Sony A7 III has been launched with features that were largely praised on the A9 flagship and A7R III last year. The new full-frame mirrorless camera offers an enhanced video recording experience as well as delivers tons of still photography features, including burst shots at up to 10fps speed and AF coverage of up to 93 percent. It will go on sale in the US starting April with a body-only price tag of $1,999 (approximately Rs. 1,29,700).
While Sony has positioned the A7 III as the "basic full-frame model" in its mirrorless camera lineup, the new offering is nowhere lagging behind - at least as per the specifications on paper. The camera sports a 24.2-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor that is paired with five-axis optical image stabilisation (OIS). The sensor has an ISO range of 100-51200 (expandable to ISO 50-204800 for still images) and supports 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings. Under the hood, there is an updated BIONZ X processing engine that is touted to boost processing speed by 1.8 times compared to its previous version powering the A7 II.
Sony claims that the A7 III is capable of shooting still images at up to 10fps in RAW or JPEG format with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 177 standard JPEG files, 89 compressed RAW files, or 40 uncompressed RAM files. The high-speed mode can be accessed with a mechanical shutter or a completely silent shooting experience. Further, the A7 III is designed to capture images with 15-stop dynamic range and produce 14-bit RAW files. It has a 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system (PDAF) that was debuted on the A9, supporting 425 contrast AF points. There are also certain improvements to focus flexibility, including the addition of a multi-selector or a joystick to move focusing points quickly, as well as touch focus support, AF availability in Focus Magnifier mode, and an 'AF On' button.
For recording videos, the Sony A7 III has 4K HDR support in addition to options such as 120fps high-speed video at 1080p. The camera also has S-Log2 and S-Log3 colour profile options. There is a 2.3-million-dot XGA OLED viewfinder, which is significantly smaller than the one on the A9 and A7R III. Also, there is a touch-supported LCD monitor. In terms of connectivity, Sony has provided a USB Type-C port and Wi-Fi. The build of the A7 III is dust and moisture resistant, but not completely weather resistant. Moreover, there are dual media slots, with one supporting UHS-II type SD memory cards.
On the controlling front, the A7 III has a customisable 'My Menu' feature that was initially featured on the A9. It allows you to register up to 30 menu items for instant recall. There are also a total of 81 functions that are assignable to 11 custom buttons.
Compared to the A9 and A7R III, the Sony A7 III is indeed an inferior option. Features such as a larger electronic viewfinder are missing. The new model, however, still includes all the basic features that are making a strong contender in its segment.