After a long wait, Sony has finally released the Sony Alpha A7S III, a mirrorless camera that promises to take low-light photography and videography to a whole new level. This camera boasts impressive features such as a 12-megapixel resolution, 4K video capability, and an incredible ability to capture high-quality images in challenging lighting conditions. The A7S III is also the first mirrorless device that can compete with Sony’s professional video cameras, retaining the outstanding high-ISO performance that the A7S lineup is well-known for.
Despite some recent issues with overheating in Canon models, the A7S III has undergone rigorous testing to determine whether it is immune to such difficulties. The camera was tested in Paris and around the Loire Valley before France’s lockdown began to ascertain its capabilities.
The Sony Alpha A7S III shares many similarities with Sony’s best-handling camera, the A7R IV, which is excellent news for photographers who are familiar with its ergonomics. At 699 grams, the camera is relatively light, making it easy to hold and use. The camera’s manual controls, such as the shooting control dials for aperture and shutter, a joystick, a control wheel, a mode dial, an exposure compensation dial, and multiple buttons, are all logically placed. However, the mode dial could have been improved with a push-to-lock button, making it easier to use.
Sony has finally addressed its awful menu system, which is now similar to Panasonic’s latest cameras, using cascading folders to make it easier to find settings and remember where you are. The main and quick menus can be fully operated using the 3-inch touchscreen, which is useful when filming with the display towards oneself. The camera also fully articulates, making it ideal for video-centric cameras and feasible to use for vlogging or solo shooting.
The Sony Alpha A7S III has an OLED electronic viewfinder built by Sony, offering a 63 percent increase in resolution over the A7R IV. The camera’s dual, dual card slots not only support two UHS II SD cards but also Sony’s new fast but tiny CFexpress type A cards. The camera’s battery can shoot video for approximately three hours on a single charge, and it can handle up to 600 photos according to CIPA’s standards.
The A7S III’s strength lies in video capture, addressing past complaints about Sony mirrorless cameras. With the ability to shoot 4K at up to 120 fps, the camera offers several creative options. It also supports 240 fps for super slow-motion effects. If the camera is used to shoot 1080p, the A7S III delivers the best HD quality of any Sony mirrorless camera because it can supersample the entire sensor.
Despite its impressive capabilities, the Sony A7S III has its limitations, particularly when it comes to recording times and overheating. The camera can record 4K video for up to an hour, which is more than enough for most use cases. However, it can overheat when recording for extended periods, particularly in warm environments, causing the camera to shut down.
To mitigate this issue, Sony’s new CFexpress Type A cards are faster and more efficient than traditional SD cards, helping to reduce the risk of overheating and allowing for longer recording times. However, they are also more expensive than traditional SD cards and may not be necessary for all users.
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Sony Alpha A7S III Camera Specs
- 12-megapixel resolution
- 4K video capability at up to 120 fps, and 240 fps for super slow-motion effects
- OLED electronic viewfinder with 63% increased resolution compared to the A7R IV
- Dual card slots supporting two UHS II SD cards and Sony’s new CFexpress Type A cards
- Battery life of up to three hours of video shooting or up to 600 photos according to CIPA standards
- Manual controls including shooting control dials for aperture and shutter, a joystick, a control wheel, a mode dial, and an exposure compensation dial
- 3-inch touchscreen that can fully operate the main and quick menus
- Fully articulating screen for video-centric cameras or vlogging
- Low-light performance and high-ISO performance that the A7S lineup is well-known for
- Potential overheating issues when recording for extended periods
Overall, the Sony Alpha A7S III is an incredibly capable video camera that provides users with a robust set of features and unparalleled low-light performance.
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