Today, we’re getting the Sony a7s III, but I seriously think that the Sony a7s IV is coming next year.
I think it’s incredibly fair to say that Sony has made some significant changes to the entire Sony a7 lineup of cameras with the Sony a7s III. You’ve got touch menus, a new menu system, the new CFExpress A card type, the lowest base ISO they’ve ever had, etc. crammed into it. There’s a lot of technology, and Sony voted to still hold back in some ways. It still has a 12MP full frame CMOS sensor, and it shoots 4k video. Sony is working to really create just the best 4K video that one can get, and that’s very fair. But it’s also the opposite of what they used to do with releasing cutting edge and bleeding edge options to let the market adapt. Instead, Canon and Panasonic are doing that. The roles have reversed! But it may mean that Sony has another trick up its sleeve.
If you remember, the Sony a7s came out, and a year later or so, the Sony a7s II came out. Then we didn’t see or hear about an update for a long time. We are bound to see the same thing happen again with the Sony a7s III. Here’s my reasoning.
CES 2021 and the Effect of Coronavirus on the American Household
I’m going to preface this section with something that all our international readers know (and there’s a ton of you) and probably say about us Americans. I’m also going to say it with my classic Native New Yorker tell it how it is demeanor. Ready? Okay. We’re stupid. We think that we can go outside and shoot the Coronavirus in the face and kill it. We feel that we don’t need masks. But the truth is that we have a growing problem that’s going to affect us for a very long time now. So we’re going to have to shelter in place, quarantine, etc. That means that we’re going to be doing more things at home and manufacturers know this. For CES 2021, I think we can expect to see a lot more 8K displays and televisions come out. They’re not going to be saturating the market like 4K will be. And as it is, the average American household needs to get internet speeds that can catch up. I’m fortunate enough to have Verizon FIOS and 1GB up and down. But I know almost no one else that has this.
With enough time and people spending a lot of money before they have to pay taxes in April or later, they’ll probably buy a new television. To support this, Sony will need to create something that can create content for this.
How Sony May React
After 8K televisions start to hit the market more and more, it’s very possible that we’re going to see the Sony a7s IV. This camera will most likely be a pretty significant upgrade in some ways like the Sony a7s II was. When image stabilization was added, lots of things changed. But with the Sony a7s IV, they’re going to need to put in a new sensor for 8K video and also, well, add 8K video. It could all mean that Sony is using the Sony a7s III as a small stepping stone until they can create something more significant.
Sure, Canon has issues with overheating; but they’re also working on addressing this issue. Panasonic has 6K video, and folks love it. Sony–who is traditionally the other big player in video, seems to have a bit more modesty. Not a standard move for a company that loves to tout its innovations, right? Lots of YouTubers love to use the Nikon Z6 for the RAW video capabilities. So I wonder how Sony is going to try to find a way to outdo all the rest.
But for Photographers?
In some ways, I think that photographers are going to get the short end of the stick here. Camera manufacturers, in general, are running out of ideas on how to adapt and make cameras better for photographers. But there’s a lot of growth for video available. Sony, however, could bring back a whole ton of features that they wrongfully took away from customers. If you know anything about the features that came with the PlayMemories Apps, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Touchless shutter, multiple exposure modes, a variant of Olympus’ Live Composite, etc. should all come to the Sony a7s IV.
What do you think? We’d love to know below in the comments.