I have owned the Sony A7 R III for a little bit more than two months. This camera has been widely reviewed and tested since it was launched one year ago. However, I have seen no tested for review from a cosplay photographer. I'm not writing a full review I'm simply offering my thoughts on how this camera operates for cosplay photography.
The autofocus system performed extremely well in a variety lighting situation. You can expect that for the most part, you will get extremely sharp photos, especially in the eyes. Many cosplayers utilize context lenses in their cosplay projects. The eye autofocus does a really good job and locking on such to those contact lenses.
Personally, I like to shoot manual focus during my photo shoots. The A7 R III provides a full suite of manual focusing options. Focus peaking is a key tool that I use during a photo session. It works even better than form prior Sony cameras. In a case that a Lens refuses to cooperate when it comes to autofocus, switches the camera into manual focus mode with peaking engaged will allow me to get solid images.
One of the downsides shooting in manual focus is the possibility that the slightest movement, while you're trying to focus, will introduce slight motion blur into your image. The steady shot system increases the likelihood that more of your shots are be in focus whether you're using autofocus or manual focus. When I shot with the original Sony A7 are often lost too many images because they can have no way to compensate for the slights of movements while I was trying to lock focus. The A7 R III dramatically increase the hit rate images shot with auto and manual focus. This is key, because you may never get a chance to shoot with specific cosplayers again.
More often than not, you will see cosplay photographers and comic or anime conventions. Overall camera performance is critical when you are in a convention hall where thousands of other people are walking around. Admittedly, prior Sony camera bodies have sometimes have been slow to activate. The A7 R III makes dramatic improvements in operational performance. It turns on very quickly and is ready to shoot very quick. This performance has even improved with the recent version 2.0 firmware update for the A7 III and A7 R III.
When shooting, the buffer is very quickly even when shooting the two memory cards. It goes without saying that faster memory cards will dramatically increase buffer performance. Another critical weakness of prior Sony bodies was the dreaded battery. The new z battery is a key improvement. Let me put it this, I can still have over 40% of the battery after filling up three 32 gig memory cards.
I agree that the menu system on this camera continues to be a weakness. I remember shooting with the first E-mount body the NEX-3. That menu system was atrocious. The good news is that the A7 R III, A9, and A7 III offer an important work around. After familiarizing myself with all of the menu options is set up in my menu tab. Now doing a photo shoot I can quickly access the most common menu settings without having to date under page after page of options.
When it comes to color or color science, cosplay photographers have a unique perspective. It is very common for cosplayers to have on a variety of colors. This could be from makeup, to face and body paint, wigs, costume, and props. In my view, I find that the A7 R III does a fantastic job in capturing accurate color. The debate over color science makes little sense. Color is subjective this is why all of my photo shoots are shot in RAW. I would rather color grade my images instead of allowing the camera to make those decisions.
The A7 R III really shines when his current post process RAW files. At launch Sony 's claims that this camera had of the 15 stops of dynamic range. I cannot verify that this is the case, but I can say that I can turn a dark picture into a well lite portrait. With proper editing skills, files from the A7 R III can unlock new levels of creativity in cosplay photos that a magazine will want to publish. Files from the camera offer that level of flexibility which will allow you to color grade, crop or do almost anything else that you would like.
This camera delivers the goods for cosplay photography. It checks the box on practically every concern that a cosplay photographer would have. A top-of-the-line autofocusing and manual focusing system. Improved performance with the batteries, memory, and startup times make the A7 R III a good decision for any cosplay photographer.
As many of you may know I have shot Sony cameras my entire photography career. This is why I did not mention cameras by other manufacturers. I have simply not had the opportunity to spend any significant time with those cameras.
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