Sony A7R III Tar­gets Nikon’s D850

ProPhoto - - NEWS -

Nikon’s D850 has only en­joyed 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 read-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 now 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 pixel-shift 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 the cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions for the ex­ter­nal con­trols.

The Sony A7R III is priced at $4999 body only and more in­for­ma­tion is avail­able from www.sony.com.au

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