The Sony Alpha 7S Mark III is the third generation in the company’s a7 line of full frame cameras. This series is the one that focuses on video production the most. To all intents and purposes, it is a native 4K camera that boasts outstanding video specifications and a redesigned user interface. It can record UHD 4K footage at up to 120 frames per second using a 10-bit 4:2:2 codec, and it claims to produce 16-bit Raw video. The Sony a7S III may be purchased for close to $3500. This is a premium of $500 over 2015’s Mark II, but it is still $500 less than the launch price of the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H, which is the camera that we consider to be its most direct rival.
According to Sony, the a7S III was designed with dependability as the primary focus of its development. Instead of attempting to shoot in 8K or even in oversampled 4K, it shoots in what is effectively referred to as “native” 4K. It is possible that this may result in footage that is slightly less detailed than some of the company’s existing models that are less video-focused, but it will have the advantages of enhanced rolling shutter and extended record periods.
Sony Alpha a7s III Price in USA
However, the majority of the advancements in this camera are on the video side of the ledger, which is consistent with Sony’s marketing of the camera as a decent stills alternative for low light, as was the case with the earlier iterations of the a7S.
Although the camera still has a resolution of 12 megapixels, the sensor in the Sony a7S III is different from the one used in its two earlier models. It shifts to a BSI design, which Sony promises will increase its low light performance (even though in the samples we’ve seen in the past, this is a change that makes less and less of a difference, the larger the pixels are). An interesting aspect of it is that it has a base ISO of 80, which may result in a wider dynamic range.
The sensor readout rate is one aspect that has most certainly been enhanced. The Sony a7S III is capable of shooting in Ultra High Definition 4K at up to 60 frames per second from its full width (4.2K) or at 120 frames per second from a native UHD 4K area (a 1.1x crop).
The a7S III is the first Alpha camera to incorporate the brand-new Bionz XR image processor, and it also comes with an improved image sensor. It is a two-chip processing system that, according to Sony, enables image and video processing to be handled entirely separately from file management and handling. This should reduce latency and allow for more complex image processing than what the claimed 8X increase in processing power brings about.
The Sony a7S III incorporates on-sensor phase detection features, which makes it possible to achieve more accurate and depth-aware focusing than prior ‘S’ versions. The camera is equipped with the most recent iteration of Sony’s autofocus technology, which has the capability to recognise faces, eyes, and heads automatically and apply the proper manner of focusing to those subjects. This enables you to utilize face recognition AF even when shooting video without running the danger of the camera refocusing on a new person if the subject you were originally focused on turns their back on the camera.
According to Sony, the performance of the recognition component of the AF system is improved as a result of the new processing.
There are several aspects of the autofocus system that are not as advanced in video mode as they are in still mode. For example, in order to start tracking, you have to press the screen rather of being able to pre-position an AF point, and animal eye AF is not available in video mode. However, in comparison to the contrast-detection capabilities of the earlier a7S cameras, this new model should represent a significant step ahead. In video mode, you are able to make adjustments to the speed of the autofocus as well as the amount of time it pauses between switching subjects.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a dedicated external white balance sensor on a camera (the top-of-the-line DSLR models from Canon, Nikon, and Olympus all used to have one), but these sensors are becoming increasingly popular on smartphones. Additionally, one may now be found on the front of the a7S III.
When used with the ability to modify how fast the white balance reacts to changes in the scene (Exposure/Color|White Balance|Shockless WB), this feature has the purpose of preventing unexpected fluctuations in the white balance while you are recording video (if one color suddenly fills the frame, for instance).
The expanded variety of compression settings is probably going to be the feature that most videographers find to be the single most helpful update. The capturing capabilities of the a7S III go much beyond the 8-bit resolution of earlier a7 cameras. The camera not only acquires a 10-bit 4:2:2 version of the (H.264-based) XAVC S encoding, but it also acquires an H.265-based variation dubbed XAVC HS. Both of these encodings are based on the XAVC standard. In addition to that, a format known as XAVC S-I that uses H.264 All-I is also available. At least up to 60 frames per second, the vast majority of the camera’s Ultra High Definition (UHD) footage is acquired from the sensor’s entire 4240-pixel width. This is adequate for Sony to be able to deliver DCI 4K alternatives (4096 by 2160), but such options are not yet available.
Sony Alpha a7s III Specifications
|MSRP||$3499 (body only)|
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||4240 x 2832|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||12 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||13 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB, BT.2020|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 80-102400 (expands to 40-409600)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||40|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||409600|
|White balance presets||7|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|Image stabilization notes||5-axis|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||5.5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Extra fine, fine, normal|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.32)HEIFRaw (ARW 4.0)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||759|
|Lens mount||Sony E|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (Multi-interface shoe)|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Drive modes||SingleContinuousSelf-timerBracketing (AE/WB/DRO)|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S-I, H.264, H.265|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 120p / 280 Mbps, XAVC HS, MP4, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 100p / 280 Mbps, XAVC HS, MP4, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 200 Mbps, XAVC HS, MP4, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p / 200 Mbps, XAVC HS, MP4, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 140 Mbps, XAVC HS, MP4, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 140 Mbps, XAVC HS, MP4, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC HS, MP4, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 600 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p / 500 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 300 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 250 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 240 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 120p / 280 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 100p / 280 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 200 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p / 200 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 140 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 140 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 222 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 185 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 111 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 93 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 89 Mbps, XAVC S-I, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||Dual SD/CFexpress Type A slots|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)|
|USB charging||Yes (USB PD supported)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac (dual band) + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (wireless or smartphone)|
|Battery description||NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||699 g (1.54 lb / 24.66 oz)|
|Dimensions||129 x 97 x 81 mm (5.08 x 3.82 x 3.19″)|
The Sony a7S III is a sophisticated video tool that can shoot 4K footage at up to 120p (up to 60p with no crop), in a range of 10-bit formats, which provides plenty of versatility in terms of both grading and workflow. The camera can also record 4K film at up to 60p with no crop. It offers a reliable focusing system, in-body stabilization, and a long battery life, all of which add to its credentials as a run-and-gun camera. Its resolution of 12 megapixels makes it less stunning as a stills camera, but it is an extremely strong option for those who generate their own videos independently.
- 12MP full-frame sensor
- 5-axis image sensor with high sensitivity for use in low light
- Ten frames per second of subject tracking
- Automatic focus with face and eye detection
- Recording in 4K at a quality of 10 bits and 120 frames per second in 4K slow motion
- Protection against dust and splashes
- For the highest possible slow-motion video quality, CFExpress cards are required.
- Video autofocus doesn't function SLR lens adapters