The Sony A7S III is the ultimate 4K camera, which has been around for 5 years. After years of speculation, Sony got a glimpse of the most popular A7S series (A7S II launched five years ago) and finally has a new camera.
Sony has added some of the most impressive video-centric features we have seen in the compact camera body in the latest version.
Sony emphasizes 4K, positioning the $3,500 A7S III as a low-light country and also the most powerful camera in its market segment.
Mark Weir, Senior Technical Manager of Sony Digital Imaging, told Digital Trends: “A7S II is designed for making excellent videos and low-light photography.”
“It shows how Sony gets feedback from end-users to update and comprehensively improve users. Experience.”
Significant video features
- Large pixels enable high sensitivity and low noise ISO range 80-102,400 (standard), 40-409,600 (extended).
- In the movie shooting in S-log 3 (the new basic ISO is 160), the dynamic range exceeds.
- 15 stops Sony’s sensor stabilization function is retained, and digital image stabilization in active mode is added-the cropping effect is slightly increased, and greater stability is optimized for the video.
- Sony’s sensor stabilization function is retained, and digital image stabilization in active mode is added-the cropping effect is slightly increased, and greater stability is optimized for the video.
- 4K full pixel reading, no need to merge or skip lines in all modes.
- Hybrid autofocus system with 759 phase-detection AF points (92% area coverage) and 425 contrast-detection points.
- 10-bit depth, 4:2:2 color sampling in all formats.
- FHD/HD proxy simultaneous recording.
- XAVC S long GOP (H.264 MP4), XAVC HS (H.265 HEVC) format 24p, 30p, 60p and 120p.
- Full-size HDMI, microphone jack, headphone jack, and USB mini terminal.
- USB-C is compatible with power supply and USB adapter.
- An extensive list of movie shooting auxiliary functions.
- Real-time tracking and real-time eye autofocus are possible in all modes (movie and static).
- Up to 120p frame rate 4K, continuous FHD up to 240p.
- Output up to 60p full-frame 16-bit RAW video through HDMI Type A terminal.
New sensors and processors
The development of A7S III surpassed the original intention of the series, thanks to a batch of new hardware components that debuted in the new body.
The A7S III uses the new back-illuminated 12.1 megapixel Exmor R image sensor, which has twice the reading speed of the A7S II but still maintains an incredible low-light performance.
The faster reading speed allows the camera to use the entire width of the sensor to capture 120 frames per second at 4K, which is not possible with other compact mirrorless cameras.
The sensor update also improves the autofocus speed and minimizes the rolling shutter in all modes, which are two important updates for video shooters.
Also, A7S III uses the new Bionz XR processor, which is eight times more powerful than the previous processing engine. It is combined with the function of the new sensor, allowing the camera to process more frames in a long time.
Sony believes that the camera is capable of continuous 4K shooting at 60 frames per second for up to an hour but informally stated that it may exceed that specification.
New type variable angle articulated touch screen rear LCD screen
Sony has implemented a side-opening variable-angle rear LCD, which is the first time Sony has used any Alpha camera. This articulated screen is the same as the articulated screen implemented on the ZV-1, which can increase flexibility when shooting.
When we talked about the rear LCD, Sony finally added a full touch function to both the shooting mode and the menu.
The company has also redesigned the menu of the previous Alpha camera to make it easier to navigate and grant multiple layers of visibility.
In addition to the easy navigation of the menu, Sony also provides the A7S III with the function of setting different settings according to the mode you are in and provides a dedicated menu for the movie mode to further reduce the confusion during menu navigation. This is the comprehensive reform that Sony users have been seeking.
Highest resolution EVF and battery life ever
The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is a QXGA 9.44 million dot OLED, which is the first of its kind. It can provide 0.9x magnification, a 41-degree field of view, and a 24mm high viewing point.
The extremely wide field of view and viewpoint can be adjusted. If the field of view is too wide, it can be compressed to a more standard 35 degrees, and the point of view can be raised to 35mm, so it is easier to use the viewfinder on the glasses.
The incredibly pixel-intensive EVF combined with this customizability is unique to this camera.
The company has increased the battery capacity of the Sony A7S III to meet the standards set by Sony’s latest camera.
The improvement means that battery life has increased by 60% compared to the previous generation, which means that the recording time in movie mode is 95 minutes and at least 600 frames are captured per charge.
Sony has also added the ability to charge the camera through the USB-C port during operation.
A New Card Format and No Fans
In terms of memory card format, Sony has won another “world first” with A7S III. The camera can hold two SD cards and CFexpress Type A memory cards in its two card slots. The latter is a format that has never been used before.
The company cleverly provides dual functions for its two memory card slots, allowing you to choose between the very common SD format or the new, faster CFexpress format.
This not only provides you with more options as a shooter but also makes the camera have many years of development prospects.
This is also the first time that a DSLR or mirrorless camera has two dual-format card slots.
CFexpress Type-A is a compact card design of the Type-B card used in Nikon Z cameras. Type-B design uses XQD design, while Type-A is more similar to the SD card.
The internal structure of the camera has been redesigned, including a new heat dissipation structure, which is five times more efficient than any Sony camera in the past.
As a result, they can capture high-speed, high-resolution video without restrictions, and can do it without a fan, making it a camera that not only exceeds the Panasonic S1H or Canon EOS R5 at a frame rate at high resolution but also does not Overheating or need any kind of ventilation system.
Sony has taken another step forward, improving the dust-proof effect and hopefully keeping the camera’s sensor clean-this is one of the few remaining issues with Sony cameras so far.
Focus on 4K
Sony chose not to compete with Panasonic’s S1H or Canon’s EOS R5 and increase the video capture resolution to 6K or 8K, instead of focusing on making cameras that can capture the best 4K video.
For most regions outside of Hollywood, the specifications provided here will not only meet creative needs. If the resolution is more important to you than the frame rate, then A7S III is not for you.
6K and 8K made headlines, but the more available 4K features may eventually attract more users.
Although the camera supports CFexpress Type A next-generation memory cards, Sony clearly stated that any recording frame rate with a full 10-bit 4:2:2 color depth can be recorded to the SD card.
Some more powerful functions require the use of a v90 card, and you will see a drop in the megabit rate when you choose to shoot with an SD card, but the fact that you can still record with maximum color depth and frame rate is unusual and impressive of.
Notable photographic functions
- Improved DR and tone hierarchy.
- Visible light and infrared sensors improve the white balance accuracy of artificial light.
- Improve color reproduction at high ISO.
- Based ISO dropped to 80.
- 10fps continuous shooting with AF/AE and silent shutter on the focal plane, with a buffer of more than 1,000 uncompressed RWS.
- 10-bit HEIF and HLG can still be captured.
- AF dropped to EV-6.
- USB-C connector supports SuperSpeed USB 5 Gbps (USB-C 3.2 standard).
- High-speed 24Ghz / 5Ghz wireless LAN standard.
- USB-C to Ethernet wired LAN adapter.