Every year, the speculation has grown, and this year we finally get to see what the latest iteration of Sony’s ⍺7S series* has to offer. Introducing: the ⍺7S III.
*Full-frame E-mount specially tuned for low-light performance and video.
Update – February 25th, 2021 – Firmware version 2.00
The headline feature in Sony’s free update is the addition of the P11:S-Cinetone picture profile preset. This profile was designed to emulate the “Venice look” of their top-of-the-line cinema camera. Lush, cinematic footage is possible straight out of the camera for shoots with limited time and/or budget. Active Steady Shot has also been enabled in the S&Q Frame Rate mode, and (as always) overall stability improvements have been made.
- New BIONZ XR processor—up to 8x faster processing vs. the BIONZ X
- New 12.1 MP BSI Exmor R CMOS sensor designed to combat rolling shutter (3x reduced)
- Video powerhouse
- 4K 120p or 1080 240p recording (max framerates)
- 10-bit 4:2:2
- S-Log3 recording
- Up to 1200 Mbps All-Intra encoding
- 16-bit RAW output via HDMI type A
- H.265 codec for twice the compression efficiency of H.264
- 4-channel 24-bit audio recording with optional XLR-K3M
- …and more!
- Dynamic range
- 15+ stop dynamic range with ISO selectable from 40 to 409,600
- 1-stop improved noise reduction in middle & high ranges
- Always focused
- 759-point PDAF and 425-point contrast-dection AF coverage
- Real-time Eye AF in still and video modes
- AF fully-functional in darkness as low as EV-6
- Touch to focus in manual mode
- Fully-articulated touch screen
- 9.44 million dot EVF
- Two memory slots, both accepting UHS-II SD and CFexpress Type A (first ever!)
- CFexpress Type A offers 700 MB/s write and 800 MB/s read
- Heat dissipation with new “sigma grade” graphite heatsink allows 4K 60p recording for an hour dependably
- Z battery
- HDMI type A connector, high-speed USB-C connector with power bank support (“PD”)
- Connectivity: WiFi control, FTP transfer
The 7S III is certainly quite the improvement over its already-much-lauded predecessors and should be a delight for videographers and low-light shooters alike.
The features listed above barely scratch the surface, of course. Driven by a brand new touch interface—which, having been designed side-by-side with full-time creators, promises to offer functionality that truly matches real-word usage—there is an endless rabbit hole of customizability down which you’ll be able to go. I’m not talking just user-selectable buttons or video compression options: click here, for example, to see an illustration of adjustable AF transition speeds and sensitivity (meaning you can rely on your AF more frequently when you would normally have to take manual control to get a certain look in video).
Plus, they’re making it harder and harder to miss a shot, whether moving or still.
For video shooters, there’s a new Active Mode built in to provide rock-solid video at the expense of a slight crop (see the lower-right side of the diagram to the left for an example of its efficacy vs. IBIS alone).
On the stills side, you’ll be able to take 10fps bursts with full AF/AE until you fill the massive 1,000-RAW-photo cache. One of those has got to be good, right?
Support for the new CFexpress type A cards from Sony (in addition to tried-and-true UHS-II SDs) provides a reliable foundation for all of these great features. It doesn’t matter how much data you can take in if you can’t save it fast enough, after all. Click here to pre-order a cutting-edge storage solution.
Special offer: now through September 26th, if you purchase both the ⍺7S III and a 160 GB Sony CFexpress Type A card, we’ll take an extra $50 off of the total price!
The ⍺7S III is expected to arrive in September, but you can pre-order now to make sure you’re one of the first to get one. With production and supply chains still disrupted on top of the years of anticipation leading up to this release, I’d be surprised if they’re not a little hard to get a hold of for a while. Click here or visit your local Mike’s Camera to claim yours today!