What’s New with the Sony a7R III
It’s already been two years since the Sony a7R II was launched, which means that its successor is finally here. The Sony a7R III improves on existing features and includes a slew of new ones, all of which make it a worthy successor. What exactly are they? Read on to find out.
10fps continuous shooting
The most show-off feature this camera has is its ability to shoot 10fps continuous at a full 42.4MP resolution with a 14-bit RAW output. It also has a way larger image buffer of 76 images, as long as you’re using a UHS-II SD card.
Updated image processor
The new BIONZ X makes the a7R III operate faster, bumps up the dynamic range up to 15-stops, and makes it produce more detailed images with better performance in low light.
More advanced autofocus
The a7R III takes a lot of its autofocus DNA from the a9, making it inherently faster and more accurate than that of the a7R II. It has 399 phase-detection points and 425 contrast AF points, ensuring dead-on focus with haste. The improved low-light capabilities of the camera also make the autofocus much faster in dim situations. Eye tracking and autofocus are also much more accurate.
Silent continuous shooting
This one is very critical for wildlife photographers, as even the slightest noise could spook their subjects. Photographers may now utilize the silent shooting mode in tandem with fast 10fps continuous burst so they may capture the perfect moment.
5-axis in-body image stabilization
The image sensor itself is now cradled by a 5-axis stabilization unit as well as gyro sensors so that camera shake becomes less of a factor against sharp images.
Pixel Shift multi-shooting
This feature is one that is made possible by the 5-axis stabilization. It essentially captures four full-resolution images at 42.4MP to later be composited into a single image that boasts finer details, more accurate color, and minimal artifacts. It does, however, only work with perfectly still subjects. An example of how this feature can be applied is with archival photography for museums and such.
Extended ISO range
The a7R’s standard ISO range goes all the way to a maximum of 32,000. This is higher than the a7R II’s 25,600. It can then expand to ISO 50 to 102,400.
4K HDR video
The sensor of the a7R III is actually now capable of capturing 5K resolution videos before compressing them into 4K. This allows almost twice as much more information to be in them for better quality. Sony’s S-Log3 gamma curve also gives videos an impressive 14-stops of dynamic range. There is also an HLG picture profile that also has a very high dynamic range and no color grading is required, provided that you actually have a Sony TV capable of displaying HLG/HDR videos.
The LCD monitor is now touch-capable, but only somewhat. While you can’t control exposure, navigate the menus, or swipe through your shots, you can now touch the preview area on the screen to choose a focus point.
The I/O on the left side now includes a flash sync terminal so that photographers who shoot in a studio setting can synchronize the a7R III with external lighting equipment.
Like the Sony a9, the a7R III uses the new NP-FZ100 battery, which has a capacity of 2,280mAH. The NP-FW50 that previous models used only had a capacity of 1,020mAH, which means that the a7R III with its new battery should theoretically last twice as long.
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
The addition of a USB 3.1 port now allows for faster data transfers and improved tethering with a computer. It also comes with a cherry on top, as it uses the Type-C standard. The Type-C port, however, doesn’t replace the micro USB port, which is still there. Having both ports available allows you to hook up a remote with one port while charging or PC tethering with the other.
Dual SD card slots, UHS-II support
You now get two card slots, both with support for the speedier UHS-II standard. The setup gives you several options, such as writing media on to both cards simultaneously, writing to the second card after the first has been filled up, or even segregate types of files between the cards such as RAW, JPEG, and movies.
Joystick for focus point selection
Sony calls it a “multi-selector”, but due to the way it moves, let’s call it a joystick. It’s used for shifting the focus point around the viewfinder and is very efficient at doing so due to that extra layer of tactile feel.
Quad-VGA OLED electronic viewfinder
The a7R III has the same Quad-VGA OLED EVF found in the a9 and has about 3.69 million dots which gives you finer detail and more accurate contrast. It’s definitely way brighter than the one on the a7R II and is even capable of magnification for focusing.
All these new features really get us excited, and we hope all you camera nerds out there feel the same. We will be testing out all these new features in the real world for our full review of the Sony a7R III, so be sure to stay tuned for that.
Sony a7R III specs:
35mm full-frame 42.4MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor
BIONZ X Image Processor
Phase detect AF w/ 399 AF points
Contrast-detect AF w/ 425 AF points
5-axis image stabilization
15-stops dynamic range
ISO 50 – 102,400
30 sec. – 1/8000 sec. shutter speed
10fps continuous drive
Optional External Flash via Hot shoe
3.69M-dot Quad-VGA OLED Electronic Viewfinder
0.78x Magnification, 100% coverage
2.95-inch articulating 1.44M-dot TFT LCD
4K video recording at 30/25/24fps
1080p video recording at 24/60/120fps
MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC-S video formats
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C)
SD / SDHC / SDXC
RAW + JPEG file format
NP-FZ100 Lithium-Ion battery, rated for 530 shots
126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7 mm