Sony Alpha A9 vs Sony Alpha A7R III

  • Full frame
  • 24 megapixels
  • Sony E
  • 50
    Overall
  • 24
    Imaging
  • 81
    Features
  • 74
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 42 megapixels
  • Sony E
  • 64
    Overall
  • 46
    Imaging
  • 88
    Features
  • 73
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Sony Alpha A9 vs Sony Alpha A7R III: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models from Pro Mirrorless category, introduced by Sony. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are Alpha A9 and Alpha A7R III. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - BSI-CMOS. However, they have different resolution. Thus, Sony Alpha A9 comes with a 24.0 MP BSI-CMOS sensor, while the Sony Alpha A7R III features a 42.0 MP BSI-CMOS sensor.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III.

Sony Alpha A9 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP Full frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 51200 (Expands to 50 - 204800)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 20.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 127 x 96 x 63 mm
  • Weight: 673 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No

Sony Alpha A7R III Key Features:

  • 42.0 MP Full frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 32000 (Expands to 50 - 102400)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 127 x 96 x 74 mm
  • Weight: 657 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Sony A7R II.

Why is Sony Alpha A9 a better choice than Sony Alpha A7R III

Continuous Shooting 20 fps vs 10 fps 10 fps faster
Number Of Focus Points 693 vs 425 268 more focus points

What are the key reasons to pick Sony Alpha A7R III over Sony Alpha A9

Timelapse Recording No vs No Creative shooting
Sensor Resolution 42.0 MP vs 24.0 MP 42.9% more pixels
Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 vs 847.28 mm2 1.7% larger pixel area
Weight 657 g vs 673 g 16 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 26 vs 24.9 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 14.7 vs 13.3 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 3523 vs 3517 Better High ISO performance

Key PROs of Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III

Touch Screen Yes | Yes Easy control of camera functions
Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Resolution 1,440k dots | 1,440k dots High resolution screen
Screen Type Tilting | Tilting Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Electronic | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP | 42.0 MP Bigger prints and more details
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Headphone Port Yes | Yes Better video control
Storage Slots 2 slots | 2 slots Extra Storage Slots
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Continuous Shooting 20.0 fps | 10.0 fps Nice continuous shooting
Image Stabilization Yes | Yes Built-in stabilization
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions
Battery Life 650 shots | 650 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III

Timelapse Recording No | Yes No timelapse recording
Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash

Sony Alpha A9 vs Sony Alpha A7R III: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III from the front view.

Sony Alpha A9
Sony Alpha A7R III
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Sony Alpha A9
Sony Alpha A7R III
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Sony Alpha A7R III is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 16g less than the Sony Alpha A9. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha A9 — 650 shots
Sony Alpha A7R III — 650 shots
Min: 210 shots
Average: 432 shots
Max: 870 shots
Thickness values for Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha A9 — 63 mm
Sony Alpha A7R III — 74 mm
Min: 37 mm
Average: 63 mm
Max: 97 mm
Weight values for Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha A9 — 673 g
Sony Alpha A7R III — 657 g
Min: 465 g
Average: 672 g
Max: 1320 g

Comparing Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Sony Alpha A9 features a 24.0 MP Full frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor and boasts of a BIONZ X processor . Sony Alpha A7R III, in its turn, comes with a 42.0 MP Full frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor and Bionz X processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III by the size of their sensors.

Sony Alpha A9
Sony Alpha A7R III
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Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Sony Alpha A9 Sony Alpha A7R III
Portrait Photography
99%
99%
Street Photography
98%
95%
Sports Photography
100%
99%
Daily Photography
70%
68%
Landscape Photography
98%
100%

Sony Alpha A9 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Sony Alpha A7R III for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (42 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Sony Alpha A9 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Full frame(35.6 x 23.8 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (127 x 96 x 63 mm)

Sony Alpha A7R III for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (127 x 96 x 74 mm)

Sony Alpha A9 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (20.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (693)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3517)

Disadvantages:

  • Small battery life (650 shots)

Sony Alpha A7R III for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (425)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3523)
  • Big size (127 x 96 x 74 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • Small battery life (650 shots)

Sony Alpha A9 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (673 g)
  • Big size (127 x 96 x 63 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony Alpha A7R III for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (657 g)
  • Big size (127 x 96 x 74 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony Alpha A9 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.3)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3517)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Sony Alpha A7R III for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (42 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3523)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Comparison of Sony Alpha A9 vs Sony Alpha A7R III: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Sony Alpha A9 or Sony Alpha A7R III, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha A7R III here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Sony Alpha A7R III deserves a higher Total Score than the Sony Alpha A9. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Sony Alpha A9 vs Sony Alpha A7R III Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Sony Alpha A9 Sony Alpha A7R III
General
Brand Sony Sony
Model Alpha A9 Alpha A7R III
Announced Apr 19, 2017 Oct 25, 2017
Body Type SLR-style mirrorless SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 35.6 x 23.8 mm 35.9 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 847.28 mm2 861.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 42.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 7952 x 5304
Max Native ISO 51,200 32,000
Max Boosted ISO 204,800 102,400
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Sony E Sony E
Number of Lenses 83 83
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 693 425
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Tilting Tilting
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 1,440k dots 1,440k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen Yes Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 3,686k dots 3,686k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.78 0.78
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 20.0 fps 10.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes Yes
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 0
Flash Modes Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync Auto, Fill-flash, Slow Sync, Rear Sync, Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average Yes Yes
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 92 100
DxO Color Depth 24.9 26.0
DxO Dynamic Range 13.3 14.7
DxO Low Light ISO 3517 3523
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a 3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 3840 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264 MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port Yes Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB USB 3.1 Gen 1(5 GBit/sec)
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 673 g 657 g
Physical Dimensions 127 x 96 x 63 mm 127 x 96 x 74 mm
Battery Life 650 shots 650 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model NP-FZ100 NP-FZ100
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No Yes
GPS
Storage Type Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II compatible) Two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II support on one)
Storage Slots 2 2

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