Sony FX3 vs. Sony A7SIII | Pictureline

Within the last few months, it feels like Sony has been on a rampage with new camera releases and we're not complaining. Two cameras that have sparked our attention are the Sony FX3 and the A7S III. Although the two come from different lines—cinema and mirrorless—we have found that the similarities are undeniable. So we decided to dive deep into a comparison between the two, starting off with a side by side comparison chart as seen below. 

sony fx3 vs a7siii

FX3 vs. A7S III Specification Chart

Camera Feature 

Sony FX3 Sony A7S III
Sensor Resolution 12.1 MP 12.1 MP
Sensor Type  CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size 35.6 x 23.8mm 35.6 x 23.8mm
Image Size  4,240 x 2,832 4,240 x 2,832
Sensor Format Full-Frame Full-Frame 
Native ISO Sensitivity 80-102,400 80-102,400
Dynamic Range 15 stops 15 stops
Mount Type E Mount  E Mount 
Autofocus Tracking  Yes Yes
Storage  2 Dual Compatible CFexpress Type A or SD (UHS-II) 2 Dual Compatible CFexpress Type A or SD (UHS-II)
Image File Format Stills: JPEG, HEIF, ARW (RAW) Movies:XAVC S, XVAVC HS Stills: JPEG, HEIF, ARW (RAW) Movies: XAVC S, XVAVC HS
Image Stabilization  5-axis IBIS 5-axis IBIS
Recording Limit Unlimited  Unlimited 
Video Max Resolution 4K/120fps 4K/120fps
Slow-Mo Video FHD/240fps FHD/240fps
Audio Recording  Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone
Headphone Jack  Yes Yes
XLR Audio Handle Included Yes No
LCD Type Articulating Touch Screen Articulating Touch Screen
LCD Size  3" 3"
LCD Resolution  1,440,000 dots 1,440,000 dots
Viewfinder Resolution  N/A 9,437,184 dots
GPS Geo-tagging via phone app Geo-tagging via phone app
Wi-Fi Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Battery Life  Up to 135 mins with LCD Up to 135 mins with LCD
Battery Type FW-Z100 FW-Z100
Weather-Sealed Body  Yes Yes
USB Version USB-C USB-C
Accessory Mounts Hotshoe, 6 x 1/4"-20 Male Mounts Hotshoe
Weight  1.66lbs 1.35lbs
Dimensions  129.7 x 77.8 x 84.5mm 128.9 x 96.9 x 69.7mm
MSRP Price $3899 $3498

 

As you can see from the chart above, these two cameras are nearly identical in terms of performance specs. When deciding between which camera is better for your needs it really boils down to your personal shooting style, and the kind of content you will be creating. The A7S III is a perfect camera for hybrid content creators needing high quality photos and video, wanting to travel fast, light, and don't necessarily need a myriad of mounted accessories. The high resolution viewfinder allows switching to shooting photos more seamless especially in bright conditions.

On the other hand, the FX3 is perfect for those wanting to take that first step into the high end cinema world, or wanting to add a smaller B cam without sacrificing quality. The lack of a viewfinder and included XLR handle really lends itself to video focused shooting, however the FX3 is still able to keep pace with the A7S III's continuous fps when shooting stills. The XLR audio handle also includes another 3.5mm audio jack allowing the FX3 to record four separate audio channels simultaneously.

Not to mention, for filmmakers who've enjoyed using the popular S-Cinetone color profile, it comes included in the FX3 and recently arrived on the A7S III via a firmware update.

a7siii vs. fx3 layout

Sony's smart design with the FX3 includes 6 extra 1/4"-20 male mounts around the camera and handle eliminating the need for bulky cages, reducing your video kit's overall footprint even more. Other additions to the FX3's feature list that benefit the cinematographer is the front facing tally light so the talent can immediately tell that the tape is rolling, as well as the zoom lever. That lever not only works with select Sony power zoom lenses, but can also be utilized with Sony's new Digital and Clear Digital Zoom features to provide new angle of view options with no additional equipment. 

So, depending on your shooting style and what kind of content you'll be creating, both cameras are extremely good options. When it comes down to price, the FX3 is $400 more, but the fact that the XLR handle is included pretty much explains why. With the FX3 as one of the smallest 4K full-frame cinema cameras on the market and with a more affordable price tag, we wouldn't be surprised to see more mirrorless users switch over to the cinema side.  

 

2 comments
  • Joel Thomas Lahey |
    Edit should be “The lack of viewfinder…really is the main issue that people don’t go with the FX3”
  • Mark |

    “The lack of a viewfinder… really lends itself to video focused shooting”

    No it really doesn’t.

Leave a reply

Comments are approved before they are published.