Hands-On at the Dunes with Sony a7 III, the Basic Model

Sony calls the just-launched a7 III the “basic model” because it’s priced at the entry level of the Alpha Series. Sony believes photographers should expect more from a prosumer model, and the term refers to what they should expect from a $2,000 camera. Having shot with an a7 III and a variety of lens for three days, I think you should expect more too.

Here’s another example, like the one I shared capturing a moment with Sony staffers and a model after the launch. Walking around the Nellis Sand Dunes looking for something interesting to shoot, I see a model appear on the crest of a dune.

She just sort of appeared and was posing and jumping, and after pointing the lens at her and taking a couple shots, I got this frame.

Taken with the a7 III and the Sony Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM
Taken with the a7 III and the Sony Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM

Not bad, and the point is there was no setup for that shot. Oh, and no actual clicking sound either because I was on silent shutter mode. Sony brought the media to the dunes to get action shots and impress us with the improved durability of the Alpha cameras and lenses.

Photographers, the a7 III, and the 100-400.

In what could’ve been a scene from a sequel or prequel to Road Warrior with photographers wandering around a barren desert looking for a subject while jets scrambled from a nearby airfare base, I took this frame too.

a7 III with dune buggies.

For a photographer on a budget who’s considering a mirrorless upgrade, the a7 III is a lot of camera for the money and redefines what to expect from the basic model. The Sony a7 III will ship this April for about $2,000 US for the body and $2,200 in a kit with the FE 28‑70 mm F3.5‑5.6 kit lens.

Understanding each mark of any camera pushes the technology and how disruptive mirrorless is, I still come back to the standout feature and that’s weight. I was an early adopter of mirrorless because I travel and ride bicycles and wanted to reduce what I pack.

The a7 III body weighs 23.7. The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens is another 24 for a total of three pounds. Just about five years ago, you’d need to carry twice that weight if not more to get the shot you’d want like this.

a7 III with dune buggies.

We’re off for another shoot but not after getting up for this shoot from my hotel room.

a7r III early morning.
a7 III early morning.

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