Third-generation full-frame mirrorless adds faster operation and 4K video
Sony has unveiled the third generation in its entry-level full-frame mirrorless A7 series, with the Alpha 7 III offering a new sensor, improved speed, upgraded autofocus and impressive battery life. In essence, the model gains a similar set of improvements as the high-resolution Alpha 7R III did in late 2017, and sports a near-identical body design.
Sony Alpha 7 III at a glance:
- £1999 body only
- 24.2MP BSI-CMOS full-frame sensor
- ISO 100-204800 (extended)
- 10fps shooting
- 4K video recording
- 5-axis in body stabilisation
- £2200 with Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens
At the heart of the new camera is a brand new sensor, a 24.2MP back-illuminated full-frame CMOS design. In concert with Sony’s Bionz X processor and front-end LSI, it offers an ISO range of 100-204,800, 15 stops of dynamic range at low ISO and continuous shooting of 10 frames per second. The buffer is very respectable: 177 JPEGs, 89 compressed raw, or 42 uncompressed raw frames.
Autofocus is dramatically improved too, with the new model capable of phase detection using 693 points arranged across 90% of the image area. It’s claimed to be twice as fast as its predecessor, and Sony’s Eye-Detect AF is available in continuous AF mode, where on the previous model it only worked in AF-S. The 5-axis in-body stabilisation system is rated to 5 stops benefit, a half-stop improvement over the older Alpha 7 II.
The viewfinder is slightly larger than the A7 II’s, with a Zeiss T* coating, while the rear screen has gained touch functionality for setting the focus point and browsing through images in playback.
Sony has added 4K video recording (the A7II was only capable of Full HD), with an array of video-friendly features including focus peaking, zebra pattern exposure warnings, microphone and headphone sockets, and Hybrid Log Gamma for display on HDR-compatible 4K TVs.
Twin card slots are onboard, and you can choose to record simultaneously to both, or have different file types routed to the two slots. Alternatively it’s possible to automatically switch to the second card when the first is full. The camera also adopts Sony’s latest NP-FZ100 battery, with an impressive life of 710 shots using the LCD, or 610 with the viewfinder.
The Sony Alpha 7 III will be available from March for £2000 body only, or £2200 with the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens.