The Wait is Over, Sony Unveils the New a7S III

Some street photographers and filmmakers might have started losing hope whether this day really will come.
After many months of rumors, speculation, and leaks, Sony has announced during an ongoing live stream the a7S III, its third-generation video-focused full-frame mirrorless 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 Electronics. “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. Combining classic S series sensitivity with a feature set, performance level and user experience that is simply unmatched in the market today — at any price level — the Alpha 7S III opens up a new world of possibilities for today’s creators.”

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.

In addition, Sony claims that the a7s III can also record up to at least one hour of continuous 4K/60p footage. The company says that this was made possible be redesigning the heat dissipation system in the camera: no fan necessary.

Here a video from Philip Bloom “Now I See part 2” (the first one was made with the original a7s):

Sony says that the sensor reads out twice as fast as on the a7S II, which considerably reduces rolling shutter. The more-responsive autofocus system has 759 on-sensor PDAF points and offers person, eye and animal AF. Sony says that color reproduction has been noticeably improved, as well. The a7S III also have the distinction of being the first consumer camera to support the new CFexpress Type ‘A’ media.

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 and a fully articulating flip-out screen.

The menu system has been refined and is easier to navigate.

The camera offers the following internal recording modes:

  • XAVC-S (H.264) – normal in 4K 120,60,30 fps (100,50,25 in PAL), S&Q in 4K from 1 up to 120fps.
  • XAVC-HS (H.265) – normal in 4K 120,60 fps (100,50 in PAL), S&Q in 4K from 1 up to 120fps.
  • XAVC S-I (H.264) – normal in 4K 60,30 fps (50,25 in PAL), S&Q in 4K from 1 up to 120fps.
  • Full HD is available till 240fps.

All internal 4K modes are in fact UHD (3840 x 2160). The bitrates in 4K modes are between 50 and 280Mbps for the Long GOP modes and between 240 and 600Mbps in XAVC S-I (All-Intra) – depending on the framerate.

The a7S III will be available in late September for $3499.
More info on Sony’s website.

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