The a7S III takes the S series to a whole new level of full-frame movie expression. Spectacular new speed combines with supreme sensitivity and ultra-low noise to put previously impossible 4K movie shoots on the menu, with high dynamic range, breathtaking focusing, and extra-strong image stabilisation. Full-frame E (FE) mount.
Canon’s premium full-frame model in the EOS R series, the EOS R5, is a masterstroke. It delivers a powerful combination of high resolution and high speed, capable of rattling out 45MP still images at up to a staggering 20fps, with its subject recognition and deep-learning AI technology making light work of focusing. The detail in its files leaves nothing to be desired and we are astounded by what’s possible at high sensitivity settings. It’s not adverse to overheating when recording lengthy 8K and 4K 120p video, but this point aside it’s an astonishing high resolution full frame camera you can’t fail but fall in love with.
The A9 sets an extremely high benchmark by full-frame mirrorless standards. It’s an action, sports and wildlife photographer’s dream camera in the way it can rattle out 24MP images at up to 20fps with no viewfinder blackout. It has an electronic shutter that controls rolling shutter distortion extremely well and can record a phenomenal 240 raw files consecutively at 20fps without interruption. It’s primarily a stills camera aimed at the most demanding photographers, but can be asked to record 4K/30p video across the full width of the sensor. Its compact size, immensely powerful processor, in-body image stabilisation and superb autofocus are all reasons why speed conscious photographers swear by it.
Though a minor update to Nikon’s magnificent Z 7, the Z 7 II introduces important revisions that enhance performance. By uniting a pair of Expeed 6 image processors together it can shoot continuously at up to 10fps for longer. There’s the option to ouput ProRes raw video via HDMI to an external recorder and the addition of 4K/60p video is well received. The Z 7 missed a trick by only having a single XQD card slot, The Z 7 II addresses this by adding a second SD card slot. The camera can be charged when it’s powered and having the option to select face and eye tracking during video recording video is another advantage.
Sony has excelled themselves with the A7R IV. They’ve created a master of resolution that does so much more than offer an outrageously high 61MP output. It captures full-resolution images at a healthy 10fps, processes high volumes of data without delay, delivers an absurdly impressive ISO performance and offers a jaw-dropping dynamic range performance. A revised handgrip, refined weather seals and wider phase-detection coverage, combined with an extremely useful 26MP APS-C crop mode are reasons to choose it ahead of the A7R III. The A7R IV is a dream camera. It achieves the unthinkable and excels in each and every criteria.
Nikon kick-started its Z-series with the Z 7 – a camera we regard as a high-resolution mirrorless marvel. To make a camera as special as the Z 7 at the first time of trying is a credit to Nikon and users will be gob smacked by the fine detail and outstanding noise response that’s resolved by its 45.7MP CMOS sensor. Its rigid body withstands the severity of professional use, it boasts extensive weather sealing, positions its buttons across the body extremely well for intuitive control and offers a handling experience as good as any full-frame mirrorless camera we’ve used. It’s surpassed only by the Z 7 II.
Canon has hit the sweet spot of what serious enthusiasts and professionals are after from a general-purpose full-frame mirrorless camera. Built around the same weather-sealed magnesium alloy chassis as the EOS R5, it doesn’t skimp on advanced features or functionality and its 5-axis in-body stabilisation provides a staggering 8 stops of compensation with selected RF lenses. It feels every bit like a true EOS camera when it’s being used and presents the benefits of mirrorless with the only drawback being the time you need to give it to cool between 4K video recordings. As a stills camera it ticks all the right boxes if you don’t require the EOS R5’s resolution output.
Despite playing second fiddle to the mighty A7R IV, the A7R III continues to deliver sensational image quality and a performance that’ll exceed most photographer’s expectations. The combination of 42.4MP back-illuminated sensor, hybrid autofocus system, 10fps burst shooting, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation and 4K/30p video using the full width of the sensor was always going to be a recipe for success. It’s the way it’s packaged into such a conveniently sized body that gives it the upper hand over bulky DSLRs. Users will immediately become besotted by the quality of the A7R III’s images and the way it provides perfectly useable images at ISO 12,800.
The Z6 II takes Nikon’s sensational 24MP full-frame all-rounder to the next level. It introduces the updates photographers and videographers had been hoping for, namely a second card slot to enable crucial back up while shooting, 4K/60p video recording (available in February 2021 via a firmware update) and support of a dedicated battery grip (MB-N11) that replicates controls in the portrait format and accepts two batteries to enhance stamina. Face and eye tracking is made available during video recording and by incorporating not one but two Expeed 6 processors, it can shoot 125 raw files or 200 JPEGs at up to 14fps, which is 2fps faster than the original Z 6.
The ‘C’ in a7C stands for compact. Full-frame mirrorless cameras with in-body image stabilisation don’t come smaller and it successfully squeezes the core features from the a7 III into a body that shares a common resemblance with Sony’s a6000-series of APS-C mirrorless cameras. Sony should be applauded for fitting a fully articulated screen, 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder and IBIS into a camera so small. The way the microphone port is positioned so it doesn’t foul movement of the screen is a nice touch. It’s a camera that offers a remarkable specification for its size, but its handling, especially with large lenses, has nothing on the Sony a7 III.