One of the toughest choices consumers have these days involves picking a newly released piece of technology at a premium price versus going with a slightly older model that has dropped to a bargain price. That’s the dilemma you’ll face in a Sony A7 III vs A7 II comparison. The A7 III carries a host of improvements over the older A7 II, including faster burst mode performance, dramatically improved battery life, and 4K video recording. But both cameras use a full frame image sensor, meaning you’ll still receive a good level of image quality with the Sony A7 II, which costs almost half as much as the A7 III.
Here are the Steve’s Digicams quick thoughts on these two cameras.
- Sony A7 III: Sony may have mis-labeled the A7 III as its “basic” camera in the A7 family. This model offers 4K HDR video, 15 stops of dynamic range, a full frame image sensor, fast burst mode performance and a reasonable price point versus its fellow A7 models. (It’s basically an A9-light.)
- Sony A7 II: The A7 II was introduced a couple of years ago, but its current price point still makes it an interesting option among mirrorless cameras with a full frame image sensor. It includes 5-axis image stabilization, which delivers 4.5 stops of exposure compensation.
Here are the primary similarities between the Sony A7 III and the A7 II.
- Image Sensor Size: Both of these Sony mirrorless cameras have a full frame size image sensor, although the A7 III’s image sensor is a BSI CMOS sensor and therefore, a better sensor.
- Image Stabilization: You’ll receive in-camera image stabilization with both the A7 II and the A7 III.
- Internal Flash: Neither camera has an internal flash unit, which means you will need to connect an external flash to the hot shoe.
- Still Image Resolution: The A7 II and A7 III both offer a little more than 24 megapixels of resolution for still images.
- Viewfinder: Both of these Sony mirrorless cameras include a built-in viewfinder to help you frame scenes.
- Wi-Fi Connection: You can make a Wi-Fi connection with either of these cameras.
Here are the primary differences between the Sony A7 III and the A7 II.
- Battery Life: The newer Sony A7 III should give you roughly twice the battery life of its predecessor. If you buy the A7 II, buy all the extra batteries you can afford. It’s bad. Real bad.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: The A7 III will give you the ability to make a Bluetooth connection, but the A7 II cannot.
- Burst Mode Performance: You’ll receive a significantly better burst mode performance, both in terms of speed and buffer memory storage, with the A7 III over the A7 II, and this advantage carries through both JPEG and RAW modes.
- ISO Range: The newer A7 III has a slightly better natural ISO range of 100-51,200 versus the range of 100-25,600 of the A7 II.
- Price: The Sony A7 II has dropped in price significantly from its introduction, and it now costs about 50% to 60% as much as the new A7 III.
- Video Resolution: The Sony A7 III has a maximum 4K video resolution capability & 1080p video recording at up to 120fps, while the A7 II is limited to full HD video recording.
A7 III vs A7 II: WHICH ONE DO YOU NEED?
If you’re looking for a fast-performing camera with solid battery life and features (like 4K video and IBIS) that blow away almost every other $2,000 camera, get the Sony A7 III. Photography, cinematography, the only features this thing doesn’t have is a vari-angle display or rugged weather sealing. If you’re focusing on still images and you need to stay on a tight budget, the Sony A7 II still remains a tempting choice because of its full-frame image sensor.
BUY THE SONY A7 III IF YOU NEED…
- 4K video recording.
- Touch screen operation of the LCD screen.
- Faster JPEG and RAW burst modes.
- The best $2,000 camera on the market today.
BUY THE SONY A7 II IF YOU NEED…
- A full frame image sensor, and you don’t mind the camera lagging in a few other performance areas.
- To save money versus newer models.