Tag Archives: sony A7iii

Newer Cameras Usually Take Better Pictures

The above shot I took yesterday with my Sony A7iii & adapted Sigma/Minolta 50mm f2.8 macro with no flash.  Two years ago we had significant rain this time of year and I took similar shots with my Minolta 600si and the same lens using Kodak Ektar film.

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Film shot with a 4 times larger file than the digital shot above.  

In both cases I took the shots hand held.  I edited both with Lightroom Classic CC.  Even though it is the same lens and the film shot is four times the size of the digital I think the sharpness and color of the digital is better.  I spent very minimal time editing the digital shot.

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This is a Sony A7iii shot with same Sigma lens as above.  

This is a larger view of the same area.

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And this is another film picture from two years ago.  This shot with a flash.

My point.  The Sony A7iii may not be the best handling easiest to operate camera I have ever owned, but it puts of great files.  Quickly and much easier than shooting film and then getting it developed and scanned.

The Sony is very versatile in being able to shoot landscape, people, and pretty much any lighting situation you throw at it.

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Shot with Sony A7iii and Sony FE 24mm – 105mm f4.  
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Shot with Sony A7iii and Sony /Zeiss 55mm f1.8 
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Shot with Sony A7iii and Sony/Minolta 50mm f2.8 macro

All three shots were taken in my usual raw only (compressed raw) and edited in Lightroom Classic CC.  Both the flower picture and my newest grand daughter were cropped.  The photo of my grand daughter was indoors in fairly dim light and no flash.  There was a tiny bit of noise after editing which I mostly removed with Lightroom.  The top shot was with a zoom lens and has everything from full shadow to sunny sky.  The Sony handled this with no problems.

Now that I have owned the Sony for just over 3 months it is becoming easier to use.  At least I can find near everything quickly.  I go back and forth from using checking and adjusting the settings either by pushing the fn button on the back which puts on the screen the basic settings.  You can then adjust those there.  Or at other times I push the buttons for the individual focus, drive, and other things you need.  I usually look at the back screen to make my adjustments.  If it is full sun I look in the viewfinder.  It all works pretty fast and easy.  Of course if Sony looked in it’s archives and pulled out the Minolta 600si (Sony owns Minolta) and used the set up system from that camera plus a touchscreen it would be much better, but they did not and the existing system with the Sony A7iii is fine.

The Sony on time from rest or turned off is relatively fast.  Not as fast as a DSLR, but fast enough.  You do have to make adjustments when going to the Sony A7iii with EVF from and optical viewfinder.  There is a slight lag for the EVF, but again, the A7iii works fine.  I have become used to seeing subjects in the EVF as opposed to OVF.  I do like being able to see light settings adjustments in the viewfinder or the back screen.  This saves a lot of fiddling and guessing to get the photo exposure right.

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Shot with Sony A7iii and 24-105 f4 in late afternoon.  

The Sony G 24-105 f4 which I added to my kit just before Christmas is excellent.  I would call this a mid size lens.  It is bigger than my Zeiss – Sony 55mm 1.8 prime, but not so big that I find it cumbersome to carry and use like I did the Nikon D750 24-120 f4.  I learned to live with the Nikon but it always felt too big.  The Sony does not.  The few oz’s you save on the body weight and body size and the couple of oz’s less and a bit smaller on the lens and it just fits better on my Peak Strap.  The Sony lens is rated a little better than the Nikon but I think they are both sharp stabilized lenses.  I definitely liked the price of the Nikon better.  Quality I can’t tell the difference.  The one annoyance on the Nikon you don ‘t have with the Sony lens is that the Sony does not clip the corners at 24mm like the Nikon did.  I cropped it out when editing the Nikon files, but you don’t have to do that on the Sony setup.  The bokeh is good on the Sony lens as you can see in the photo above.

Barbara with Abby

The Sony / Zeiss 55mm f1.8 is an exemplary lens.  Super sharp with great bokeh and the ability to set up the above photo so the newborn is in sharp focus, as is my wife’s face, and her left sleeve.  The rest of the photo defocuses and seems to go out of the photo.

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Basically the same thing happens here with the restaurant on the pier in sharp focus and the background fading away.  This is one of the best lenses you can buy for the Sony A7 cameras and for sure the best lens that is also not big and heavy.  DXO Mark gives this lens very high marks and so do I.

Very likely a lot of people go through the adjustment to get used to the A7iii or other A7 Sony’s when they come from Nikon or Canon like I did.  I would say it is similar to when I switched from Windows to Mac about 5 1/2 years ago.  It took me a while to get so I was used to the Mac, same with Sony A cameras.

Conclusion.  The files don’t lie.  They are good out of this camera.  And once you get a feeling for what settings to use the camera seems to pump out good ones pretty easy.

Sony A7iii Eye Auto Focus, Mid Day Full Sun Landscapes, Back Screen Mirroring, Size.

Without hesitation or qualifiers these features of the Sony A7iii are great for my photography.  The top photo is of my youngest daughter right after Christmas dinner.  I took this as a series of about 6 holding the eye auto focus button and just pushed the shutter button.  I saw in the viewfinder that the eye auto focus was working.  The flash was set to TTL and the camera was just on Auto.  I had on the Sony G 24-105 f4 lens.  The camera set itself to her right eye, the Sony steady shot and OSS lens kept this shot in perfect focus.  Brilliant.  Did the Sony work better than I could have expected from my older cameras, yes.  Did it work better than what my iPhone could have done, yes.  My other cameras like the D750 or D5500 would have been able to focus on this eye if I had put the focus point on it or if I had shifted the camera focus point to where the eye was, but this would have been done by me and not the cameras.  The iPhone XS Max or Sony HX80 would have found the face but not the eye.  So bravo Sony.  Without a doubt this is a big advancement forward and you have executed it well.

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This is my older daughter at the same dinner with the Sony A7iii finding her eye the same as the first photo.

The eye auto focus on the Sony A7iii also works in a group of people.

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In this shot the Sony picked the closest eye to it and grabbed it with perfect focus.  

The Sony A7iii is also easier to get mid day full sun shots with proper exposure.  It is not possible to completely change the subjects to what they would look like if you had been shooting early in the day or late in the afternoon, but the Sony did allow for turning down the exposure enough not to blow all the highlights.

I went to this same location just before we went on vacation to Europe in 2017.  I shot tests with my Nikon D5500, iPhone X, Minolta 600si with Kodak Gold 200.  In 2017 I only was able to get the shots I liked with the film.  The Nikon and the iPhone both overexposed.  I could have improved my results back then if I had bracket my shots on the Nikon, but I didn’t.  Film has more highlight tolerance than digital so the film was able to give very good results.

But the Sony A7iii shots above with the Zeiss 50mm f1.8 was as good as the film I shot in 2017.  At this point I would be willing to say that the Sony very easily gives good mid day full sun shots better than the Nikon D5500.  If I had used the Nikon D750 and also used the highlight setting I would say the results would have been similar to the Sony or the Kodak.

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Also Sony A7iii shot at mid day full sun.  

The Sony A7iii’s back screen moves like an iPhone or my Sony compact.  It is fast and looks just like the viewfinder.  This is an improvement over the DSLR’s which on the Nikons were laggy and not quick to focus.  I find that I use the back screen a lot more than with the D750.  The D5500 was a full on touch screen and I frequently used it when shooting landscape.  I would touch the place to focus and it would set up the shot and fire away.  This ability is sadly not on the Sony A7iii.

Size – The Sony A7iii is smaller than the previous full frame digital I had the Nikon D750.  Not much, but overall about half a pound or .43 kilo.  And the 24-105 lens on the front of the Sony is just enough shorter than the Nikon D750 with 24-120 to make it noticeable.  So a win for the A7.

Conclusions – The eye auto focus is absolutely an outright advance for technology.  It is easy to use and works well.  This is a feature I expect to be standard on most cameras in a year or two.  Mid day full sun shots on the other hand is a bit better than the Nikons but surprisingly not much better than on Sony’s low cost compact HX80.  If the HX80 had been able to output raw I think it would be as good at mid day full sun shots as the A7.  And then there is film.  Film does not blow highlights easily like digital.  But film needs to be developed and you normally want to use the full roll before developing it.  But I will say that from what I know this is a win over the Nikon D5500.  Back screen on the Sony is much faster than the Nikons.  So I use it more.  Too bad it is not touch like the D5500.  Size is smaller with the A7iii over the D750 especially noticeable when using the kit lenses.  Not so much with a prime 50mm.

If you the reader think I am struggling with my conclusions it is because I am.  I have no struggle with eye auto focus.  A great new feature.  But for mid day full sun to me the Sony has proved to be better than the two older Nikon DSLRs but not reliably better than film.  I have gone to some of my favorite places where I have shot photos over the last number of years and would say that Kodak Ektar gives a better average shot than the Sony.  The back screen on the Sony moves just like a mirrorless should, fast.  But certainly not as useful as a full touch screen.  Then finally size.  The Sony is smaller than the Nikon D750 but the D750 has a grip that fits my hand better.  I do find the Sony and D750 with prime lenses about the same.  The Sony is lighter but the Nikon is fine.  But eye auto focus is a great feature to have.  If I was going to be sent to a place where I could have only one interchangeable lens camera for a year I would be tempted to pick a Sony A7iii over a DSLR.  Because it is great at both stills and video.  But if I also had my iPhone XS Max along with me I would take the D750.  Why.  I think the D750 is more durable and less likely to break.  The sensor is way back behind the mirror so I will be less likely to get buggered up.  And at this point shooting video with an iPhone is more fun.  And the results are fine.