06 Sony A73 a Sony has been making movie cameras since video was invented and this heritage has been reflected in its still cameras, but lately the company has been consciously trying to master a camera that’s all about still photography, along the lines of brands like Nikon and Canon.

The new $3099 A7-3 is a result, Sony’s entry-level mirrorless camera that has a full-size 35 mm 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, and a smart one at that. Tricky tech gives it excellent dynamic range and low noise even at extreme ISO settings. It’s not a camera for professionals but it’s one professionals will recommend to their non-pro friends who ask for a recommendation. It’s still good at video, but get an SDXC card.

You don’t have to be a pro to use it. It’s nicely sized and shaped, beautifully compact, tactile and intuitive, and a bit hefty. The menus are easily mastered. Okay, the range of lenses doesn’t come within cooee of the longer established camera brands but it is nevertheless comprehensive.

06 Sony A73 bMost autofocus systems work only with subjects that are reasonably centred, but this one covers 93 per cent of the frame. Lock onto a face (or a race car or a stunt aeroplane) and the autofocus will follow it to the edges of the frame, even into the corners. The light meter is also nicely flexible.

You can register up to eight faces prior to a shoot and this means the bride will be in focus even if she’s top right-hand corner. After her it will prioritise the groom and then, depending on your sensitivities I guess, the bride’s mum on down. Switch to silent and you won’t hear a sound as pictures are being taken, and neither will people around you, but take care with this on continuous shooting, it’s easy to take five or six identical shots given the camera’s 10 frames-per-second drive.

The viewfinder is big, bright and sharp and there’s an artificial horizon that’s dead cool and surprisingly useful.

It’s power hungry but gets a better battery than older Sonys. A second one costs $129.

Published July 2018


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