Sony A7RM3 – who it is for
Sony have released the A7R Mark 3 recently and I bought one. I’m of the opinion that there is very limited information out there what the camera can really do, so I made a list to tick off whether the camera is the right one for you or not:
- I guess it’s plain to see that the A7RM3 is primarily a stills camera. You want to shoot incredible hi-res stills and video too. You want to have the best hybrid camera on the market at the moment. Buy the A7RM3.
- You’re sick and tired of the fact that your FS5 / C300 mk. II / EVA1 is too bulky for your photo backpack (or, in my case, your incredible Peak Design Everyday backpack). Buy the A7RM3.
- You want to have incredible auto-focus capabilities at a small footprint. Buy the A7RM3.
- You want to stay S35 / FF coupled with a convincing IBIS (in-body-image-stabilization) – buy the A7RM3.
- You want to have the best minimal moiré / aliasing 8 bit supersampled S35 crop 4K image with least amount of rolling shutter possible. Buy the A7RM3. At this point it should be mentioned that all other modes are so-so depending on the application. 4K FF will yield some moiré and aliasing depending on the sharpness of the lens, so will the regular 1080P and slow motion (Sony tradition?) modes.
- You don’t care about the fact that there is no built-in ND filter. The FS5 comes with an exceptional Vari-ND and the C300 mk. II (and others) feature the traditional ND disc. ISO / ND combinations can also give you sunlight bokeh 😉
- You want to have respectable low-light images. I was quite blown away by the lowlight performance and dynamic range of this camera:
- You want a much better battery performance than the previous Alpha7s… get the A7RM3.
- You want to have true XLR phantom power audio inputs (applies to a number of Sony cameras). The XLR-K2M by Sony offers two direct XLR inputs, comes with a usable shotgun (at least better than the Rode Videomic range), connects directly to the camera hotshoe and thus doesn’t require additional batteries or mini-jack cables. Buy the A7RM3 and the XLR-2KM.
- You want to hold a little bit of weight in your hands. Weight adds to stability and together with the 24-105 lens, the cage, the headlight and the XLR-2KM the camera weighs around 2.2 kg. That is just enough to grant stable images, everything under 2 kg gets you a invitation to shaky-town for hand-held shooting.
All-in-all I have to say at this point (I haven’t shot any commercial production on the camera yet) that the A7RM3 seems to do most of the things right and seems to be a perfect example of modern development in the world of creative motion picture tools:
Small footprint, touch operation, an EVF for the very sunny moments and a bright screen on the back, mobile phone integration as “carry on” screen, the possibility to power / charge the camera via USB powerbank and many other features.
PS: For all of those who don’t want to spend a fortune on FF-lenses, I want to mention that the A7RM3 accepts all the (cheaper) Sony APS-C glass for its best (S35 crop) video mode. Even though stills will be limited (only 18MP vs. 42MP in FF), something like the SELP18105 is also a good partner for documentary / ENG shoots with plenty of reach.
My setup as follows:
Sony A7RM3, SmallRig 2087 cage for Sony A7RIII, Sony XLR-2KM, Aladdin Eye-Lite Bi-Color on Noga LC9014 Mini-Arm