Sony A7 Mark 3
Possibly the best camera of 2018?
I’d certainly say so. My reason? Extremely crisp 4K 30fps, buttery smooth 1080p 120fps, the quality low light, the amazing S-Log and that’s just the start.
I took a 13 day holiday to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, with my family. Knowing that there was a Sony shop in the Dubai Mall I wanted to go and have a look at the pretty new Sony A7 Mark 3, which little did I know would be my next camera. I’d heard all these amazing reviews about it and how good the price was for the camera, which I could definitely not disagree with as the body alone costs only £1999/$1999 – this is cheaper than the A7s Mark 2 (another dream camera of mine)
While over there I found a killer deal, the body AND a lens were only 9000 AED which roughly is £1,925 which means technically that is cheaper than the body alone over here in the UK. I had to get it – so I did.
This is something I definitely do not regret. It has to be one of my favourite purchases, period.
Now to go into depth with the camera, here are the key features of it:
- 24MP full frame BSI CMOS sensor
- 93% autofocus coverage (693 phase detection points, 425 for contrast detection)
- Oversampled 4K/24p video taken from full-width 6K (cropped-in 5K for 30p)
- In-body image stabilization
- 10 fps continuous shooting
- 2.36m dot OLED viewfinder, 0.78x magnification
- AF joystick
- Larger, ‘Z-type’ battery (CIPA rated to 710 shots)
- Dual SD memory card slots
- USB 3.1 Type C
So as you can see just by the 11 key facts mentioned, its an absolute beast of a camera. Being a photographer & videographer the fact it did stunning pics along with gorgeous video, it has me sold instantly.
I’ve now had this camera for just over 1 month and I’m seriously impressed. My hands-down favourite feature has to be the S-Log with the 120fps being a close contender.
If you don’t know what “S-Log” is, it is an extremely flat color profile on Sony cameras that would compare to Panasonic’s “V-Log” or the “Cinestyle” add-on for some Canon cameras. Since its colors are so flat, it extended the HDR along with how good you can get your grade to look. The inbuilt Sony color profiles that I’ve been personally using is a mix of S-Log 3, S-Log 2 & Cine-4. The main reason why I’ve been using these is that they’re some of the most highly recommended online so I’ve been experimenting with them. Below you can see an interactive example on the before and after of shooting in S-Log 3 then color grading it.
The incredible 120fps slow motion that the A7 Mark 3 can record is STUNNING. Not only does it let you shoot in 120fps straight, but it also has an S&Q mode which converts the slow motion into either 60fps,30fps or 24fps so that in editing you don’t have to do any slowing down yourself. What’s good about that is that it will not use as much space on your SD Cards.
Talking about SD Cards, we can not forget the dual sd card feature. Something that is amazing for me as a photographer & videographer as I can assign each SD Card to house a certain format, for example; Slot 1 is all my video while Slot 2 is all my photographs. This is also good for client work as I can give them any raw images if they want to have them straight away by giving them the sd card and them buying me the same one, brand new.
Now the 4K video. Actually, its 6K downscaled to 4K which is insane as I would kind of like to see it record in 6K as then it would without a doubt compare to a small cinema camera. The 2 things I don’t love about the 4k video is that it only goes up to 30fps while the Canon 1DX Mark 2 can shoot 4K 60fps. Along with that it also crops in the video when recording in 4K whereas the Sony A7s Mark 2 does not, but then again the A7s Mark 2 DOES crop while shooting 120fps whereas the A7 Mark 3 does not.
The 3.1 USB C has been a god sent to me, why? Because I’m an Apple MacBook Pro 2018 user so I only have USB C ports so being able to use the same lead that I use for charging to transfer files from my Sony or remote control it from my MacBook is soooooooooo handy for me.
The cons though of this camera are the following;
- Cropped 4K recording
- No flip out screen
- Only one card slot supports the faster UHS-II format
- No external battery charger (USB internal charging only)
- Touchscreen only for focus?!
I’ve basically covered the main features and stuff but if you are looking to jump into the Full Frame camera world then this is a brilliant place to start. Overall I would give this camera a solid 9/10
We will soon be getting a video review on this uploaded!