Sony’s latest program of upgrades for its A7 series of full-35mm mirrorless cameras continues with the introduction of the A7 III which joins the A7R III announced a few months ago.
The A7 III is built around a new ‘Exmor R’ back-illuminated CMOS sensor with an imaging area of 35.6x23.8 mm and a total pixel count of 25.3 million (24.2 MP effective). It has a sensitivity range equivalent to ISO 100 to 51,200 (expandable to ISO 50 and 204,800) and Sony is claiming an impressive 15 stops of dynamic range. The new sensor is coupled to Sony’s latest ‘Bionz X’ high-speed processor which enables continuous shooting at up to 10 fps – with frame-by-frame autofocusing adjustment – and, of course, 4K video in the Ultra HD resolution of 3840x2160 pixels which is recorded using the full width of the sensor without pixel binning. The 10 fps shooting speed is available when using either the camera’s focal plane shutter or its sensor-based shutter which allows for totally silent shooting. The burst depth with JPEG capture is quoted at 177 frames while for RAW it’s 89 compressed images or 40 uncompressed. RAW files have 14-bit RGB colour.
Dual memory card slots are provided, one dedicated to the SD format (and with UHS-II speed support), the second is dual format for SD and MemoryStick Duo devices.
Virtually identical in size and styling to the A7R III, the A7 III has a magnesium alloy bodyshell and chassis with weather sealing. The 1.3 cm OLED electronic viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 megadots and a magnification of 0.78x. It’s supplemented by a tilt-adjustable monitor screen with full touch controls including touch and drag autofocusing. Sensor-based image stabilisation provides correction for camera over five axes and for up to five stops. The A7 III is powered by the same NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery pack as is used in the A7R III and A9, and which is claimed to enable up to 710 shots per charge. Sony claims this is the longest rated battery life of any mirrorless camera.
The A7 III’s autofocusing system is inherited straight from the A9 so it employs 425 points with contrast-detection measurement and 693 points for phase-detection measurement, giving 93 percent frame coverage. Sony says the focusing speed in low light situations and the tracking speed have both been doubled compared to the A7 II due the sensor’s faster read-out speed. The improved tracking speed enables better handling of subjects moving erratically. Tracking sensitivity is adjustable over five levels from ‘Locked On’ to ‘Responsive’. AF low light sensitivity extends down to -3.0 EV.
An Anti-Flicker function is provided to deal with the rapid switching characteristics of gas-ignition light sources (i.e. fluorescent tubes) which can affect both exposure and colour balance when shooting at faster shutter speeds. Control customisation extends to 11 keys which can be assigned from a list of 81 functions, allowing considerable scope for the personalisation of operations. Additionally, there’s a customisable ‘My Menu’ which can be populated with up to 30 frequently-used items.
In addition to the full-pixel readout without pixel binning for 4K video recording, the A7 III allows for Full HD recording at 100 fps for slow-mo effects. It has the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) colour profile for to facilitate an easy HDR workflow or, alternatively, both the S-Log2 and S-Log3 colour profiles for more convenient colour grading in post-production. Other video features include a clean HDMI output (8-bit 4:2:2 colour), zebra patterns, time-coding and variable recording speeds from 1.0 fps to 100 fps (PAL).
The Sony A7 III will be available locally from late March and is priced at $3099 body only. For more information visit http://www.sony.com.au