The Sony a7 III and the Sony a9 II are definitely targeted at different audiences, with the a9 II being a newer, more advanced camera. Perhaps you’re an existing Sony a7 III user wondering if it’s worth upgrading, or maybe both cameras are new to you, and you’re trying to see if it’s worth paying more for the Sony a9 II. Whatever your reason, this article is here to help!
Sony a7 III vs Sony a9 II Specifications Comparison
|Camera Feature||Sony a7 III||Sony a9 II|
|Announced||February 2018||October 2019|
|Sensor Type||BSI CMOS||Stacked CMOS|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X (front-end LSI)|
|Resolution||24.2 MP||24.2 MP|
|Sensor Dimensions||35.6 x 23.8 mm (Full Frame)||35.6 x 23.8 mm (Full Frame)|
|Sensor Pixel Size||5.93µ||5.9µ|
|Low Pass Filter||No1||Yes|
|IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)||Yes||Yes|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Max Native ISO||ISO 51,200||ISO 51,200|
|Extended ISOs||ISO 50-204,800||ISO 50-204,800|
|High-Resolution Sensor Shift||No||No|
|Focus Stack Bracketing||No||No|
|Pre-Shoot Burst Mode||No||No|
|Fastest Shutter Speed||1/8000||1/32000|
|Longest Shutter Speed||30 seconds||30 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)||10 FPS||10 FPS|
|Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)||10 FPS||20 FPS|
|Notes for High FPS Shooting||None||Compressed 12-bit raw at 20 FPS (uncompressed 14-bit raw is available at 12 FPS)|
|Buffer Size (Raw)||89 frames (10 FPS)||239 frames (20 FPS)|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Low-Light AF Sensitivity (f/2 Lens, ISO 100)||-3 EV||-3 EV|
|Standard Flash Sync Speed||1/250||1/250|
|Curtain to Protect Sensor at Shutdown||No||Yes|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)||8 bits||8 bits|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)||8 bits||8 bits|
|4K Maximum Framerate||30 FPS||30 FPS|
|1080P Maximum Framerate||120 FPS||120 FPS|
|Additional Video Crop Factor||No||No|
|Chroma Subsampling||4:2:0, 4:2:2 (External)||4:2:0, 4:2:2 (External)|
|Video Recording Limit||30 min||780 min|
Physical and Other Features
|Slot 1 Type||SD (UHS-II)||SD (UHS-II)|
|Slot 2 Type||SD (UHS-I)||SD (UHS-II)|
|Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)||3.0 in||3.0 in|
|Rear LCD Resolution||0.92 million dots||1.44 million dots|
|Articulating LCD||Single Axis||Single Axis|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2.36 million dots||3.69 million dots|
|USB Type||Type C 3.1||Type C 3.2 Gen 1|
|Battery Life (Viewfinder)||610 frames||500 frames|
|Battery Life (Rear LCD)||710 frames||690 frames|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)||650 g (1.43 lbs.)||678 g (1.49 lbs.)|
|Dimensions (LxHxD)||127 x 96 x 74 mm (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9″)||129 x 96 x 78 mm (5.1 x 3.8 x 3.1″)|
|MSRP, Body Only||$2000 (Check Current Price)||$4500 (Check Current Price)|
|Used Prices||Sony a7 III Used Prices||Sony a9 II Used Prices|
|1It is unconfirmed whether the Sony a7 III has a low-pass filter. The general (and perhaps surprisng) consensus is that it does not, or if it does, it is a weak horizontal-only AA filter.|
Summary and Recommendations
On the surface, this is hardly a fair comparison, with the Sony a9 II clearly winning almost any time that the two cameras differ in specs! Actually, aside from price, the only meaningful advantage of the Sony a7 III is that it has a longer battery life when using the viewfinder.
But you’ll also note that there are more similarities than differences in the chart above. For example, take the video features. Here, the two cameras are practically identical, except that the Sony a9 II has a longer recording limit of 780 minutes. If you don’t need that feature (and many photographers won’t), the Sony a7 III does just as good of a job for less than half the price!
Other areas, of course, do favor the Sony a9 II pretty strongly. It’s clearly the better camera for photographing fast action, thanks to the higher burst rate and bigger buffer. For sports and wildlife photography, it’s probably worth upgrading to the Sony a9 II. But for most other types of photography, it’s surprising how well the Sony a7 III holds its own. Considering the great prices of the a7 III, especially on the used market, I would strongly consider it if you’re on a budget.
What does the Sony a7 III offer over the Sony a9 II?
- Better battery life overall, both in the viewfinder and rear LCD
- Much lower price – less than half the MSRP!
What does the Sony a9 II offer over the Sony a7 III?
- Faster burst rate of 20 FPS, combined with a bigger buffer
- Useful voice memo feature for quickly labeling your photos in the field
- Higher resolution rear display and electronic viewfinder, making photography more enjoyable
Questions? Go to our forum, where you can start a conversation and talk to photographers about these two cameras!