I started my career shooting on different pro DSLR cameras from different brands, and they had a successful run as my trusted photography tools.
This lasted until a few years ago I got my first Sony mirrorless camera – the Sony A9.
This camera just blew my mind, and after using this smaller, faster, and just more fun to shoot camera, it was impossible to come back to any kind of traditional, heavy DSLRs that felt like old school technology.
The electronic viewfinder allowed me to preview my final image, see the effect of changing settings in real time, check focus, and playback images as well as use menus in direct sunlight without glare.
Along with no annoying clicking mirrors, and a more compact form factor, mirrorless cameras now had the clear edge. I shoot lots of weddings and always bring two cameras along just to be safe.
I needed a second mirrorless body to complement my A9, so got a Sony a6500 – a smaller size, cheaper camera that were supposed to do the job, but for me there were few downsides that left me wanting to keep looking – the absence of dual SD card slots to instantly backup my footage, and a smaller form factor which just didn’t work comfortably over extended periods of use in my big hands. Then Sony released the A7iii model and everything changed…
This new camera has everything that a pro shooter may dream of, except one feature that only a9 has for a few thousand bucks extra, no-blackout shooting. Before we get to that, here are some key specs and features of the Sony A7iii:
* 24 MP full-frame sensor. This resolution is more than enough for most kinds of jobs – portraits, weddings, commercial and product
* 693 phase detection AF Points with 93% coverage. Exactly the same autofocus that its big brother the A9 has. For shooting stills it’s just the best focus system I’ve ever seen.
* Continuous eye autofocus. With the press of a button, the camera focuses on the eye of your subject, which allows you to shoot with a wide open aperture without the stress of losing focus because of the lack of depth of field
* 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization
* 10 fps continuous shooting which is completely sufficient for most applications. In my experiences with weddings and portraits, I haven’t found it necessary to shoot with a mode faster than this, although it might be useful for photographers specializing in sport and wildlife photography.
* 8 bit 4K video with 30 fps maximum frame rate and Full HD up to 120 FPS. Various Sony picture profiles including SLOG3 with sgamut3.cine colour, and Cine4 that I use for my videos
* Best mirrorless camera battery on the market – NP-FZ100, which you can count on for around 1000 photos
* Dual SD Card Slots which are a must for any kind of commercial job if you want to be able to guarantee a client that the footage is safe. This feature allows you to save your photos and videos to two cards at the same time
* Silent mode – since this camera is mirrorless, it doesn’t have to produce any physical noise to function. Any practical sounds such as during scrolling, or confirmation sounds for the shutter and recording start/stop, are electronic. Therefore, it is possible to turn off all of the camera’s electronic sounds and make the shooting process completely silent. This really helps when you shoot in conditions where you cannot make sounds or distract your subject, such as during a wedding ceremony, or photographing a sleeping baby with his mother.
* Clearer screen than the previous generation of Sony mirrorless cameras
As you can see, all these features of the A7iii give you an edge when it comes to the shoot – you don’t need to worry about a lack of resolution, you are safe with two cards, you have the best autofocus system on the market, and you have enough battery life to take a more than safe amount of photos before you need to charge or replace a battery.
Also there is an option to make this camera completely silent. All this, combined with a price below $2000, makes this camera a real beast.
However there are some things that I don’t like about this camera after using A9:
* there is a blackout when you take a photo – your screen goes black as you press the shutter button and then comes back to life. For people coming straight from DSLRs it should be fine, as all DSLRs have this drawback because of the mechanical mirror that flips while the light gets to the sensor. It’s big brother A9 doesn’t have this blackout, and while taking photos you still can see everything that is happening in real time, so the shooting process feels almost like shooting a video and pressing the shutter button when you see a good frames. The price difference of around $2500 (you can buy two of A7iii for the price of the A9) forces me to say – ok, whatever, still an amazing camera:)
* Rolling shutter problems when shooting in the silent mode.