November 8, 2017
The a7r III features the same 42.4MP full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor as the a7R II but is improved upon by new hardware to deliver up to 15-stops of dynamic range at low ISO sensitivity for stills. The a7R series has generally been aimed more to photographers due to the high-resolution sensor so this may be a good sign of what’s to come in the a7S III.
A few points of interest include:
- New BIONZ X™ – 1.8x faster than a7R II
- NP-FZ100 battery provides 2.2x capacity of NP-FW50
- Dual SD card slots (1x UHS-II, 1x UHS-I)
- New HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile to support instant HDR
- Full-pixel readout without pixel binning for 4K video< /li>
- HDMI output is still 8-bit
- 3″ touch screen
- Priced at $3199USD due end of November
The camera is HDR capable, and when recording in the HLG profile, you can playback material on a HDR capable TV will appear true-to-life with no blocked shadows or blown high- lights when played back on an HDR SDR (HLG) compatible TV, without the need for color grading. In addition to S-Log2, the α7R III offers S-Log3 for better gradation from shadows to mid-tones and a wide dynamic range of up to a claimed 14 stops when shooting video. A new S-Gamut3/S-Gamut3.Cine wide color space is also supported.
The Super 35mm mode full-pixel readout without pixel binning condenses approximately 1.8 times the amount of data required for 4K movies (QFHD: 3840 x 2160). Advanced image processing is claimed to make it possible to record full-frame 4K movies with dramatically improved image quality in the mid-to-high ISO range.
There is also a new Slow and Quick Motion Mode where frame rates from 1 fps to 120 fps can be selected in eight steps for up to 60x quick motion and 5x slow motion while recording in full-HD quality.
High-quality stills can be extracted from movies and stored separately: 8 megapixel stills from 4K movies, and 2 megapixel stills from full-HD movies.
4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) movies and lower-resolution proxy movies can be recorded simultaneously. The smaller proxy files are ideal for quick previewing or pre-editing that can reduce the time required for final 4K editing.
Operationally the control direction of the front and rear dials can be set via the menus. It is also possible to assign the large, accessible shutter button to start and stop movie recording, rather than using the dedicated Movie button.
As far as auto-focus performance goes when recording video, Sony Claim the α7R III uses an efficient combination of focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detection AF to accurately lock quickly onto moving subjects and track them. AF coverage for movies extends across an area almost as wide as the AF coverage area for still images, so in theory it should work pretty well.
In addition to the a7R III, Sony have also announced two new lenses. The FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens (SEL24105G) and a 400mm F2.8 G Master which is still under development.