Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends

Sony might have been first to launch a full-frame mirrorless digital camera, however Nikon introduced many years of digital camera design expertise with it when it entered the mirrorless market in 2018. The Sony A7R III and Nikon Z 7 are each high-end, high-resolution fashions which have a lot in widespread. With a near-identical megapixel depend and shut efficiency numbers, does Sony’s third-generation A7R have an edge over Nikon’s first-generation Z 7 in different areas, or has Nikon pulled off an underdog victory?
The two cameras are among the many closest matches from competing mirrorless manufacturers available on the market, promising the same picture high quality, quick burst speeds, inner stabilization programs, and pretty related costs. Like investing into any digital camera system, the reply as to which one is finest will depend on what you shoot and what you have already got in your digital camera bag. Here’s how these two cameras examine, each on the spec sheet and within the hand.

Sony A7R III

Nikon Z 7

42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor
45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor
Burst Speed
Up to 10 fps
as much as 9 fps (5.5 fps with viewfinder)
Shutter Speed
1/8,000 to 30 sec.
1/8,000 to 30 sec.
100-32,000 (50-102,400 expanded)
64-25,600 (32-102,400 expanded)
425-point hybrid part/contrast-detection AF
493-point hybrid part/contrast-detection AF with AF
Image Stabilization
5-axis sensor-shift stabilization
5-axis sensor-shift stabilization
4K at 30 fps, 8-bit S-Log3, HLG
4K at 30 fps, 10-bit N-Log by way of HDMI
.5-inch, 3686k-dot OLED with eye sensor
.5-inch 3690k-dot OLED with eye sensor
2.95-inch 1.4 million dot tilting touchscreen
3.2-inch 2.1 million dot tilting touchscreen
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Li-ion rated at 530 pictures
Li-ion rated at 330 pictures
Dimensions (WxHxD)
5 x 3.875 x 2.5 inches
5.3 x 4 x 2.7 inches
23.2 oz.
20.7 oz.
Kit Lens
Available physique solely or with 24-70mm, 16-35mm, or 70-200mm lenses
Available physique solely, or with a 24-70mm f/4
$3,200 body-only
$3,400 body-only
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Sony A7R III Review
Nikon Z 7 Review
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The distinction within the megapixel tallies between the Sony A7R III and Nikon Z 7 is minimal, with the Sony at 42.2 and the Nikon at 45.7. Both sensors are additionally bottom illuminated, which improves gentle sensitivity. While the Nikon has extra decision on paper, the real-world distinction will likely be negligible and rely extra on the lens you pair with the digital camera. Even DxOMark, the corporate identified for sensor lab checks, scored these two cameras only a level aside, with almost equal coloration depth and dynamic vary and the Sony solely popping out barely forward for prime ISO sensitivity (seemingly partly because of its decrease decision).
In use, even skilled photographers can be hard-pressed to inform which picture got here from which digital camera with out digging into the metadata. Both cameras provide a stable quantity of element and, contemplating their excessive pixel counts, impressively low noise ranges in low gentle. When it involves picture high quality, these two full-frame mirrorless cameras are just about neck-and-neck — and each are superb. You can’t go fallacious with both.
Winner: Tie
A fast look on the tech specs places the A7R III and Z 7 on the same web page with pace — however that’s with solely a fast look. The Nikon Z 7 can shoot a stable 9 frames per second with steady autofocus, however that’s with out full entry to the digital viewfinder or auto publicity changes between frames. The Z 7 additionally has an excellent, however not nice, picture buffer measurement of about 23 RAW pictures at that prime pace.
At first, the A7R III doesn’t look a lot completely different, promoting a burst price simply 1 fps larger than the Z 7 — nevertheless it additionally comes with much less high quality print. The digital camera doesn’t have the no-blackout viewfinder of the highly effective Sony A9, nevertheless it nonetheless permits for autoexposure changes and dwell view at that speeds. The buffer on the Sony can even enable for longer bursts, rated at 76 compressed 12-bit RAW pictures or 28 pictures when taking pictures uncompressed RAW.
Winner: Sony A7R III
Early mirrorless cameras lagged considerably behind DSLRs when it got here to autofocus efficiency. Most have caught up, however that fame means photographers maintain autofocus efficiency as a main concern when eyeing a mirrorless digital camera. And for probably the most half, the Sony A7R III and Nikon Z 7 go away little room for fear.
The A7R III has three generations of innovation and refinement underneath its belt, and Sony continues to enhance its AF programs by firmware updates. The A7R III has a wonderful eye-tracking mode for photographing folks (and even animals) that no different firm can fairly match. The digital camera’s autofocus carried out properly in real-world checks, together with each monitoring shifting topics and taking pictures in restricted lighting.
The Nikon Z 7 could also be a primary technology product, however the Z 7’s autofocus is not any slouch. The Z 7 locks on the topic shortly in most lighting circumstances and even dealt with motion and steady taking pictures properly. The Z 7 will quickly achieve an eye fixed AF mode as a part of an upcoming firmware replace, however we haven’t had an opportunity to check it but. The Z 7 autofocus isn’t excellent, although, and is noticeably slower when taking pictures in restricted lighting. The 3D monitoring mode — lengthy a staple of Nikon’s DSLRs — additionally felt a bit restricted right here.
Winner: Sony A7R III
As high-end hybrid cameras, each the Sony A7R III and Nikon Z 7 can shoot 4K at 24 or 30 fps, and might shoot larger body charges at 1080p for slow-motion playback. Both also can shoot in both full-frame or Super 35 crop modes modes, and every takes benefit of oversampling within the latter for even sharper outcomes.
If you’re recording internally, the Sony could have a possible edge in high quality as you’ll be able to shoot in Sony’s S-Log3 coloration profile to protect extra dynamic vary. This is a decidedly “pro” characteristic that not everybody will need to use, because it requires the footage to be coloration graded simply to look regular, however critical videographers and filmmakers will admire it. Nikon additionally gives a logarithmic profile on the Z 7 (referred to as N-Log), however it is just accessible whereas recording over HDMI to an exterior recorder.
However, the Z 7 also can output 10-bit 4:2:2 coloration over HDMI, which offers rather more data than Sony’s restricted 8-bit output. What’s extra, a coming firmware replace will enable full RAW video output from the Z 7, which will be saved within the new ProfessionalRes RAW format on suitable recorders. So whereas the Sony has an edge with out contemplating third-party equipment, a Nikon Z 7 outfitted with the likes of an Atomos Ninja V recorder will be capable of produce outcomes that rival skilled cinema cameras.
Winner: Nikon Z 7
Hillary Grigonis / Digital TrendsDesign
Both cameras characteristic 3.69-million-dot digital viewfinders mounted immediately over the lens, DSLR-style, and rear LCD screens that may tilt up and down. Sony made just a few minor tweaks to the design in comparison with earlier technology fashions, including a joystick for adjusting the autofocus level and a few new menu choices. It has a good association of bodily controls and dials that preserve all main settings between your proper thumb and index finger. It’s additionally the smaller of the 2 cameras, however weighs barely greater than the Z 7. The largest perk, nevertheless, may simply be the twin reminiscence card slots in comparison with the Z 7’s one. (Note, although, that the Sony makes use of SD playing cards, whereas the Nikon makes use of quicker XQD playing cards — and will likely be up to date to help even quicker CFexpress playing cards within the close to future.)
Nikon took its expertise constructing DSLRs and included among the similar design language into the Z 7, together with the massive however comfy grip. The management scheme feels stable, and there’s a secondary LCD display screen on the prime that shows digital camera settings, a characteristic that the A7R III doesn’t have. Even with that secondary show, the Z 7 in some way suits much more controls on the highest plate, and likewise places two perform buttons on the entrance — an space of the digital camera the A7R III leaves inexplicably bare. The weather-sealing on the Z 7 can also be glorious, as an impartial tear-down revealed.
Overall, the Nikon takes a wiser strategy to its use of bodily house, however a lot nonetheless comes down to private desire. Do you favor utilizing two reminiscence playing cards, or a single, however a lot quicker, one? Do you just like the smaller construct of the Sony, or the bigger however extra ergonomic setup of the Nikon? Do you want having all the first controls simply accessible by one hand, or do you favor having extra controls in whole?
Winner: Tie
Battery Life
With an digital viewfinder as a substitute of an optical one, mirrorless cameras are notoriously onerous on batteries. The Nikon Z 7’s CIPA battery ranking of simply 330 exposures per cost isn’t nice, and much like Sony’s second technology cameras. The Sony A7R III, nevertheless, introduced a dramatic enchancment in battery capability, and boasts a ranking of 530 pictures. In real-world taking pictures, each cameras shot properly past these technical rankings, as is commonly the case, however the Sony remains to be going to outlast the Nikon.
Winner: Sony A7R III
Picking an general winner

The Sony A7R III and Nikon Z 7 are two of the highest high-resolution mirrorless cameras available on the market — going with both one isn’t a nasty determination. But, there are just a few essential areas the place the 2 fashions differ. Image high quality will likely be related between them, however Sony managed to pack in additional pace and a greater autofocus system. The Z 7, in the meantime, has a design that makes earlier Nikon DSLR shooters really feel proper at residence and, considerably surprisingly, extra potential as a high-end video digital camera.
While the record worth for the 2 cameras is analogous, the Sony has been available on the market since 2017, which makes it simpler to seek out with a reduction — on the time of writing, the A7R III physique is promoting for slightly below $2,800. As the extra mature system, Sony additionally has many extra native lenses accessible, however Nikon DSLR homeowners can adapt their present lenses to to the Z 7 with out sacrificing efficiency.

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