Sony's New A7R Mark III Lands: PhotoBite Has the Lowdown - PhotoBite
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Sony’s New A7R Mark III Lands: PhotoBite Has the Lowdown

Luke Gardner - 2 years ago

Sony has announced an impressive addition to their full-frame mirrorless camera line-up the α7R III

The long-anticipated α7R III has finally been unveiled and has kicked up quite buzz here in the PhotoBite Headquarters. With traits coming from the A9, the A7R III looks to be the perfect camera for a pro who don’t want to give up their well-earned money and pixels count.

Keeping with the 42.2MP sensor, Sony told us that they were able to squeeze a little more from the already, very good Sony sensor. The new α7R III was expected to get a pixel boost given the fact that almost every camera coming out now, has a bigger pixel count than its predecessor but one thing the rumour mill was also whispering about was the hope of a bigger battery, and that’s exactly what we have in this new camera. Not only is the α7R III taking on the bigger battery form the A9, but you can also use the same battery grip. This is great news for A9 owners who want to use both the Sony A9 and the α7R III.

The Details

  • 35mm Full-Frame 42.4 MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
    Continuous Shooting at up to 10 fps with either Silent Shooting or Mechanical Shutter and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
    399 phase-detection AF points covering 68% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and approximately two times more effective Eye AF
    5-axis optical in-body image stabilization with a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage
    4K Movie Shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning
    The camera also offers a multi-selector joystick that provides a fast, efficient way to shift focus points, as well as an ‘AF ON’ button to activate autofocus when shooting stills or movies.

Thanks to a big leap in image processing power and efficiency, the new α7R III combines a high-resolution 42.4 MP back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with impressive shooting speeds at up to 10 fps with full AF/AE tracking. 4K video quality, 15-stop dynamic range, high sensitivity with noise reduction of almost a full stop. With these capabilities and a compact, lightweight body, it’s an extremely versatile tool for photographers, videographers, multi-media creators and all other types of professionals that demand reliability, flexibility and versatility.

The 42.4MP high-resolution, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor utilises a gapless on-chip lens design and AR [anti-reflective] coating on the surface of the sensor’s seal glass to improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range.

The new α7R III also features a new front-end LSI that effectively doubles the readout speed of the image sensor, as well as an updated BIONZ X™ processing-engine that boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the α7R II. These powerful components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling its impressive ISO range of 100 – 32000 [expandable to ISO 50 – 102400 for still images] and a 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings. This ensures effective overall performance at all settings and in all shooting conditions.

This new full-frame model was built without an optical low pass filter to improve resolution, while also having the ability to output 14 bit RAW format even when shooting in silent or continuous mode. The camera is equipped with an innovative 5-axis optical image stabilisation system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage, one of the highest compensation performances for an image stabilisation system. There is also a new low-vibration shutter that reduces vibration and image blur in all modes, including the high speed 10 fps shooting, as well as several advancements that help with accurate colour reproductions of skin tones.

High-Performance AF and AF/AE Tracking at up to 10 fps

The α7R III full-frame mirrorless camera is equipped with a refined image processing system that allows it to shoot full 42.4MP images at up to 10 fps with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to 76 JPEG / RAW images or 28 uncompressed RAW images. This high speed 10 fps mode is available with either a mechanical shutter or a completely silent shooting, adding to the flexibility of the camera. The camera can also shoot continuously at up to 8 fps in live view mode with minimal lag in the viewfinder or LCD screen. These high-speed options ensure that fast moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail.

Additionally, if there is fluorescent or artificial lighting present in a shooting environment, users can activate the Anti-flicker function to allow the α7R III to automatically detect frequency of the lighting and time the shutter to minimise its effect on images being captured. This minimises any exposure or colour anomalies that can sometimes occur at the top and bottom of images shot at high shutter speeds.

The upgraded focusing system of the α7R III is comprised of 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 68% of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions. There is also 425 contrast AF points, an increase of 400 points compared to the α7R II. This improved system delivers AF acquisition in about half the time as the α7R II in low-light conditions, with tracking that is approximately 2 times more accurate as well. The acclaimed Eye AF feature is also approximately 2 times more effective, and is available when utilising Sony’s A-mount lenses with an adapter.

Additional improvements in focusing flexibility include AF availability in Focus Magnifier mode, focal-plane phase-detection AF support when using A-mount lenses, an ‘AF On’ button, a multi-selector or ‘joystick’ for moving focusing points quickly, flexible touch focus functionality and much more.

High-Quality 4K for the Video Professionals

The new α7R III is exceptionally capable as a video camera, offering 4K [3840×2160 pixels] video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor. When shooting in Super 35mm format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 5K of information, oversampling it to produce high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

A new HLG [Hybrid Log-Gamma] is available on the α7R III that supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR [HLG] compatible TV’s to playback beautiful, true-to-life 4K HDR imagery. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased colour grading flexibility. The camera can also record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow-motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.

Sony’s newest full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of new and improved capabilities that give it a true professional operational style. These include dual media slots, with support in one slot for UHS-II type SD memory cards. Users have a variety of options for storing their content, including separate JPEG / RAW recording, separate still image/movie recording, relay recording and more. Battery life has been greatly extended as well, as the new camera utilises Sony’s Z series battery that has approximately 2.2 times the capacity of the W series battery utilised in the α7R III.

The α7R III features an upgraded high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with approximately 3,686k dots for accurate, “true-to-life” detail reproduction. The Tru-Finder, also found in the acclaimed Sony A9 camera, utilises a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt. It also has a customisable frame rate, with options of either 50 fps or 100 fps to best match the action. The LCD screen has been upgraded as well, with a resolution of 1.44M dots and WhiteMagic™ technology that improves viewing in bright, outdoor conditions.

Also making its debut on the versatile α7R III is a new Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, which takes full advantage of the advanced 5-axis optical in-body stabilisation to create beautiful true-to-life, super-high resolution composite images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in 1-pixel increments to capture four separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of approximately 169.6 MP* of image data. These four images can be composited together and processed utilising the new “Imaging Edge” software suite. This ultimately results in a still image with overwhelming resolution and an unprecedented level of colour accuracy and is ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life photography subject with many intricate details and colours.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony A7R III Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship in Europe in November 2017, priced at approximately £3,200 and €3,500 respectively.

About the author

Read Sony’s New A7R Mark III Lands: PhotoBite Has the Lowdown

Luke Gardner

Features Editor @ PhotoBite

Luke lives and breaths photography. With experience working freelance, in retail and also teaching photography; Luke has been exposed to a broad spectrum of knowledgeable people and has a real hunger to explore what others are up to in this incredibly creative world. Starting from the age of 12 his fascination with photography as done nothing but fuel his ambition to create and explore all areas in the photographic world. Luke’s role at PhotoBite ranges from feature writing to testing equipment, with his natural teaching skills seeing him take his place as in-house presenter for camera hardware and accessories on the PhotoBite YouTube channel.

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