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Anyone shooting Sony a7riii?

Discussion in 'Sony Snappers' started by hilljo88, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. hilljo88

    hilljo88 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: nyc
    426
    251
    63
    Is anyone shooting a7riii? Looks like a good alternative to Nikon D850. Lighter, great resolution, less expensive. What housing, lenses etc. are you using?
     
  2. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    1,385
    992
    113
    I don't have an A7Riii, but I do shoot an A7iii above water. (I shoot an A6000 underwater and use it as my back up body.)

    Keep in mind, since I don't shoot an A7 series camera underwater, my recommendations are based on opinion, not necessarily fact.

    First, and this applies whether your shot is above the water or underwater, an image from an A7Riii will be a huge file! Make sure your computer has the "horsepower" to effectively do post production on it. If your computer can't handle the image, then you have hit a "deal breaker" right away.

    As for housings, there are only 2 that I would seriously consider, Aquatica and Nauticam. I'm sure that there are lower cost options available, but the A7Riii is an expensive camera and with housings, you usually get what you pay for. Personally, I like the Aquatica housing for the A7iii because it offers a choice for how to trigger the strobes and will include an optical trigger at no extra charge if that is what you opt for. Both of these housings offer the capability to "vacuum seal" the housing.

    For a full frame camera, your choice of lens will seem to be wider than with a crop sensor. For wide angle, the Sony/Zeiss 16-35 f4 OSS is a great lens. (It is my "go to" lens for my A7iii above water.) Both Aquatica and Nauticam have port options for it. If you want a slightly faster option, and money is no object, the Sony 16-35 f2.8 GM gives you an extra stop, but at a significantly higher price point. For macro, your best option is probably the Sony 90mm macro lens. Again, both companies offer port options for this lens as well.

    To answer your question about what housing I use, I use a Nauticam housing for my A6000 with the Sony 10-18 lens for wide angle and the 16-50mm kit lens when I could get a mix of wide angle and macro.
     
  3. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
    3,294
    3,503
    113
    I can't comment on shooting with an A7Riii underwater since my Canon 5d3 is dedicated to that, but I recently added one to my camera bag for pretty much everything and it's fantastic. The dynamic range blows me away.

    I still prefer my Canon 1DX for low light or fast stuff because the autofocus system still seems to beat the Sony, especially in those environments, but I find that I'm taking the Sony out more and more often for everything else.

    I really like taking it out for street and travel photography. There's a substantial difference even in peoples reactions when walking around with an A7Riii with a little Zeiss 35mm prime when compared to a pro body with any lens. I've got a Metabones IV and run my Canon lenses on it with pretty decent success, although even if I got a housing for the Sony, I'm sure I'd have to buy into the Sony glass architecture since trying to use the 16-35 2.8L with the adapter is just going to be one failboat after another.

    I'll echo the Aquatica or Nauticam recommendation. My Sea & Sea housing for my 5d3 and I love it, but I haven't looked into their Sony offerings. The only reason I got the S&S instead of my original plan to go with Aquatica was because I got a great deal from Jack at Ocean Optical Sales. I don't shoot macro, but the S&S big dome with the 16-35 2.8L takes really nice photos. It even takes good selfies, if a bit cumbersome (see my avatar).
     
    hilljo88 and RyanT like this.
  4. Mephki

    Mephki Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    16
    4
    3
    Meeee! (Just got system, get me in a month after I've had a chance to thoroughly use it.) I went all in and got a Nauticam housing and it is so nice! Really easy to get in and out, everything works smoothly. Vacuum system and moisture alarms are great and take some of the stress out of diving.

    I have both of the lenses mentioned above (90mm macro f2.8, 16-24 f4), looking good so far. Can't wait to jump in with it.

    I've been a Sony Alpha photographer for a few years, I also have an A7-II and am off to a good start on my collection of e-mount lenses.
     
    islandboysrule likes this.
  5. Ricardo V.

    Ricardo V. Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Palm City, FL
    349
    361
    63
    It’s a great camera. It has an amazing range and produces excellent results.

    I would like to reply to your post with some feedback that can help you decide. First, I slightly disagree with it being less expensive or lighter. The reason being that by the time you add up all of the essential components to use it underwater, you are making a significant investment and it’s not going to be too different with either camera... and by that I mean cost, volume, weight and amount of attention needed to tend to it.

    My system is housed in Nauticam and more often than not, I shoot macro with a native Sony G-90mm lens.

    I switched, not permanently and I’ll explain here shortly... from Canon. I still keep my Nauticam Canon system and can assure you that both are essentially the same as far as weight, volume and transportation requirements. They are not easy to pack and travel with. It’s doable do, very doable.

    Back to the camera, the level of detail you get from Sony is superb. My Canon SLR, not as much as the Sony, but still pretty decent.

    I like to use the Canon for night diving. Sony struggles to attain focus during night dives. I’ve tried several focusing lights and while white light helps... it distracts the subject and well... that’s not the idea. Canon does respond like a good SLR indeed, and a low red focusing light makes it ideal for night dives.

    Last but not least, consider viewing a video review that Backscatter has of the 2 systems you are inquiring about. The video is available on YouTube. I believe there is a link somewhere on ScubaBoard too.

    Cheers,
    Ricardo
     
  6. hilljo88

    hilljo88 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: nyc
    426
    251
    63
    I ended up getting the a7iii with Sea and Sea housing and ysd2 strobes. I’m very impressed with S&S build quality. I’ve been shooting the Sony 90 lens and very happy with it.
     
  7. CZS

    CZS Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: OKC, OK
    67
    44
    18
    I too, recently had my selection down to the A7RIII and the D850 and elected to go with the A7RIII primarily because of the size/weight out of the water. I wanted something to carry on land excursions/etc and, without a housing, the A7RIII is noticeably smaller/handier than the D850. That said, make no mistake, once you add housing, port and strobes, it's a large camera in the water. If you're intending to use this camera SOLELY underwater, frankly, I would look for other factors such as lens selection, optical vs EVF, etc. to influence your decision.
     
    Ricardo V. likes this.
  8. Mephki

    Mephki Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    16
    4
    3
    Got my camera wet for the first time, and it was amazing. I cannot say enough good things about the Nauticam housing/vacuum pump. I knew the enclosure was airtight every dive, which made things a lot less stressful. I spent a lot of time shooting macro with the Sony 90mm lens mentioned above, and also did some wide angle with a 16-35 and dome port. As someone new to photography with a big camera underwater, the macro housing configuration was much easier to manage (the dome port is BIG and quite buoyant.) Learning curve and all, I have some nice photos from my diving in Indonesia. So excited to get back in the water with it!
     
    Ricardo V. likes this.
  9. PHIL RUDIN

    PHIL RUDIN Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives:
    Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
    1,213
    257
    83
    I have been using Sony A7 II, A7R II, A7 III, A7R III and most recently the A6400 for hundreds of dives around the world. All of this equipment has been reviewed along with lenses, ports and other accessories in uwpmag.com. Underwater Photography magazine is a free PDF download for both current and back issues. MySony full frame reviews go back as far as the Sept/Oct 2015 issue and include housing from Acquapazza, Ikelite and Nauticam.

    To address some of the statements made above first If budget is a high priority don't rule out the Ikelite line. I have reviewed a bunch of their housings and have never felt uncomfortable about having an expensive camera in an Ikelite housing. Second while I agree that 42MP files take up more space than 24MP files this has not been an issue for me with 10's of thousands of larger RAW files. I am using a circa 2012 I-mac stock desktop computer and an even older laptop with no storage issues.

    All of the current reviews on A7 III and A7R III are pre V.3 and V. 3.1 firmware updates. These updates added additional AF speed, accuracy, animal eye AF and most importantly an advanced AF tracking system. My Sony A6400 review in the current issue covers some of these features in detail. The three lenses I use most with the FF systems are the 90mm F/2.8 macro, the 12-24mm F/4 zoom with ZEN 230mm dome port and the Canon 8-15mm F/4L circular Fisheye lens with a Metabones lens adapter and the Nauticam 140mm dome port with removable lens shade for this lens.

    I invite you all to checkout the reviews if you want to get a good idea what the Sony cameras systems can do. You should also be able to fine reviews for the Nikon D850 by other reviewers.

    The attached photos are with the 12-24mm zoom, A7R III, Nauticam NA-A7RIII housing, ZEN 230mm dome port, with two Inon Z330 strobes. The B&W photo is at the 12mm end of the lens and the color photo is at 24mm. These were both taken with the Inon strobes set to around 1/4 power in manual at five frames per second. Even at five frames per second the EYE AF worked very well for the model and the strobes did not miss an exposure.

    Instagram #philrudinphotography
    untitled-01912.jpg untitled-04160.jpg
     
    Ricardo V. and Hoag like this.
  10. Mephki

    Mephki Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    16
    4
    3
    @PHIL RUDIN how do you find the animal eye autofocus works for fish eyes? I updated to the release with that feature right before the trip, but wasn't convinced it would do well on fish and crabs and stuff.
     

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