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Sony Alpha A7S III Officially Announced

With a new 12.1mp BSI CMOS sensor, Sony say the new A7S III is the ultimate 4K video camera for low-light recording. There are a number of other improvements we think you'll want to read about, including a new menu system!

| Sony Alpha A7S III in Mirrorless Cameras

Sony Alpha A7S III Officially Announced: Alpha A7S III

Sony has announced the new Sony Alpha A7S III, the long-awaited update to the A7S II. The new camera features a number of impressive “World Firsts” with the first 12mp full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, an ultra-high-resolution electronic viewfinder with 9.44m dots, and 0.90x magnification.

4K video recording is possible at 120fps (up to 30min), 4K 60fps (up to 60min), and FullHD video at 240fps. The camera can record 4K video at 10-bit 4:2:2 internally, has up to 600mbps recording, and supports dual SD UHS-II or new CFexpress Type-A cards.


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There’s a 3inch vari-angle touch screen, a completely new menu system with full touch-screen support, with dedicated menus for video or stills shooting. The Fn (Function) screen is also different depending whether you’re in stills or photo mode, and the camera can remember settings for movie / stills separately.

The camera supports a completely new memory card type CFexpress Type A, with Sony announcing the CEA-G series, it’s physically smaller than SD cards, and gives upto 800mb/s read, 700mb/s write. A new card reader will be available as well, and the memory card will be available in 80GB / 160GB sizes.

The Sony A7S III has an estimated retail price €4200/£3800, and will be available in September 2020.

Key Features

  • 12.1mp full-frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • Up to 15+ stop dynamic range
  • 9.44m dot QXGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF, 0.90x magnification (size can be reduced if too large)
  • ISO40 to ISO409600
  • 4K 120p recording, 10-bit, 4:2:2
  • All intra up to 600Mbps
  • FullHD 240p
  • New S-Gamut3.Cine
  • Fast hybrid AF in all recording situations
  • Real-time eye AF (in video as well), Touch-tracking
  • 759 phase-detection AF points 92% coverage
  • 425 CDAF points
  • 10fps continuous shooting with AF/AE
  • Articulated vari-angle touch-screen
  • Dual slots: SD UHS-II / CFexpress Type A card support
  • Z battery


Sony Alpha A7S III Officially Announced: A7S III Situation 06 Low Angle

As well as a new sensor, new screen, and new menus, the camera body is said to have improved dust and moisture resistance, with improved ergonomics, thanks to a bigger grip, bigger buttons, and a new REC button.

The camera is designed to give fast FTP transfers when using the 5G network via USB tethering with XPERIA 1 II (and other USB Type-C Android smartphones).

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a QXGA resolution with 9.44 million dots, a 120p refresh rate, and an impressive 0.9x magnification. There is switchable viewer magnification, so you can make it smaller if you want to make it more comfortable to view, for example, if you wear glasses.

The standard ISO range is ISO80 to ISO102400, and this expands to ISO40 - ISO409600, with up to 14-stops of dynamic range possible for stills photography.

Sony Alpha A7S III Officially Announced: A7S III SEL2470GM Right

Creative look for stills and video

There are now 10 colour profiles, with four new profiles, including FL - film-like tone, IN - instant camera tone, VV2 - vivid tone with bright colour, SH - soft and high-key. There are now 8 parameters available to adjust the image, with options to adjust: saturation, contrast, shadow, highlight, fade, sharpness, sharpness range, and clarity.

The camera offers 10fps continuous shooting with AF/AE, for over 1000 uncompressed RAW images with improved buffer clearing, when using the new CFexpress card. There’s also support for HEIF (10-bit) images and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) in stills mode.

The AF system is more customisable, and AF is sensitive down to -6 EV. The Fast Hybrid AF system is available in all recording situations, with real-time eye AF (in video as well), plus touch-tracking. There are 759 phase-detection AF points giving 92% coverage, and 425 CDAF points.


Sony Alpha A7S III Officially Announced: A7S III System ECM VG1 Image
A7S III System - ECM VG1

Designed for video 

The Sony NTSC / PAL switchover is still needed to adjust the frame rate of video (between NTSC 30/24fps and PAL 25fps), however, the camera no longer requires you to format your memory card if you do switch between NTSC/PAL.

The camera has been designed for video, and has a number of improvements:

  • New 12.1mp BSI CMOS sensor – giving improved noise performance and colour reproduction, especially noticeable at the higher ISO speeds, even compared to the A7S II.
  • High-speed readout from the sensor, 2x fast compared to A7S II
  • Improved rolling shutter, approx. 3x improved compared to A7S II
  • New BIONZ XR up to 8x faster than BIONZ X
  • Up to 15+ stops of dynamic range (Video)
  • Red square “tally light” on/off displayed on screen.

Sony Alpha A7S III Officially Announced: A7S III Rear Large

Further video details:

  • Designed to give the best 4K quality in the market
  • 4K full-pixel readout without binning in all recording modes
  • 10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling in all recording formats
  • 4K 120p (1.1x crop at 120p), 30 minutes, 4K 60p, 60 minutes (25C)
  • FullHD 240p high-speed recording
  • Instant HDR solution, 10bit HLG profile (HDR) shooting
  • 16-bit RAW output, via HDMI 2.1 supporting, 4K60p HDR transfer (max HDMI 2.1 can support), compatible with NINJA V (in collaboration with ATOMOS). External recording.
  • Colour science of S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine has been improved to match the PXW-FX9 (for example, used by professionals). ProRES raw.
  • Native ISO sensitivity in S-Log – Now 640 and 160 in extended mode.
  • ALL-I (XAVC-S-I) new codecs
  • H.265 HEVC code, XAVC HS 4K/HD with doubled compression efficiency compared to H.264
  • Slow & Quick – bit rates improved
  • Digital Audio Interface for ECM-B1M shotgun mic
  • 4 channel 24bit recording (with XLR-K3M)

Sony Alpha A7S III Officially Announced: A7S III Top

More features that will help with video include:

There’s an improved image stabilisation active mode, using a gyro sensor, that also records metadata for later processing (if needed), in addition to the 5-axis in-body image stabilisation.

The camera body has a new heat dissipating structure, said to be 5x more efficient than current models, and this enables 4K 60p recording for up to an hour.

Power is improved by 60% vs the A7S II, with the camera able to have an actual record time of 95min, with the Sony Z battery. For stills photography, the camera can take 600 frames (using LCD monitor). The camera also supports USB fast charging and will work with any charger or mobile battery supporting USB PD (Power Delivery) connected via USB Type-C port (giving 3-4x faster charging).

Portability of the Sony A series makes it a popular choice for video, and there are 57 E-mount lenses available, with 37 of these full-frame E-mount lenses. The Sony A7S II still widely used for image quality and low-light performance.


You can watch the announcement live on YouTube, at 3pm UK time, and read the full press release here.

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JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2020 3:49PM
Wow the spec's are looking good and with ISO to 409600 and ev-6 this looks good in low light.

What really was a big push back on sony before was its menu system, now, with touch screen, they have completely redesigned the A7S IIIís menu system - apparently making it more logical and now it looking like one of the best menu systems around - would love to hear an ePhotozine review on this.

Are canon and sony head to head and fighting it out on the 4k video scene?

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