The last couple of weeks we have been in Northern Arizona in and around the Navajo, Hopi, and other Indian Nations / Reservations. I was armed with my iPhone XS Max, Sony A7iii, and Sony HX99. The top photo was shot with the A7iii and Sony 24-105 f4 hand held. All three of these cameras can produce jpeg or raw and 4K @30. The iPhone can go to 60 on 4K, but I don’t use that. All three cameras shot stunning photos and video in what might be the most scenic area in America.
The iPhone XS Max just seems to be getting better and better with each new software upgrade. The above shot was inside and no flash. To me this is a great exposure, color, and sharpness. The iPhone chose to use smart HDR on this shot, which makes sense as the model figures are in front of a huge window. This was taken in the Cameron Trading Post near the little Colorado River. The figures are Navajo made and celebrate the many efforts made by the Navajo to help in service to the country.
On this trip I only took my native e mount Sony glass to keep the travel photo gear kit down to a one small backpack. Those lenses are my 55mm f1.8 and 24-104 f4. Both great lenses. If I had it to do over again I would have taken my Sony adapter and a couple of other lenses like my Sigma/Quantarey 50mm f2.8 macro for wild flower photos. Plus my Minolta 100-400.
The above shot was with the Sony HX99 pocket super zoom camera. This was quite far away and the Sony was able to pull it in better than the shots I got with other cameras.
I also made a number of video clips. I used the same 4K @30 for all three cameras. The clips from all three looked quite good. Video clips get really big at 4K really fast. The best one from the Sony A7iii is almost 900 mb, so I will load that to youtube – you can see it here https://youtu.be/bZSD44_-UfQ
I took a bit shorter video with the iPhone XS Max with 4K @30 in Lake Powell and that can be seen with this link https://youtu.be/8YBoGLMmxsY
The Sony HX99 clip is also 4K @30 and is of petrogliphs in Canyon de Chelly. Can be seen at this link https://youtu.be/zZskiQNFgAQ
In a pinch any of these three cameras would be OK without the other two. But that would mean if you only had the A7iii you would have had to carry around a big camera all the time. The best way what I took, all three, and add at least one Macro. I have a 24, 50, and 100mm Macro. All are great, but the middle one is the most versatile. You can shoot normal 50mm and also really close 1-1. The two shorter macros are the Quanteray versions of the Sigma lenses. Ritz Camera sold Sigma lenses under their own brand for a few years. As far as I can tell the Sigma and Quanteray versions are identical. But even if they are not the Quanteray’s I own are super sharp excellent macro and general lenses. The bokeh of the 50mm and 100mm are beautiful in my opinion.
And finally, I just had to add this photo as I love the image. This was the Sony A7iii with 24-105 f4. Edited in LR. Hand held.
- So if you could only take one of the three cameras I had with me which would I take, the Sony A7iii. Why, Sony is native 24 mp and just gives sharper cleaner shots with less artifacts from smart HDR or jpeg. You can use the Adobe camera app in the iPhone to shoot raw, but I don’t think the results are as good as the native Apple camera app in most cases.
- Which is the best camera for stills and video, the Sony A7iii.
- Overall is the Sony HX99 a better still and video camera than the iPhone XS Max, yes. But I paid $440 for it and it is just a camera. The iPhone works better in low light.
In this case the Apple did better, but with a faster f1.8 lens the Sony likely would have bested the Apple. I had an f1.8 Sony lens along but it was in the car.