Sony a7R III Scores 100 at DxOMark & Ties the Nikon D850 (Or Does It?)

Sony A7Riii

The new Sony A7R III is the first full-frame mirrorless camera to ever score a 100 on DxOmark, matching 2017's best DSLR, the Nikon D850.

For those who might not know DxOMark, they are an indépendant website that tests cameras, lenses, sensors, and smartphones in their lab with their DxO Analyzer which according to their website is: "the industry's most complete, and best-performing solution for measuring still and video image quality:

  • DxO Analyzer is a complete system, including software, hardware, test protocols, and high-quality charts to ensure consistent, repeatable, operator-independent results. It also comes with optional premium services such as onsite testing, lab installation, and training, online support, and consulting services to help you improving the quality or your camera products.
  • DxO Analyzer is the "data factory" behind the world's most extensive and reliable camera image quality benchmarking site − DxOMark. All objective measurements found on DxOMark are performed using DxO Analyzer.
  • DxO Analyzer works on both Raw and JPEG images, making it the ideal tool to help evaluate and tune your ISP.
  • Many DxO Analyzer measurements are available for both still images and video.
  • DxO Analyzer is a modular, and highly-configurable, solution. It has been effectively applied in many applications and industries, including Aerospace, Automotive, Consumer Photo & Video, Defense, Medical, Smartphones, and Surveillance.
  • DxO is a leader in helping shape industry standards for measuring image quality, and DxO Analyzer is compliant with appropriate ISO and IEEE-CPIQ standards where they are available.
  • All DxO Analyzer modules include fully-documented protocols and high-quality test charts to help ensure accurate results. They also include the needed software for measurement, collection, and display of those results.
  • Installation, training and consulting services are also available to DxO Analyzer customers."

Basically, DxOMark is the benchmark when it comes to scoring and rating new cameras (um, you know, right after Steve's Digicams!). The top three full-frame sensor cameras listed on their site are:

You'll note that even though the D850 and the A7R III have the same score the Nikon still rates above the Sony, this is because DxOMark believes that the D850 produces better color and details with bright light. Here they elaborate: 

"Comparing the A7R III sensor to the Nikon D850's reveals the advantage that the Nikon camera's lower minimum sensitivity (ISO) value brings," DxOMark writes. "Photographers who predominantly shoot in bright light or capture motionless subjects with the camera on a tripod will record the most information, be it color, tone, or detail with the Nikon D850 set to ISO 32."
But if you shoot with higher ISO values, the a7R III will produce "marginally better images."
"It's clear that the Sony A7R III has a high-performing sensor that's capable of capturing images with a broad range of color and tone, while keeping noise well under control,"

The A7R III and A7R II that it replaces, both have a backlit sensor with the same pixel count, however, the Mark III's sensor is augmented with a front-end LSI that gives it greater processing power and a two-fold increase in the data readout speed. This, combined with the Bionz X processing engine, enables a maximum continuous shooting rate of 10fps with continuous autofocusing and metering.

Only two cameras have ever scored higher than the Nikon D850 and the Sony A7R III and both are medium format digital cameras, the Hasselblad X1D-50C and Pentax 645Z. As far as low light is concerned the A7R III is a powerhouse and the only other camera outside of the Hasselblad and Pentax that have scored higher than the A7R III is the Sony a7S II.

This is huge news and one the Nikon and Canon won't be able to ignore for much longer. Their DSLR cameras have reigned supreme in the high-end photography world for over a decade, while manufacturers like Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony shifted towards mirrorless cameras. Canon or Nikon have yet to release a full-frame mirrorless camera that can compete, and now they're forced to play catchup. 

This score completely legitimizes the mirrorless camera revolution. For camera purists hoping mirrorless cameras were just a fad, these cameras are here to stay and they're only going to get better. 

Here's our own first impressions with the A7R III.


Sony A7Riii