Sony Announces a7R III – “An Evolution of Resolution and Speed”

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After much speculation, Sony finally unveiled the latest member of their widely successful a7 camera series, the a7R III.

The a7R III takes the the best features found on the previous a7 II model, then sprinkles in some of the newer technology introduced on the more recent a9 model, and then adds a few new treats for good measure.

So with all of that in mind, lets take a closer look…

a7R III front and back

 

The a7R III features a 42.4-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor utilizing a gapless on-chip lens design and anti-reflective coating resulting in higher sensitivity, better low-light performance and a wider dynamic range capable of covering a whopping 15-stops in the lower ISO range.

Another improvement is a continuous shooting speed of up to 10fps with full AF/AE tracking, doubling in speed over the previous a7R II model or 8fps when shooting with live view through the LCD screen.

The a7R III can also capture upto 76 RAW/JPEG photos and 28 uncompressed RAW files in bursts when using either the mechanical shutter or completely silent shooting mode,

An updated BIONZ X processing engine boosts processing speed by up to 1.8 times over the previous a7R II. The focusing system has also been upgraded and now features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points covering approx. 47% of the image area in both vertical and horizontal directions.

a7R III AF Coverage

Improved AF Coverage

Contrast AF points have also been increased to 425 (400 more than the a7R II) covering approx 68% of the image.

Image stabilization has also been beefed up with a 5-axis optical image stabilizer providing what Sony says is the “world’s highest compensation performance for an image stabilization system” (full-frame) of an additional 5.5 stops.

A new feature to the a7R III that should make still life and architectural photographers excited is the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode.

This mode, when activated, captures 4 separate photos shifted by 1-pixel each capturing a total of approx. 169.6-megapixels of data. This data, when processed through Sony’s new desktop Imaging Edge software is then combined to create a single 42.4-megapixel image.

a7R III Card Slots

Dual SD Slots

Storage for still images and movies is provided using two SD media card slots one of which is UHS-II compatible for fast write speeds. As with most dual card set-ups, photos and movies can be stored simultaneously recorded to both cards for back-up or RAW images can be assigned to one card and JPEG to the other.

On the back is the same high-res OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder as found on the Sony a9. Featuring a customizable frame rate with options of either 60 fps or 120 fps, it also boasts a ZEISS T* coating to reduce reflections and a fluorine coating on the outer lens to keep it dirt free.

The 1.44M dots LCD screen features WhiteMagic technology that is supposed to improve viewing in bright, outdoor conditions.


a7R III Video Rig Set-up

a7R III Video Rig Set-up

a7R III for Video

One could argue that the a7 series of cameras have become as popular, if not more, with video shooters due to its smaller size, more reasonable price point (compared to other video options) and extremely robust video capabilities.

With the a7R III, Sony has taken the best features of previous a7 models and added a few new ones.

As with the a7R II, the a7R III features internal 4K recording in both full-frame and Super 35mm modes.

When shooting in Super 35mm format, the camera utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 5K (15-megapixels) of information oversampling it to produce high-quality 4K footage a feature not found in previous models.

S-Log2 and (new) S-Log3 options are available for increased colour grading flexibility, as well as HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) to provide support for an Instant HDR (High Dynamic Range) workflow, allowing for HDR (HLG) playback on compatible TV’s.

The a7R III is also capable of recording Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution.


Sony Alpha a7R III Body Only

Thanks to an evolutionary leap in image processing power and efficiency, the a7R III captures high-resolution 42.4 MP images up to 10 fps with full AF/AE tracking and 4K HDR video.


A7R III Key Features

  • Spectacular 42.4MP full-frame resolution w/ evolved image processing
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • a7R III Right Side Terminals

    Right Side Terminals

    Incredible autofocus: 399 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points

  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 102,400
  • 4K HDR Movie w/ full pixel readout and no pixel binning
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization, 5.5 step shutter speed advantage
  • Pixel Shift Multi Shooting for superior resolution from 42.4MP
  • Secure and versatile dual media slots (UHS-II SD Card compatible)
  • Long-lasting Z battery w/ approx. 2.2x the capacity of W batteries
  • Instant HDR3 workflow with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) encoding
  • Super speed USB Type-C™ (USB 3.1 Gen 1 compatible) and Micro USB
  • NFC / Wi-Fi / FTP file transfer via Wi-Fi / flash sync terminal
  • Multi-selector direct AF point selection / AF-ON button
  • My Menu, customizable interface and buttons, plus back focus button
  • Robust magnesium alloy body w/ dust and moisture resistant design
  • Enhanced BIONZ X™ image processing engine with front end LSI
  • Fast, wide, dependable 4D Focus w/ Eye AF, Lock-on AF, AF tracking
  • 3-inch 1440K-dot tiltable LCD screen with touch control

Also published on Medium.

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About Author

Woodrow Walden is a Toronto-based photographer and the Social Media Community Specialist for Vistek.