The mirrorless cameras are here to stay. That is precisely what it appears to be the trend looking at the paradigm shift with the products being launched by the renowned brands in the photography genre. The mirrorless cameras are set to replace the DSLRs quite soon. Why not? The advantages associated with them tend to be quite practical enough, and that could be the sole reason for their popularity. Sony, for one, has recently launched a successor to its Sony A 7II. How do both these siblings fare against each other (Sony A7II vs Sony A7III)? Let us find it out in today’s post.
Sony A7II vs Sony A7III
Well, Sony has been a world leader in the arena of photography equipment. It has recently added yet another product to its portfolio. A new successor arrives for the Sony A 7II released three years ago. Three years is a quite a long time for a product to remain popular given the current trend of the products going obsolete in a matter of six months or so. The Sony A 7II has been able to stick to its popularity since three years stands testimony to its feature set.
The new Sony A 7III takes it further from where the predecessor has left it. It has meanwhile launched two flagships in the form of A9 and A 7r III. It appears as if Sony has taken the astounding features from those flagships and arrived with the best alternative to A 7III.
We will compare the capable siblings to arrive at the best characteristics that set them apart, or somewhat similar. So, let us employ a feature by feature approach.
The Sony A 7III has a slightly higher resolution at 24.3 MP while the old generation A 7II offers you a resolution of 24.2 MP. The A 7III also comes equipped with the new generation Exmor R CMOS with back illumination technology. Both the cameras come with BIONZ X image processor, but the one on A 7III is advanced with the updated version of the image processor.
It also offers you a slight improvement over the predecessor regarding dynamic range. Sony has stated that it provides you a 15 stops performance, while the A 7II offered you 14 stops. The chipset also has a front-end LSI chip on A 7III. This improves the readout speed and processing speeds by almost 2 percent.
Both of them are capable of recording in 14 RAW formats either in compressed or uncompressed form. The A 7III also offers you an improved five-axis image stabilization. You get a five steps shutter speed option in comparison the 4.5 steps option available on A 7II. There is also a marked difference regarding startup time, which is around 40 percent faster on A 7III.
As we already stated, the A 7III borrows a host of features from the flagship A9. It comes with an incredibly whopping 693 phase detection points in addition to the 425 contrast detection points. It covers around 93 percent of the sensor area. It also comes with Sony’s 4D focus mode. It can track the movements of an object quickly in a 3D space.
The A 7II, on the other hand, comes with 117 phase detection and 25 contrast detection points. The minimum sensitivity on the A 7III has been improved from -1Ev to -3Ev. The A 7III also has better low light focussing abilities, while you get two times better tracking speed.
The performance of Eye Focus has also improved as it is now available in continuous shooting mode as well, while you got it only through single shot focus mode on the A 7II.
Shutter and Continuous Shooting Features
Even in this department, you will find a host of improvements in A 7III as compared to the A 7II. Well, three years is a considerable period, and you are bound to see those changes.
The A 7III has come with a new electronic or silent shutter. The continuous shooting mode has also received an improvement. The continuous shooting mode will now work with ten fps instead of 5 fps on the A 7II. There has also been an improvement in the buffer performance. The A 7III will save up to 177 JPGs and 89 compressed RAW images (or 49 compressed RAW files). The A 7II can handle 50 JPG frames or 20 frames in RAW.
The A 7III also comes with an anti-flicker technology as well. This technology detects the fluctuations in the light and adjusts the shutter time and speed. This is what would help you minimize color variations in your shots.
Both Sony A 7III and A 7II come with a five-axis sensor stabilization. The compensation has been improved from 4.5Ev on A 7II to 5.0Ev on A 7III. The Sony A 7II was the first camera to launch with the technology that brings the service with E-Mount series. The A 7III takes it forward from what was seen on A 7II.
The A 7II had launched with unique video capabilities when it began. However, these specifications have gone out of place as of now. It is capable of recording Full HD up to 50/60p and 50Mbps. It does suffer from visible aliasing.
The A 7III has introduced a host of improvements over the A 7II. It provides you a 4K video recording options at 24 or 25 fps. In fact, the camera does capture the videos at 6K and then downsamples them to 4K. You would be able to expect an enhanced detailing and sharpness in your videos.
There are several added options and advancements in the form of Zebra pattern, proxy recording and Gamma Display assist.
The Sony A 7II works on an NP-FW50 battery pack. It has been known to have a better endurance limit and offers you a 350 shot rating. The new generation NP-FZ100 battery pack comes with 2.2 times higher endurance level. This is the same battery pack used on Sony A9.
The new battery pack has been claimed to offer 710 shots per charge. In fact, this has been considered to be the best performance for a mirrorless camera. If you are on EVF, you will get approximately 610 shots per charge.
Key Specs in A Table
Well, we thought the comparison would be practical and useful if presented in a tabulated format. Here is an attempt at classifying the key features –
|Features /Particulars||Sony A 7II||Sony A 7III|
|Sensor||Full-frame (35.8 x 23.9mm)||Full-frame (35.9 x 24mm)|
|Resolution||24.2 MP||24.3 MP|
|Processor||Bionz X||Bionz X|
|Sensitivity Range||ISO 50-25,600||ISO 50-204,800|
|Continuous shooting||5 fps||10fps with full AF and metering|
|Video Resolution||Full HD (1920×1080)||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|Storage||SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) and Memory Stick variants||Dual card slots, Slot 1: SD(UHS-I/II compliant), Slot 2: Memory Stick Duo/SD(UHS-I)|
|Viewfinder||0.5-inch OLED with 2,359,296 dots||0.5-inch OLED with 2,359,296 dots|
|Screen||Tilting 3-inch TFT LCD with 1,228,800||Tilting 3-inch Touchscreen with 921,600 dots|
|Dimensions||126.9 x 95.7 x 59.7mm||126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7mm|
|Weight||556g (body only), 599g with battery and card||650g with battery and card|
|Battery Backup||710 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
|Focus Points||693 phase detection/ 425 contrast detection||117 phase detection / 25 contrast detection|
Well, the tabulation shows the Sony A 7III as the winner among the two siblings. In fact, this is exactly on the expected lines as the new Sony A 7III has been launched as a successor to the three-year-old Sony A 7II.
A look at the spec sheet of A 7III alone would give you an idea of the massive improvements that have been done over the Sony A 7II. In fact, it has been on the expected lines as over three years have passed on after the launch of the Sony A 7II.
We would consider the Sony A 7III as the perfect successor to the A 7II in every aspect of the camera functionality. Sony has made use of all the advancements that have happened in the arena for the last three years and added them to make the A 7III the right option as a replacement for your A 7II. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that Sony has also incorporated a few features from the flagship devices like Sony A9 and A 7r III in making it one of the best options you can go with.
Sure, the Sony A 7III is priced slightly higher than the A 7II. But, the price looks quite reasonable enough given the deal you are getting regarding enhanced features. We would indeed foresee the Sony A 7III as one of the best sellers quite soon. If you are entering the arena of full-frame photography, A 7III should be your prime choice. If, however, you are looking for a cheaper option, go for the A 7II which isn’t much worse either, in any way.