Sony A7R III vs. Sony A7R II, Sony A99 II, Canon 5DS R, Fujifilm GFX, Nikon D850 – Image Quality Comparison

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Kết quả hình ảnh cho Sony A7R III

Wow, what a camera! Sony’s already wowed us with the earlier iterations of the A7R, but for the third go-around, they’ve managed to out-do themselves. Sony keeps what we love about the A7R series — high-resolution image quality with excellent dynamic range and high ISO performance — and yet introduces numerous improvements, many of which have been brought over from their flagship A9.

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM @ 32mm, f/13, 1.6secs, ISO 50
Note: This image has been edited. 

Amazing image quality & improvements despite same 42MP sensor

Looking at the specs, you’ll notice the same 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor from the A7R II sits inside the A7R III. Despite this, Sony’s managed to eke out some more performance from the same silicon thanks to improved circuitry and a faster, more advanced BIONZ X image processor. In particular, Sony claims the dynamic range is improved, and this proved to be the case, especially at lower ISOs. Further, we saw improved high ISO performance as well as better hue accuracy and skin tone reproduction.

Going further on the resolution scale, the A7R III introduces a “Pixel Shift Multi Shooting” high-resolution mode thanks to its improved sensor-shift image stabilization system. It captures four pixel-shifted frames for a whopping 169-megapixels-worth of information, resulting in images with improved detail, more accurate colors and fewer artifacts. Like other cameras with similar high-res capture modes, Pixel Shift Multi Shooting is tricky to use and limited in scope — subjects need to be perfectly still, and you have to use a tripod to get usable artifact-free results.

Overall, the image quality of the A7R III is outstanding. The camera is capable of capturing stunning images with tons of detail and resolution, making it an ideal camera for landscapes, astrophotography, architecture, portraits, weddings and more. Low ISOs are phenomenal, and high ISO performance is excellent, despite the high megapixel count and the relatively small pixel size.

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM @ 26mm, f/4, 1/1250sec, ISO 100
Note: This image has been edited. 

Big improvements to speed & performance make A7R III highly versatile

When it comes to speed, the A7R III breaks the mold of what is typically seen from high-resolution-centric cameras. Bringing over many of the performance improvements and faster AF features from the flagship A9, the A7R III is not only a high-res camera, but it’s a pretty darn capable high-speed one as well. The A7R III captures images, even with RAW, at up to 10fps with C-AF, a big step up from the A7R II which topped-out at 5fps. Buffer depths are generous and more than double the buffer depth of the A7R II.

It’s not all great, though, as we still found buffer clearing times to be frustratingly sluggish, despite the faster UHS-II SD card support (which, disappointingly, is only offered on one of the two card slots). Another disappointment is the camera’s power-up time, which is still slow and much more sluggish compared to DSLRs.

AF performance also received massive improvements with the Mark III. The A9’s autofocus is excellent, and the A7R III is nearly at that level. In real-world shooting, both single-shot and continuous AF performance worked extremely well. The A7R III also brings over the A9’s faster Eye-AF tracking mode, which worked very well.

No new video framerates, but 4K quality is better & 120fps now at 1080p

Though the A7R III seems targeted more towards photography, the video capabilities are still very impressive and shouldn’t be ignored. The A7R III doesn’t offer 4K at 60fps like the Panasonic GH5 and the Canon 1DX Mark II, so you’re still capped at 30fps. Nevertheless, the A7R III’s 4K video quality looks fantastic and is improved over the Mark II thanks to the way it captures 5K-resolution footage and downsamples it for sharp 4K video. The camera uses the full pixel readout (no binning or line skipping) in its Super 35mm crop mode, and now also supports Hybrid Log Gamma and the S-Log3 profile for excellent dynamic range performance. HD recording is improved as well, now offering 120fps recording at 1080p instead of just 720p as with the A7R II.

Same size & shape but better controls, dual SD cards & battery life

At first glance, the A7R III doesn’t look much different from its predecessor. Indeed, it’s the same size as the Mark II, but there are some nice improvements to the control layout, including a very helpful joystick control as well as a touchscreen. And despite keeping the same footprint, Sony’s managed to squeeze in not only dual SD card slots but also the A9’s larger, much longer-lasting battery into the A7R III. Battery life, once a big Achilles heel for the A7R II, is now vastly improved, with a single battery lasting throughout the day despite heavy shooting.

If you enjoyed the handling and size of the A7R II, the Mark III will feel much the same in the hand. Though it’ll come down to personal preferences, the relatively compact size of the A7R III can still feel a bit cramped for those with larger hands, especially if you have a big, heavy telephoto lens attached. Similarly, the smaller body can feel a bit unbalanced with these big lenses. In general, though, the grip is contoured and comfortable, and while the button layout has changed slightly, you still have tons of customization options to fit your shooting style.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Sony A7R III

Like the Mark II, the A7R III is said to have a dust- and moisture-resistant design. However, we still found it to be less sealed than some rivals. Our field tester found dust to be problematic, and in a testing scenario, we did manage to have water enter the camera body (however after a thorough drying, the camera still works). Nevertheless, the build quality still feels excellent and very solid, and the camera would likely withstand some light inclement weather, just don’t push it.

On the inside of the camera, Sony has made some improvements to the software. You can now access more menu items while the camera is writing images to the memory card(s), but you’re still locked out of some. The menus themselves are still very confusing with pages upon pages of options with many sub-categories. One interesting change is the lack of PlayMemories support, so the add-on apps that worked with the A7R II, for example, are no longer available. A result of that, for example, is that there is, as of now, no longer the ability to have a built-in intervalometer for doing timelapses.

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM @ 19mm, f/8.0, 1/200sec, ISO 250
Note: This image has been edited. 

Summary: One of the best cameras of 2017

The A7R III sees improvements in pretty much every area: physical design features, image quality, speed and performance, as well as video recording capabilities. The camera address many of the shortcomings of the Mark II, especially when it comes to speed, performance and battery life. You now not only have a compact, full-frame camera capable of capturing incredible detail, it’s also nimble and speedy enough for sports and action — a rare feat. Since its debut, the A7R-series has consistently earned high praise from us, and the Mark III is no exception. This camera offers a wonderful combination of versatility and quality. There are some drawbacks to the camera, still, but with each generation of A7R, issues feel much more minor.

Pros
  • Improved dynamic range over its predecessor
  • Somewhat better high ISO performance
  • Improved hue accuracy and skin tones in JPEGs
  • Very low shutter lag
  • Much improved real-world AF performance with very good subject tracking
  • Can autofocus in very low light
  • Class-leading burst speed up to 10 fps (8 fps with live view)
  • Generous buffer depths (more than double A7R II’s)
  • Improved 5-axis in-body image stabilization (5.5 stops, up from 4.5)
  • 4K video at 30p with full pixel readout
  • Hybrid Log-Gamma and S-Log3 included
  • Full HD video up to 120p
  • Much improved battery life
  • New AF joystick and AF On button
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Added USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port
  • New Pixel-Shift resolution mode
  • Large higher-res EVF
  • LCD is now a touchscreen
  • In-camera charging and power via USB
  • Can now shoot best quality JPEGs with RAW
  • 14-bit uncompressed RAW now supported in continuous mode and with e-shutter
  • 500K-cyle low vibration shutter mechanism
  • Menus can be accessed while buffer is clearing
  • Excellent external controls with lots of customization
  • Movie record button moved to a better location
  • Multi Interface Shoe allows for various smart accessories and adapters
  • Flash sync terminal
Cons
  • Only one card slot is UHS-II compatible
  • Buffer clearing can still be slow even with fast UHS-II cards
  • Sluggish power-up compared to DSLRs
  • Still no lossless compressed RAW option
  • No built-in intervalometer & no PlayMemories support to add this and other features
  • Native E-Mount lens selection not as good as DSLR rivals (yet)
  • In-camera HDR mode sometimes didn’t detect blurred images due to slight camera movement
  • Pixel Shift Multi-Shooting requires processing on the computer for final image
  • Pixel Shift mode requires absolutely static subjects, otherwise composite images display motion artifacts
  • No 4K/60p framerate
  • Top shutter speed still 1/8000s with electronic shutter
  • Menu system still feels confusing
  • Dust- and moisture-sealing not as robust as some competing cameras
  • Small body size can feel unbalanced with larger, telephoto lenses, but battery grip or grip extension is available
  • Tilt-only LCD isn’t as versatile as a tilt/swivel type
  • No built-in flash

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Sony A7R Mark III’s JPEG image quality to its predecessor, the A7R Mark II, as well as to its A-mount sibling, the Sony A99 Mark II. We’ve also compared the A7R III to a couple of high-resolution DSLRs from Canon and Nikon, namely the Canon 5DS R and Nikon D850, as well as to Fuji’s GFX 50S for a comparison to a current-generation medium-format camera. We’ve also included a single-shot to Pixel-Shift mode comparison at base ISO.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera’s actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved: click these links to visit each camera’s respective sample image thumbnail page: Sony A7R III, Sony A7R II, Sony A99 II, Canon 5DS R, Fuji GFX and Nikon D850 — links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Sony A7R III to any camera we’ve ever tested!

Sony A7R III vs Sony A7R II at Base ISO

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 100
Sony A7R III at ISO 100
Sony A7R II at ISO 100

Here we compare the A7R III to its predecessor, the A7R II, which uses the same back-illuminated 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor but with improved circuitry and processing. As you can see, the A7R III images appear a little crisper and more contrasty overall, and fine detail is rendered better in the mosaic crop and in our troublesome red-leaf swatch. Both show minimal sharpening artifacts but unsurprisingly, both also show some aliasing in the form of moiré patterns. Color is also improved from the Mark III, with slightly higher saturation in reds and yellows and less of a yellow to green shift.

Sony A7R III vs Sony A99 II at Base ISO

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 100
Sony A7R III at ISO 100
Sony A99 II at ISO 100

Here we compare the mirrorless E-mount A7R Mark III to its A-mount sibling with the same resolution, the A99 Mark II SLT camera. At base ISO, detail, sharpness and aliasing appear nearly identical, however the A7R III does exhibit improved color over the older A99 II.

Sony A7R III vs Canon 5DS R at Base ISO

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 100
Sony A7R III at ISO 100
Canon 5DS R at ISO 100

With 50 megapixels and no optical low-pass filter like all these cameras, the Canon 5DS R does best the Sony A7R III in terms of resolution on paper. And as you’d expect, at base sensitivity the Canon DSLR does indeed resolve a bit more detail than its mirrorless Sony rival. The A7R III image does however appear crisper with higher contrast, and detail in our tricky red-leaf swatch appears much better defined. Colors are more vibrant from the Sony as well, though Canon’s are still slightly more accurate overall. (Note that the 5DS R was shot with Fine Detail Picture Style, and thus shows improved rendering of fine detail along with less obvious sharpening halos than the default Standard Picture Style, but with lower contrast and higher apparent noise.)

Sony A7R III vs Fujifilm GFX at Base ISO

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 100
Sony A7R III at ISO 100
Fujifilm GFX at ISO 100

The 51-megapixel medium format Fuji GFX 50S readily out-resolves Sony’s 42-megapixel full-frame A7R III mirrorless, though when framed vertically like this, the 4:3 aspect ratio Fuji has a larger advantage over the 3:2 Sony in terms of resolving power than their relative pixel counts would imply. The Fuji exhibits lower chroma noise in the shadows, but the Sony does a better job at reproducing the offset printing coloration in the mosaic crop. Sharpening halos are practically nonexistent from the Sony, but they aren’t very obtrusive from the GFX. Both cameras produce aliasing artifacts but the difference in resolution happens to make moiré patterns more visible from the Sony in our red-leaf swatch. The A7R III renders much higher contrast in our red-leaf swatch than the GFX 50S , however overall color is warmer and more accurate from the Fuji.

Sony A7R III vs Nikon D850 at Base ISO

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 64
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 64
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 64
Sony A7R III at ISO 100
Nikon D850 at ISO 64

Here we compare the 45.7-megapixel Nikon D850 to the 42.4-megapixel Sony A7R III. Although the D850 has slightly higher resolution, both resolve very similar amounts of detail and produce very crisp images, however the Sony image contains fewer sharpening halos due to its more sophisticated sharpening algorithm. Contrast is noticeably higher from the Sony in our tricky red-leaf swatch as well. Both produce good color, however the Nikon’s is a bit warmer overall.

Sony A7R III vs Sony A7R II at ISO 1600

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 1600
Sony A7R III at ISO 1600
Sony A7R II at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600, both siblings produce similar noise levels, however the Mark III holds onto more detail in some areas such as our tricky red-leaf swatch, indicating a change in Sony’s area-specific noise reduction algorithm. Where the Mark II blurs away most of the fine thread pattern as if noise, the Mark III holds onto much more of the thread pattern. However the Mark III produces some unwanted artifacts in the form of very dark or black individual or small groups of pixels, which results in a somewhat “peppered” effect. Chroma noise in the shadows is higher from the Mark III as are noise reduction artifacts in flatter areas, producing a slightly more “crystalline” noise pattern in our textured background. Color continues to be better from the newer model.

Sony A7R III vs Sony A99 II at ISO 1600

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 1600
Sony A7R III at ISO 1600
Sony A99 II at ISO 1600

The A7R III produces a slightly crisper image than the A99 II here at ISO 1600, though the A-mount sibling holds onto more fine detail in the red-leaf pattern, while producing fewer noise reduction artifacts. Color remains better from the A7R III.

Sony A7R III vs Canon 5DS R at ISO 1600

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 1600
Sony A7R III at ISO 1600
Canon 5DS R at ISO 1600

The Canon 5DS R still captures marginally better detail at ISO 1600, but it produces a noisier image. The Sony image is cleaner, crisper and with more “pop”, however its noise reduction processing generates slightly unnatural artifacts in flatter areas while the Canon’s noise “grain” is more consistent and film-like. The Sony’s rendering of the red-leaf pattern appears sharper and more detailed while the Canon’s is soft and blurred, however the Canon didn’t produce those objectionable dark pixels. Colors continue to be more saturated from the Sony.

Sony A7R III vs Fujifilm GFX at ISO 1600

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 1600
Sony A7R III at ISO 1600
Fujifilm GFX at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600, the Fuji GFX continues to easily out-resolve the Sony A7R III as expected. Both show similar levels of luminance noise however the Fuji’s grain pattern is a bit more regular and film-like, and it leaves behind much lower chroma noise. The Sony still shows much higher contrast in our tricky red-leaf swatch along with more obvious moiré patterns, however the Fuji’s low-contrast rendering doesn’t suffer from the Sony’s peppered look.

Sony A7R III vs Nikon D850 at ISO 1600

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 1600 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 1600
Sony A7R III at ISO 1600
Nikon D850 at ISO 1600

A tough call here. The Nikon D850 image is softer with fine detail that appears slightly smeared, yet it contains more obvious sharpening halos around high-contrast edges. But the Nikon’s low-contrast edges are better defined (ie., the bottle edge), luma noise looks more natural and film-like, chroma noise is lower, there’s no peppered effect in the red-leaf fabric, and colors are warmer than the Sony A7R III.

Sony A7R III vs Sony A7R II at ISO 3200

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 3200
Sony A7R III at ISO 3200
Sony A7R II at ISO 3200

Again, the Mark III image is a bit sharper and more detailed though noise reduction and sharpening artifacts are a little more evident. Detail in the leaves of our troublesome red-leaf swatch is a bit better from the Mark II as remnants of the fine thread pattern interfere with the leaf pattern from the Mark III, however the unwanted black pixels seen at ISO 1600 are all but gone. Color is still more pleasing from the Mark III.

Sony A7R III vs Sony A99 II at ISO 3200

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 3200
Sony A7R III at ISO 3200
Sony A99 II at ISO 3200

Here at ISO 3200, luma noise is a little higher from A99 II but it also appears a bit more consistent and natural-looking in flatter areas. Chroma noise reduction is lower from the A7R III allowing it to hold onto more coloration in our mosaic crop, yet it’s the A99 II that holds onto a bit more detail in our red-leaf swatch. Color continues to be better from the A7R III.

Sony A7R III vs Canon 5DS R at ISO 3200

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 3200
Sony A7R III at ISO 3200
Canon 5DS R at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the Sony A7R III produces a much cleaner, more contrasty image than the Canon, though the 5DS R’s noise “grain” remains more consistent and natural-looking in flatter areas. However the Sony does a better job at rendering fine detail than the Canon in most areas, including in the red-leaf fabric, while the Canon’s anti-noise processing blurs and smudges fine detail while struggling to keep higher noise levels in check.

Sony A7R III vs Fujifilm GFX at ISO 3200

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 3200
Sony A7R III at ISO 3200
Fujifilm GFX at ISO 3200

Again, the Fuji GFX bests the Sony A7R III in this comparison at ISO 3200, producing a cleaner, crisper, more detailed image with lower chroma noise and fewer noise reduction artifacts. The Sony continues to produce better contrast in our troublesome red-leaf swatch, however subtle detail is more distorted than the Fuji’s.

Sony A7R III vs Nikon D850 at ISO 3200

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 3200
Sony A7R III at ISO 3200
Nikon D850 at ISO 3200

The Nikon D850 image is softer and less detailed here at ISO 3200, but like we saw at ISO 1600, luma noise looks more natural and film-like, chroma noise is lower, low-contrast edges are better defined, and colors are warmer than from the Sony A7R III. Overall, we’d say the Sony comes out ahead here, though it’s really up to personal preference.

Sony A7R III vs. Sony A7R II, Sony A99 II, Canon 5DS R, Fujifilm GFX, Nikon D850

100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 64
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 3200 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 6400 100% crop from Sony A7R II test image taken at ISO 6400 100% crop from Sony A99 II test image taken at ISO 6400 100% crop from Canon 5DS R test image taken at ISO 6400 100% crop from Fujifilm GFX test image taken at ISO 6400 100% crop from Nikon D850 test image taken at ISO 6400
Sony
A7R III
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A7R II
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A99 II
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Canon
5DS R
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fujifilm
GFX
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Nikon
D850
ISO 64
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing the camera in different ways, so we like to look at it too. Here, we can see the A7R III shows minor improvements over the A7R II, in both color and contrast. Performance is very similar to the Sony A99 II, but with improved color. The Canon 5DS R does resolve more detail at base ISO, but higher noise and a drop in contrast make it lag behind the rest of the pack at higher ISOs. Unsurprisingly, the Fuji GFX comes out ahead here in terms of detail. Contrast isn’t quite as good, though, and sharpening halos are a little more evident than from the Sonys or Canon. The Nikon D850 produces slightly better detail and higher contrast than the Sony A7R III, however sharpening halos are the most visible in this comparison.

Sony A7R III Pixel-Shift Multi Shooting

The Sony A7R Mark III offers a new “Pixel-Shift Multi Shooting” mode in which the camera takes a series of four images while moving the sensor by one pixel location between exposures to capture full color information for each pixel. This eliminates the need to use Bayer color interpolation and demosaicing, producing an image with the same native pixel count but with greater detail and fewer artifacts. (Unlike the Olympus and Panasonic systems which make sub-pixel sensor shifts, taking eight shots and producing an image with a higher pixel count than the sensor.)

Like most implementations, the A7R III’s pixel-shift mode isn’t designed for moving subjects, and can’t tolerate any camera movement either; it’s designed for stationary shooting of still life, landscapes, architectural and other static subjects. The Sony A7R III can’t combine the images in-camera like other cameras can, though. Instead, the A7R III just saves four RAW files and you need to use Sony’s free Image Edge software to process them into a composite JPEG (or TIFF) on a Windows or Mac PC, which we have done below in a base ISO comparison using default software and camera settings.

Sony A7R III Single shot vs Pixel-shift mode at Base ISO
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100 100% crop from Sony A7R III test image taken at ISO 100
Single-Shot Image at ISO 100
Pixel-Shift Image at ISO 100

As you can see, the pixel-shift image crops on the right contain much finer and better defined detail than the single-shot images straight from the camera on the left. Also notice the moiré patterns in the red-leaf fabric and green bottle label are no longer present with pixel-shift mode. However, the default software settings used don’t replicate the camera’s superior sharpening as halos are quite evident in the pixel-shift shot, and noise also appears higher, exacerbated by the less sophisticated and more aggressive sharpening. You can however adjust sharpening, noise reduction and a host of other settings in Sony’s software. Bottom line: The Sony A7R III’s new pixel-shift mode takes the cameras’s already outstanding image quality and ratchets it up a big notch, at least for static subjects taken on a sturdy tripod.

(imaging-resource.com, https://goo.gl/GnTLA2)

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