Replacing the Alpha A7 II that was launched back in 2014, Sony has sprinkled many of its latest tech on the new Alpha A7 III, hoping to redefine what you expect from an entry-level full-frame camera.
While resolution remains the same, the new sensor in the Alpha A7 III features a back-illuminated design that delivers a much faster readout speed than the older model. Coupled with the latest BIONZ X image processor, the new A7 III is capable of shooting at 10fps (double that of the A7 II), with the option to use the silent shutter at this speed as well. Not only that, but the buffer has also been greatly improved as well, now capable at shooting for 177 consecutive JPEG images before the camera needs to take a breather compared to 52 on the A7 II. Raw performance is still impressive at 89 shots.
The sensitivity range has also been greatly improved, now with an extended ISO ceiling of 204,800 – the same as the Alpha A9, and two stops better than the A7 II's 51,200 limit. Sony also reckon's it's managed to achieve a dynamic range of 15 stops as well.
693-point AF system
We didn't expect to see this on Sony's 'basic' full-frame camera, but the Alpha A7 III gets the same 693-point AF system that's impressed us on the Alpha A9. A massive improvement over the 117-point arrangement on the Alpha A7 II, while the coverage also matching that of the A9 at 93%. There's also Sony's clever Eye AF functionality featured, while it's also capable of focusing in light levels as poor as -3EV.
To help keep things steady, the Alpha A7 III also gets Sony's latest 5-axis built-in image stabilization system that offers up to five stops of compensation.
As you'd expect, the Alpha A7 III offers 4K video recording (3840 x 2160) using the full width of the camera's full-frame sensor without pixel-binning. With a 6K readout, the Alpha A7 III collects 2.4x the amount of data required, with footage then oversampled for what Sony believes will produce 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.
As we've seen with the Alpha A7R III, the Alpha A7 III features a new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) profile that supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TVs to play back 4K HDR footage.
As well as this, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased color grading, while if you want to shoot Full HD footage you can capture this at up to 120fps.
Improved battery performance
An area where mirrorless cameras have struggled against their DSLR counterparts has been battery performance, so it's great to see the Alpha A7 III's battery rated up to 710 shots – a huge improvement over the 350 shots on the Alpha A7 II, while it also has the edge on the Alpha A9 480 shot battery life.
The Alpha A7 III sports dual SD slots, with support in one slot for UHS-II type SD memory cards, Not only that, but there's also now a dedicated AF-On button on the rear of the camera and touchscreen functionality on the tilt-angle display. Proportionally the body is pretty much identical to that of the Alpha A7R III.
The Alpha A7 III is expected to be available in March priced at £2000 for the body only, and £2200 with the 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens. US and Australian pricing are still to be confirmed.