The Sony a7S III has a ton of new features that make it ideal for photographers who need extreme low light capabilities.
At long last, Sony has announced the new low light monster that photographers and videographers alike have been waiting five years for. The Sony a7S III is real, it’s here, and it’s ready to get to work. While the Sony a7S III is geared more towards videographers and all things video, let’s be clear that the Sony a7S series of cameras have always been competent stills cameras too! After the break, we will take a closer look at the Sony a7s III and all of the new features that will make it the perfect companion for those who need to use unthinkable ISO settings.
The original Sony a7S and a7S II were true marvels when they hit the streets over half a decade ago. It was during a time when Sony was truly innovating in the camera space, and we’re pleased to say that Sony has found their innovation mojo once again. The new Sony a7S III looks identical to the 60MP a7r IV and is a powerhouse hybrid video and stills camera capable of capturing gorgeous 4K video at 60p with no recording limits and 4K 120p with both face and eye detect for up to an hour!
Table of Contents
Features for the Videographer
The custom-designed 12MP sensor has huge photosites, which gives this camera the ability to see more than the human eye can see in the darkest scenes, and the all-new BIONZ XR delivers 8X more power and performance than the previous version of the image processor. Video wise, you’re going to get a camera that can shoot 4K full pixel readout in all modes without binning, and ISOs up to 406,900. You’re also going to get 10-bit depth 4:2:2 color sampling, XAVC S Long GOP (H.264 MP4, and XAVC HS (H.265 HEVC formats), XAVC S1 All Intra (H.264) at up to 600Mbps, up to 120p frame rate at 4K, up to 240p in FHD (1080p), and S-Log2/S-Log3, which achieves 15+ stops of dynamic range.
There are three gamut settings, which match Sony’s pro video cameras such as the FX9 and Venice, and Full Frame 16-Bit RAW output up to 60p when recording externally. The official word is that you can shoot for up to an hour, but apparently, you can go far beyond this time if you have a power source.
Juicy Features for Photographers
Now, we said the Sony a7S III is also a capable stills camera, and we’re not lying. The Sony a7s III will give photographers the opportunity to shoot at ISOs ranging from 80-102,800 (standard), and 40-409,800 extended. The camera has a Visible Light and IR sensor, which improves white balance accuracy in artificial light, 10-bit HEIF HLG still captures with selectable 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 sampling, and 10 in-camera creative looks.
Like other Sony cameras, the Sony a7S III also features 5-axis IBIS, which provides 5.5 stops of compensation, real-time tracking and real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, continuous shooting up to 10 frames per second with the focal plane or silent shutter, the capability to shoot 1,000 RAW + JPEG frames thanks to the large buffer and new CFexpress Type A cards, and the ability to shoot down to -EV6 with autofocus with an f2 lens.
Other standout features of the camera include;
- the world’s first 9.44 million dot EVF, which apparently rivals optical viewfinders when it comes to clarity
- an all-new (and much-needed) menu system that is touch compatible (and that is broken down into separate stills and video menus)
- a fully articulating touchscreen LCD (the first on any Sony Full-Frame camera)
- brand new CFexpress Type A cards that read and write at 800MB/s and 700MB/s, respectively
- USB Type-C, 2.4 and 5GHz wireless protocols
- the ability to use an adapter that can add 1000 TBase (Gigabit) ethernet connectivity
- an all-new heat dissipation system that keeps the unit nice and cool (no overheating to worry about here)
Who Is the Sony a7S III for?
A lot is going on with the Sony a7S III that really makes it an intriguing camera for photographers. The fast 10fps burst modes mean that the camera could lend itself well to photojournalists and documentarians who find themselves in scenarios where there is little light. The new connectivity options mean sharing images quickly will be easy. It, of course, will be great for any photographers who need to be prepared for any lighting scenario that can present itself. There’s no doubt that the Sony a7S III is an impressive camera on all fronts, but it won’t come cheap. With a price slated to be between $3,500 and $4,000, you’re really going to need to make sure this is the camera for you. For more information, you can head to the official Sony website. Keep your eyes peeled for our review at a later date.