The Sony α7 III is a full-frame mirrorless camera first released in 2018. It's the third iteration of the "base" full-frame model in Sony's popular Alpha 7 lineup, alongside the compact Sony α7C, the high-resolution Sony α7R, and the low-light-sensitive Sony α7S, offering a well-balanced feature set for a range of different kinds of photography. Though it's no longer top of its class, its excellent sensor, highly effective autofocus, shooting speed, and in-body image stabilization make it a great choice for those looking to get into full-frame photography.
The Sony Alpha 7 III is good for travel photography. While it isn't the most compact option, it's still relatively portable for a full-frame camera. Images look sharp and detailed, and it performs well even in low-light conditions. It's also fitted with a fairly quick and accurate autofocus system that's great for busier scenes or faster subjects. Plus, it has excellent battery life for a mirrorless model. That said, it isn't weather-sealed, and its menu system can be a pain to navigate.
The Sony α7 III is excellent for landscape photography. Images are detailed, color-accurate, and low in noise when shooting in low light. It also has fantastic dynamic range, so it preserves a wide range of shadow and highlight detail in high-contrast scenes. The camera itself feels quite sturdy, too, though it isn't weather-sealed. It isn't the most portable to take to remote shooting locations or on long hikes.
The Sony a7III is great for sports and wildlife photography. Image quality is fantastic, and it has a great autofocus system with a decent AF tracking feature to continuously keep moving subjects in focus. Its max continuous shooting speed is fairly quick, too, allowing you to capture quick bursts of moving subjects. That said, its photo buffer isn't the deepest, and it takes a little while to clear when you fill it up, which can interrupt your shooting.
The Sony a7 III is okay for vlogging, though it isn't meant for it. On the upside, video quality is excellent, and it has an amazing face-tracking feature to ensure you or your subject stays in focus. That said, its screen only tilts and doesn't fully articulate, so you can't see yourself when the camera is pointed at you. Its image stabilization performance is also somewhat lacking.
The Sony a7III is an excellent option for studio video. It has a wide array of inputs and outputs for videography accessories, records very high-quality footage in both 4k and FHD, and delivers excellent autofocus performance. Battery life is also fantastic, with no overheating issues and USB charging while in use. You also get Log profiles to capture a wider range of detail. That said, it's limited to 8-bit 4:2:0 internal recording, meaning you can't take full advantage of Log recording. Its menu system is also poorly organized and hard to navigate.
The Sony Alpha 7 III isn't designed for action video. It's too big to mount onto a helmet rig, and it isn't water-resistant. 4k frame rate options are also limited, though it does support 1080p recording at 120 fps, allowing you to create slow-motion videos.
The Sony Alpha 7 III only has one color variant: 'Black'. You can see our unit's label here.
You can buy the Sony a7III with the Sony FE 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS kits lens, but depending on the retailer, you can also buy it in a bundle with other E-mount lenses, like the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens, or without a lens at all.
If you come across a different variant, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Sony a7III is an excellent full-frame camera that offers a ton of value for its price now that it's been superseded by the Sony α7 IV. With plenty of native and third-party lens options, an amazing-for-its-time autofocus system, and a sensor that still holds up remarkably well when it comes to image quality, the a7III has a lot to offer for those looking for a full-frame mirrorless camera. Just don't expect the latest and greatest video features or quality-of-life features like a more intuitive menu system and more robust weather-sealing.
For more options, check out our picks for the best full-frame mirrorless cameras, the best cameras for landscape photography, and the best cameras.
The Sony α7C is essentially a more compact version of the Sony α7 III. Being newer, it offers a few improvements, including an upgraded autofocus system with a better AF tracking algorithm, plus a longer battery life and unlimited video recording time. That said, the α7 III has better ergonomics, with more custom buttons and dials, along with a significantly larger viewfinder and dual SD card slots. The α7 III also has a tilting screen, while the α7C has a fully articulated screen, one of which may suit you better than the other depending on your needs and personal preference.
The Sony α7 IV replaces the Sony α7 III. It has a new, higher-resolution 33-megapixel sensor and improved autofocus system. Physically, the α7 IV is a little bigger and includes two UHS-II SD card slots, one of which has an integrated CFexpress Type A slot and has a fully articulated touchscreen and improved menu system. The α7 III, on the other hand, has two SD card slots, but only one of them is rated for UHS-II cards and has a tilting screen and more confusing menu. While both are fantastic cameras for photography, the α7 IV supports 10-bit 4:2:2 video recording internally and can capture video at exceptionally high bit rates, making it the better option for videographers. If you're mainly interested in photography, the α7 III still offers a lot of value.
The Sony α7 III is a bit better overall than the Sony α6600, mostly because it uses a full-frame sensor while the α6600 has an APS-C sensor. As a result, the α7 III delivers better image quality and performs better at higher ISO levels in low light. Both are mirrorless cameras with highly effective autofocus systems, but the α7 III has a slightly larger EVF. It also has two SD card slots, but unlike the α6600, it isn't weather-sealed. The α6600 is also a bit lighter and more portable.
The Panasonic LUMIX GH5s and the Sony α7 III have different strengths and weaknesses. The Panasonic is a better option for videography and filmmaking since it can record 10-bit video internally, offers more 4k frame rate options, and higher bit rates. While the Sony is no slouch in the video department, it's aimed more at photographers. Its full-frame sensor gives you a wider dynamic range and better low-light performance. It also has a much more reliable autofocus system.
The Sony α7 III and the Nikon D780 are both enthusiast-oriented full-frame cameras, but they're different camera types. The Sony is a mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder that lets you see changes to exposure directly through the finder, while the Nikon is a DSLR with an optical viewfinder that gives you a lag-free, unfiltered view through the lens. The Sony is lighter and more portable and has a more reliable overall autofocus system. However, the Nikon has a longer battery life and more intuitive menu system and controls.
The Sony α7 III is decently portable for a full-frame mirrorless camera. It isn't as compact as the Sony α7C, but it's still a lot more portable than DSLRs like the Nikon D780.
Build quality is great. The camera's made of magnesium alloy and plastic, but it feels pretty sturdy and well-made. That said, it's clear that the Sony α7 IV is a bit of a step up in build quality. Unlike its predecessor, the Sony α7 III doesn't have any weather-sealing and generally feels a bit more "plasticky".
The Sony a7 III feels quite comfortable in the hand, though its boxy design can feel cramped for those with very large hands. The controls are generally well-spaced, and it's fairly easy to change settings on the fly, even with your eye to the viewfinder.
The Sony a7 III has a tilting screen, which is great for waist-level shooting but doesn't give you as much flexibility as a vari-angle screen for video work. Unfortunately, touch capability is limited to selecting focus points when touch AF is enabled. You can't use it to navigate the menu, which can be annoying if you want to quickly change settings.
The Sony a7 III has a mediocre menu system. Unlike the newer Sony α7 IV, it uses Sony's older user interface, which is less intuitively organized and no touch capability that makes it harder to navigate. Thankfully, there are plenty of customization options, so you can more easily access commonly used settings with the custom menu or quick menu, but it still takes some getting used to.
Battery life is fantastic. It's among the best mirrorless cameras we've tested for battery life. While the 610-shot CIPA rating should be taken with a grain of salt for real-world usage, it gives a good idea of how the camera compares to its peers, which is a lot longer than most mirrorless models. It still falls far short of DSLR battery life, but you'll get a lot of juice out of this camera, depending on how you use it.
Video battery life is also superb. On a full charge, you can expect over two hours of continuous 4k recording with little to no overheating interruptions.
The Sony a7 III can shoot at a respectable 10 fps max burst rate, which is sufficient for sequential burst photos of most fast-moving subjects. However, its buffer depth is somewhat limited, especially compared to newer cameras with more processing power, including the Sony α7 IV. It also takes a fair amount of time to clear the photo buffer once full, which can slow you down or cause you to miss a critical moment.
The Sony a7 III has a solid tracking feature, especially for its time. It supports face and eye detection with Sony's 'Real Time Eye AF', which seamlessly integrates face and eye tracking and makes it very easy to pull off "set it and forget it" autofocusing. It isn't quite as sophisticated as newer Sony models, so it'll still miss focus sometimes, especially with faster or more erratic subjects. But all in all, it's decently reliable.
When using a lens with a good focusing motor, the Sony a7 III can autofocus just about as quickly as you need. Focusing is accurate and smooth with little to no hunting. That's great news if you have more control over where your subject and focus point will be.
While the Sony a7 III has built-in sensor-shift stabilization, it isn't the most effective. On Sony cameras, 'SteadyShot' works in tandem with 'OSS' or 'Optical SteadyShot' on Sony lenses. With a Sony optically stabilized lens, you can get clear shots at fairly slow shutter speeds shooting handheld, but of course, stabilization depends on your lens, focal length, and even how steady your hands are, so your mileage will vary.
Dynamic range is superb. It's a full-frame sensor, so it can capture a wide range of shadow and highlight detail. Even with less available light, it does a good job of capturing detail without losing too much in the shadows or blowing out highlights.
The Sony a7 III handles noise incredibly well. It's a great camera for low-light shooting, with minimal noise when shooting with less available light at higher ISO settings.
The Sony a7 III supports S-Log2 and S-Log3, which capture a "flatter" image to record a wider range of detail. However, the camera is limited to 8-bit recording, meaning you'll have a harder time getting the most out of these profiles when color-grading, especially S-Log3.
Frame rates are a bit limited in 4k, with no high frame rate options for slow-motion and a slight crop imposed at 30 fps. If you want a camera that can shoot 4k video at 60 fps without a crop, consider the Canon EOS R6 Mark II.
Internal video recording specs are good overall but pale compared to newer models like the Sony α7 IV and video-oriented hybrids like the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II.
The autofocus is excellent when recording 4k video. While Eye AF is only available in photo mode, the camera still has face detection and tracking in video, and it's very reliable with moving subjects, rarely losing its target even as they move around. The general subject tracking, where you manually select a target, is also very reliable.
Rolling shutter performance is okay. There's some noticeable distortion when panning the camera quickly, but it isn't quite as bad as some of the crop-sensor Sonys, like the Sony α6400.
As with 4k, FHD internal recording is good but nothing that'll blow you away if you're serious about video. It has a 30-minute cap on recording and is limited to 8-bit 4:2:0 color, giving you less leeway for editing and color-grading.
Autofocus performance is just as amazing in 1080p as it is in 4k. The camera has little trouble keeping fast-moving subjects in focus.
Rolling shutter is a lot less noticeable in 1080p. There's still a bit of slanting with faster pans and camera movements, but it isn't too distracting.
The inputs are all located on the left side of the camera. They're covered by flaps that feel somewhat flimsy, especially compared to the sturdier, weather-sealed covers on the Sony α7C.