New Sony A7III Officially Announced – Is It a “mini” Sony A9?

The long-rumoured A7 III “entry-level” full-frame mirrorless camera from Sony is now a fact. Announced at the WPPI event in Las Vegas, the new Sony A7III boasts some serious features that you might have already seen in other Alpha cameras announced in the prior months such as the “big boy” A9 and the Sony A7R III.

Despite it being called by Sony a “basic full-frame model” in their announcement presentation, the new A7 III is anything but basic – the camera features a newly developed 24.2 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, which is paired with a front-end LSI that effectively doubles the readout speed of the image sensor. In addition, an updated BIONZ X processing-engine boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the α7 II. This combo enables the a7 III to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling its impressive ISO range of 100 – 51200 (expandable to ISO 50 – 204,800 for still images) and an overall 1.5 stop improvement in image quality.

Photographers would be astonished to find out that the new Sony a7 III is a massive improvement over the a7 II, as the new model features 425 contrast AF points that work with a 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system inherited from the acclaimed top-end Son a9 camera. This innovative AF system covers approximately 93% of the frame, ensuring reliable focusing and tracking for even the most difficult to capture subjects.

AF response and tracking has also been greatly improved in the new camera, with almost twice the focusing speed in low-light condition and 2xii the tracking speed compared to the previous model as a result of the faster image sensor readout. This allows complex and unpredictable motion to be captured with far greater precision and accuracy.

The acclaimed Eye AF feature is also available in the new camera, even in AF-C mode, which is extremely useful for situations where the subject is turning around, looking down or otherwise obstructed. It also works when the α7 III is being used with Sony’s A-mount lenses with an optional LA-EA3 adaptor. Additional improvements in focusing flexibility include the addition of a multi-selector or ‘joystick’ for moving focusing points quickly, the addition of touch focusing capability, AF availability in Focus Magnifier mode, an ‘AF On’ button and much more.

sony a7 iii

Sony A7 III Features

  • 24 MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • Fast Hybrid AF with 693-Point AF points and 425 contrast detect points
  • 10 fps Shooting with AF/AE Tracking
  • Sony a9 AF selector Joystick
  • Sony a9 battery – model NP-FZ100
  • UHD 4K up to 30p & HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 2.36m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF
  • 3.0″ 922k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • ISO 204,800 & Pixel Shift Multi Shooting
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC,
  • Dual SD Slots
  • USB Type-C Port
  • Weather-Sealed Design
  • Price: $1,998 (pre-order B&H)
  • Available: April 2018

Sony promised 710 shots on a single battery, and it calls the A7 III – the mirrorless camera with the “longest battery life ever” allowing users to shoot all day with a single battery. So, say goodbye to the old, tiny NP-FW50 batteries, and say hello to the bigger NP-Z100 batteries features in the Sony a9. This is particularly good news for those who plan to use the A7 III for long form video applications.

Speaking of video, of course you get 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) up to 30p (24 and 25p available) with HLG and S-log3 and S-log2 gamma’s available for a manufacturer claimed 14 stops of DR. The a7 III downsamples from an approx. 6K readout from the full sensor for a crispy clear UHD.

The codec however is still the 8bit 4:2:0 Long-GOP XAVC-S, so no 10bit here. In Full HD you can record continuous slow motion up to 120fps. The A7 III also features dual SD card slots.

Check out the 4K HLG sample below.

The new A7 III is priced at $1,998 (body only) or $2,198 with the 28-70mm kit lens, and can be pre-ordered from authorised dealers such as B&H and Adorama. Sony say they will begin shipping the a7 III in April 2018.

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