Sony A7RIII Full Frame Mirrorless Camera – Does It Live Up To The Hype?

There has been a lot of hype about the new Sony A7RIII body. Some folks are going so far as to say the tech leap is on a par with the Canon pro line upgrade ten years ago, which introduced their L-series lenses and the 1DX/5DII bodies (which we experienced). You can easily judge for yourself with one example, this first photo.

Looks pretty ordinary, obviously a daytime photo with the night sky inserted. Except that it is not. This is a single shot, taken in moonlight, with the light somewhat attenuated by thin cloud.

Noise? Detail? Above is an 1100 pixel crop from the 7952 pixel wide RAW file with a few seconds of processing in Lightroom.

Same as previous but with sharpening and noise filters off.

Another example, this looking east 45 minutes after sunset.

This next series are looking west into the afterglow, 20 minutes after sunset. Check the backlit terrain. The only light is reflected from the darkening sky above.

Here is a crop of the shot as it came out of the camera. Quite dark.

And then with 2.5 stops of of brightening.

A rising moon gave us sufficient light to bring out the inner backlit rock face to the right. To the naked eye this entire area is dark with the right side absolutely black.

And a 100% crop of the preceding. If this image survives the web compression you will see individual grains of sand.

Here we are looking straight up. There is almost no reflected moonlight.

We are just learning how to put these capabilities to work, so camera settings are all over the place. Typically ISO 3200, F4.0, eight to fifteen seconds exposure time in the dark. With good moonlight, as in the lead photo, we are shooting ISO 1600, F4.0 at six seconds.

A couple of days ago the moon and Saturn were close just before sunrise. The 1100mm crop above was taken with the same body, using our old Canon 600 F4  Mark II prim and the the Mark III doubler. A Sigma MC 11 adaptor enables autofocus. The image is sharp enough that what you see here has been blown up 250% in Photoshop.

And a small section of cholla cactus which has been blown up 300% to show how sharp this gear can get in good light.

Is Sony running rings around the competition? Same gear as the cropped moon phot. This time magnified 400% in Photoshop. It takes amazing sensor capability to do Saturn, a relatively faint body, and turn moonlit scenes into daylight.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 16, 2018)

3 Responses to “Sony A7RIII Full Frame Mirrorless Camera – Does It Live Up To The Hype?”

  1. Scotto Says:


  2. vwDavid Says:

    that Saturn shot…wow…

  3. Steve Dashew Says:

    Saturn was a surprise to us as well. Conditions were reasonable but seeing this makes us want to get somewhere high and clear, like one of the mountain tops that surround Tucson. We have four ranges close by, each with a cluster of telescopes. Maybe they know something. To take a tiny object like this and enlarge it sufficient to make out the disc in LightRoom and Photoshop is indicative of the processor quality.