The Sony a7 iii is known as one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market these days. With an outstanding image and video quality. The design, weight and speed are useful to almost every photographer. For a Canon user like me, I needed some time to adjust and learn about all the functions within this camera. The design, button placement and above all, menu structure are completely different from what I was used to on the Canon. In this Sony a7 iii review I’ll dive into my personal experience before and after buying. Trying to learn and adapt and most of all figure out if this camera suits me.
Why I switched from Canon to Sony
Let’s quickly talk about my previous camera before starting on the Sony a7 iii. The first DSLR camera I ever bought was the Canon 750D. I had been working with this camera for a few years already, but have been putting of buying one for myself for many years. Looking back at this, I wish I had bought it much sooner. Mainly to get more use and fun out of it. By the time I bought the Canon, I was already getting closer towards the more professional side of photography. It then didn’t take many years to decide I needed to upgrade.
And that was when the Sony came around. This full frame camera had all I was looking for and more. It kept popping up everywhere I went and stayed in my mind for over a year. I like to overthink my decisions before investing in them. But I also didn’t want to wait too long.
Now I made the big change from Canon to Sony. This full frame Sony camera is mirrorless, which makes the body more compact. It creates sharper images and is fully digitized. The Canon 750d is for the beginner/amateur, while the Sony a7 iii is made for the professional photographer or videographer.
Unboxing the Sony
While I was finally unboxing the Sony, I still didn’t felt confident that I made the right decision. It is a big investment and what if I would be disappointed? If you’re like me, I can advise you to do lots of research before buying a new camera. Be a 100% sure that you really want to invest your money into this and that it’s not an impulsive action. Can you afford it? Do you really love it? And most importantly, will you still love it over a year?
The moment I took the Sony out of the box, I realized that I had never held a Sony camera before. This shocked me a bit, because I had been considering buying this camera for so long. I read all the reviews and watched lots of videos. But never worked with it yet, like I had with the Canon. I felt hopeless. While I was holding the camera in my hands, none of the buttons and menu options made sense to me. I basically wanted to send it back immediately. I must say, despite feeling so overwhelmed, it had already been a long day and probably wasn’t the best timing to start figuring out a new camera. So I packed it back up and decided to look at it into it over the weekend.
I recommend taking your time with figuring out a new camera. There is a lot of new information to process. The manual can help with understanding the buttons and icons displaying on the screen. With a fresh mindset I was able to understand the camera within an hour and immediately noticed the amazing image quality. It was a big improvement compared to what I was used to with the Canon.
Understanding the buttons and menu
The Sony a7 iii is advanced with regards to the buttons and menu. You can customize certain buttons while others come with multiple options.
The menu of the camera is a whole different story though. The menu is very big and not easy to get a good overview of. It consists out of 6 topics with all multiple pages. One takes up even fourteen pages. It can take some time in the beginning to look for a setting. Especially if you’re not sure where to find it. It does become easier when you start using the menu more and more.
Why the 120 fps doesn’t work
One of the features that makes the Sony a7 iii highly liked by videographers is the option to film in 120 frames per second. This super slow motion effect seems to work really smooth and without losing image quality. However, I experienced some difficulties with setting this up. There just wasn’t an option to select the 120 fps in the menu. After some research, it turns out that the European version of the Sony a7 iii doesn’t standard come with the 120 fps option. This is, because the European camera is set on PAL, while the American version uses NTSC. The 120 fps is only an option for NTSC, not for PAL. Luckily, you can convert your camera to NTSC and get the 120 fps option shown in your menu. I then customized a preset for this, so that I can simply switch to the 120 fps setting with one turn on the wheel. Again, hooray for Youtube tutorials!
Overall likes and dislikes
Now that I have covered the basics, I’d like to sum-up the overall likes and dislikes. First of all, what I like about the Sony a7 iii. The camera is definitely very compact. It’s not too big and heavy, so easy to carry around. It comes with a ton of features and possibilities. Customizing buttons, saving settings and optimizing image quality to your liking. These are just a couple of examples the camera offers. Most importantly, the image quality. The image and video quality are incredible. Beautiful color saturation and sharpness. I would recommend this camera if you are looking for a professional upgrade.
I do have a couple of dislikes as well. Mainly about the user experience. It took me a long time to get comfortable with this camera. Together with Youtube tutorials and the manual, I have found ways to make the 120 fps work, figured out how to access the images on my PC and set up the presets in the menu. Especially, because this camera is so advanced it takes time to learn and discover what all the options do. It would be good to keep doing research online and trying out different settings to get more familiar with the camera.
Tech wise, I’m not a fan of the menu design, it’s not possible to flip the screen 180 degrees. And most of all, they don’t include a battery charger. Because, who needs to charge their batteries, right?
It is however a complicated machine that I still have to learn a lot about. But it is absolutely worth it, since the quality and possibilities are amazing. If you’d like to read more about the specifications of the Sony a7 iii, please click here. Also, check out the photo’s I made with this camera by clicking here.