Build and handling
If there is a chink in the A7 III’s armour, it’s here. The A7 III is, like the other A7 models, remarkably small for a full-frame camera. This is due in part to its mirrorless construction, but also to the ingenuity of its designers. Unfortunately, Sony’s lenses – and in particular, its finest ones – are not small. As a result, the A7 III does feel distinctly front-heavy with the kind of lenses you might choose to go with it, such as the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS or FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. With that in mind, it might be worth considering the optional VG-C3EM battery grip, especially if you go in for a lot of telephoto-based sports photography.
It’s also a shame that there’s no dedicated drive mode dial or AF mode/area lever. Burst shooting and autofocus are two of this camera’s top features, so you’d hope that would be reflected in dedicated external controls. You can assign these controls and more to the camera’s four function buttons, however, so they are only a click away if you need them.
Apart from that, there’s really very little to criticise. The electronic viewfinder and LCD display don’t have the highest resolutions we’ve seen on mirrorless cameras, but they’re more then adequate, and the viewfinder’s 0.78x magnification means it’s big and clear.
The rear LCD has a up/down tilting action but does not swing out sideways. You can tap to position the focus point or even drag it around the frame. Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of touchscreen interaction, you can use the rear joystick (multi-selector) control instead.
The main dials have a reassuringly firm and positive feel. There are three control dials in total – one on the front at the top the grip, one on the rear to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece and a third around the four-way controller next to the LCD screen.
The A7 III’s menu system is pretty formidable, with no fewer than 35 screens split into five sections, plus a user-customisable My Menu. It can take a while to find the setting you need, especially if you’re modifying the camera controls or default behaviour, but thankfully most regular shooting settings can be accessed via a Fn button on the rear of the camera instead.
This Fn option displays an icon overlay across the bottom of the screen for choosing the drive mode, focus area, ISO, metering mode and more. It’s not touch-sensitive, though – instead, you use the directional buttons (or the multi-selector) to choose an option and the rear control dial to change the setting.
The A7 III really does have a premium quality feel. It’s solid and weighty, and the controls are precise, while the exterior materials and finish feel first rate. It might be the cheapest of Sony’s third-generation A7 models, but you wouldn’t know it.