A Year with the Sony a7 III

This morn­ing I woke up to a Day One noti­fi­ca­tion let­ting me know that a year ago today, my Sony α7 III arrived. The Sony α7 III is a full frame, 24-megapix­el mir­ror­less cam­era. It has in-cam­era image sta­bi­liza­tion, USB‑C con­nec­tiv­i­ty, and can shoot 4K video in up to 30 frames per sec­ond. On paper, it’s a fan­tas­tic cam­era, and after a year of real-world use, I enjoy the hell out of every moment I shoot with it.

Before this, I’d been using a Canon T7i DSLR. Noth­ing against it. It took great images and pret­ty sol­id video, but DSLRs aren’t easy to use. For those of us who came up in the smart­phone era, using an opti­cal viewfinder—which doesn’t rep­re­sent the image you’ll get when you take the picture—can be pret­ty con­fus­ing. Nail­ing your expo­sure means tak­ing all these test shots to make sure you’re dialed in cor­rect­ly. The Canon T7i doesn’t have a joy­stick to move the focus point quick­ly, which meant hav­ing to focus and then reframe. These annoy­ances result­ed in a lot of missed shots for me. We went on a trip where I took over 300 pho­tos, and only about 75 of those were exposed cor­rect­ly and in focus.

I’m not try­ing to tell you that with my Sony I auto­mat­i­cal­ly nail expo­sure every time or that every shot I take is some­how in focus. But it is a lot eas­i­er, and I miss few­er shots. In fair­ness, I only had a DSLR for about a year, but I knew pret­ty ear­ly on it wasn’t for me. Some more expe­ri­enced pho­tog­ra­phers may say I didn’t give it enough time, and that may be true, but it’s essen­tial to use a cam­era you’re com­fort­able with.

In the past year, I’ve tak­en more pho­tos than prob­a­bly the pre­vi­ous two years com­bined. One fac­tor is that I love the cam­era, and learn­ing its ins and outs hasn’t been too dif­fi­cult. Sec­ond, is that I force myself to take it every­where I go. Some­times that’s incon­ve­nient and annoy­ing, but I nev­er regret it. In fact, I whole­heart­ed­ly regret the few times I’ve con­vinced myself to leave the cam­era at home.