Sony have announced the new α7R III along with two new lenses.
The a7r III features the same 42.4MP full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor as the a7R II but is improved upon by new hardware to deliver up to 15-stops of dynamic range at low ISO sensitivity for stills. The a7R series has generally been aimed more to photographers due to the high-resolution sensor so this may be a good sign of what’s to come in the a7S III.
A few points of interest include:
- New BIONZ X™ – 1.8x faster than a7R II
- NP-FZ100 battery provides 2.2x capacity of NP-FW50
- Dual SD card slots (1x UHS-II, 1x UHS-I)
- New HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile to support instant HDR
- Full-pixel readout without pixel binning for 4K video< /li>
- HDMI output is still 8-bit
- 3″ touch screen
- Priced at $3199USD due end of November
The camera is HDR capable, and when recording in the HLG profile, you can playback material on a HDR capable TV will appear true-to-life with no blocked shadows or blown high- lights when played back on an HDR SDR (HLG) compatible TV, without the need for color grading. In addition to S-Log2, the α7R III offers S-Log3 for better gradation from shadows to mid-tones and a wide dynamic range of up to a claimed 14 stops when shooting video. A new S-Gamut3/S-Gamut3.Cine wide color space is also supported.
The Super 35mm mode full-pixel readout without pixel binning condenses approximately 1.8 times the amount of data required for 4K movies (QFHD: 3840 x 2160). Advanced image processing is claimed to make it possible to record full-frame 4K movies with dramatically improved image quality in the mid-to-high ISO range.
There is also a new Slow and Quick Motion Mode where frame rates from 1 fps to 120 fps can be selected in eight steps for up to 60x quick motion and 5x slow motion while recording in full-HD quality.
High-quality stills can be extracted from movies and stored separately: 8 megapixel stills from 4K movies, and 2 megapixel stills from full-HD movies.
4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) movies and lower-resolution proxy movies can be recorded simultaneously. The smaller proxy files are ideal for quick previewing or pre-editing that can reduce the time required for final 4K editing.
Operationally the control direction of the front and rear dials can be set via the menus. It is also possible to assign the large, accessible shutter button to start and stop movie recording, rather than using the dedicated Movie button.
The α7R III features a clean HDMI output, time code / user bits (TC/UB), rec. control, marker display/setting, zebra function, Slow and Quick Motion, simultaneous proxy movie recording, extraction of a still from a movie, and a Gamma Display Assist function. There is also a headphone jack and 3.3mm mic input jack.
As far as auto-focus performance goes when recording video, Sony Claim the α7R III uses an efficient combination of focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detection AF to accurately lock quickly onto moving subjects and track them. AF coverage for movies extends across an area almost as wide as the AF coverage area for still images, so in theory it should work pretty well.
A new NP-FZ100 battery is used on the α7R III which Sony claim offers 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 that was used on the α7R II. There is also dual SD cards slots (UHS-II support) which allows for higher write speeds, simultaneous write, and sequential write (Auto Switch Media).
For video shooters here are the specifications that matter:
XAVC S, AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant
XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
AUDIO RECORDING FORMAT
XAVC S: LPCM 2ch, AVCHD: Dolby® Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator
xvYCC standard (x.v.Color when connected via HDMI cable) compatible with TRILUMINOS Color
8 types: Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera(Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), Soft High-key , Rich-tone Monochrome
Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box (1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps))
Yes (Off/PP1-PP10) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG, HLG1-3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), NTSC
XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (30p, 60 M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 60 M) XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (120p, 100 M), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60 M), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 25 M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 16 M) AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60i, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (60i, 17 M, FH)
IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), PAL
XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (25p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (25p, 60 M) XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (100p, 100 M), 1920 x 1080 (100p, 60 M), 1920 x 1080 (50p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (50p, 25 M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 16 M) AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50i, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 17 M, FH)
IMAGE FRAME RATE
NTSC mode: 1fps,2fps,4fps,8fps,15fps,30fps,60fps,120fps, PAL mode: 1fps,2fps,3fps,6fps,12fps,25fps,50fps,100fps
IMAGE SIZE (FRAME RATE/BITRATE)
NTSC mode: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p), PAL mode: 1920×1080 (50p, 25p)
Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, PAL/NTSC Selector, Yes (1280 x 720 (9 Mbps)), TC/UB, (TC Preset/UB Preset/TC Format/TC Run/TC Make/UB Time Rec), Auto Slow Shutter, REC Control, Clean HDMI Info.(ON/OFF selectable), Gamma Disp. Assist
3840 x 2160 (25p), 1920 x 1080 (50p), 1920 x 1080 (50i), 1920 x 1080 (24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p), 1920 x 1080 (60i), 3840 x 2160 (30p), 3840 x 2160 (24p), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit
- The full specifications list can be found on Sony’s product website.
In addition to the a7R III, Sony have also announced two new lenses. The FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens (SEL24105G) and a 400mm F2.8 G Master which is still under development.
The 24-105 F4 rounds out Sony’s line up of lenses and is a focal range many shooters have been waiting for. At 663 grams (24.4oz) it will also be one of the lightest compared to other brand offerings. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.25 ft (0.38 m) and built-in optical image stabilisation.
The 24-105 F4 uses Sony’s Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) AF drive system that is claimed to offers fast, precise and quiet focusing. A precision optical design s also said to minimise focus breathing.
It will start shipping in November priced at $1299USD.
What do you think about the α7R III? Is it a good hybrid stills/video camera? Let us know in the comments section below.