Anthony thurston reviews




Anyone who has been following me for any length of time now will know that I am and have been for some time, a big fan of Fujifilm and their mirrorless system. However, as part of my job in the photo press this past week at WPPI 2018 in Las Vegas, I was lucky enough to be involved with Sony and their announcement of the A7 III – their latest entry level full frame mirrorless camera.

You may not know this, but I have gone back and forth between Sony and Fuji in the past, originally with the X-T1, then to the A7 II, then to the A7R II, and then to my current camera, the X-Pro2. So, I have pretty good experience with both systems. 
Sony A7 III Product Image
The Sony A7 III Sets A New Mark For Entry Level Full Frame Cameras.
The A7 III is a really interesting camera, for several reasons, namely the fact that so much power has been crammed into such an inexpensive (by full frame standards) entry-level body. Put the A7 III up next to the 6D Mark II or the D610 and it is no competition, the A7 III demolishes them. The A7 III could even reasonably be put up next to the likes of the D750 or 5D Mark IV in many ways and still be very competitive.

Sony’s A7 III takes a lot, and I mean a lot, of what the company introduced in their A9 camera, and to a lesser extent the A7R III, and packaged it into a more affordable body that is much more attainable for the masses. This is my Sony A7 III review, from my perspective as a Fujifilm shooter after spending several days with the camera in a variety of shooting situations. 

*The thoughts and opinions shared in this review are my own and were not paid for, Sponsored by, nor influenced by Sony*



  • 24MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • 693-Point Hybrid AF System
  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 2.36m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 922k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • ISO 204800 and 10 fps Shooting
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC, Dual SD Slots
  • USB Type-C Port, Weather-Sealed Design


The A7 III, to a large extent, retains that same overall look and design that the A7 series bodies have had since the introduction of the A7 II. It is a uniquely Sony look, one that you will either like or hate. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the overall look and design of the Sony A7 series cameras, that was honestly a big reason why I ended up going back to Fujifilm when the X-Pro2 came out. But that said, I’ve come to not dislike the look as much as I used to. It is functional and does the job; it's just not very attractive in doing so, which is important to me, but may not matter at all to you.

Personal taste aside, the A7 III features five items on the top plate. You have the single mode selector dial that we have seen on all the A7 series bodies before. In addition to that, you have the exposure compensation dial, two custom buttons (C1 and C2), and the shutter/power button. It’s a minimal setup compared to some bodies out there, but design and layout are functional and was easy to pick up and use despite it has been almost two years since I had used an A7 series body for any extended length of time. 
Sony A7 III Product Shot
The A7 III’s grip feels good in the hand, remaining one the better feeling mirrorless cameras to hold one-handed. The control wheel on the front works well and was in a good spot, so interacting with it was not a strain on my index finger. The control wheel on the rear of the body feels good as well, being positioned in a good spot so that it is easily interacted with by your thumb without much strain.

The rear of the A7 III is one place where the A7 III did get some good upgrades over the previous A7 II in terms of design and layout. Right off the bat, you will notice the addition of the AF joystick, which makes moving the AF point around so much easier. Though, I will say that I was not as big of a fan of this joystick as I was of the joystick on the Fujifilm X-H1 or even on my X-Pro2. The shape and design that Sony chose made it tougher to easily move around, at least compared to what I am used to on my X-Pro2 and that bothered me a little while I was using the A7 III – at least until I got used to the different characteristics of that joystick. 
Sony A7 III Product Shot
Overall, In terms of design, the A7 III is more or less much of the same that we have seen from Sony for a while now. This will either be something you like to see or something that you don’t. From the perspective of consistency, it's nice to see Sony stick with it for the sake of their existing users. Though from someone who would prefer a little more style in the camera, I am simultaneously disappointed by the consistency here. But to each their own. 


So how about the function of the A7 III, how was it to actually use this new camera? In a word, easy. The A7 III was an incredibly easy camera to pick up and use. That said, once you decide that you want to customize one of the custom buttons or change a setting that is not already assigned to a physical button, get ready to want to pluck your eyes out. It is amazing to me that a company with a rich and diverse history with consumer electronics as Sony can continue to have such a god-awful menu system in their cameras.

Seriously, there has to be a better way Sony, screw consistency in regards to the menu, I have yet to meet one person that doesn’t agree that your menus are a mess – do something about it.

Setting the menus aside though, the A7 III was in almost every other way a joy to use. All of the buttons felt nice and functioned appropriately. The control wheels were located in good spots and were easy to manipulate as I intended. The flip screen was a little more cumbersome to flip out that I thought it would be, but once it was pulled out it was easy enough to manipulate. 
Sony A7 III Review
One big addition to the A7 III is in terms of the battery; with that addition of the Z battery that was introduced with the A9 and more recently in the A7R III, the A7 III has the battery life needed to go through a full day of shooting without having to worry about going through 2 or 3 batteries like you may have to worry about on other mirrorless systems. This was incredibly apparent with the A7 III as I was able to go two days without needing to charge the battery at all, and I only ended up charging it up for the third day because I knew it was going to be a full day and I wanted to make sure that I would have the full battery to get through it.

This is one area that I wish Fujifilm would have tried something new with the X-H1, I can get through an entire shoot with my X-Pro2, but I wouldn’t be able to get through a whole day of constant use like I was able to with the A7 III

The AF system on the A7 III absolutely demolishes the AF system that was in the A7 II, it's roughly twice as fast and is much more accurate in my experience. In low light, it can still have some issues, but in most situations, with even passing light the A7 III will be able to quickly and accurately acquire focus on your subject. This is a huge relief and is one of the big ways that the A7 III is now a true competitor, and in many ways leader, of the entry level full frame market.

Overall, the A7 III was an excellent performer in all of the ways that I was interested in testing it. It was a nice surprise to see the camera more or less live up to the bill as presented by the marketing people – its rare for that to happen so completely. 

SONY A7 III //  THE Image Quality

In terms of Image Quality, I can’t give you a full review on that just yet because I have been unable to process the RAW files to this point. However, based on the performance of the camera and the output of the in-camera JPEGS that I have to share with you, I am really happy with the A7 III. The images are sharp, offer good contrast, better than I usually expect from a Sony colors, and the file size was not insane.

Like I said, I really can’t comment fully at this point on the image quality and such since I have not been able to play with the RAW files just yet. But once I do stay tuned because I will be able to update this section with my thoughts on the image quality. In the meantime, make sure to check out the sample gallery below for a look at the sooc jpegs.
Sony A7 III Product Shot


** The Images in this sample gallery have not been processed other than to resize them for web use via Capture One. There are 'good images' in there and 'bad images' in here. These are meant to show you what you may get out of the camera in various situations (high iso, action, backlit, etc). **


** Now in order to get a feel for this camera in my usual setting I set up a shoot with the A7 III. Tiffany and I had a blast seeing what this camera could do and I can't wait to play with the RAW files so I can really play with these more. Should go without saying but these are NSFW **

Thoughts & Conclusions


When Sony announced the A7 III they made it a point to say that they were redefining what it meant to be a basic full frame camera in today's market. In many ways, the company did just that; I mean really, for just shy of $2,000 you are able to get 85-90% of the A9 in terms of performance and features for a third of the cost. Entry level full frame cameras have long been gimped by other manufacturers in order to protect the sales of their more expensive and full-featured models.

What Sony has done with the A7 III has flipped that script, and brought top-tier performance (in many ways) down to the base level, leaving only the more extreme performance needs in the realm of the higher end cameras, and that, honestly, is an incredibly smart move. Are they likely to sell less A7R III and A9 cameras now? Sure, but on the flip side they are likely to sell way more A7 III models now, and I am willing to bet the number of people who will by an A7 III is way more than the number of people who would have saved or gone into debt to get an A7R III or an A9. 
"What Sony has done with the A7 III has flipped that script, and brought top-tier performance (in many ways) down to the base level..."
The A7 III could be the last Sony full frame camera announced before some serious competition hits the full frame mirrorless market later this year. If that happens for sure or not is still up in the air, but it is expected that at least one other brand could announce a serious full frame mirrorless entry by the end of the year – possibly several. If that is the case, this is a genius move by Sony, launching an entry-level model that offers performance that bests most entry level full frame cameras and handily beats out many mirrorless rivals in a variety of categories.

In doing so, the company may get people to jump into the A7 system before these other systems are launched, thus giving them the advantage and preventing one of these other first-generation systems from being too much of a bump in their path. 
Sony A7 III Product Shot
So I have been asked now several times since people saw me playing with the A7 III on social media about if I was going to be switching back over to Sony. The easy answer here is no, I can still easily create what I want to create with my X-Pro 2 and so I see no reason to switch systems. In fact, if anything, I would probably be more likely to pick up an X-H1 before I picked up an A7 III. I just enjoy the look and the way that interact with my Fujifilm cameras more than any Sony camera that I have used, including the A7 III. Is that a dumb reason, maybe, but since I can still create what I want to create with the Fuji cameras I feel like allowing the look/feel of the cameras to come into play is acceptable.

Does that mean that I don’t like the A7 III? Not at all, I do like it. It was a fine camera to use and if given the choice I would gladly use one again. I just wouldn’t choose one over my Fuji, in most cases. If I was going to invest in a second system, it would be Sony, and my pick of the camera would almost certainly be the A7 III. It is for sure the best current generation entry level full frame camera on the market – of that fact, there is no doubt in my mind. 
Sony A7 III Product Image
So if you are curious about buying one, and if I would buy one; the answer is yes. I would totally buy an A7 III, and I would love using it. (that said, the A7 II is still a good camera too, and it's under $1100 right now too, a freaking steal) So take it from this Fujifilm shooter; the A7 III is legit and offers some of the best performance per dollar on the market right now. If full frame is what you are after and you are on a budget, the the Sony A7 III should be at the top of your list for consideration – no doubt. 

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