Addition of the interval shooting function
  • Allows the operation with the wireless remote commander RMT-P1BT
  • Other improvements:
  • [MENU] can be assigned to a custom key
  • [MENU] tab operation with the Fn button
  • Improves the overall stability of the camera

Evolved Eye-AF brings the A7 series in line with the A6400 and A9 (after its recent version 5.00 update).

Get the Sony a7III firmware update here.


Should I buy a Sony a7III in 2023?

Yes, Sony a7III is worth considering in 2023 for its remarkable quality-to-price ratio. Its versatility makes it an excellent choice for portrait, event, and landscape photography.

Which SD card works best with Sony a7III?

Sony a7III has two SD card slots. The first one utilizes UHS-I SD cards, while the other one uses UHS-II cards.

Is the Sony a7III good for beginners?

Yes, inexperienced users can benefit from Sony a7III’s beginner-friendly features, such as its in-body image stabilization and crisp picture quality.

Is the Sony a7III weather sealed?

No, the Sony a7III isn’t weather sealed. However, it’s capable of resisting moisture and dust to a certain extent.

Does the Sony a7III have a touchscreen?

Yes, Sony a7III has touchscreen capabilities which means you can set focus points and tweak settings with your fingertips.

Sony a7 III Review | Conclusion

Sony a7 III review

Sony a7 III + Sony 35mm f/2.8 | 1/6400 f/2.8 ISO100

At the end of the day, the Sony A7 III is not the perfect camera… but I don’t think there will ever be an all round perfect camera.

But for me, what I do, and how I like to shoot, the Sony A7 III comes as close to perfect as I have ever seen.

I have always been a huge fan of Fuji cameras and have shot the X-Pro2 and X-T2 since their release. I absolutely love the way Fuji does business and the way they constantly release firmware updates… but after shooting with the Sony A7 III, I can’t go back.

There are things I wish could be fixed or added that will probably never happen, but even knowing that, I’m jumping all in and selling my Fuji and Nikon kit.

The Sony A7 III is a small camera that packs a huge punch for a small price. All other camera manufactures have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to stay competitive.

Sony a7III

Incredible autofocus and high ISO performance. Best value full frame mirrorless camera of the year.

Check Current Price
Build Quality9
Image Quality9


  1. Robert Hinkle on May 11, 2022 at 11:57 pm

    What a valuable and in depth review of the A7iii. I have one in my kit now but am planning on grabbing the a7iv sooner or later.

    I never even thought about the firmware update, guess I have some homework to do,

    • Mark Condon on May 13, 2022 at 8:22 am

      Check out our review of the A7IV, Robert – food for thought!

  2. Zsolt Varanka on November 22, 2021 at 5:22 am

    Jason, thanks a lot, very useful writing!
    Think, this is weird, the SONY A7III is still an amazing, competitive camera at the end of 2021. Ones interested in practical, real World experiences and comparative analysis of the A7III from example for wildlife photography, recommend to read my article on:…after-2022

  3. David Wilkins on November 23, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Great review using the a7r2 currently but thinking about the a7r3 or a73

  4. Daniel Hughes on October 25, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Great article, this helped convince me to start my move to Sony! The Sigma Art lenses are incredible for the price and really make this system great value for a professional wedding photographer.

  5. sedat vurat on September 28, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Dear Jason first off all thanks for great review apart from your determinations i must say somethings a7iii issues sometimes mooring in suits and sometimes in single shoots takes two pics.or restart auto take noting nevertheless the best camera current best focus best battery best highiso performance..

  6. Ivan on July 29, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Mark :)
    I absolutely agree with your points. I’ve been working as a wedding photographer with a pair of A7III for almost a year now, bought them as soon as they were available here. Level of customization and especially having several focusing modes directly assigned to different buttons is priceless (I have 4 :) )

    My question is, how the firmware update changed your settings? Do you still use separate button for the Eye-af or use it with the real time af (face detect/priority) and normal modes?
    I just upgraded to firmware 3.1 today (I never update quickly in case something is wrong) and thinking about tweaking my settings, it would be nice to have an input from you.

    Thanks :)

    • Mark Condon on July 31, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      Hey Ivan! I didn’t change any of my settings – I have one button to engage the Eye-AF, although I’m not sure I completely understand the benefit of the other option you mentioned!? Sony has a habit of confusing us with options :-)

  7. Lukasz Szeflinski on May 9, 2019 at 2:55 am

    Aren’t you tempted to switch to a9 with recent price drops?

  8. Wojtek on May 1, 2019 at 5:49 am


    fantastic review! Can I have some RAW files please?
    I am seriously thinking about Zeiss 35 f/2.8!


  9. Sheen Andola on March 23, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Hi Mark – great article. Currently in the midst of changing from D750 to A7iii and I want to know if there’s been a substantial change in your workflow (culling, editing, using presets, etc). I light photomechanic for culling and LR. Our studio only shoots weddings.

    If it is not too late, do you think I can still check out your raw files?

    • Mark Condon on March 23, 2019 at 8:51 am

      Hey Sheen, this review is actually by Jason Vinson. I’m happy to share my RAW riles though – send an email to ;-)

  10. kevin on November 23, 2018 at 10:54 am
  11. Scott Spencer-White on October 18, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Excellent review! I experienced the same, really loved the switch from D750 to A7iii – feel like I’ve had a fresh spark to photography. One niggle, some really dark dancefloors it struggles a tiny bit when I know the D750 would have nailed it. Can’t have it all and it makes up for it in so many other areas!

  12. Juan on October 7, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Hey, nice post, i would like to edit a pair of raws, can you send me some…??

  13. Dante' on August 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I would love to check out those raw files. How do you feel about the 35 2.8 vs the 1.4? I’m a 35mm shooter and while I love the look of the 1.4 I love the size of the 2.8 and I’m a wedding photographer also.

    • Mark on August 20, 2018 at 5:55 am

      Hey Dante, good timing – I’ve just switched permanently to the 35mm 2.8 and will be selling my 1.4! Unless you have to rely on shallow dof, the advantages of the small size of the 2.8 are too great to ignore. It’s a great little lens that makes the Sony a7III feel like a toy ;-)

  14. Neil on June 20, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for such an honest review. I’ve spent the last couple of days searching out reviews of the Sony I can trust. I trust this one. It’s enough for me to go to my Sony centre and give one a very good look. If it ‘fits’ me it’s goodbye to a decade of Nikon ownership.

    • Mark on June 21, 2018 at 8:49 am

      haha same here Neil – I got the a7iii after many years of Nikon too. I still keep my D750s as backup though…

      • anthony on May 9, 2019 at 9:35 pm

        Great review . I’m thinking very seriously about off loading my Canon bodies, 6D+7D, for one of these. Sounds like this baby has all of the weak points of my Canons covered ,in a single , lighter , much less bulky body. I’m told that with an adapter it will play nice with my Canon glass. My only worry is the weather sealing , and explaining it to my wife!

        • Mark Condon on May 10, 2019 at 10:40 am

          Haha that last worry sounds like the most important one, Anthony!

  15. Glassworks on June 8, 2018 at 6:41 am

    You shoot a lot of backlit/flare stuff… notice any pixel banding? The official press images had it, that’s why I ask. Could be a dealbreaker for me.

  16. Warren Hoo on June 2, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Your reviewer Jason Vinson on the 7a iii is so up-front and honest about everything. It’s nice that he points out things that annoy but are not deal breakers. Or if you are a RAW shooter, forget the Ultra Speed cards. The second slot isn’t Ultra Speed and the slow card is the bottleneck. Or pointing out it doesn’t come with a battery charger, just a USB cord and commenting: “How cheap can Sony be?”

    Warren Hoo

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