After five years of anticipation, Sony finally launched the updated version of the a7s II—the Sony a7s III. The Sony a7s III features an entirely new 12.1MP BSI sensor which was designed to offer larger pixels at 8.5 micrometers, making it more sensitive to light and better in low-light situations. It also comes with a new BIONZ XR processor which is 8x faster than the previous BIONZ X. Compared to the previous a7s II, it has 2x the readout, helping cut down on any type of rolling shutter.
The native ISO has been lowered to 80, making the range now from 80-102,400 with 15-stops of dynamic range in S-LOG 3. One major change that they incorporated in this camera is a menu redesign. One consistent complaint we hear at the store is how complicated Sony's menu system is when coming from another brand. Now, Sony has included a more user-friendly interface with a long-awaited touch screen. In addition, Sony even split the menu between the photo and video settings.
In terms of the physical features of the camera, it will feel very similar to the Sony a7R IV and the a9 II, only now the record button is on the top of the camera rather than on the back. One aspect Sony users will be excited about is that for the first time there is a 3" 1.44 million dot vari-angle LCD screen. Plus, the Quad-XGA OLED EVF viewfinder now has 9,437,184 dots with a 60 or 120FPS refresh rate, providing sharp, clear footage.
When considering memory cards, it can take dual SD UHS-II cards but not only that, those same slots are also reverse compatible with CFexpress type A cards. The CFexpress type A card is a new type of card that is slightly smaller than SD cards, but much faster and feels more durable. To compare, CFexpress B is what you'd find in cameras like the Nikon Z6 and Canon EOS R5 and is a slightly larger card but even faster than the CFexpress A.
Sony allows you to record simultaneously to both cards no matter what mode you're in. Since CFexpress type A cards have yet to be used, Sony is coming out with a new Sony TOUGH card at 80GB and 160GB with a read/write rate of 700MBs, half the speed of the CFexpress B cards.
For stabilization, it comes with 5-axis In-body Stabilization, the same you'll find in the a7R IV and the a9 II. Sony also added a feature called "Active" which is an optic stabilization and does add a slight crop, although, you'll still get a 1:1 pixel readout.
Although this camera is designed more for video, the a7s III still comes with some great photo specs, like how it can shoot up to 10 FPS with both the mechanical and electronic shutter. Keep in mind, if you're looking for a hybrid camera that can shoot well in both video and photo, we recommend the Sony a7 III.
The AF performance is 30% better with the new processor than the a7R IV but considering pixel size between both cameras that is understandable.
For video, it shoots 10 bit 4:2:2 4K UHD with a full pixel readout without pixel binning in all modes along with SLOG 2 and SLOG 3. You can also shoot Full HD up to 240FPS in all-I 10bit 4:2:2, but there is some pixel binning at 240FPS. One advantage that the a7s III has over the EOS R5 is the unlimited record time.
It will do 16 bit 4K RAW DCI at 60FPS cleanout to a full HDMI. You can shoot 4K externally and still record internal 4K at the same time. You can record the 4K/60 RAW on an Atomos Ninja V. There is also a new format called XAVC S-I 4K that lets you record all-I up to 600mbps in the highest quality option.
One major question many videographers will want to know is about overheating issues. The Sony a7s III does not come with a fan but Sony announced that they have built it to include a heat-dissipating structure.
There is a new infrared sensor that helps with the auto white balance under artificial light. Additionally, USB-C charging now uses USB 3.2 speed which is extremely fast when it comes to transferring images to the computer even while charging the camera.
The a7s III will start shipping on September 24th and is selling for $3,498. Click the button below pre-order yours today.