The Sony A7 III is inspired by its older A7R III which it takes the main chassis. Whether at the hood or back, it looks like two drops of water to the A7R III. Only the small mode lock button has been removed on this case. There is also the joystick, the video trigger judiciously positioned next to the viewfinder, better organized menus (but still dense) and the double slot for SD cards, only one of which is compatible with UHS-II memory cards, initially borrowed from the A9 – which is also the central reference of this refreshment.
The Sony A9 is an A7 2.0, boosted with hormones and, above all, correcting many of the ergonomic flaws pointed at its predecessors. It is as if the engineers had decided to implement at one time all the grievances submitted by the testers and photographers during the last four years.
Like its big brothers, the Alpha 6000 continues to surprise us by its size: difficult, at first glance, to imagine that there is indeed a sensor APS-C, an electronic viewfinder of 1 440 000 px, a screen 16: 9 aspect ratio, a FP-W50 battery, a Wi-Fi chip, an NFC chip and so much electronic sophistication in such a small package. Yet, compared to a Nex 7 or even a Nex 6, the Alpha 6000 has become fat and gaining thickness in its central part, which means there is less space between the end of the mount E and the chassis itself. While being more voluminous in the absolute, it seems on the contrary softer, more compact, more balanced, which is not displeasing to us, especially that the handle remains sufficiently hollow and well designed to offer an excellent grip .
We are talking about Sony’s Alpha 7s, the 24 x 36mm sensor hybrids, which have stood out and, above all, in the wallet of professional photographers. Available in three flavors – “R” for high definitions and resolutions, “S” for high sensitivities and simply “7” for those who prefer nature – each one goes with its small specificity. The Alpha 7R II had gained 5-axis mechanical stabilization, 42.4 Mpx, a BSI CMOS sensor and video recording in 4K / UHD. The Alpha 7R III retains all these achievements and focuses on advancing the recipe in maturity. By incorporating most of the good ideas of the Alpha 9, it gains in maneuverability, autonomy and modernity: all that was lacking in the Alpha 7R II. With, as a bonus, a special high resolution function.
Physically, little upheaval compared to the previous Alpha 7R, if not a slight overweight that does not affect the handling, but, on the contrary, improves the grip. As usual, the quality of finish is excellent, frank and secure handling, assemblies all the more serious as the A7R II gains all-weather protection. Modeled on the A7 II, this A7R II wins on its right shoulder two programmable keys C1 and C2 and a game of double wheels slightly redrawn. More discreet and better notched, the disposition of the front wheel is not the most judicious because too close to the switch start. Another regret, the protections connectors (USB 2.0, HDMI, headset, microphone) are no longer clamshell, but simply retained by a piece of rubber while losing the pictograms used to indicate who was what.
We will not dissect the grip of the A7, we have already done with the test of the A7R, but we will take this opportunity to come back on some key points. The most important is probably the compactness and weight of the new A7. Despite the presence of 24×36 sensors, the new boxes are finally only slightly bigger than the Nex-7; only the electronic viewfinder comes to create a “beautiful” protrusion on the top. We like or we do not like. Some aesthetic choices are discussed, but overall the A7 holds well in hands, including a handle well drawn and pleasant. The controls are well placed and only the command for video placed “wedge” on the top of the thumb rest, can surprise and force a light and uncomfortable thumb gymnastics. In short, nothing dramatic.
This new housing is a “Mark II”, understand by that an evolution, more than a revolution. And that’s good. So we find the base of the A7 / A7R / A7S series, with a magnesium alloy chassis picked up with a nice matte black finish and, it seems, quite robust. For a camera containing a 24×36 sensor, the A7 II has modest dimensions, but this version “II” took a slight weight and is a little thicker than the previous ones. The fault is not attributable to a forced regime of additional pixels, but to the integration of a mechanical stabilization system by displacement of the sensor on 5 axes.
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