What You Want to Know About the New Sony a7S III

Sony a7S III Camera

Sony a7S III rear view

Sony a7S III top

Sony a7S III fully articulated touchscreen LCD

Almost five years since the announcement of the Sony a7S II, Sony finally launches it’s long-anticipated successor The Sony Alpha 7S III ($3,498 USD – begins shipping in September)

Improved 12.1-megapixel back-illuminated sensor (BSI) with 3X faster readout than previous generation to greatly reduce rolling shutter effect. I know that a number of people had hoped for a bit more resolution and a jump to 16mp, but 12mp is the exact resolution needed for native 4K video. Anything over 12 mp would require line-skipping for video until you get to 24mp at which point it’s possible to downsample, but Sony already makes 24mp a7 and a9 cameras.

For those who want larger output, my suggestion is to Export Raws from Lightroom Classic CC or Adobe Camera Raw at 6000px x 6000px which will give you 24mp output. Always do this using Raw images for best results.

Sony a7S III Bionz XR Processors
New dual BIONZ-XR processors with eight times the computing power as the previous image processor

Sony a7S III Fully articulated 3 inch LCD monitor
Fully articulated 3.0 inch LCD monitor with 1.44 million points allows touch operation of the menus

Sony a7S III dual card slots
Dual memory card slots allow use of either UHS-II SD cards or CFexpress type A cards in each slot. Sony CFexpress Type A cards will be available in September in80 GB & 160 GB capacities with a 700 MB/s write speed and 800 MB/s read speed. The new CFexpress type A cards are smaller than Type B cards and faster than SD cards. In addition to 4:2:2 internal recording CFexpress type A cards also allow 1000 continuous uncompressed raws. CFexpress is only required in S&Q mode with 4: 2: 2 color subsampling and 10 bit color depth.

First a7S Series camera to add Phase Detection AF for fast hybrid autofocus 759 phase detection points and 425 with contrast AF points covering 92% of the image sensor.

9.44 million point OLED viewfinder
World’s brightest and largest 9.44 million point OLED viewfinder with 0.9x magnification.

Sony a7S III controls
Sony a7S III features larger and more prominent controls and button including a red record button on the camera’s top panel.

Sony a7S III Touchscreen Menu System
Completely redesigned touch screen menu system offers better clarity for both stills and video.

graphite passive cooling heat sink
A new graphite passive cooling heat sink is designed to prevent overheating. Many reviewers have recorded several hours of continuous video without overheating.

• 4K 120p recording with 1.1x crop allows continuous recording up to one hour without overheating
• 4K 60p recording with full-pixel readout without pixel binning and without crop up is also rated for at least one hour
• Full HD up to 240p
• Internal recording with 4:2:2 color subsampling and a color depth of 10 bits.

Sony a7S III Fullsize HDMI
Full size HDMI 2.1 port provides a more secure connection than HDMI mini.

16-bit ProRes Raw output to an Atomos recorder
HDMI 2.1 allows 4K / 60p as 16-bit ProRes Raw output to an Atomos recorder.

a7S III Intra Codec
New codecs are available: XAVC-S-I records single images (All-I) with a data rate of up to 500 Mbits/s,

XAVC-HS H.265 codec
XAVC-HS reduces the amount of data in image group compression to 200 Mbit/s thanks to H.265 compression.

Sony a7S III S-Log
S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 gamma profiles can be applied starting at ISO 640 (extended: ISO 160).

• Improved color-science matches Sony FX-9 and Sony Venice Cinema Cameras
• For time-lapse recordings, lower frame rates can be selected in S&Q mode.
• Rolling shutter effect has been significantly minimized with 3X faster scan times than previous generation.

Sony a7S III 5-Axis IBIS
5-axis IBIS achieves an effectiveness of 5.5 f-stops, measured according to the CIPA standard with greater possible using Sony OSS lenses. In video mode, digital stabilization (active mode) is also used, which also uses a gyro sensor. The information from this gyro sensor can also be stored in the metadata of the videos so that it can be used in post-processing for digital stabilization.

Eye AF
Eye AF for humans and animals is effective fr=om greater distances than ever before.

AF Transition Speed and Subject Shift Sensitivity

Sony a7S III offers greater control of AF Transition Speed and Subject Shift Sensitivity than previous models to allow for smoother focus pulls and greater ability to remain “sticky” on the subject.

• AF sensitivity goes down to -6 EV
• 10 frames/s continuous shooting. Silent and Mechanical shutter up to 1/8000 sec
• Uses Sony NP-FZ100 batteries, which can be charged via USB-C.
• Continuous power supply via USB is also possible.


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14 thoughts on “What You Want to Know About the New Sony a7S III”

  1. I KNOW this was built for video. And I use video cameras a lot. I have two Sony 1 inch sensor video cameras now. Thing is the 12 Megapixel thing is JUST too low because I ALSO would use this camera for Astral Photography.. Why could they not have taken this to at least 16… If we were at 16 I would order it now…

    1. No it does not. You can charge the internal battery via USB-C but that’s not the same as providing power to the camera.

    2. Anything over 12 mp would require line-skipping for video until you get to 24mp at which point it’s possible to downsample and sony already has 24mp a7 and a9 cameras.

      My suggestion is to Export Raws in Lightroom Classic CC or Adobe Camera Raw at 6000px x 6000px which will give you 24mp output.

  2. Pre-ordered!

    I need a low weight prime 50mm for video work (4k 120fps). Do you recommend the Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Lens or the Sony FE 55mm/1.8 ZA Lens?

  3. Wondering if the new menu system will make its way, even if without the touchscreen part, to earlier A7 and A9 bodies. That would be nice.

    1. As I understand it, the new menu is designed around the new dual Bionz XR processors. I would expect to see it in future cameras, but don’t believe it’s technically possible to implement in previously released cameras.

  4. Gosh I hope my A7R4 gets the new menu via a firmware update since I assume there would be no technical reason for it not coming and even from a marketing perspective there isn’t an a7r5 that people can buy instead. Fingers crossed.

  5. Will we be able to connect an external SSD to the camera instead of buying expensive CFexpress type a cards for the higher 500mbit/sec recording? I would expect this being an option since the USB c port can be used for data transferring. I have pre ordered this camera and it would be nice to know if this is an option and that Sony is not expecting us to buy overpriced cards to use these settings.

  6. For photographers who service the Real estate industry, the A7Siii is the perfect camera. Great low light videos (residential home lighting is all over the place) plus 12 MP images are MORE than enough for RE listing photos. Still large enough for Magazine spreads (Many agents use local crib magazine stories to promote their luxury listings). Since the A7 series do not have small and medium raw, high volume Real photographers will appreciate the small image file sizes. I have been doing videos for my commercial Architectural clients and I will probably get the A7Siii for such.

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