Considering the significant price gap between them, it's reasonable for anyone interested in Sony's mirrorless camera system to wonder, "Should I get the a7R III or the a7 III?"
With that mind, we're going to take a closer look at these two camera bodies to see which might be the best choice for your needs.
Sony a7R III & Sony a7 III Shared Features
Primary Advantages of the Sony a7R III
- E-mount, compatible with full-frame and APS-C lenses
- BIONZ X image processor
- 5-axis Stabilization
- Contrast Detection AF Points: 425
- AF Working Range: EV-3 – EV 20
- Metering System: 1200-zone evaluative, -3 – EV 20
- Exposure Compensation: +/- 5.0EV in 1/3 EV steps
- Auto Exposure Bracketing: Up to 9 shots
- Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000 sec.
- Viewfinder Size: 1.3 cm (0.5-type) OLED
- LCD Size: 2.95 inch (3.0-type) tilting touchscreen
- Flash x-Sync: 1/250 sec.
- Continuous Shooting Speed: max approx. 10 fps
- Video Recording: Up to 4K 3840 x 2160 30p / FHD 1920 x 1080 120p
- Storage: Dual memory card slots (Memory Stick PRO Duo/PRO HG-Duo/Micro M2, SD/SDHC/SDXC)
- Wireless Features: Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC & Bluetooth
- Physical Connections: HDMI Type-D, USB 3.0 Type-C, USB 2.0 Micro-B, Microphone 3.5mm, Headphone 3.5mm
- Operating Range: 32–104°F / 0–40°C
- Size & Weight: 5.0 x 3.9 x 3.0" (126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7mm), approx. 23 oz (650g)
- Compatible Battery Grip: VG-C3EM
Primary Advantages of the Sony a7 III
- Higher Sensor Resolution: 42.4 MP vs. 24.2 MP
- Higher Viewfinder Resolution: 3,686K dots vs. 2,359K
- Higher LCD Resolution: 1,440K vs. 921K
- PC terminal vs. none
- Includes a battery charger vs. optional accessory
Who should opt for the Sony a7R III?
- More Phase-Detect AF Points: 693 vs. 399
- Larger ISO Range: ISO 100-51200, exp. to ISO 50 and 204800 vs. ISO 100-32000, exp. to ISO 50-102400
- Larger Continuous Buffer (RAW, Uncompressed): 40 vs 28
- Longer Battery Life: 610 shots vs. 530 shots
- Lower price
With such a huge list of shared features between the two cameras, the a7R III advantages list is unsurprsingly short.
While many will appreciate the a7R III's higher resolution viewfinder and LCD panel, undoubtedly the most important difference between the two cameras is sensor resolution.
The difference between 42.4 and 24.2 MP is substantial
If you're shooting subjects where resolving small details is a primary concern, or otherwise want the ability to heavily crop photos for better framing (or to extend the reach of a not-long-enough telephoto lens), then Sony a7R III's higher resolution sensor will be worth the incremental investment over the a7 III.
Who should opt for the Sony a7 III?
If you've been on the fence about investing in a Sony mirrorless camera and you don't need the massive resolution of the a7R III or the blazingly fast frame rate of the a9
, then the Sony a7 III has your name on it.
It may be positioned in the lineup as Sony's entry-level full-frame camera, but the only indication of the a7 III's entry-level status is its price tag.
The a7 III's comprehensive assortment of advanced features will make it right at home in many pro, advanced hobbyist or weekend warror kits as a primary or backup camera.
For what you get, the Sony a7 III is a bargain.