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The Sony A7S III Camera Hands-On Review

A camera made for anyone with a taste for quality tech.

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9.5

Sony’s latest masterpiece seals the deal. With a powerful BIONZ XR image processor, it offers faster performance, improved noise reduction, and a wider dynamic range along with UHD 4K 120p video recording and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling.


If you're wanting to see how well you'll edit RAW footage from this masterful camera, you can download a sequence of clips in this folder here. Have fun!

Sony A7S III Review - Camera on a contraption in front of a van. Sony A7S III Review - Camera on a contraption in front of a van. | placeholder

Loaded up!

Sony A7S III Review - Camera in a rig to go up in the air. Sony A7S III Review - Camera in a rig to go up in the air. | placeholder

Ready to head up in the air.

Sony A7S III Review - Close up shot of buttons on the camera. Sony A7S III Review - Close up shot of buttons on the camera. | placeholder

Detailed shot of the left-hand side.

Sony A7S III Review - A man getting the camera rig set up. Sony A7S III Review - A man getting the camera rig set up. | placeholder

Having my buddy help set up the Sony.

It’s here ladies and gentlemen. The Sony A7S III — a video-focused full-frame multi-hyphenated camera with a 12-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. Woah, that’s a mouthful. Though, there’s not enough good things to say about this powerful new beast that just hit the market. I’m so, so incredibly stoked to review this magically amazing piece of equipment. Sony’s name shines bright, and we, as the Moment Team, couldn’t be any more honored to sell their cameras in our shop. Getting my hands on this puppy brought a near tear to my eye, so let’s stop wasting time and get to it.

To Know:

The long-awaited Alpha A7S III from Sony is now here. Get ready to set your “Imagination in Motion''. The Alpha A7S III is a complete redesign of the S series system. Everything is new. Increased sensitivity, 12.1MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor, updated BIONZ XR image processor offers faster performance, improved noise reduction, and a wider dynamic range along with UHD 4K 120p video recording and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling.

What We Love:

Crazy Great Dynamic Range

With 15 stops of dynamic range, you can fully clamp down any scene with precise clarity.

A Flip-Out Screen

An excellent camera that has a flip-out screen for easy recording and vlogging sequences.

Incredible Picture

Incredible 4k 16 bit raw output over HDMI with no recording limits for ultra-amazing looking footage.

The Details:

Brand: Sony

Price: $3,498.00

Product Type: MIrrorless Camera

Best For: Filmmakers wanting that extra step of professionalism with a taste for quality tech. And vloggers, Sony’s got a thing for vloggers.

Shop Sony A7S III

I won’t cut corners. This camera is fantastic.

I’ll be the first to say it; this puppy ain’t cheap. However, paying sub $3,500 for a cinema-quality picture, you get near perfect footage as smooth as melted butter. It boasts a brand new dual chip Bionz XR processor which caters to a considerable amount of more horsepower to allow for fast auto-focus and auto exposure, as well as bitrate video. It, amgainzly, offers an ISO range of 80-102,400 expanding to a near 40-409,600. Claiming to capture a 15-stops of dynamic range, too, honing in on precise clarity. The camera’s autofocus system has nearly 759 on-sensor phase-tect trigger points to support even the squirmist of “Eye” and “Animal” AF settings.

To impress you even more with its video capabilities, its in-body image stabilization can reduce shake up up to 5 and a half stops. There’s also a 3.2” fully articulating LCD screen, made perfect for the vlogger in mind. With the highest resolution electron viewfinder found on today’s camera market, it shines bright with 9.44 millions dots. WOW. The camera holds up to 2 memory card slots, both of which can accept SD (UHS-II) or CFexpress Type A cards. Including both USB 3.⅓.2 Type 1 micro USB port, it can be powered by using an external power bank, as well.

The video on this camera is truly no joke. Sony’s A7-series boasts years worth of impressive specs and outlining fantastic items, but never have I seen such an impressive setup within a mirrorless camera. Being a Blackmagic fanboy, cinema-quality cameras are my forte and have been for years. I’m confident in saying this Sony beast is a true worthwhile investment for anyone looking to up their professional filmmaking game. You’re able to capture UHD 4K video at up to 120p without pixel binning. This camera is able to record high speed (up to 240FPS) FUll HD video, as well. While Sony claims that the A7SIII can record for up to an hour at 4K/60FPS, thanks to that improved heat dissipation, I’d suggest recording for a little less as an expectation. It offers both Long GOP and All-intro compression with a maximum bitrate of 600MPS. It’s able to record 10-bit 4:2:2 ratioed footage and both S-Log2/3 and HLG are supported. Of course, the full-frame capabilities include 16-bit RAW footage at up to 60p that’s later transferred to an output for external recording. A standard sized HDMI port is there, as well, alongside a mic and headphone jack with an XLR adapter that can be purchased separately.

The 12.1MP sensor resolution means the camera can’t afford to offer 6K, let alone 8K, instantly putting it behind other cameras on the market that now offer up to 12K. However, the quality of retention you receive in 4K is truly all you need, unless you’re a high-brow pixel peeper that can’t shake a mere miniscule lower resolution. Alongside huge improvements with handling and connecting to low-light scenarios, this hugely impressive hybrid video camera is the best money can buy.

  • New 9.44m dot eye viewfinder
  • 12.1 megapixel, back-illuminated
  • 15 stops of dynamic range
  • 759 point phase-detection AF
  • Up to 409,600 ISO
  • Minimized rolling shutter
  • Flip-out touch screen
  • 4K 120pi, 10 bit 4:2:2 color depth, All-Intra recording, XAVC HS format with H.265 codec and more
  • Can record internal proxies alongside normal files.
  • 4k 16 bit raw output over HDMI with No recording limits
  • Touch tracking
  • Built-in IBIS & Optional Active Mode IS
Sony A7S III Review - Sexy lens on the camera. Sony A7S III Review - Sexy lens on the camera. | placeholder
Sony A7S III Review - Fully new sensor, frontal view. Sony A7S III Review - Fully new sensor, frontal view. | placeholder

New XR bionic image sensor.

Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. | placeholder

That sexy Alpha symbol.

Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. | placeholder

Looking great in any scene.

Sony A7S III Review - A good look at the camera. Sony A7S III Review - A good look at the camera. | placeholder

Fits nicely in the hand, plus that pop-out screen!

Sony A7S III Review - A full frontal view of the camera. Sony A7S III Review - A full frontal view of the camera. | placeholder

Sony's name never looks to great.

Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. | placeholder

Crazy 12.1 megapixels.

Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. Sony A7S III Review - A side profile of the logo. | placeholder

The greatest mirrorless camera for video.

Sony A7S III Review - A frontal profile of the logo. Sony A7S III Review - A frontal profile of the logo. | placeholder

Now I know where Alpha gets his name.

In Detail:

As briefly mentioned above, Sony’s improved sensitivity performance is ramped up by enabling the A7S III to identify subjects within low-light conditions than other cameras with inferior sensitivity levels. Pretty much a game-changer for any landscape artist looking to capture scenes in that famous blueish after-light glow. When it comes to power, their latest Z battery delivers a 60% improvement rate over the performance of previous models and up to 95 extra minutes of video capture, on paper. It can comfortably capture 4K video for an excess amount of time compared to its competition. Additionally, the A7S III takes advantage of fast-charging technology by being able to power up 4 times quicker than old-school micro USB connectors thanks to its latest addition of the USB-C port.

What It Has:

  • Lens Mounts: Sony E
  • Camera Format: Full-Frame (1x Crop Factor)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
  • Sensor Size: 35.6 x 23.8 mm
  • Memory Card Slot: Dual Slot: CFexpress Type A / SD
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

What It Does:

  • Overhauled design with new touch interface
  • Brand-new 12.1MP back-illuminated sensor
  • Up to 15 stops of dynamic range with S-Log
  • Fully articulating 1.44 million-dot screen
  • Bright, sharp 9.4MP viewfinder
  • Shoots 4K video at up to 120p
  • S-log color profiles offer up to 15 stops of dynamic range
  • Expandable sensitivity range of ISO 40–409,600

Specs:

  • 12MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K 120p Video, 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal
  • 16-Bit Raw Output, HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 759-Point Fast Hybrid AF
  • 9.44m-Dot QXGA OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.44m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Extended ISO 40-409600, 10 fps Shooting
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SD Card Slots
Sony A7S III Review - A shot of the PNW landscape. Sony A7S III Review - A shot of the PNW landscape. | placeholder

Shot on the A7S III, straight from camera.

Sony A7S III Review - A shot of the PNW landscape. Sony A7S III Review - A shot of the PNW landscape. | placeholder

Shot on the A7S III, straight from camera.

Sony A7S III Review - A shot of the PNW landscape. Sony A7S III Review - A shot of the PNW landscape. | placeholder

Shot on the A7S III, straight from camera.

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