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Sony Announces Sony Alpha A7R III

See my Sony wish list and get Sony A7R III at B&H Photo.

See my growing review of the Nikon D850 in Advanced DSLR.

I am up in the Eastern Sierra, shooting the Nikon D850 and the Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 as key objectives.

Being up here is like living in a cave as far as news is concerned; I drive down once a day (though sometimes I skip a day), so I don’t have a lot of time to blog for hours on new cameras.

Nevertheless, I’ll mention a few point that interest me about the new Sony A7R III:

  • I am disappointed to have to spend $3198 to get a new camera with the same resolution sensor and only one new feature that seriously interests me (pixel shift). And that feature has limited applicability. With the Nikon D850, I got a rock solid camera with a 25% pixel count increase and a number of new and refined features.
  • Continuous shooting at 10 fps has zero value to me, though I suppose it does for some shooters. But the new speed might dovetail with processing power needed for high-speed pixel shift.
  • If Eye AF is improved, that is a good thing, because it already rocks in the A7R II. It is a must have feature for people photography—ruling out a DSLR for that work IMO (much lower hit rate on eye focus on a DSLR at wide apertures).
  • Sony A7R III
  • If this means what it says (the longstanding stupidity of not being able to focus in magnified Live View), then it’s a nice bump up: “Autofocus can also be used in conjunction with the Focus Magnifier function for critical focus when homing in on minute subject details”. Now if only there were some intelligent support for manual focusing (focus peaking is worthless for critical work).
  • “updated Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF is featured, and has a 3.69m-dot resolution” is a nice upgrade I will enjoy. The Sony A7R II EVF is lousy compared to a Fujifilm GFX EVF.
  • Who can fault improved battery life and compatible batteries?
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port is just the thing for high speed transfer versus an SD card reader.
  • A Ratings function lets you assign star values, from 1-5, to images in-camera for faster editing and sorting at home during post-production.”. I would PAY to REMOVE this. Can’t say how many times I’ve been annoyed with rating button on some cameras, by accidentally pressing.
RGGB Bayer matrix in typical digital sensor

Pixel shift multi shooting

See Sony Alpha A7R III: Pixel Shift Facts.

Why doesn’t the A7R II already do this? Why do we have to buy a new camera body for a feature that should have gone into a firmware upgrade 2 years ago?

The BIG feature from my perspective is pixel shift:

Pixel Shift Multi Shooting This unique compositing mode allows you to achieve even greater resolution than the 42.4MP sensor affords. Working in conjunction with the sensor-shift image stabilization, this mode shifts the sensor while making four consecutive exposures in order to acquire approximately 169.6MP of information for greater color accuracy and detail than possible with a single exposure. These files can then be merged together during post-production by using the Sony Imaging software suite.

Is this Pentax K-31 SuperRes pixel shift mode which is awesome (when it can be applied). Or is the crummier Olympus approach? It seems like the Pentax approach given only 4 exposures.

What has me VERY worried is that the wording implies that image stabilization is also done whereas image stabilization should be DISABLED while doing pixel shift. Sharpness is destroyed on a tripod with Sony IBIS. Maybe it is just marketing blather not having any technical understanding.

Whether Adobe Camera Raw will support this capability will determine (for me at least) whether it has any practical value. Adobe support for the K-1 had bugs to start out and never did provide motion support.

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