The Sony a7 III, unofficially is also known as “the camera that every creator has.” But is the Sony A7 III still worth it in 2020 if you currently rock an APS-C Sony camera such as the well-loved a6000 or a6500? Or should you stick to your APS-C?
When asking whether you should get a full-frame camera, most people will tell you that you don’t need it. Ironically, all of them also own full-frame cameras.
We? We were always a big fan of the Sony alpha series such as the legendary a6000 which we still think is the best camera you can get as far as value.
…But recently we got a full-frame camera, and here’s everything we learned about rocking full-frame VS APC-C when using the Sony A7 III.
The Full Frame Sony A7 III Rocks a Headphone Jack
If you are getting a camera to shoot videos with primarily, this is a must-have feature. If it’s not on it, you are going to end up having to deal with audio that sometimes doesn’t sound good, and that’s very hard to fix once it’s shot bad.
In the past when doing interviews with the likes of a6400 or a6500, we had to constantly deal with the issue of our interviewer putting a microphone on in a way that it was making hissing sounds.
The Sony a7 III has a headphone jack, and that’s a simple feature, but if you are going to be recording videos with audio, it’s a must.
If you can’t hear your audio when recording it, you can’t ever know whether the audio is going to be sounding fine or not.
And you know what they say… That you can watch videos that are shot bad, but if the audio is bad, that’s it…
There’s a 30-Minute Record Limit on the a7 III
One thing we loved about the recently reviewed Sony a6400 was how it didn’t come with a 30-minute record limit.
The a7III has that and it’s super annoying.
It makes life hard if you are recording on your own because it’s so easy to forget about it, and then you can end up with just half of the content you thought you shot.
Full-Frame Sensor Does Make a Difference
As APS-C lover we didn’t want to admit it, but there is a difference between APS-C and full-frame.
And it is noticeable.
But it’s not an “APS-C is average” kind of situation.
We’ve captured thousands of incredible pictures with APS-C devices in the past.
However, you can take full-frame cameras just a little bit further…if you already have the right knowledge.
What exactly is better?
Especially the depth of field.
Something we’ve always mentioned is that if you want to capture great footage, the lens matters more.
Kit lenses on Sony a7 III look much better than on the likes of the Sony a6000.
Due to the full-frame sensor.
You just can’t produce nearly as great images with a kit lens on the a6000 as with a kit lens on an A7 III.
With that said, while full-frame cameras have a slight advantage, it depends on your budget. Great lenses on APS-C devices are much more affordable and because there’s a crop involved, you get a better zoom for much cheaper.
And that might for instances be a better option for you if you plan to capture sports.
10 FPS shooting.
Incredible night shooting.
Superb dynamic range and sharpness.
Autofocus? At 693 points, and well, Sony has always done a great job at it, but frankly, we haven’t noticed much difference between that and the 425 points on the a6500. The previous system was already well done, and much ahead of the likes of Nikon.
But you know what? Let’s let pictures speak for themselves.
Big Screen and Big Viewfinder & More Dials
There’s a reason why pros invest thousands into screens and viewfinders on cameras such as the Sony FS7. As seeing in the best quality and the most possible matters, and while there’s a ton of much better cameras as far as screen quality does go, the A7 offers a significant improvement over APC-S cameras such as the a6500.
You see much better and more whether that’s with the viewfinder or the screen itself.
If you want to capture the best shots, you need to be able to see.
And one of the things we love about the Sony a7 III over the APS-C models such as a6500.
And then there are the dials.
There’s more of the on the A7 III, and it makes a huge difference because it allows for adjustments to be done much quicker.
Whether it’s Sony’s APS-C, full-frame, or even video cams such as the FS7, one thing that never changes with Sony are the confusing menus.
They just slow you down, and that’s fine if you have time, but sometimes, well, you miss the golden opportunity to do something.
You would think that Sony would make life easier on the menu aspect on the better models.
Just as confusing.
No 4K Slow-Mo
One thing this camera and a lot of other cameras miss is higher frames in 4K.
We aren’t even asking for 100/120 FPS. We would be happy with just 50/60, and that isn’t there.
That makes it much harder to produce high-quality productions that require slow-mo in 4K.
And it’s not like no cameras at this price range support it.
The likes of Panasonic’s GH5s supports 60 frames per second at 4K and you can currently buy it at around the same price as the A7 III.
Does the lack of 4K slow-mo matter though?
If you rock a full-HD display, no. If you rock a 4K display, yes.
The slow-mo on up to 100/120 frames per second is great though.
Incredible Video Quality
There’s a reason why almost every YouTuber rocks a Sony a7 III.
It’s an incredible camera for shooting videos.
And it also happens to be the best deal for videos out there.
Is it for everyone? No.
There are limitations of mirrorless cameras that aren’t often mentioned.
Bit rate being the issue.
On the Sony a7 III, you can’t shoot on a bit rate higher than of 100.
That means that the camera doesn’t quite cut it for a lot of productions.
For instance, it wouldn’t make it as a camera accepted for Netflix productions.
And there’s one thing that Sony doesn’t do a great job at. Stabilization.
And that’s where it comes to the a6500 or the A7 III. It’s 5-axis on paper but in reality, it’s quite poor. And there’s quite a bit of rolling shutter when shooting videos at times.
The A7 III is much heavier than the likes of a 6500 and that does it make it easier to shoot great content, but that won’t work everywhere and there will be cases where you will need a gimbal.
Battery Life is Incredible
One of the things we weren’t a fan of in the likes of a6000/6400/6500 was the battery life.
Picture wise it was fine, but video-wise, it just wasn’t right.
Batteries died too quick.
With the A7 III, we managed to get even 2.5 hours of 4K recording on one battery.
Although factors like screen brightness and airplane mode being turned on have a role to play.
However, that comes at a price.
These batteries are much more expensive than the batteries on the smaller series.
Is the Sony A7 iii still worth it in 2020?
When you are reading this, the likes of SONY A7R IV are out, and we could have easily gone for that model.
As even if you can afford it, unless you specifically need more pixels for the time of work you do, there’s no reason to get it.
You will benefit much more from lenses, and if you need more performance in the video department, right now investing in something like the FS7 is the next step for that after the A7 III.
If you are thinking about the A7 III over APS-C cameras though, then it depends.
APS-C is awesome, but eventually, you will find that the full-frames are a better option.
There are more lenses and you can do that slightly bit more which does help if you already shoot great pictures.