From The Editors Technology

Sony’s Latest a7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera: “Perfection for All. Everything You Need”

The new feature-filled 24.2-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera, the a7 Mark III, which replaces the a7 Mark 11 launched back in 2014, includes many of Sony’s latest in camera technology, notably among them being the back-Illuminated sensor, long-lasting Z series battery, AF Joystick and the impressive EyeAF Feature that we saw on the 42MP a7RII.

Also, incorporated into the camera is a new version of the company’s Bionz X image processor ensuring maximum performance of that 24.2-megapixel sensor.

However, the BSI design sensor does not match the high-speed readout capability of the more sophisticated Stacked CMOS Sensor seen in the a9.

This effectively means that the a7 III can’t even get close to the a9’s top shooting speed of 20 frames per second; in fact, the a7 III shoots at half that speed, which is not really bad for a “basic full-frame model,” as Sony likes to position the a7 III in its mirrorless lineup.

However, the word ‘basic’ is being redefined with the a7 III camera, claims Sony.

Kenji Tanaka – Senior General Manager, Digital Imaging Group, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. – said at the Monday Press Event that with the new a7 III the company has endeavored to change the concept of “basic,” which, he said, has meant “less innovation” for a long time now.

“What we are delivering today is our motto that is ‘anything but basic,’ he said.

“This is the new basic for full frame mirrorless. We are changing another game over the industry,” he added.

The a7 III is capable of shooting stills up to a maximum of 10 fps in JPEG, with a buffer for 177 images. It shoots stills in RAW as well with an 89-image buffer in compressed RAW, and 40 images in uncompressed RAW.

Sony claims that the AF system in this camera is a derivation of the one in the a9 and is capable of performing at double the speed of the one in the a7 III’s predecessor – the a7 Mark II.

The camera’s 693 AF points, supported by 425 contrast-detection AF points, take care of 93 percent of the frame coverage, together enabling twice the autofocus speed of its previous version.

The a7 Mark III’s video shooting capabilities include 120 frames per second high-speed footage at 1080p, as well as 4K HDR videos, with the ability to capture S-Log and S-Log 3 color profiles for recording wide-dynamic-range scenes or Hybrid Log Gamma for playing back directly on HD range displays, eliminating the need for post-processing.

Here’s a 4K HDR (HLG) sample movie

The a7 III continues to be limited to an 8-bit internal video capture and HDMI output, thereby limiting its Log footage processing flexibility.

Like the a7R 111, the a7 III also adopts the same body outline of the a9, ensuring a more comfortable grip.

Also, the a9’s Z series battery on board affords more than twice the staying power of its predecessor at 610 shots on a single charge.
Some of the features of the a7 III include a 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder, affording a 1024 x 768-pixel view; the a7R III’s version, however, came in a higher-resolution.

Sony will start shipping out the camera in April at $1,999 (body only) as well as in a kit including the FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens for $2,200.

Check out the a7 III Press Event here.

Feature Highlights of the A7 III.

  • Latest 24.2 million pixels sensor with back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with Evolved Image Processing
  • 5-axis optical in body image stabilization system with 5.0 step shutter speed advantage
  • Full frame 4K (UHD) video recording in up to 30p (100Mbps)
  • Full frame/APS-C switchable option; however, this time around, it’s the full frame mode offering the better video quality!
  • 6K full pixel readout via oversampling (but 4K recording)
  • S-Log2 / S-Log3 / HDR (HLG) video recording (Basic sensitivity for S-Log mode is ISO 800)
  • 1080p in up to 120 frames per second (100Mbps)
  • Advanced autofocus system which is working well also in a high frame rate
  • Silent autofocus operation with some of Sony’s latest lenses
  • Sony’s latest generation of weather sealed camera bodies like the A9 and the A7R III style
  • Long lasting new battery standard just like in a7RIII
  • “AF on” button and joystick
  • Touch screen operation
  • Dual SD slots with relay recording plus the possibility to simultaneously backup recording at the highest possible video resolution and data rates`
  • USB 3.1 (Gen 1) connectivity
  • Lowlight capability is superb for a 24.2 MP
  • Free 5 years extended warranty for Europeans

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