The Sony A7S Mark III might look like a very conservative camera up against the latest launches from its rivals, but the company is sticking to its guns, with what it says is the best 4K Sony camera ever made.
Let’s get real for just a few moments. Everyone wants more and everyone knows a big number is better than a small one, but while we all take 4K video for granted as a baseline camera spec right now, it’s important to remember that even 4K is still not that widely broadcast and distributed. Maybe we’re trying to run before we can walk here.
In any event, Sony is clearly putting all its faith in 4K, and the Sony A7S Mark III brings a host of developments, improvements and additions to justify its ‘best ever’ claim.
Check Out: Best Sony a7S III Lenses
Sony A7S Mark III’s key features
The A7s Mark III has the same 12.1MP resolution as the previous a7S Mark II, but this time with a back-illuminated sensor with bigger photosites and better high-ISO image quality. The native sensitivity range is ISO 80-102,400, expandable to ISO 40-409,600.
Sony says the readout speed is 2x faster and that there’s a 3x reduction in rolling shutter, or ‘jello’ effect, because the camera is moved from side to side.
The new sensor is paired up with a new BIONZ XR image processor that’s 8x faster than its predecessor. This plays a part in the a7S Mark III’s high frame rates and high-quality video capture, and Sony’s now-legendary Eye AF system, said to be 30% much better in this new camera.
The A7S Mark III is physically different to the a7S Mark II as well. It has an ultra-high-resolution 9.44m dot EVF offering 0.9x magnification and a fresh variable-angle screen that offers much more freedom of movement than the more limited tilt action on other Sony Alpha cameras.
Related: Finally Sony updated A7s III’s Menu!
Sony A7S Mark III’s Video Features
The Sony a7S III may be capped at 4K video, but on paper at least it could prove the best 4K camera you can get. If offers 4K full pixel readout, uncropped, in all recording modes, and captures 10-bit video with 4:2:2 colour internally, with the option of raw output over HDMI to an Atomos Ninja V external recorder.
The lack of internal raw capture might be a disappointment to some, but the A7S III makes up for it, potentially, with its maximum 4K 120p frame rate (albeit with a small 1.1x crop), and complete HD video at up to 240p.
To cope with these high frame rates and high-quality capture, Sony has introduced two new codecs. Its XAVC-S-I All-intra codec offers the highest quality but means a high bitrate and larger video files, while its fresh XAVC-HS codec uses H.265 (HEVC) for twice the efficiency of the previous H.264.
The Sony a7S III comes with Sony’s S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 modes, as we would expect, and the company claims 15+ stops of dynamic range for S-Log 3 capture. The native S-Log 3 ISO has been dropped to 640, which should improve image quality, or ISO 160 in ‘extended’ mode.
All this recording and processing power means more heat, but Sony says the A7S Tag III has a new warmth dissipation system 5x better than previous models, and that it can shoot 4K 60p for up to an hour.
It is also the last of the The7 line to adopt Sony’s latest ‘Z’ battery, and this gives it a 60% battery life improvement over the old Sony A7S Mark II, with around 95 minutes of video catch or 600 still images (using the LCD monitor). On top of that, the A7S III offers 3-4x faster charging time via a charger or compatible mobile battery supporting USB PD, via its USB Type C port.
Improved Image Quality
The new CMOS image sensor and BIONZ XR™ image processing engine in the Alpha 7S III delivers legendary S-series sensitivity with significantly enhanced colour reproduction and texture renderings for improved overall image quality. The base ISO has been lowered to 80, resulting in a normal range of 80-102,400 (expandable to 80-409,600 for video and 40-409,600 for stills) to provide more flexible ISO plus wide dynamic range with low noise at all settings. It offers improved image quality by approximately 1 stop of sound reductioniv in the middle and high sensitivity ranges.
The colours and textures of foliage, human skin, and more are ideally and consistently reproduced without dependence on light sources. Gradation rendering has also already been refined for better-looking pores and skin tones and highlight roll-off in portraits. It also improves AWB (Auto White Balance) performance with a new “Visible lighting + IR Sensor” that helps to achieve more precise white balance under artificial lighting, including fluorescent and LED lights.
Advanced Autofocus Performance for Hybrid use
For the first time in an Alpha 7S series camera, the Alpha 7S III offers Fast Hybrid AF by combining phase-detection and contrast-detection AF, giving it the ability to track subjects over a wide area with outstanding speed, precision and smoothness, even when using a narrow depth of field. Fine focus expression is possible with Sony’s E-mount lenses.
For environments with a lot of movement, Real-time Tracking and Real-period Eye AF are available to maintain constant focus on the intended subject. Sony’s advanced Real-time Eye AF improves detection performance by 30% over the previous system iii, thanks to the new image-processing engine. It ensures accurate, reliable recognition even though the subject’s face looks away. Real-time Tracking is initiated simply by touching the subject on the screen. Real-time Vision AF is automatically initiated when an eye is detected.
CFexpress Type The for High-speed Information Transfer
In Another entire world first, the Alpha 7S III features two CFexpress Type A suitable media slots, which also assistance UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards, enabling higher write-and-read speeds while keeping the camera entire body compact in proportions. CFexpress Type A cards are usually ideally suitable for high-speed continuous Natural still picture shooting along with 4K 120pi movie recording at high bit prices, offering next-era create speeds that may quickly obvious the buffers of digital cameras that generate higher volumes of nevertheless image and film data. High-speed data move to a PC can be done at about 1.7 times faster than that of SD cards. The double slots could be arranged to relay setting for extended constant recording of actually the best bit rate information in addition to simultaneous documenting and type by format kind recording.
All Key Features Of Sony A7S III
- Newly developed BIONZ XR™ image processing engine with eight times more processing power and a brand new 12.1-megapixel (approx., effective) back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor, significantly reduced rolling shutter effect
- Ultra-high sensitivity with ISO range expandable from 40 – 409,600, and improved image quality by approximately 1 stop noise reduction(4) in the middle and higher sensitivity ranges
- Video recording capabilities include 4K 120pi, 10 bit 4:2:2 colour depth, All-Intra recording, XAVC HS format with H.265 codec and more
- 15+ stop dynamic range for movies(2)
- 4K 60p 16-bit RAW video HDMI output for the first time in the Alpha™ series
- Fast Hybrid AF system with 759 point phase-detection AF sensors covering 92% of the picture sensor
- Enhanced Real-time Eye AF for movie recording and still image recording
- New heat-dissipating mechanism and dual-slot relay recording enables over one-hour long 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting
- 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization supports handheld movie shooting, with added Active Mode to support especially difficult handheld movie shooting
- World’s brightest and largest(10) new 0.64-type 9.44 million-dot (approx.) OLED electronic viewfinder
- Side Opening variable-angle LCD screen enhances shooting flexibility
- Completely redesigned menu system with a touch screen interface and touch operation
- High-speed continuous still image shooting at up to 10fps for more than 1,000 consecutive uncompressed RAW images with full AF / AE tracking
- Dual CFexpress Type A card slots that enable high-speed data processing while keeping the compact size