Sony Launches a7 III the Basic Model

Sony staffers taking a break after the launch while Marilyn poses is my fav shot so far with the just-launched a7 III. The a7 III is the basic model, as Sony describes it, and packs their latest tech into a $2K body. And, I think the photo best expresses what shooting with the latest Sony is like.

It takes a fast-focusing camera that can lock onto faces in low light to get a candid shot like it. I was standing off the set by a few feet practically in the dark and with the silent shutter on. I aimed at Akira and Hori, the a7 III locked on to his face, and snap (silently).

I’d expect photographers will use the a7 III as a daily workhorse, which is what it was designed to do.

Akira and Hori with a model.
Akira and Hori with a model.

The specs are impressive

  • Newly Developed Full-frame 24.2MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
    Wide ISO range of 100 – 51200 (expandable to ISO 50 – 204800 for still images) and 15-Stop Dynamic Range at low sensitivities
  • World Class AF system featuring 693 phase-detection AF points covering 93% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and fast and reliable Eye AF
  • Continuous Shooting at up to 10 fps with either Mechanical Shutter or Silent Shooting and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage
  • High Resolution 4K Movie Shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning across full-width of full-frame sensor
  • The longest rated battery life of any Mirrorless camera at 710 shots per charge
  • Upgraded operability and functionality including addition of joystick for adjusting focus points, Dual SD Card Slots, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ Terminal and more

Switching or upgrading to Sony now costs about $3K with a kit and/or nice lens and Sony expects that’s the sweet spot of a price point. After the launch last night in Vegas, a few miles from the Strip on a chilly evening, I’m shooting all week with the a7 III, an FE 1.8/85 and the FE4 25-105.

The press trying out a7 III at another set.
The press trying out a7 III at another set.

What you need to know about the a7 III is Sony took the best tech from their α9 and α7R III models and paired them with an all-new 24.2 MP back-illuminated sensor to deliver a full-frame camera for pretty much everyone.

The a7 Is Not That Basic

Calling the a7 III the basic model is ironic because it’s fully featured. The term actually refers to what buyers can expect from the “basic camera” meaning the entry level, but it has all the bells and whistles.

Sony is saying, ” There’s no need to compromise even at the entry level.” It’s like you can buy the  Toyota Corolla but with the Lexus motor. Up until now, there’s always been a mirrorless compromise, but according to Sony not anymore.

The Sony α7 III will ship this April for about $2000 US for the body and $2200 in a kit with the FE 28‑70 mm F3.5‑5.6 kit lens. For reference, when it launched 4 years ago, the a7 I cost $1699.00. Two revs later, it’s considerably more camera even if Sony calls it the basic model.


Also published on Medium.