Third Gen Sony A7 Has 10 FPS Shoot­ing And More

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Sony’s cur­rent 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’ high­speed 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 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 post­pro­duc­tion. 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 is avail­able now and is priced at $3099 body only.

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