SONY A7R III TARGETS NIKON’S D850
NIKON’S D850 HAS enjoyed only a short time in the sun as a full-35mm ILC which delivers both ultra-high resolution and high speed shooting before Sony has come along and spoiled the party with its new A7R III (model ILCE-7RM3).
The third-gen A7R mirrorless camera retains its predecessor’s 43.6 megapixels (total) backside-illuminated (BSI) ‘Exmor R’ CMOS sensor, but there have been changes to the architecture and circuitry to improve both the signal-to-noise ratio and the dynamic range (claimed at 15 stops). An updated ‘Bionz X’ processor delivers significant increases in speed, in particular enabling continuous shooting at 10 fps with full AF/AE adjustment, and for a burst of up to 76 maximum quality JPEGs (or compressed RAWs) or 28 14-bit uncompressed RAW images. In live view mode, the maximum continuous shooting speed is still 8.0 fps. The faster processing also enables 100 fps recording in the Full HD (1080p) video resolution with a bit rate of 100 Mbps for high-quality slow-motion clips, while 4K video is recorded in the UHD resolution (3840x2160 pixels) using the full width of the sensor. In Super 35mm format, the A7R III uses a full pixel rea-out without pixel binning to record 5K video (at 5176x2924 pixels), oversampling it to produce high-quality 4K footage. There’s a new Hybrid Log Gamma profile which supports an Instant HDR workflow, enabling playback on HDR (HLG) compatible TVs without any post processing. Both the S-Log2 and S-Log3 profiles are now available for increased colour grading flexibility. As before, the hybrid autofocusing system employs 399 phase-difference detection measuring points (which give 68 percent coverage), but the number of contrast-detection points is increased from 25 to 425. Sony claims the AF acquisition time is halved compared to the A7R II in low-light conditions while tracking accuracy is doubled. ‘Eye AF’ is also claimed to be two times more effective. A joystick-type controller is provided for more efficient selection of focusing points. Low light sensitivity is down to -3.0 EV with f2.0 speed lenses. An upgraded sensor-shift image stabilisation operates over five axes with correction of up to 5.5 stops (also available with video recording) and Sony has leveraged the system of offer a pixelshift multi-shot facility. With the ‘Pixel Shift Multi Shooting’ mode, the camera captures four images with a one-pixel shift in each direction to give a 169.6 megapixels of image data. Additionally, full RGBG colour information is captured at every pixel, giving improved reproduction and lower noise. The A7R III retains dual multi-format memory card slots (for SD and Memory Stick), but one now supports UHS-II speed SDHC and SDXC devices. There are also dual USB connectors (microUSB and Type C USB 3.1), automatic flicker detection and a larger -capacity battery which Sony says extends battery life by 2.2x compared to the Mark II camera. The A7R III steps up to the same 3.69 megadots OLED-type electronic viewfinder as the A9 and which can refresh at up to 120 fps. The monitor screen has been upgraded to Sony’s ‘WhiteMagic’ LCD display with a resolution of 1.44 megadots and touch controls which include an AF touchpad function. The new camera’s menu design is the same as that of the A9, as are customisation options for external controls. The Sony A7R III is $4999 body only; more information is available from www.sony.com.au