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Sony  A7 III vs. Sony  A7R III vs. Sony  A7S III: Differences and Reivews 2024

Sony A7 III vs. Sony A7R III vs. Sony A7S III: Differences and Reivews 2024

    • The Sony Alpha A7 III, Sony Alpha A7R III and the Sony Alpha 7S III are three digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively in February 2018, October 2017, and July 2020. All the A7 III, A7R III and the A7S III are mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor.So what is the difference between Sony A7R III and A7S III? Is A7 III better than A7S III? Is Sony a7 III good for photography? Or is Sony a7R III good for video? Below is an overview of the main specs of the three cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Cover Photo:unsplash.com Brent Ninaber
 

Sony α7 III Overview

Google User Reviews:4.7/5.0

1663861284233387.png

Source:bhphotovideo.com

The Sony a7 III is an entry-level full-frame camera that goes well beyond the basics in features, with excellent image quality, 10fps subject tracking, and 4K video capture.

Distinguished by its updated sensor design, the Sony a7 III is a well-rounded camera suitable for both photo and video applications in a variety of working situations. Refined for improved speed and low-light performance, a new 24.2MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor benefit image quality, video capabilities, and AF performance. The a7 III also sports a revised body design, with a new touchscreen LCD, improved EVF, larger battery, and dual memory card slots.

Despite its billing as a 'basic' model, the Sony a7 III is a supremely capable full frame camera. Though it doesn't have the most megapixels or shoot the fastest bursts, its well-judged mix of resolution, speed, features and price point make it an easy recommendation for all kinds of photographers and all kinds of photography.

Sony α7 III Key Specs

  • Announcement Date: 2018-02-27

  • 24MP - Full frame BSI-CMOS Sensor

  • ISO 100 - 51200 ( expands to 50 - 204800)

  • Sony E Mount

  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization

  • 3.00" Tilting Screen

  • 2360k dot Electronic viewfinder

  • 10.0fps continuous shooting

  • 4K (UHD) - 3840 x 2160 video resolution

  • 120fps High-Speed Video

  • Built-in Wireless

  • 650g. 127 x 96 x 74 mm

  • Weather Sealed Body

Advantages and Disadvantages

ProsCons
  • 10fps continuous shooting

  • Highly sophisticated AF system

  • Vastly improved battery

  • 24MP full-frame BSI sensor.

  • 5-axis stabilization

  • 4K HDR video

  • Silent shooting available

  • Tilting touch LCD

  • Flat profiles available

  • Imbalance with larger lenses

  • No drive or focus mode dials

  • Only one card slot is UHS-II

  • Screen not true vari-angle

  • Burst shooting buffer nowhere near A7 IV's

Where to Buy Sony α7 III Cheapest?

What's in the Box?

  • Sony a7 III Mirrorless Camera

  • Sony NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (2280mAh)

  • Sony AC Adapter

  • Micro-USB Cable

  • Sony ALC-B1EM Body Cap for E-Mount Cameras

  • Accessory Shoe Cap

  • Eyepiece Cup

  • Shoulder Strap

  • Limited 1-Year Warranty

Is the Sony α7 III  Worth Buying?

Buy it if ...

  • You’re interested in shooting sport

the A7 III’s autofocusing won’t disappoint. In addition, the silent shooting capability, wide dynamic range and good noise control make it appealing to social and wedding photographers. 

  • You want a great all-rounder camera

Its high-resolution sensor, fast and reliable autofocus and good dynamic range made it wildly popular among portrait, landscape photographers. 

Don't buy it if ..

  • You’re professionally

 If you’re really serious about shooting weddings professionally,the Sony A9 II or the Sony A1 are the cameras to go for.

  • Only the latest model will do

Look to the Sony A7 IV. It supersedes the A7 III in every way – including price. 

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Sony α7R III Overview

Google User Reviews:4.8/5.0

1663898340296677.png

Source:bhphotovideo.com

The Sony A7R III sees improvements in pretty much every area: physical design features, image quality, speed and performance, as well as video recording capabilities and battery life. The A7R III remains a top-notch camera for pixel-peepers, capturing images with stunning detail and dynamic range, but thanks to inheriting performance and AF improvements from the A9, the camera's also fast and nimble enough for sports and action. 

The A7R III fixes lots of the shortcomings of the previous two models to become an all-around extremely versatile camera for all types of photographers and video creators.

Proving that speed, resolution, and video capabilities can all coexist, the Sony a7R IIIA is a versatile, high-performance camera characterized by not only its resolution, but by its multimedia versatility.

Sony α7R III Key Specs

  • Announcement Date: 2017-10-25

  • 42MP - Full frame BSI-CMOS Sensor

  • No Anti-aliasing (AA) filter

  • ISO 100 - 32000 ( expands to 50 - 102400)

  • Sony E Mount

  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization

  • 3.00" Tilting Screen

  • 3686k dot Electronic viewfinder

  • 10.0fps continuous shooting

  • 4K (UHD) - 3840 x 2160 video resolution

  • Built-in Wireless

  • 657g. 127 x 96 x 74 mm

  • Weather Sealed Body

Advantages and Disadvantages

ProsCons
  • Fantastic image quality; 

  • Improved dynamic range over its predecessor; 

  • Very good high ISO performance; 

  • Much improved real-world AF performance;

  •  Class-leading burst rates, even with RAW;

  •  Improved 5-axis in-body image stabilization; 

  • Better 4K video quality; 

  • 1080/120fps video; 

  • Dual card slots;

  •  Significantly better battery life.

  • Only one card slot supports UHS-II speeds.

  • 4K is getting creaky

  • LCD is quite low res

  • Can't start video until image buffer is cleared.

  • Dense menu system.


Where to Buy Sony α7R III Cheapest?

What's in the Box?

  • Sony Alpha a7R III (V2) 42.4MP Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Body

  • Body Cap

  • Rechargeable Battery (NP-FZ100)

  • Battery Charger (BC-QZ1)

  • Power Cord

  • USB Cable

  • Shoulder Strap

  • Accessory Shoe Cap

  • Eyepiece Cup

  • Cable Protector

  • (Lens Not Included)

  • Sony 1 Year Limited Warranty

  • Vanguard VEO 2 235AB 5 Section Aluminum Tripod

  • Slinger Shoulder Bag

  • 64GB SD Memory Card

Is the Sony α7R III  Worth Buying?

Buy it if ...

  • you want a high quality image camera

Sony α7R III has a really high dynamic range, only second to Nikon D800E, and the low light performance is also great. And you get the 36 megapixels you also have on the Nikon D800/D800E.

  • you want a flexibility camera

Many adapters have been made, making it possible to use all kinds of lenses on the camera.

Don't buy it if ..

  • You mostly shoot sports and action
    While the Sony α7R III is by no means a slow coach, there are better cameras out there for pro sports performance. 

  • Value is your main priority

As tempting as the Sony  α7R II is, it is also likely overkill for many amateur photographers. If you don't shoot much video, or tend to specialize in one particular style, then you'll get more bang for your buck with a more specialist camera and an extra lens or two with the money saved.

Sony α7S III Overview

Google User Reviews:4.8/5.0

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Source:bhphotovideo.com

Sony's alpha 7S Mark III is the third iteration in the most video-focused of the company's a7 series of full frame cameras. It's essentially a native 4K camera with impressive video specs and a revised user interface. It can capture UHD 4K footage at up to 120p in 10-bit 4:2:2 encoding and promises 16-bit Raw video output.

With extreme full-frame movie performance including high sensitivity (expanded ISO up to 409600), 15-stop wide dynamic range, 4K 120p2, fast and dependable autofocusing, and extra-strong image stabilization, the α7S III again raises the bar for movie makers.

The Alpha 7S III features a newly developed 12.1-megapixel1 Full-frame Backside-illuminated (BSI) Exmor R CMOS sensor that delivers sensitivity, speed and superior images and movie. It takes full advantage of the large pixels and BSI copper wiring structure to more than double the sensitivity and readout speed2. In addition, this new Exmor R sensor features Sony’s acclaimed fast hybrid autofocus with 759 phase detection AF points and 92% coverage. The high sensitivity also allows it to autofocus in light as low as EV-611.

Sony α7S III Key Specs

  • Announcement Date: 2020-07-21

  • 12MP - Full frame BSI-CMOS Sensor

  • ISO 80 - 102400 ( expands to 50 - 409600)

  • Sony E Mount

  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization

  • 3.00" Fully articulated Screen

  • 9440k dot Electronic viewfinder

  • 10.0fps continuous shooting

  • 4K (UHD) - 3840 x 2160 video resolution

  • 240fps High-Speed Video

  • Built-in Wireless

  • 699g. 129 x 97 x 81 mm

  • Weather Sealed Body

Advantages and Disadvantages

ProsCons
  • Class-leading low-light video

  • Dust and splash protection

  • New Touch UI

  • Fully articulating touchscreen

  • 12MP full-frame sensor

  • 4K recording at 10-bit quality

  • 120fps slow motion at 4K

  • Impressive battery life

  • No overheating issues

  • Pricier than predecessor at launch

  • Low resolution for stills

  • CFExpress cards required for best quality slow-motion video

  • Video autofocus doesn't work SLR lens adapters


Where to Buy Sony α7S III Cheapest?

What's in the Box?

  • Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera

  • Sony NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (2280mAh)

  • Sony BC-QZ1 Battery Charger

  • Sony ALC-B1EM Body Cap for E-Mount Cameras

  • USB Type-C to Type-A Cable

  • Cable Protector

  • Shoulder Strap

  • Accessory Shoe Cap

  • Eyepiece Cup

  • Limited 1-Year Warranty

Is the Sony α7S III  Worth Buying?

Buy it if...

  • You shoot long video clips 

With its humble 4K capture, there’s less strain on the Sony A7S III’s sensor and processor – and in turn, we didn’t experience any overheating issues when testing out the camera, nor were there recording limitations. 

  • You need stellar low-light performance

The Sony A7S III combines a new sensor and processor with beautiful image processing and excellent dynamic range, to deliver class-leading low-light performance.

Don't buy it if...

  • You want maximum bang for your buck

If you need an affordable 4K camera, you can get better-value options than the A7S III, especially if you know you’ll be shooting primarily in well-lit conditions. 

  • You need a lot of pixels

Whether you’re talking about photos or videos, the Sony A7S III captures them with comparatively low resolution when compared to the Panasonic S1H, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K or the EOS R5, which climb up to 6K, 6K and 8K respectively. 

  • You’re a daylight photographer

If you shoot in a studio and can control lighting, like shooting on a tripod, or need pixel-power, avoid this camera. 

Sony  A7 III vs. Sony  A7R III vs. Sony  A7S III: Comparison Side by Side

Body and Design

Sony α7 III

  • The a7 III's bigger grip is more comfortable compared to previous-generation a7-series cameras

  • The larger battery provides all-day shooting stamina

  • Front and rear dials, and the rear jog dial, are more pronounced and easy to use

  • Some buttons, especially the new AF-ON and AEL buttons could be bigger and offer more feedback

  • Dual card slots, (although only one is rated for faster UHS-II memory cards)

  • Viewfinder is same resolution as predecessor, looking a little low-res

  • Reduced maximum screen brightness compared to predecessor

  • Auto ISO implementation is industry best-practice

  • Customization options can be daunting, but are incredibly useful

Sony α7R III

  • Body itself has become slightly deeper, as has the grip at the front of the camera.

  •  Move to a slightly larger body brings a whole host of improvements

  • The rear screen, like the a9, supports touch control, and usefully, fully disables the viewfinder eye sensor when flipped out. 

  • AF point joystick, which greatly improves the camera's usability. 

Sony α7S III

  • Redesigned menus with touchscreen operation

  • Large, high resolution viewfinder

  • Updated ergonomics from a9 II and a7R IV

  • Dual card slots that accept either SD or CFexpress Type A

Autofocus

The autofocus system in the Sony a7 III is lifted from the company's advanced a9 pro sports model, and in short, it rocks.

 Sony A7 III 

  • There are a total of 693 phase detection autofocus points that cover almost all of the frame - that's tied for the most we've seen on any camera, ever

  • Using the camera in Continuous autofocus (AF-C) will give you the fastest performance most of the time (see stop-down focusing below).

  • If you're shooting video, the 'Wide' autofocus area does a good job of focusing for you, since choosing your subject using Sony's 'tap-to-track' implementation isn't as user-friendly as the competition

Sony A7R III

  • Comes with some impressive autofocus specifications, including 399 on-sensor phase detection AF points

  • At the base of all of these are the AF drive modes, AF-S, AF-C and AF-A,which chooses between the other two drive modes, based on its understanding of the subject.

  • Menu options for AF-S and AF-C to dictate whether the camera should prioritize achieving focus, maintaining continuous drive speed or striking a balance between the two when you're shooting bursts of images.

Sony A7S III

  • Autofocus is adjustable and can be effective, but isn't as powerful or dependable as Sony's stills photography AF

  • 10-bit S-Log3 footage gives plenty of dynamic range, but not 15 useable stops

  • Raw output can be encoded as ProRes RAW by Atomos recorders but the footage requires more work for processing and the tools aren't necessarily available to yield a major benefit over capturing 10-bit Log footage

Image Quality

Sony A7 III

  • The a7 III is among the best low-light cameras on the market

  • Great sharpness, at the expense of some moiré patterns

  • Excellent dynamic range

  • Best JPEG noise reduction and sharpening on the market

  • Color is improving, particularly skintones

Sony A7R III

  • Noise performance appears very slightly improved over the Mark II, which puts it ahead of the Nikon D850 and some distance beyond the Canon EOS 5DS R. 

  • In JPEG mode there are hints of the improvements in color rendering that Sony promised.

  • At higher ISOs, the noise reduction is pretty sophisticated, striking a good balance between detail retention and noise suppression.

Sony A7S III

  • With ISO settings ranging from ISO 2000-4000 delivering results that look nearer to ISO 200-400, the A7S III is a liberating camera to use.

  •  A7S III’s new sensor and faster readout speeds result in the jelly effect being hardly noticeable, unless you’re a seriously aggressive panner.

  •  The 10fps continuous AF/AE works beautifully when eye-tracking a person walking towards the camera, and it also did a great job with a tabby cat, although it struggled with a black cat when positioned slightly off-angle.

Sensor and Processor

The A7R III boasts a 42.2MP back-illuminated sensor, which is higher than the 24.2MP and 12.2MP sensors inside the A7 III and A7S  III respectively.

  • Sony A7 III: Full-frame (35.6x23.8mm) Exmor R CMOS, 24.2MP effective

  • Sony A7R III: Full-frame (35.9x24mm) Exmor R CMOS, 42.4MP effective 

  • Sony A7S  III: Full-frame (35.6x23.8mm) Exmor CMOS, 12.2MP effective

Video

The Sony A7 III was a credible choice for video recording, but it lacked the option to shoot in 4K. The newer A7 III version has both options, as do the other two cameras.

  • Sony A7 III: 4K UHD video up to 30p, Full HD up to 120p

  • Sony A7R III: 4K UHD video up to 30p, Full HD (1920x1080) up to 120p

  • Sony A7S III: 4K UHD video up to 30p, Full HD (1920x1080) up to 120p

Lens Mount and Compatibility

Sony's G Master lenses, pictured here with the second-generation models, are the most desirable and technologically advanced optics the company has developed for the system

  • Sony A7 III: Sony E-mount lenses (or older A-mount via adapter)

  • Sony A7R III: Sony E-mount lenses (or older A-mount via adapter)

  • Sony A7S III: Sony E-mount lenses (or older A-mount via adapter)

AF System

The A7 III and A7R III (above) not only boast Hybrid AF systems, but they also feature AF joysticks, while the A7S III video AF system is pretty effective

  • Sony A7 III: Hybrid AF, 693 phase-detect points, 425 contrast-detect points

  • Sony A7R III: Hybrid AF, 399 phase-detect points, 425 contrast-detect points

  • Sony A7S III:  not quite as smart as the stills AF system

Burst Shooting (fps)

The A7R III's sensor may make it seem like a less obvious choice for burst shooting, but 10fps capabilities and a wide-area Hybrid AF system make it a strong option.

  • Sony A7 III: 10fps with AF/AE tracking (or 8fps in live view mode). Up to 177 JPEGs, 89 compressed Raw or 40 uncompressed Raw frames. 

  • Sony A7R III: 10fps with AF/AE tracking (or 8fps in live view mode). Up to 76 compressed RAW or JPEG, or 28 uncompressed RAW frames.

  • Sony A7S III: 10 fps, 6.0fps with AF-C, 10 fps, 20 fps (e-shutter) 12 fps (mech)

Price

Of course we can’t conclude without mentioning the price, which is one of the main differences between the three cameras.

  • The A7 III is now two years old and can be found for $1800, £1750 or €2000 for the body only..

  • The A7R III starting from $2000 / €2036 / £1780 for the body only.

  • The A7S III is more expensive, starting from $3500 / €4200 / £3,800 for the body only.

Sony A7 III vs. Sony A7R III vs. Sony A7S III Full Comparison Chart

General

Sony Alpha A7 III

Sony Alpha A7R IIISony Alpha A7S III
BrandSonySonySony
Announced2018-02-272017-10-252020-07-21
Body TypeSLR-style mirrorlessSLR-style mirrorlessSLR-style mirrorless
Sensor


TypeBSI-CMOSBSI-CMOSBSI-CMOS
SizeFull frameFull frameFull frame
Dimensions35.8 x 23.8 mm35.9 x 24 mm35.6 x 23.8 mm
Area852.04mm2861.60mm2847.28mm2
Megapixels24 megapixels42 megapixels12 megapixels
Max Resolution6000 x 40007952 x 53044240 x 2832
Max Native Light sensitivity51,200 ISO32,000 ISO102,400 ISO
Max Boosted Light Sensitivity204800 ISO102400 ISO409600 ISO
Min Native Light sensitivity100 ISO100 ISO80 ISO
Min Boosted Light Sensitivity50 ISO50 ISO50 ISO
RAW Support


Autofocus


AF Touch
AF Continuous
AF Single
AF Tracking
AF Selective
AF Center
AF Multi Area
AF Live View
AF Face Detection
AF Contrast Detection
AF Phase Detection
Number of Focus Points693425759
Lens


Manual Focus


Lens MountSony ESony ESony E
Number of Available Lenses185185185
Screen


TypeTiltingTiltingFully articulated
Size3.00"3.00"3.00"
Resolution922k dots1,440k dots1,229k dots
Touch Screen
Viewfinder


ViewfinderElectronicElectronicElectronic
Viewfinder Resolution2,360k dots3,686k dots9,440k dots
Viewfinder Coverage100%100%100%
Viewfinder Magnification0.78x0.78x0.91x
Photography Features


Max Mechanical Shutter1/8000s1/8000s1/8000s
Shutter Priority
Aperture Priority
Manual Exposure Mode
Custom White Balance
Built-in Image StabilizationSensor-shiftSensor-shiftSensor-shift
Built-in Flash×
××
External Flash


Continuous Shooting10.0 fps10.0 fps10.0 fps
Multi-Segment Metering
Average Metering
Spot Metering
Partial Metering×××
AF-Area Metering×××
Center Weighted Metering
AE Bracketing
WB Bracketing
Video Features


Max Video Resolution3840 x 21603840 x 2160
Video FormatsMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Microphone Port
Headphone Port
Connectivity


Wireless ConnectivityBuilt-InBuilt-In
HDMI
Physical


Environmental Sealing
Weight650g657g
Dimensions127 x 96 x 74mm127 x 96 x 74mm
Battery Life610 shots650 shots
Other Features


Timelapse Recording
GPSNoneNoneNone
DxO Sensor Scores


DxO Overall Score9610085
DxO Color Depth25.026.024.2
DxO Dynamic Range14.714.713.4
DxO Low Light ISO373035233900

Conclusion:Which One to Buy?

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A7 III ,A7R III and A7S III III? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the three contestants.

Reasons to Choose Sony A7 III:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (42.2 vs 12MP) with a 87% higher linear resolution.

  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall assessment.

  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.3 bits more color depth).

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.

  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).

  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.

  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.

  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in October 2017).

Reasons to Choose A7R III:

  • Enhanced Eye AF

  • Pixel Shift Multi Shooting

  • New Low-Vibration Shutter

  • 4K HDR with Hybrid-Log-gamma S-Log3

  • More Choices to Assign as Custom Functions

  • A7R III uses the NP-FZ100 Lithium-Ion Battery from Sony a9

  • 15 Stop Dynamic Range & 5.5 Step 5-Axis Stabilization

  • USB 3.1 Type-C Connection for Tethering

  • New Image Processor and LSI for Better Image Quality

  • 10 FPS Continuous Shooting with Either Mechanical or Electronic Shutter

Reasons to Choose Sony A7S III:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (9440k vs 3686k dots).

  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 3.1).

  • More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.91x vs 0.78x).

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (BIONZ XR vs BIONZ X).

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/120p versus 4K/30p).

  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.

  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.

  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the A7R III launch.

Related Read:

Sony A7C vs. A7 III vs. A7 IV: Ultimate Comparison & Verdict 2024

Sony A7 IV vs. Canon EOS R6 vs. Nikon Z6 II: Pros & Cons and Final Verdict

Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony vs. Fujifilm: Which Brand Wins the Camera Showdown?

Sony A6000 vs. Canon M50 vs. Nikon D3500: Which Option is the Best?

Sony A6000 vs. A6100 vs. A6400 vs. A6600: Ultimate Comparison & Verdict 

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