The Sony A7S III “won’t make you tacos”, but it finally does incorporate a lot of the improvements and features that we’ve all been dreaming about since the release of the original Sony A7S in 2013, and they’re every bit as tasty.
In seven short years, the A7S line became one of the most widely used cameras around the world thanks to its incredible low-light capabilities. But this Mark III upgrade is very significant in that. It adds 4:2:2 10-bit 4K, incredible slow motion, and gyroscopic post-stabilization.
Those eye-catching headlines overshadow some of the minor improvements, so Matt WhoisMatt Johnson has got the skinny on three features of the A7S III that might not shock you, certainly won’t feed you, but will definitely enhance your experience using the camera and help make the camera seem good enough to eat.
We’re all pretty excited to get our hands on the Sony A7S III. It seems like Sony has really upped their game and released a camera that checks all of the boxes for mirrorless shooters who loved the A7S, but weren’t always in love with the color of their videos in post.
Mirrorless cameras aren’t high-end cinema cameras, but there getting pretty darn close to matching them point for point these days.
With 4:2:2 10-Bit, raw over HDMI, and gyroscopic stabilization, its easy to overlook the little annoyances from the previous models that weren’t necessarily dealbreakers, but didn’t make using the camera any easier. Fortunately, Sony has fixed a lot of those issues too!
Let’s look at the three things Matt WhoisMatt Johnson noticed that also received a much needed update.
Adjust White Balance While Recording
In both of the previous A7S models, and I believe in almost all Sony mirrorless cameras as well, it was impossible to change your white balance setting once you had hit the record button without stopping.
Obviously, this posed a pretty big issue for run and gun or event shooters who were constantly dealing with changes in color temperature. On top of that, with the limited 8-bit color, ‘fixing it in post’ was nearly impossible in extreme situations.
Well all of that is fixed with the A7S III. Shooters can now make color adjustments while actively recording, and it even gets better than that with smooth Shockless White Balance.
A nifty little addition to the A7S III, Shockless White Balance does exactly what you think it would do, ease and fade from one white balance setting to the next. This will allow you to make those ‘ut-oh’ moments where you releases your settings are way off not-so-noticeable to the audience.
Magnified Image Quality Improved
Another weird issue with previous Sony mirrorless camera models was the horribly low-quality magnification while recording. It made this feature virtually useless while recording as the magnified image was sub-HD quality. This made the necessity of an external monitor that much more important.
This has been completely fixed with the Sony A7S III, and now you can confidently punch in to check focus while recording. Not only is this just a nice addition, but it means you can use the camera without an additional monitor – keeping your setup small, quick, and easy to manage.
Lower ISO Below 640 While Shooting In Slog3
While shooting in Slog2 on the original A7S (Slog3 wasn’t an option), you were limited to a low ISO of 3200. The A7S II improved things a bit by adding SLog3 (which isn’t appropriate for 8-bit material) and lowering that low ISO to 1600. This meant you used to need a lot of NDs to shoot outdoors in the daylight with these cameras, but thank goodness they’ve fixed this one too!
The A7S III will allow you to set the low ISO to 640, and even electronically stop it down further than that. You’ll take a hit on dynamic range, for sure, but in a pinch you want have to go running to grab your camera bag or miss a crucial shot while you’re working under that pesky sunlight.
Like a dear in the headlights, we all get kinda blinded by the big stuff and sometimes miss these little advancements that really improve the usability of our equipment. Personally, one thing that always bugged me about Sony mirrorless cameras was the lack of significant firmware updates after their initial launch.
The ability to change your white balance while shooting is something that should have been available in the original model but I’m glad to see little things like this inching along with every generation.
Have you discovered any nifty little updates that other people might have missed? Take credit for their discovery by posting them in the comments below.
[source: Matt WhoisMatt Johnson]
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