Sony launches A7S III

Sony A7S III front view with screen

Sony has confirmed its A7S III will go on sale in September.

The full-frame mirrorless camera is the latest in the company’s video-focused, high sensitivity line up. The new model promises a range of improvements over the current, A7S II, which launched almost five years ago.

The a7s III maintains the same resolution as the older model, at 12.1 megapixels. But the sensor itself is new, and Sony claims it is capable of over 15 stops of dynamic range.

Sony says the camera continues the A7S tradition of high sensitivity, with a larger pixel size than rivals, and an expandable ISO up to 409,600. Users of pre-production cameras suggest footage remains clean at at least ISO 16,000.

Critically, the camera can record 10-bit 4K video internally, bringing the A7S series in line with rivals, such as Panasonic’s S1, and Canon’s latest R series.

Sony, though, will offer full frame 10-bit 4:2:2 recording up to 50p or 60p, and at 120fps with a 10 per cent crop, and up to 240fps, again cropped. The A7S III also outputs 16-bit video to external recorders.

Professional users will appreciate the full-sized HDMI port. Internally, the camera supports S-Log3 as well as HLG.

Internal recording is to dual card slots, supporting both UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards and the new CFexpress Type A cards, for high-speed filming and RAW stills.

Better AF and IBIS

The camera has improved, 5-axis in body image stabilisation, and an improved autofocus system, with 759 phase detection AF points, which cover 92 per cent of the sensor.

Sony claims AF will work down to EV -6. The camera now also features improved AF settings for video shooting, including tracking and “real-time eye AF”, and AF transition speed settings and rack focus using the touch screen.

The LCD screen itself is improved. Shooters can now rotate it fully; the camera also has a new EVF, a 9.44 million-dot Quad-XGA unit. This has a mich wider – 41 degree – field of view than the EVF in older Sony cameras.

Sony has also paid attention to audio. The A7S III can record four channels of 24-bit audio, by connecting up the XLR-K3M XLR adapter: the other two channels come via the built-in 3.5mm jack. This allows film-makers to run more complex audio set ups without resorting to an external sound recorder.

Sony says that the camera is designed to avoid overheating, and is tested recording 4K, 60p video in 10-bit 4:2:2 for over an hour. There is no internal recording time limit on the A7S III. 

The new model will cost around £3,800 in Europe, body only. Sony has produced a launch video, with sample footage, on YouTube: