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The Sony A7S III Digital Camera Body is the latest addition to Sony’s S series camera line up. These cameras are designed to provide the highest level of sensitivity possible and the Sony A7s III does just that. It’s equipped with an Exmor R 12MP Full-Frame BSI Sensor with an ISO sensitivity range from 80 to 102400, expandable from 40 to 409600. A newly designed BIONZ XR Processing engine ... More
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The Sony A7S III Digital Camera Body is the latest addition to Sony’s S series camera line up. These cameras are designed to provide the highest level of sensitivity possible and the Sony A7s III does just that. It’s equipped with an Exmor R 12MP Full-Frame BSI Sensor with an ISO sensitivity range from 80 to 102400, expandable from 40 to 409600. A newly designed BIONZ XR Processing engine provides up to an 8x faster performance over previous models. It’s video capabilities are overwhelming, offering 4K 120P (4:2:2 10bit) recording and FHD 240P for stunning slow-motion video. It’s equipped with an incredible 759 point on-sensor phase decision AF with real-time eye tracking of both humans and animals, as well as real-time tracking in both video and stills. This camera demonstrates Sony’s ability to produce stunning image quality and professional performance in one body.
Sony A7S III Digital Camera Body Key Features:
Exmor R 12MP Full-Frame BSI Sensor
Enhanced BIONZ XR Processor
4K 120p + 4:2:2 10-Bit Internal
FHD 240p with AutoFocus
16 Bit RAW transfer via HDMI
S-Log Fx9 Colour Matching
New codecs: H.265, X-AVCHS
Double Stabilisation System
5-Axis Optical In-Body Image Stabilisation
Fast Hybrid AutoFocus in all rec. formats
Real-Time Eye AF of Humans and Animals
Super-fast 0.02 second AF acquisition
759 AF Points covering 92% of the sensor
Ultra-High ISO expandable to 40-409600
9.44 Million dot QXGA OLED Tru-Finder
Bright and Vivid Vari-Angle Monitor
Optimised Heat Dissipation Structure
High-Performance Sony Z-Battery
Dual CFexpressA/UHS-II Compatible Card Slots
5Ghz WiFi Connectivity
The Sony A7s III is designed for complete video flexibility and there’s a huge number of features that allow for this. The camera is capable of capturing All Intra non-cropped 4K footage, up to 120p with 4:2:2 10-Bit in H.264. The FHD video is equally as impressive, shooting up to 240fps internally. It also features 16 Bit RAW transfer via HDMI, new colour science: S-Log Fx9 colour matching, as well as new codecs including XAVC S, H264(AVC) and nXAVC HS, H265(HEVC). These features allow you to capture and produce extremely high-quality and professional-grade footage.
The Sensor and Processor
Amongst all the expansive features that the Sony A7s III possesses, two pieces of hardware must be discussed. These are the newly developed BINOZ XR Image Processor and the 12MP BSI Exmor R Imaging Sensor. The BINOZ XR processing engine has been developed to provide an approximate 8x faster performance than seen in previous models. This, combined with the 12MP full-frame back-illuminated sensor which itself sees a 2x faster readout speed, provides impressively fast and responsive operation.
Sony’s goal for their S series is to develop cameras that demonstrate their mastery of sensitivity. This is evident in the A7s III camera body. The sensor has an incredible ISO performance ranging from 80 to 102400, expandable from 40 to 409600. This is a huge range and allows for comfortable shooting of a vast range of lighting conditions. There’s also a solid 15 Stop Dynamic range. The improved colour reproduction and support for HEIF still format further increases the creative scope of this camera. The HEIF support, however, does require software/a working environment that supports HEIF for display and editing.
The Sony A7s III features Fast Hybrid Autofocus, which is a first for Sony’s S Series of cameras and this is available in all recording formats and works with over 50 native Sony E-Mount lenses. There’s also Real-time Eye and Tracking AF; the real-time eye tracking has seen a 30% recognition improvement which will be instantly noticeable. It also features useful touch tracking via the LCD touch screen.
759 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points when shooting full-frame still images (shooting mode dependent) provide 92% AF coverage across the sensor. The low-light performance of this camera is immense and to complement this, there’s an upgraded EV performance that allows effective AF down to EV-6. Another upgrade, surpassing previous models, is the ability to capture 10fps continuous burst capture with accurate AF-C/AF-S.
To accompany the incredible autofocus and -high-quality recording capabilities of the Sony A7s III, Sony has incorporated dual stabilisation system which includes a powerful 5-Axis optical in-body image stabilisation system offering up to 5.5 stops of stabilisation, countering X + Y, yaw, pitch and roll movements. The second is an electronic stabilisation which is accessed via the camera’s intelligent active mode which is ideal for video creation, seeing an x1.1 crop.
9.44 Million dot QXGA OLED Tru-Finder + Vari-Angle LCD
The addition of a bright and vivid touch vari-angle LCD monitor is a welcome one. This articulating screen offers an enhanced and more flexible handheld shooting experience, allowing you to easily adapt to your scene, reaching over crowds or capturing a low-down perspective shot. This monitor also contains a restructured menu control that is more intuitive than previous models, all accessible by touch which is incredibly useful for quick changes and touch-focus tracking. The viewfinder is a wonder in itself. This 9.44 Million dot QXGA OLED Tru-Finder offers the highest resolution in the Sony Alpha camera line-up, providing crystal clear images for live shooting or checking through your footage.
The A7s III, amongst its impressive array of features, provides speed. The camera is capable of capturing 10fps with full AF-C/AF-S operation. It can store upwards 1000+ uncompressed RAW files, directly stored onto the highly anticipated dual CFexpressA card slots. This is an incredible amount of speed with ample storage in accompaniment, demonstrating the true processing power that the camera is equipped with. Furthermore, it allows you to confidently shoot moving subjects with the addition of precise and sharp autofocusing.
A New Structure
All of these amazing video recording and still image shooting options may conjure fears of overheating, which is an issue in many high-end camera bodies. Recording at such a high quality and high rates tend to heat up camera systems as they’re pushed to their limits. The Sony A7s III, however, has been equipped with a redesigned and optimised heat dissipation structure that sees heat dissipation that’s 5 times more effective than earlier models! This incredible system will allow you to record 4K 120P 10-bit 4:2:2 over 30mins if memory and battery allows. It’s expected that the battery life will allow up to 95mins of 4K video recording! And then 4K 60P for over an hour on battery alone, and when plugged in it can record for up to 4 hours!
The Sony A7s III features 10 colour profiles, including 4 new options. These include FL (film-like tone), IN (Instant Camera Tone), VV2 (Vivid & Bright Colour) and SH (Soft & Highkey). These options are accompanied by 8 parameter image controls which include: saturation, contrast, shadow, highlight, fade, sharpness, sharpness range and clarity. These profiles and parameter controls allow for complete creative control when shooting.
What Our Experts Say:
Why we love the A7S III:
The headline video capabilities allow for incredible slow-motion capture at 4K so shooting handheld high-quality cutaways and b-roll will be really easy with the new body. Of course, capturing moments of action will be easy too!
Having dual SD UHS-II and CFexpress type A card slots means you can use what you have already and upgrade your cards in the future to dual CFexpress.
A new menu system was long overdue and makes a huge difference to the usability of the body itself.
Use this camera for:
As a perfect run and gun videographer’s camera, the new a7S III offers video capabilities for a huge range of different shooting environments. Everything from commercial interview to travel videography, the a7S III will be a more than capable camera.
For anyone needing to shoot in a studio setup or on higher end productions, the a7S III can output 16-bit RAW from its full-sized HDMI port. Its Log profiles have now been matched to the same colour profiles as the Sony FX9 which means if you’re using the a7S III as a B-cam, grading across footage from the two cameras will be easy.
Look and feel:
With a similar design to the new a7R IV, the a7S III features a nice big grip and easy to handle controls which will be familiar to any Sony a7 series user. The new record button placement on the top of the camera is a stellar new addition, as is the flip out screen which not only makes self-filming easier, but also means you can keep the screen from scratching whilst it’s in your bag or slung over your shoulder.
Is it better:
This really doesn’t need more than a one-word answer – yes. It is a significant upgrade over the a7S II (as it should be) offering upgrades to pretty much every single feature of the camera. There really is no comparison.
We can’t wait to test:
Shooting some action shots making use of that 4K 120P headline spec.
Trying out the 16-bit RAW output!
Testing the low-light capabilities and seeing what ISO the camera is usable for in stills and video!
This section was written by Amy Moore, Wex’s very own camera expert.
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