Alpha 7 Reloaded: Sony Launches the Sony A7Riii!
The Sony Alpha family is a big one. At this time as well the Alpha series of mirrorless cameras are some of the most sought after camera in their class. At the top of the throne currently for Sony is the Sony A9 that was just launched earlier this year. Below that sits the Sony A7 series.
Many thought that the A7 series will be abandoned after the launch of the Sony A9 professional camera. The A9 though is aimed at the professional market while the A7 is still targeted towards high-end enthusiasts. That alone is reason enough for Sony not to abandon the series and introduce their latest A7 camera; the A7R Mark III (A7Riii).
So, the brand new high-end mirrorless camera Sony A7Riii then. How can it top the already brilliant A7Rii from a few years ago. It still has the same 35mm Full-Frame 42.4-Megapixel sensor that sits behind nothing other than the lens you fit on the camera. It also still maintains that slender, compact body that the A7Rii has with nearly the same button layout with minor differences.
For starters, the imaging sensor itself is a brand new Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS unit that comes with Evolved Image Processing. The new sensor features an anti-reflective coating on the sensor itself to improve light collection qualities which also means that you get better low-light photos. How good? Watch out for our 24 hours hands on with the Sony A7Riii. The sensor is also much faster with a BIONZ X processor which allows the camera to shoot at a higher frame rate too. It is 1.8 times faster than its predecessor to be specific.
The new sensor also brings us to its next improvement; its 10fps continuous shutter mode. The 10fps shooting mode now also works on the silent shutter mode like the A9 whereas the A7Rii only manages single frame shots in silent shutter and 7fps on normal shutter. Shooting at this high frame rate mode as well the A7Riii will shoot up to 76 JPEG/RAW images before it hits buffering.
The upgraded sensor also features 399 focal-plane phase- detection autofocus points. The improved autofocus is also said to be twice more accurate and effective than the one found on the the A7 Mark II series of cameras. That makes the autofocus much faster compared to the A7Rii.
Then, as with the A7Rii the new Mark III supports up to 4K video recording at 30fps. It still does super 35 mode in 4K resolution by cropping the sensor to that specific screen factor. In that case the camera samples the images at 5K resolution then reproduces it on 4K for richer details.
The movie making prowess is helped by the S-Log3 shooting profile for the best colour reproduction and allows you as a filmmaker more freedom in colour grading your films. Then there is the new, improved 5-axis built-in stabilisation with 5.5 step shutter speed advantage over the 4.5 step of the A7Rii. The video record button is now situated at a much more accessible position like the A9 to make video recording much more natural.
It still shoots at Full HD 1080p resolution. Though now it does it at 120fps. That also means spectacular slow motion videos.
Other improvements includes the ability for one of the memory card slots to support UHS-II SD cards for a much better high frame rate performance. New batteries that will last twice as long as the A7Rii. It now comes with USB-C port alongside the USB-3.1 to ensure that power never runs out. It even has the new Pixel Shift Shooting modes with shoots multiple instances of a single image and stitch them together to create a single high-resolution photo.
The Sony A7Riii will be available in Malaysia from 13th December this year onward. It will retail at MYR14,888 when it arrives. It will be available across all Sony Centres and authorised dealers nationwide. Press release after the break.
Sony’s New Full-frame α7R III Interchangeable Lens Camera Delivers the Ultimate Combination of Resolution and Speed
Innovative Full-frame Mirrorless Model Offers 42.4 MP High-Resolution, 10 fps Continuous Shooting, Fast and Precise AF Performance in a Compact Body
- 35mm Full-Frame 42.4 MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
- Continuous Shooting at up to 10 fps with either Silent Shooting or Mechanical Shutter and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
- 399 phase-detection AF points covering 68% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and approximately 2 times more effective Eye AF
- 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization with a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage
- High Resolution 4K Movie Shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning
- Completely redesigned for professionals, including upgraded Auto Focus, Dual SD Card Slots, Extended Battery Life, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ Terminal and more
- Compact, Lightweight body at only 657g
(KUALA LUMPUR) – Sony today announced an impressive addition to their full-frame mirrorless camera line-up, the α7R III (model ILCE-7RM3).
Thanks to an evolutionary leap in image processing power and efficiency, the new α7R III combines a high-resolution 42.4 MP1 back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with impressive shooting speeds at up to 10 fps2 with full AF/AE tracking, as well as beautiful image and 4K6 video quality, wide 15-stop9 dynamic range, high sensitivity with noise reduction of almost a full stop4 and more. With these immense capabilities and a compact, lightweight body, it’s an extremely versatile tool for photographers, videographers, multi-media creators and all other types of professionals that demand reliability, flexibility and versatility.
A New Level of Image Quality
The 42.4MP high-resolution, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor utilises a gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s seal glass to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range.
Sony’s new α7R III also features a new front-end LSI that effectively doubles4 the readout speed of the image sensor, as well as an updated BIONZ X™ processing-engine that boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the α7R II. These powerful components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling its impressive ISO range of 100 – 32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400 for still images) and massive 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings. This ensures outstanding overall performance at all settings and in all shooting conditions.
This new full-frame model was built without an optical low pass filter to maximise resolution, while also having the ability to output 14 bit RAW format even when shooting in silent or continuous mode. The camera is equipped with an innovative 5-axis optical image stabilisation system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a 5.5 step5 shutter speed advantage, the world’s highest compensation performance for an image stabilisation system. There is also a new low-vibration shutter that reduces vibration and image blur in all modes, including the high speed 10 fps shooting, as well as several advancements in accurate colour reproductions of skin tones.
High-Performance AF and AF/AE Tracking at up to 10 fps2
The innovative new α7R III full-frame mirrorless camera is equipped with a refined image processing system that allows it to shoot full 42.4MP images at up to 10 fps with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to 76 JPEG / RAW images or 28 uncompressed RAW images. This high speed 10 fps mode is available with either a mechanical shutter or a completely silent shooting, adding to the immense flexibility of the camera. The camera can also shoot continuously at up to 8 fps in live view mode with minimal lag in the viewfinder or LCD screen. These high speed options ensure that fast moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail.
For added convenience, while large groups of burst images are being written to the memory card, many of the cameras key functions are operable, including access to the ‘Fn’ (Function) and ‘Menu’ buttons, image playback and several other menus and parameters including image rating and other functions that facilitate on-location image sorting.
Additionally, if there is fluorescent or artificial lighting present in a shooting environment, users can activate the Anti-flicker function to allow the α7R III to automatically detect frequency of the lighting and time the shutter to minimise its effect on images being captured. This minimises any exposure or colour anomalies that can sometimes occur at the top and bottom of images shot at high shutter speeds.
The upgraded focusing system of the α7R III is comprised of 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 68% of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions. There is also 425 contrast AF points, an increase of 400 points compared to the α7R II. This advanced system delivers AF acquisition in about half the time as the α7R II in low-light conditions, with tracking that is approximately 2 times more accurate as well. The acclaimed Eye AF feature is also approximately 2 times more effective, and is available when utilising Sony’s A-mount lenses with an adapter.
Additional improvements in focusing flexibility include AF availability in Focus Magnifier mode, focal-plane phase-detection AF support when using A-mount lenses, an ‘AF On’ button, a multi-selector or ‘joystick’ for moving focusing points quickly, flexible touch focus functionality and much more.
High Quality 4K for the Video Professionals
The new α7R III is exceptionally capable as a video camera, offering 4K (3840×2160 pixels) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor. When shooting in Super 35mm format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 5K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.
A new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is available on the α7R III that supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TV’s to playback beautiful, true-to-life 4K HDR imagery. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased colour grading flexibility. The camera can also record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps6, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.
Build, Design and Customisation for Professionals
Sony’s newest full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style. These include dual media slots, with support in one slot for UHS-II type SD memory cards. Users have a variety of options for storing their content, including separate JPEG / RAW recording, separate still image / movie recording, relay recording and more. Battery life has been greatly extended as well, as the new camera utilises Sony’s Z series battery that have approximately 2.2 times the capacity of the W series battery utilised in the α7R II.
The α7R III features an upgraded high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The Tru-Finder, also found in the acclaimed Sony α9 camera, utilises a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt. It also has a customisable frame rate, with options of either 50 fps or 100 fps to best match the action. The LCD screen has been upgraded as well, with a resolution of 1.44M dots and WhiteMagic™ technology that improves viewing in bright, outdoor conditions. “Standard” or “High” display quality settings are also available for both the viewfinder and monitor as well. “High” takes advantage of the large amount of data read from the 42.4MP sensor to provide extra fine viewfinder and monitor displays for a more natural view.
The new camera also offers a multi-selector joystick that provides a fast, efficient way to shift focus points, as well as an ‘AF ON’ button to activate autofocus when shooting stills or movies.
The new α7R III allows for convenient transfer of files to a smartphone, tablet, computer or FTP server via Wi-Fi®, while also including a sync terminal, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync. A SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ Terminal is also available for increased flexibility in power supply or connected accessories, as well as a faster image transfer speed when connected to a PC.
New “Imaging Edge” Software Suite and Pixel Shift Multi Shooting Mode
New with the α7R III is a software suite called “Imaging Edge” that extends the creative capabilities of the entire shooting process – from pre-processing to post-processing. “Imaging Edge” provides three PC applications called ‘Remote’, ‘Viewer’ and ‘Edit’, available for free download, which support live-view PC remote shooting and RAW development.
Also making its debut on the versatile α7R III is a new Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, which takes full advantage of the advanced 5-axis optical in-body stabilisation to create beautiful true-to-life, super-high resolution composite images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in 1-pixel increments to capture four separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of approximately 169.6 MP of image data. These four images can be composited together and processed utilising the new “Imaging Edge” software suite. This ultimately results in a still image with overwhelming resolution and an unprecedented level of colour accuracy, and is ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life photography subject with many intricate details and colours.
The Sony α7R III Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will be available in Malaysia from November 2017.
 Approximately, effective
 Up to 10 fps in continuous “Hi+” mode, and up to 8 fps in continuous “Hi” mode. Maximum fps will depend on camera settings
 Approximately 68% of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions
 Compared to the α7R II, according to Sony testing
 CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off
 A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required for XAVC S format movie recording. UHS speed class 3 or higher is required for 100 Mbps recording
 In Super 35mm mode
 Sony test conditions for still images
 Among digital cameras with a full-frame image sensor. As of October 2017 press release, based on Sony research
 “Hi+” continuous mode with UHS-II compatible SDXC memory card. Sony test conditions
 Some distortion may occur with fast-moving subjects of if the camera is moved sideways rapidly
 “Hi” mode. Maximum fps will depend on camera setting
 Not all menu parameters can be edited while data is being written to the memory card
 Only 100 Hz and 120 Hz flicker is detected. Continuous shooting speed may decrease. Flicker-free shooting is not available during silent shooting, BULB exposure, or movie shooting
 With SSM or SAM lenses only. Eye AF not supported for movie recording. AF-C can only be used when the “Phase detection” AF system is selected, but focus is fixed at the first frame during continuous shooting in any mode other than “Continuous: Lo” (Hi+, Hi, Mid)
 With SSM or SAM lenses only. With the LA-EA3 mount adapter. Focal plane phase-detection AF not supported for movie recording. AF-C can only be used when the “Phase detection” AF system is selected, but focus is fixed at the first frame during continuous shooting in any mode other than “Continuous: Lo” (Hi+, Hi, Mid)
 Connect this product to an HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a USB cable when displaying HDR (HLG) movies
 Sound not recorded. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required
 In PAL. 60fps or 120fps in NTSC
 Image size after compositing is approx. 42.4 million (7952 x 5304) pixels
Source: Sony Malaysia
Also published on Medium.