Sony Alpha a7S III Review (2020)

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Sony’s Alpha a7S III is the third iteration in the most video-focused of the company’s a7 series of full-frame cameras. Sony has taken the S series to a whole new level of full-frame movie expression, spectacular new speed combines with supreme sensitivity. And ultra-low noise to put previously impossible 4K movie shoots on the menu. With high dynamic range, breath-taking focusing, and extra-strong image stabilization.

Sony Alpha a7S III Mirrorless Full Frame Camera Specifications

Body Design

The a7S III body comes with more reliability mainly designed for more durability to maximize dust and moisture resistance. Also, an additional sealing has been applied to all body seams and the battery compartment cover. As the media slot cover has been redesigned to handle harsh outdoor environments. The a7S III gets the much-improved ergonomics with a more comfortable grip, large grippy joystick, and prominent AF-On button. It also features the togglable lock on the exposure comp dial and the mode dial lock that needs to be pressed to turn the dial. Moreover, the camera now comes with the new heat-dissipation design to prevent overheating even during extended recording sessions.

  • Body type – SLR-style mirrorless
  • Camera Format – Full-Frame
  • Body material – Magnesium alloy
  • Weight (with battery and memory card included) – Approx. 699 g
  • Dimensions – Width 128.9 mm x Height 96.9 mm x Diagonal 80.8 mm
  • Operating Environment – 32 – 104 degrees F / 0 – 40 degrees C
  • Lens Mount – E Mount
  • Shutter Type – Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
  • Slower shutter speed – 30 sec
  • Fastest shutter speed – 1/8000 sec for Mechanical Shutter and 1/32000 sec for Electronic Shutter
  • Mirror Lock-Up – No
  • Memory Card Slots – Dual Slot – SD /SDHC/SDXC/ CFexpress Type A memory card
  • Battery description – NP-FZ100, Rechargeable.
  • Battery Life – Approx. 510 shots (Viewfinder)/approx. 600 shots (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard) for stills, Approx. 80 min (Viewfinder)/Approx. 95 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard) for actual video recording, Approx. 130 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 135 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard) for continuous video recording
  • Charging AC adapter – BC-QZ1 charging AC adapter

Sensor and Processor

sony a7s sensor

The Sony a7 III is made of a newly developed back-illuminated full-frame Exmor RTM CMOS sensor. With 12.1 effective megapixels, which boasts a readout speed up to twice as fast as that of the α7S II. Also, it is combined with the new image-processing engine BIONZ XR which helps to boost a performance level up to eight times that of the previous processor. Thus, minimizing latency while markedly improving real-time processing capabilities for both movies and stills.

  • Sensor type – CMOS
  • Total Pixels – 12.9 megapixels
  • Effective Pixels – 12.1 megapixels
  • Sensor size – Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
  • Max resolution – 4240 x 2832
  • Other resolutions – 3:2 – L: 4240 x 2832 (12M), M: 2768 x 1848 (5.1M), S: 2128 x 1416 (3.0M), APS-C L: 2768 x 1848 (5.1M), M: 2128 x 1416 (3.0M), S: 1376 x 920 (1.3M), 4:3 – 35 mm full- 35 mm full-frame L: 3776 x 2832 (11M), M: 2464 x 1848 (4.6M), S: 1888 x 1416 (2.7M) APS-C L: 2464 x 1848 (4.6M), M: 1888 x 1416 (2.7M), S: 1232 x 920 (1.1M), 16:9 – 35 mm full-frame L: 4240 x 2348 (10M), M: 2768 x 1550 (4.3M), S: 2128 x 1200 (2.6M), APS-C L: 2768 x 1560 (4.3M), M: 2128 x 1200 (2.6M), S: 1376 x 776 (1.1M), 1:1 – 35 mm full-frame L: 2832 x 2832 (8 M), M: 1840 x 1840 (3.4 M), S: 1408 x 1408 (2.0 M),APS-C L: 1840 x 1840 (3.4 M), M: 1408 x 1408 (2.0 M), S: 912 x 912 (0.8 M)
  • Processor – BIONZ XR
  • Bit Depth – 14bit RAW
  • Camera Stabilization – 5-axis image sensor shift
  • Aspect Ratio – 3:2
  • Colour space – sRGB, Adobe RGB compatible with TRILUMINOS Colour
  • Colour filter array – Primary colour filter
  • Continuous shooting speed – Continuous shooting: Hi+: 10 fps, Hi: 8 fps, Mid: 6 fps, Lo: 3 fps

Image

The image processing engine performs real-time processing of AF, image recognition, and image-quality adjustments while handling data transfer, user interface, and other camera operations. Therefore, the full-frame 12.1-megapixel configuration enables high sensitivity with low noise throughout the camera’s sensitivity range by optimizing the output signal from the sensor.

  • Image ratio – 3:2
  • ISO Auto – 80-102400
  • Minimum ISO – 40
  • Maximum ISO – 409600
  • White Balance presets – 7
  • White Balance Bracketing – Provided
  • Image stabilization – Sensor-shift 5-Axis
  • File format – RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format), RAW, HEIF (4:2:0 4:2:2) (Extra fine, Fine, Standard), JPEG (Extra fine, Fine, Standard), RAW & JPEG, RAW & HEIF
  • Picture Profile – Yes (Off/PP1-PP10) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG, HLG1-3), Black Gamma, Knee, Colour Mode, Saturation, Colour Phase, Colour Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
  • Creative Look – ST, PT, NT, VV, VV2, FL, IN, SH, BW, SE, Custom Look (1-6)

Optics and Focus

An advanced color filter array boosts color reproduction accuracy. While focal-plane phase-detection AF enables substantial increases in autofocus stability and precision, all of which contribute to outstanding image quality. The new EXMOR R full-frame image sensor and revolutionary BIONZ XR image processing engine delivers always-active pinpoint AF for astonishing detail. Besides, even when shooting moving subjects at shallow depths-of-field in 4K and 120p frame rates are made easy with accurate and tenacious AF performance in combination with high-quality E-mount lenses. Furthermore, the Fast Hybrid AF uses a high-density array of 759 phase-detection AF points in conjunction with 425-point contrast-detection AF that helps for more accurate and quicker focusing even at a very low-light situation.

  • Focus Mode – AF-A (Automatic AF), AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C (Continuous AF), DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus
  • Number of focus points – 35-mm full frame: 759 points (phase-detection AF), APS-C mode with FF lens: 345 points (phase-detection AF), with APS-C lens: 285 points (phase-detection AF) / 425 points (contrast-detection AF)
  • Lens mount – E Mount
  • Focal length multiplier – 1×

Auto Focus

  • Autofocus system – Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
  • Autofocus Sensitivity – -6 to +20 EV
  • Focus Area – Wide / Zone / Centre / Flexible Spot / Expanded Flexible Spot / Tracking

Screen and Viewfinder

sony 7s III screen

The a7S III’s viewfinder rivals the resolution of the human eye boasting the high resolution in its class. It provides category-leading 0.90x viewfinder magnification with clear eyepoint and low-distortion viewing. Also, the new vari-angle LCD monitor is designed for smooth movie-making with more flexibility for positioning and shooting from different angles.

  • Screen Type – TFT type, Adjustable Opening Angle: Approx. 176 deg., Rotation Angle: Approx. 270 deg.
  • The Screen size – 7.5 cm (3.0-type)
  • Screen dots – 14,40,000 dots
  • Touch screen – Provided
  • Live view – Provided
  • Viewfinder type – 1.6 cm (0.64 type) electronic viewfinder (colour)
  • The Viewfinder coverage – 100%
  • Viewfinder Eye Point – 25 mm, 21mm from the eyepiece frame at -1m-1
  • Viewfinder Magnification – Approx. 0.90x
  • Diopter Adjustment – -4 to +3 m-1

Photography Features

sony 7s features

The Sony a7S III is built with the sensor-shift of 5-axis image stabilization equal to 5.5 steps which helps to take a perfect shot in any conditions. Also, the colors and textures of foliage and human skin can be more consistently reproduced without over-dependence on light sources by the improved capabilities of the α7S III’s new image-processing engine. This camera delivers huge performance even at the extreme low-light condition with its high ISO sensitivity. And also the focusing speed has increased with its advanced AF system as a result, good quality images are obtained with the low noise level. Thus, the camera’s high sensitivity and wide dynamic range make way for more creativity during shoots.

  • Exposure modes – AUTO (iAuto), Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Movie (Programmed AE (P)/Aperture priority (A)/Shutter-speed priority (S)/Manual (M)/Flexible Exp. Mode), Slow and Quick Motion (Programmed AE (P)/Aperture priority (A)/Shutter-speed priority (S)/Manual (M)/Flexible Exp. Mode)
  • Continuous drive – 10 fps
  • Silent Shooting – Yes (Electronic Shutter)
  • Metering modes – Multi-segment, Centre-weighted, Spot, Spot Standard/Large, Entire Screen Avg., Highlight
  • Exposure compensation – ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
  • Metering Range – –3 to +20 EV
  • Built-in flash – Not provided
  • External flash connection– Hot Shoe, PC Terminal
  • Flash Maximum sync speed – 1/250 s
  • Flash Compensation – ±3 EV (1/3 or 1/2 EV Steps)
  • External Flash Connection Sony α System Flash compatible with Multi Interface Shoe, attach the shoe adaptor for flash compatibility with the Auto-lock accessory shoe
  • Flash Control – Pre-flash TTL
  • Flash Modes – Flash off, Auto-flash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable), Wireless, Hi-speed sync.

Video or Movie Features

The Sony a7S III is capable of performing 4K internal recording with 10-bit depth and 4:2:2 color sampling when using either Long GOP or All Intra compression. In addition to Long GOP inter-frame compression, the a7S III supports internal intra-frame (All-Intra) recording for the first time in an α-model body. As each frame is recorded independently at a high bitrate of up to 600 Mbps. Also, the camera supports 16-bit RAW data output to an external recorder via HDMI, for the first time in the α series. The output is full-frame 4264 x 2408 (16:9 aspect ratio) 16-bit data from the image sensor, with a choice of frame rates (60p/50p/30p/25p/24p).

  • Video Compression – XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, XAVC HS: MPEG-H HEVC/H.265
  • Videography Format – XAVC S, XAVC HS
  • Frame Rate –  XAVC HS 4K: 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 10 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (200 Mbps), 60p (150 Mbps / 75 Mbps / 45 Mbps), 24p (100 Mbps / 50 Mbps / 30 Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 10 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (200 Mbps), 50p (150 Mbps / 75 Mbps / 45 Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (280 Mbps), 60p (200 Mbps / 100 Mbps), 24p (100 Mbps / 50 Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (280 Mbps), 50p (200 Mbps / 100 Mbps),
  • XVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (200 Mbps), 60p (150 Mbps), 30p (100 Mbps / 60 Mbps), 24p (100 Mbps / 60 Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (200 Mbps), 50p (150 Mbps), 25p (100 Mbps / 60 Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (280 Mbps), 60p (200 Mbps), 30p (140 Mbps), 24p (100 Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (280 Mbps), 50p (200 Mbps), 25p (140 Mbps),
  • XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (4:2:0, 8 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (100 Mbps / 60 Mbps), 60p (50 Mbps / 25 Mbps), 30p (50 Mbps / 16 Mbps), 24p (50 Mbps); 1920 x 1080 (4:2:0, 8 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (100 Mbps / 60 Mbps), 50p (50 Mbps / 25 Mbps), 25p (50 Mbps / 16 Mbps); 1920 x 1080 (4:2:2, 10 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (50 Mbps), 30p (50 Mbps), 24p (50 Mbps); 1920 x 1080 (4:2:2, 10 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (50 Mbps), 25p (50 Mbps),
  • XAVC S-I 4K: 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (600 Mbps), 30p (300 Mbps), 24p (240 Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (500 Mbps), 25p (250 Mbps),
  • XAVC S-I HD: 1920 x 1080 (4:2:2, 10 bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (222 Mbps), 30p (111 Mbps), 24p (89 Mbps); 1920 x 1080 (4:2:2, 10 bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (185 Mbps), 25p (93 Mbps)
  • Slow Motion – NTSC mode: 1 fps, 2 fps, 4 fps, 8 fps, 15 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps, 120 fps, 240 fps, PAL mode: 1 fps, 2 fps, 3 fps, 6 fps, 12 fps, 25 fps, 50 fps, 100 fps, 200 fps
  • Audio Recording – Built-In Microphone (Stereo)
  • Audio File Format – XAVC S: LPCM 2ch, LPCM 2ch (48 kHz 16 bit), LPCM 2ch (48 kHz 24bit), LPCM 4ch (48 kHz 24 bit), MPEG-4 and AAC-LC 2ch
  • Moreover, Audio Output – Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)

Other Special Features of Sony a7S III

sony alpha 7s memory

When shooting movies, low bit-rate HD proxy files can be recorded simultaneously with higher bit-rate formats such as XAVC S-I 4K. And these smaller proxy files can then be used for editing and previewing before final product delivery. The movie-making is now made easier with the advanced Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF systems. Now, the menu structure has been designed to allow professionals to work more efficiently as per the user’s demand.

  • Eye Tracking – Human/Animal Eye Tracking AF
  • Face Detection- Modes: Face Priority in AF, Face Priority in Multi Metering, Regist. Faces Priority
  • Digital Zoom – Smart zoom (Still images): 35 mm full-frame: M: Approx. 1.5x, S: Approx. 2x, APS-C: M: Approx. 1.3x, S: Approx. 2x, Digital zoom (Still images): 35 mm full-frame: L: Approx. 4x, M: Approx.6.1x, S: Approx. 8x, APS-C: L: Approx. 4x, M: Approx. 5.2x, S: Approx. 8x, Digital zoom (Movie): 35 mm full-frame: Approx. 4x, APS-C: Approx. 4x
  • Time-lapse recording – Provided
  • PC Interface – Mass-storage / MTP
  • Wireless – Built-in
  • Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz band
  • Bluetooth – Version 5.0
  • Storage types – SLOT1: Multi slot for SD (UHS-I/II-compliant) memory card/CFexpress Type A card, SLOT2: Multi slot for SD (UHS-I/II-compliant) memory card/CFexpress Type A card
  • USB Connectivity – USB type C (SuperSpeed USB 5 Gbps [USB 3.2] compatible)
  • Port Provided – Microphone, Headphone
  • Remote control – Yes (Wired, wireless, smartphone)
  • Self-timer – 10 s delay / 5 s delay / 2 s delay / Continuous self-time / Bracketing self-timer

Best Lenses for Sony Alpha a7S III

In the field of digital photography, Sony always stands for sharpness, details, and image quality. This is possible only because of the good quality of lenses which are made especially for the high quality and exact color profile to make a reality. Hence, a wide variety of G lens, G Master, and also ZEISS lens series available for the F mount for every occasion. Thereupon, these lenses are designed to work with the compact and mirrorless E-mount cameras with its huge line-up making to capture everything around us.

List of Best Common Lenses for Sony a7S III

Best All-in-one Lens

FE 24–240 mm F3.5-6.3 OSS

Most Common Standard Zoom Lenses

  • FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM
  • FE 24-105 mm F4 G OSS

Best Standard Prime Lenses

  • FE 35 mm F1.8
  • FE 50 mm F2.8 Macro
  • Lens FE 85mm F1.8
  • FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS

Best Macro Lenses

  • FE 50 mm F2.8 Macro
  • FE 90 mm F2.8 Macro G OSS

Top Standard Zoom Lenses

  • FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM
  • FE 24–105 mm F4 G OSS
  • Lens FE PZ 28–135 mm F4 G OSS

Best Wide-angle Zoom Lenses

  • FE 12-24mm F4 G
  • FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM
  • Lens FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM

Best Wide-angle Prime Lenses

  • FE 20 mm F1.8 G
  • FE 24mm F1.4 GM
  • Lens FE 35 mm F1.8

List of Best Specialized Lenses for Sony a7S III

Best Indoor Sports Lenses

  • FE 70–200 mm F4 G OSS
  • FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS
  • Super Telephoto Zoom 100-400mm G Master Lens

Top Outdoor Sports and Wildlife Lenses

  • Sony FE 200–600 mm F5.6–6.3 G OSS
  • FE 400 mm F2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 600-mm F4 GM OSS
  • 1.4x and 2x Teleconverter Lens

Best Portrait Lenses

  • FE 50mm F1.8
  • FE 85 mm F1.4 GM
  • Lens FE 135mm F1.8 GM

Best Travel and Street Lenses

  • FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM
  • FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM
  • Lens FE 24–105 mm F4 G OSS Lens
  • FE 50mm F1.8
  • FE 85 mm F1.4 GM

Sony Alpha a7S III Rating

As per the specifications and features of Sony a7S III, this camera is rated as 4.8/5. This camera is a video-focused camera with lots of functionality. As it has the extreme capability for providing the most remarkable video experience with its developed technology. Also, this camera performs well at even at extreme low-light situation equals to -6 EV with no color loss and image quality. Thus, this camera will be so for wedding cinematographers or videographers. And also for many photography genres because of its best image and video quality. Further, this rating is given to Sony α7S III as per the survey of PhotomentorPRO.

FAQ

What is the price of the Sony Alpha a7S III Mirrorless Camera?

Sony Alpha a7S III Mirrorless Camera costs $3500
Henceforth, in India Sony Alpha a7S III Mirrorless Camera costs Rs 2,62,150/-