Sony just announced the New Sony A7 III Full Frame E-Mount Mirrorless Camera and WOW!! With a price point of $1998 US, and specs that any enthusiast will drool over, this new mirrorless camera from Sony appears to be a tremendous value for the dollar!!
With the relatively recent A7r III announcement and high $3198 USprice point, a lot of folks were left longing and waiting for the Sony A7 III. We did not know what features Sony would offer, but speculated hard. It turns out Sony really gave us a lot for the price point in my opinion! Especially when you look at the killer AF system that appears to be the same as the $4500 Sony A9, and the camera body appears to be the same as the new A7r III. This is a remarkable upgrade from the A7 II to say the least…
In particular the Sony A7 III features that caught my eye the hardest are the New 24mp Exmor R BSI Sensor, 693-Point AF System, 4k30p HLG & Slog3 Video, NP-FZ100 battery system, High res touchscreen, Pixel shift multi shooting, Dual SD Cards, Thumb Joystick, and the USB Type-C Port. The A7 III has many other new features, but for me these are the highest value items that really matter and the really illustrate the evolution of the A7 series cameras as a whole. The A7 was always the go to model for the budget minded full frame e-mount user. Now, the basic A7-series has been elevated for everybody including pros in my opinion.
The other full frame E-mount mirrorless A7r-series (high resolution,) and A7s-series (low light video) will still serve those specifically users looking for extra performance, as well as the A9-series for sports in particular.
Featuring an updated sensor, the Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera is a more robust camera suitable for both photo and video applications. Optimized for improved speed and low-light performance, the NEW full-frame 24.2MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor work together for an impressive 10 fps continuous shooting, and improved autofocus performance for faster, more reliable subject tracking. This sensors built in Hybrid AF System incorporates 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection areas which cover almost the entire sensor area. Also, greater image clarity and reduced noise from a native ISO 100-51200, can be expanded to ISO 50-204800. Video recording capabilities have also been improved when recording UHD 4K video by utilizing the full width of the full-frame sensor to minimize moiré and aliasing. The A7 III also packs 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization, which is now effective to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to 5 stops. The Sony A7 III’s camera body has also been revised to include a high resolution rear 3.0″ 922k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD. A 2.36m-dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF is also featured for bright and clear eye-level monitoring. For greater shooting flexibility and raw power, dual SD memory card slots have been added, and a much better NP-FZ100 battery was used which provides up to 710 shots per charge! Proffesionals should really appreciatte this upgrade and now this camera can hold it’s own for a acceptable long period of time oin the pro market… A magnesium-alloy chassis and weather-sealing also render the a7 III dust- and moisture-resistant.
24.2MP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
Featuring a back-illuminated design, the full-frame 24.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor works with the BIONZ X image processor to offer high-resolution stills and video while minimizing noise and improving speed. This sensor structure works with gapless on-chip lens design and an anti-reflection coating, as well as eliminating the optical low-pass filter, to improve light collection and enhance detail. Also, the copper wiring layer dramatically improves data transmission speed for creating 14-bit, high-resolution stills with a native sensitivity range from ISO 100-51200, which can be further expanded to ISO 50-204800. Also, it enables internal UHD 4K video recording with a wide dynamic range using the full width of the full-frame sensor. The BIONZ X processor also works in conjunction with a high-speed front-end LSI to realize faster processing times along with the ability to capture an impressive 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity values. The sensor and processor combination also avails fast continuous shooting at up to 10 fps at full resolution, for up to 177 consecutive frames, and with full-time AF/AE when working with either a mechanical shutter or an electronic shutter. If shooting in live view mode, a continuous shooting rate of up to 8 fps is also possible.
Fast Hybrid AF System
An evolved 4D FOCUS system now employs a combination of 693 phase-detection points, which cover approximately 93% of the frame, along with 425 contrast-detection areas for reliable and quick autofocus and subject tracking performance. This Fast Hybrid AF System now achieves twice the focusing speed and more reliable tracking compared to previous a7 models, as well as improved low-light focusing. The use of phase-detection points also enables the use of A-mount lenses via the optional LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 lens mount adapters with full continuous AF/AE tracking compatibility. The apt focus system also lends itself to a variety of focusing functions for refined accuracy, including Lock-on AF, which maintains focus on moving subjects throughout the use of a configurable frame that is set over the desired moving subject, and Expand Flexible Spot, which employs neighboring focus points to retain focus on moving subjects even if the originally selected point loses focus. Additionally, Eye AF can be used to base focus on recognized subjects’ eyes for portraits and is available in both AF-S and AF-C modes. Autofocus can also be used in conjunction with the Focus Magnifier function for critical focus when homing in on minute subject details. The rear touchscreen can also be used for Touch Focus control, and a Touchpad Focus Control mode lets you use the rear screen intuitively while keeping your eye to the viewfinder.
5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization
Packed into the robust a7 III is a 5-stop effective 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization system that compensates for five different types of camera shake encountered during handheld shooting of stills and video. This allows users to confidently use any lens, even adapted lenses, for critical imaging without encountering blur from camera shake. For long focal lengths, the system will correct for pitch and yaw adjustments. Macro and high-magnification imagery, on the other hand, will benefit from the inclusion of horizontal and vertical shift compensation. All shooting styles will get usage out of the roll compensation. All 5 axes of stabilization will function at all times, even when used with third-party lenses and adapters or lenses with built-in optical stabilization.
UHD 4K Video Recording in XAVC S Format
Internal recording of UHD 4K movies is possible in multiple frame rates up to 30 fps and using 2.4x oversampling renders greater detail and full pixel readout is possible, that is void of pixel binning, for higher quality imagery with reduced moiré and aliasing. Full-frame 4K recording has also been dramatically improved for improved quality when working at mid to high sensitivities to permit full use of the entire sensor width. Full HD 1080p recording is also supported in frame rates up to 120 fps, and both resolutions utilize the 100 Mb/s XAVC S format contained within an MP4 wrapper with 4:2:0 sampling. The high-speed, 120 fps recording also enables 4x and 5x slow-motion movie recording with the frame rate set to either 30p or 24p. In addition to high-resolution internal recording, uncompressed HDMI output also enables the use of an optional external recorder for clean 4K recording with 4:2:2 sampling. Affording extensive customizable color and gamma controls, the a7 III allows users to adjust the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and more. Also, users can use the same S-Log2 Gamma Curve that is found on high end Sony Cinema cameras that squeezes up to 1300% more dynamic range into the video signal then traditional REC709, for increased post-production flexibility. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) support is also available, along with the BT.2020 color space, for recording within a wide color gamut and, in addition to S-Log2, S-Log3 is also available for producing an effective 14-stop dynamic range with increased grading control in the shadow to mid-tone regions of the image.
Body Design and Built-In Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
An XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF is featured, and has a 2.36m-dot resolution and 0.78x magnification for bright, clear viewing in high detail. This viewfinder design also affords the use of autofocus in the Focus Magnifier mode as well as improved focusing peaking to benefit manual focus operation. In addition to the EVF, a 3.0″ 922k-dot rear LCD is also available, which has a touch panel design for intuitive operation and focusing control. The screen also tilts upward 107° and downward 41° to benefit working from high and low angles. Magnesium-alloy chassis assures rigidity, durability, and stability while remaining lightweight. The lens mount has also been improved to better support heavy lenses and the grip rigidity has been improved for more comfortable hand-holding. Weather-sealing has been employed to resist dust and moisture for reliable operation in harsh weather conditions. Using the NP-FZ100 battery, the a7 III has improved battery life and is now rated for approximately 710 shots per charge. Dual SD memory card slots allow for flexible file saving and handling, and can be configured to partition raw and JPEG files or can be used for overflow recording. One of the card slots is rated to support UHS-II memory cards. A USB 3.0 Type-C port has been added, in addition to a micro-USB port, for faster, more reliable tethering support. The USB Type-C connection allows the camera to be charged from the host power source while connected. Built-in Wi-Fi enables the a7 III to instantly share imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices; no complex set-up is required. Once connected, the linked mobile device can also display a live view image on its screen and remotely control the camera’s shutter. Bluetooth connectivity allows for location data acquisition.
Other Camera Features
A Ratings function lets you assign star values, from 1-5, to images in-camera for faster editing and sorting at home during post-production. An advanced 1200-zone evaluative exposure metering sensor delivers consistent and accurate results using multi-segment, center-weighted, or spot metering modes. Highlight and Average metering modes helps avoid blown-out highlights and provide stable auto-exposure, respectively. Anti-flicker shooting automatically recognizes and times the shutter action to minimize the flicker effect for more consistent results on still images. Picture Effect modes: Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera (Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), and Soft High-Key. Creative Style modes: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box (1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps).
I would love to hear what you guys all think of this new full frame e-mount mirrorless beast of a camera?? For me, it’s a killer value for the dollar and with the new battery system, it’s a pro on a budgets dream machine. The A7 III is totally usable for a primary camera in the pro market, but more likely a killer second camera body for most legacy pro’s using DSLR’s. Photo journalists are really going to love the better low light sensitivity, way better battery life, the weather sealing capabilities, and the very reasonable price point! For the hardcore enthusiast, the A7 III is a perfect camera to move up in sensor format size. For example, a Sony A6000-series shooter looking for that larger sensor look, but not wanting to sacrifice anything performance wise? Well, the A7 III is a great option if you are one of those people in my opinion. The AF performance should be good enough for almost anything, and the depth of field and other larger sensor size advantages are totally worth the upgrade now. So what is the A7 III Missing? I would really like your thoughts on this as well, because I’m sure I am missing a few things…
More physical buttons and/or dials on the back perhaps
Larger deeper grip
Larger EVF Viewfinder
Slow-Motion 24ofps/30p video
LCD screen on the top for key info without using large lcd screen or EVF
Built in flash perhaps…
That is about it for this new Sony A7 III camera announcement article, but be sure to let me know your thoughts below in the comments area! I’m really curious to know what you guys are thinking.. Curious what else I’m up to currently?