Sony Unveils the a7S III: 16-bit RAW Video, New Menus, and New AF System
The wait is over: after many months of rumors, speculation, and leaks, Sony has officially unveiled the Sony a7S III. The video-focused full-frame camera still uses a 12MP sensor, but it can capture 4K at up to 120p, features a thicker body design with hybrid card slots, and debuts an all-new menu system. The camera […]
The wait is over: after many months of rumors, speculation, and leaks, Sony has officially unveiled the Sony a7S III. The video-focused full-frame camera still uses a 12MP sensor, but it can capture 4K at up to 120p, features a thicker body design with hybrid card slots, and debuts an all-new menu system.
The camera was announced during an ongoing livestream presentation and Q&A session, and there’s a lot to unpack here. Because while it doesn’t have the groundbreaking 8K capability of the Canon EOS R5, Sony has packed a lot of power into their latest creation.
At its core, the new Sony a7S III features a 12MP BSI CMOS sensor with blazing fast readout speeds and a native ISO range of 80-102400. This sensor, paired with a new BIONZ XR processor, can capture 4K/120p and 4K/60p video at 10-bit 4:2:2 with no pixel binning or line skipping, and 16-bit ProRes RAW video over HDMI at up to 4K/60p.
There’s also a redesigned autofocus system with with 759 point phase-detection AF points covering 92% of image sensor, and the camera boasts a maximum continuous shooting speed of 10fps for “more than 1,000 consecutive uncompressed RAW images with full AF/AE tracking.”
In terms of build, the camera features a thicker design to dissipate heat and accommodate IBIS, as well as some interesting design choices besides. These include the “world’s brightest” 9.44M-dot OLED EVF, a full-sized HDMI port, a fully articulating flip-out screen, and dual hybrid card slots that can take UHS-II SD cards or the smaller-but-faster CFExpress Type A. That makes it the first consumer camera ever to use the latter format.
The new design doesn’t just give you more options though, Sony couldn’t resist taking a shot at Canon by pointing out that the camera’s body’s “new heat dissipating mechanism and dual slot relay recording enables over one-hour long 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting.” In other words: no overheating, no fan necessary.
Finally, Sony has at long last listened to all of the griping online, and debuted an all-new menu system with touchscreen functionality in the Sony a7S III.
You can see the Menus below:
And here’s a closer look at the camera from all angles:
Sony is, understandably, pretty jazzed about this camera.
“The Alpha 7S III is the ultimate representation of Sony’s passion to solve our customers’ pain points,”, said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony. “We are always listening to our customers’ feedback, pushing hard to deliver innovation that goes far beyond their expectations. There is no better example than this new camera.”
Here’s a 6-minute video by Sony introducing the new camera:
Here’s a 10-minute hands-on video by Adorama that offers a good look at the camera and what it can do:
And if you want to get a better sense of what this camera is capable of for filmmakers, here are a few 4K sample reels that Sony has published alongside the announcement, followed by a BTS:
The Sony a7S III is available to pre-order today at the very aggressive price of $3,500, with shipping scheduled for “September 2020.” You can per-order yours here.