We have compared a lot of different cameras lately, and the most interesting comparisons have always been between two titans. Today we are going to compare two beastly cameras that can perform professionally, and I can comfortably say, if I could I would love to have both of them in my arsenal, but both of these are high end-cameras that cost a fortune. We are going to talk about the Sony A7III and the Nikon D850, one mirrorless and the other DSLR, both full-frame models and have proven themselves as capable shooters. First, let’s get some major differences out of the way.
Most camera enthusiasts are very confused about the mirrorless vs DSLR thing, they ask which is better and what should they opt for. They both have some advantages over the other, for example, mirrorless cameras have smaller bodies, which makes them excellent for travelers, but not just that. DSLRs on the other hand, deliver faster operation time, mostly due to their prismatic nature, and have better battery life, and in terms of autofocus speed and low-light performance, DSLRs are one step ahead. I can comfortably say that there is no best between the types, just which one suits you better. Let’s get back to the topic, shall we?
The Sony A7III, in a full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera released in April 2018, as Sony’s professional-grade full-frame mirrorless lineup, and it has proven itself to be a great camera, it is very expensive even now that the fourth generation in the series has arrived, but it is one of the best investments you can make. While the lens options are limited, you can improvise with adapters, making it useful as the main workhorse, just make sure to invest in backup batteries.
Next up we have the Nikon D850, which is a full-frame digital single-lens reflex camera that was released in September 2017. It was released as a semi-pro model, but in my opinion, it is a worthy professional camera, and if you choose to add it to your arsenal it will deliver reliability and excellent image quality. However, this camera is pretty expensive, more expensive than the high-end professional-grade Sony A7III, but the lens selection and value for the price are amazing.
Since we got this out of the way, let’s take a closer look.
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Head To Head Comparison
Sony A7 III
Since the introduction of the A7 series, Sony has been the leader in the full-frame mirrorless market, with its excellent models year after year. While the A7III is the basic model in the A7 lineup compared to the A7RIII and the A7SIII, it is one of the most capable cameras in the market, delivering amazing value for its price. The predecessor of the A7III, was excellent and it was considered the pinnacle, however, Sony never ceases to amaze.
If you want a versatile camera that can do anything don’t look further, because the Sony A7III is here. The manufacturer has taken some good things from the excellent A9 and A7III to deliver an ultra-fast and capable camera, that can do everything excellently. It has an amazing autofocus system, fast shooting, 4K video, amazing dynamic range, in-body image stabilization and tons of other features.
Sony uses approximately the same design in all of its A7 camera series, and the A7III is no different, and if you don’t know any better you could mistake it for the flagship A7RIII. However, there are some minor differences, for example, the size is a little larger, but just a few millimeters, so it is not significant, and the camera is as portable as ever, as it measures 3.88x5x3-inches in total. But even at that small size, it comes with a deep handgrip, which delivers great ergonomic handling and security. Durability is great, as it is dust and weather-sealed, meaning you can go out and about with this camera, however, mirrorless cameras aren’t as durable as DSLR models.
Speaking about the controls, it has the same layout as the high-end A7RIII, giving you amazing creative freedom, but this is a double-edged sword since beginners will have to undertake a learning curve. On the rear of the device, there is the multi-selector joystick for precise work, however, you have the 3-inch 921k-dot vari-angle LCD touchscreen display as well, which is pretty sharp, responsive and useful.
In the autofocus department, this camera is very sophisticated and ready to perform, with its 693-point autofocus system that covers 93 percent of the scene, and has a good sensitivity that can focus down to -3EV. On top of that, you get tons of autofocus modes, which are pretty useful as a whole in various scenarios. What surprised me the most was the continuous autofocus mode, which was very fast and capable of tracking subjects, making the video shooting experience flawless.
The Sony A7III is equipped with a 24.2MP BSI CMOS full-frame sensor, that does a perfect job at shooting amazing photographs with beautiful colors, sharpness, white retention, and overall naturality, this is the most fun camera to shoot with especially if you pair it with a portrait lens for the Sony A7iii. The ISO range spans from 100 to 51,200 but can be expanded from 50 to 204,800, and even in high ISO levels, it performed excellently, keeping the noise levels low.
The performance and speed of this camera are great, as it can shoot 10 frames per second in burst shooting mode, thanks to its Front End LSI pre-processor. The buffer capacity is 89 for raw and 177 for JPEG files, and for a mirrorless camera, it has a lengthy battery life of at least 700 shots, which is the best in the mirrorless market.
It can shoot amazing 4K footage in both 24 and 30 frames per second, and are oversampled forms of 6K and 5K video (which will take up a lot of space, so you might need the best SD card for Sony A7iii) , and combined with its autofocus experience, this camera is one of the best all-rounders in the market.
Sony A7 III Sample Footage:
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Moving on we have an amazing camera from Nikon, the D850. In my opinion, if you can afford this camera, it could really replace everything you have in your arsenal since it can do everything excellently, despite being marketed as a semi-pro camera, this is a true professional-grade tool that can perform in every scenario, if you are in search of a capable camera this is it.
This amazing machine is the perfect tool for portrait shooting, landscape, action, wildlife, sports, weddings, street, and everything you may think of since it is equipped with an ultra-capable sensor, a powerful and reliable autofocus system, battery life for ages, bright viewfinder, and many more performance and features that make it a near-perfect camera.
This camera in the design department resembles closely to the D810, however, it is a slightly revamped version of it. This camera has an improved handgrip, which is now deeper and has a more ergonomic shape, making this camera very easy to hold for long periods, despite having a hefty body that weighs about 1005grams, without the lens. It has a full magnesium alloy construction, and it is extremely durable and on top of that it is fully weather and dust sealed, the build quality is top-notch.
The controls of this camera are pretty rich, however, that means that you will have to take a bit of learning curve, but then again this translates to amazing creative freedom, that you can’t find in other cameras. But if you are an experienced shooter, you will welcome all these controls since they are intuitively placed. On the back of the device, you will spot the new LCD screen, which now is tiltable and touch capacitive, meaning that you can select focus points and control the settings easily, the viewfinder is extremely bright and detailed, with great coverage as well.
The autofocus system in the Nikon D850 is one of the best in the market, despite what it looks like lacking compared to the A7III in the paper. This camera is equipped with a Multi-CAM 20K AF module with 153 autofocus points, from which 55 are selectable and 99 are cross-type points. In the sensitivity department, it goes down to -4EV, meaning that it can focus even in absolute darkness. You will see that this system can perform excellently in every scenario and it can track fast-moving subjects without any difficulty.
For its amazing image quality, the Nikon D850 utilizes an amazing 45.4MP BSI-CMOS sensor, that is just perfect at detail retention and combined with its Expeed 5 image processor, it can deliver the full range of colors in both sRGB and Adobe RGB color gamut. This sensor makes the Nikon D850 capable of delivering ultra-detailed photographs, for colorful and large prints, even for billboards, just amazing, top of the class. The ISO range spans from 64 to 25,600 and can be expanded from 32 to 108,400, and it can perform in high ISO levels without any issue.
In the performance department, it can deliver 7 frames per second in burst shooting mode, but you can up that to 9 if you install the battery grip. It has a buffer size for about 51 raw files and has the best battery life that I have ever seen, at 1,840 shots, before needing a recharge, truly a magnificent camera.
Nikon D850 Sample Footage:
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Sony A7 III vs Nikon D850 Feature Comparison
|Sony A7 III||Nikon D850|
|Camera Type||Full-Frame Mirrorless||Full-Frame DSLR|
|AF Points||693 AF Points||153 AF Points|
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Since we have a deeper knowledge of our cameras, it is pretty easy to know how to decide between the two. If you look closely at the table and read the reviews, you know which is the best overall camera, it is obviously Nikon D850 with its amazing performance, autofocus prowess, and low light performance. However, the Sony A7III is not far behind.
It is also worth mentioning that the Nikon D850 has a wider lens selection and those are generally cheaper. However, if you are considering just the body and you want to get the most value for the price, the Sony A7III is your best choice. You can also get a wide angle lens for the A7iii if you like, but they are expensive.
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