Sony α7R III Full-Frame Camera Delivers High Resolution and Performance
The new Sony α7R III is a full-frame mirrorless camera with a 42.4 MP back-illuminated Exmor CMOS image sensor. It can shoot at speeds up to 10 fps with full AF/AE tracking, and capture 4K video. The camera has a 15-stop dynamic range and high sensitivity with noise reduction of nearly a full stop. The body is compact and lightweight to make it versatile for photographers, videographers and various types of professional media production.
The camera sensor is built with a gapless on-chip lens design and anti-reflective coating on the surface of its seal glass to improve light collection efficiency, resulting in the camera's high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range.
The α7R III has a front-end processor that, according to Sony, effectively doubles the readout speed of the image sensor, as well as an updated BIONZ X processing-engine that also increases processing speed. These powerful components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds compared to the α7R II and also results in an ISO range of 100 – 32000, expandable to ISO 50 – 102400 for still images, and 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings. This supports good overall performance at most settings and in shooting conditions.
To make the most of its resolution, the camera was built without an optical low pass filter, and can also output 14 bit RAW format even when shooting in silent or continuous mode. Also supporting high-resolution shooting is its 5-axis optical image stabilisation system, resulting in a very high 5.5 step shutter speed. A new low-vibration shutter helps reduce vibration and image blur in all modes, including the high speed 10 fps shooting, as well as several advancements in accurate colour reproductions of skin tones.
AF and AF/AE Tracking
The α7R III can shoot full 42.4MP images at up to 10 fps with continuous, accurate AF/AE (auto focus/auto exposure) 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 an option for silent shooting, making the camera more flexible. 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 mean that fast moving subjects can be captured very accurately and with extreme detail. While large groups of burst images are being written to the memory card, many of the camera's main functions are operable, including access to the ‘Fn’ (Function) and ‘Menu’ buttons, image playback and several other menus and parameters including image rating and other functions that help users sort images on location.
Where fluorescent or artificial lighting is present, the anti-flicker function allows the user to detect frequency of the lighting and automatically time the shutter to minimise its effect on images. This minimises exposure or colour anomalies that sometimes occur at the top and bottom of images shot at high shutter speeds.
The focusing system on the α7R III comprises 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 68% of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions. The 425 contrast AF points represent an increase of 400 points compared to the α7R II. These updates mean that AF acquisition can be achieved in about half the time as the α7R II in low-light conditions, with more accurate tracking as well. The Eye AF feature, available when using Sony’s A-mount lenses with an adapter, is also more effective now.
Other focusing improvements 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, and flexible touch focus functionality.
High Frame Rate UHD, HDR Video
As a video camera, the α7R III records UHD (3840x2160 pixels) video across the width of the full-frame 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 UHD footage with exceptional detail and depth.
A new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is also available on the camera, supporting a HDR workflow for playback on HLG compatible televisions. S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for colour grading flexibility, and 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.
The camera's professional functions include dual media slots, with support in one slot for UHS-II type SD memory cards. Options for storing content include separate JPEG / RAW recording, separate still image / movie recording, relay recording and others. Battery life has been greatly extended through the use of Sony’s new Z series batteries that have about twice the capacity of the W series used in the α7R II.
The α7R III has a high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for highly detailed reproduction. The Tru-Finder, also built into the Sony α9 camera, has a ZEISS T* coating to reduce reflections, plus a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt. It also has a customisable frame rate, with options of either 60 fps or 120 fps.
The LCD screen has been upgraded to a resolution of 1.44M dots and improved viewing in bright, outdoor conditions. Standard or High display quality settings are available for the viewfinder and monitor. High takes advantage of the large amount of data read from the 42.4MP sensor to tune the viewfinder and monitor displays for a more natural view. The camera also has a joystick that quickly shifts focus points, and an ‘AF ON’ button to activate autofocus when shooting stills or video.
The new α7R III allows for convenient transfer of files may be transferred to a smartphone, tablet, computer or FTP server via Wi-Fi. A sync terminal enables external flash units and cables to be connected directly for flash sync. A SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Type-C terminal is also available for variable power supply or connected accessories, as well as a faster image transfer speed when connected to a PC.
Creative Software and Shooting Mode
The α7R III has new software tools called Imaging Edge that extends the creative capabilities of the camera from pre-processing to post-processing. Imaging Edge comprises three PC applications called ‘Remote’, ‘Viewer’ and ‘Edit’, available for free download, that support live-view PC remote shooting and RAW development.
Related to the α7R III's new sofware is a new Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode. By relying on the camera's 5-axis optical in-body stabilisation, users can create very accurate, high resolution composite images in this mode. The camera precisely shifts the sensor in single-pixel increments to capture four separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of about 169.6 MP of image data. These four images can then be composited together and processed with Imaging Edge. The result is a still image with extreme resolution and colour accuracy, which suits architecture, art or other still life photography subjects with intricate detail and colour.
The Sony α7R III full-frame interchangeable lens camera will be available in Australia for SRP$4999 in mid-November. http://www.sony.com.au/