Sony a7 III Announced – Full Frame “Basic Model”, Sample Footage And Interview

February 27th, 2018

Sony’s first camera release of 2018 is the new a7 III. Defined as their full frame “basic model”, this video feature rich camera, its price tag and quality performance, are a good sign of what to expect next.

Sony a7 III

The Sony a7 III was just announced, and together with fellow leading journalists we were invited to London to see the camera, get a chance to hear about it and briefly explore its capabilities. In this short article I’ll be covering the video mode functionality of the new camera only. (Please see the above video interview I’ve conducted with Yann Salomon-Legagneur from Sony for additional information)

 

Sony a7 III body

Introduction:

First things first, this camera is Sony’s new entry level to the world of full frame photography and filming. Equipped with a new back illuminated Exmor R CMOS 24.2 Million pixels image sensor, you can see from the footage samples I took in the video above, that this is indeed a very capable piece of equipment. 
What’s surprising: In a way, every video feature that the more expensive a7R III has, the new a7 III “basic model camera” can do even better! See my list below for more information.

Sony a7 III mount

Highlights of the new camera: 

  • New 24.2 million pixels sensor
  • 5-axis optical in body stabilisation system
  • Full frame 4K (UHD) video recording in up to 30p (100Mbps)
  • Full frame/APS-C switchable option, BUT this time the full frame mode has the upper hand when it comes to video quality!
  • 6K full pixel readout via oversampling (but 4K recording)
  • S-Log2 / S-Log3 / HDR (HLG) video recording (Basic sensitivity for S-Log mode is ISO 800) 
  • 1080p in up to 120 frames per second (100Mbps)
  • Advanced autofocus system which is working well also in a high frame rate
  • Silent autofocus operation with some of Sony’s latest lenses
  • Sony’s latest generation of weather sealed camera bodies (a9 / a7R III style) 
  • Long lasting new battery standard just like in a7RIII
  • “AF on” button and joystick
  • Touch screen operation 
  • Dual SD slots with relay recording plus the possibility to simultaneously backup recording at the highest possible video resolution and data rate
  • USB 3.1 (Gen 1) connectivity
  • Lowlight capability is superb for a 24.2 MP
  • Free 5 years extended warranty for Europeans 

 

First impression: 

The sample video footage inserted into the above main interview was all taken handheld. As you can see, the 5-axis in body stabilisation system is working well! Also, I deliberately decided to shoot with autofocus turned on in order to see how well it is functioning. I’m happy to report back that I was pleasantly surprised by its “out of the box” usability, especially considering the fact that I did not do anything special to adjust it. Last but not least, the lowlight performance is considerably good. There is one shot of a model in the video that I took at ISO 10,000. If this is what comes out from a 24.MP sensor already, I’m curious to see the level of light sensitivity the future “S” model will have!

Conclusion: 

For me, Sony just re-defined what an entry level camera model should look like. Considering its price point (€2300 for body only), this is a working tool that I would not hesitate to use on my next smaller production. In terms of video shooting capabilities, everything that the a7R III can do, this model can do better. In all honesty, it can give a good run for the ageing Sony a7S II. And again: the biggest competition for this new full frame camera can only be the yet-to-be-released Sony a7S III.
Stay tuned. My full Sony a7 III review is coming soon.

The Sony a7 III will be available to purchase at the beginning of April. Please share your thoughts about the new camera in the comment section below. 

Full disclosure: Johnnie and other media representatives were guests at Sony Europe’ a7 III launch event in London, England. Sony paid transport for this one-day trip, but there was no other payment involved whatsoever. 

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 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
Member
March 14th, 2018

So much hate over 8bit.
Like gradients in skies have forbade anyone’s success.
That’s how spec spoiled everyone is.
This camera looks amazing. I’m getting one.
It’ll be sold out for a while.

Just saw footage of it beating a A7SII in lowlight. Try that with a black magic camera.

 Baaz Tournier
Member
February 28th, 2018

Is the sensor really same quality (or better) than A7RII/A7SII for video in Slog and not an entry level downgrade ?
If so, would definitely trade my A7RII to get 120fps 1080p, battery life, gamma assist display and a finally usable record button !

 Chico Enrico
Chico Enrico
Member
February 28th, 2018
Reply to  Baaz Tournier

I’d say it’s on par with the A9, since the feature set is identical. So, yes. It’s better than the A7R2 for sure.

 Baaz Tournier
Member
February 28th, 2018
Reply to  Chico Enrico

Thank you for your reply !

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
February 28th, 2018

So the video encoding is no better than an RX100.

And you’re stuck with Sony lenses.

LAME.

Kevin Antonow
Guest
February 28th, 2018

8 Bit, still shitty menu, no 4K60.. Good price but nothing really new that really mattered to me :/

 Chico Enrico
Chico Enrico
Member
February 27th, 2018

“In terms of video shooting capabilities, everything that the a7R III can do, this model can do better.”

Everything? Bitrate is same on both, as well as framerate options. Same when it comes to downsampling, except 24p. The only thing where the A7III is better than it’s bigger brother is the AF-system.

Nevertheless, this is great camera, especially with it’s low price tag. I almost regret that i’ve bought the A7R3, since i don’t necessarily need the high mp count, which is pretty much the only thing that the A7R3 is better at than the A73. The resolution of both EVF and display are still lower on the A73, but that’s really it as far as i know.

Ed Hecht
Ed Hecht
Member
February 27th, 2018

Kai Wong photobomb at the 1:00 mark! FIRST! :)

 Stanly ok
Stanly ok
Member
February 27th, 2018

Couldn’t find HDMI output specifications of this camera, please test it out as well (+

 Tim Main
Member
February 27th, 2018

Whats the hdmi output quality?

Member
February 27th, 2018

if Sony talks about a new entry level cam, the price does not fit at all. I should be at the maximum 1.500 including tax! The Alpha 6500 is about 1.300 including tax, but 2.200 plus tax??? What will the A7sIII be? 4.500? For what extra features? Just upgrade to 60frames in 4K? Same touch screen? What could be the pricy difference? Maybe they catch up with the GH5s but for the double price.
My whishes for the minimum: 4K 60 frames 400Mbit, 2.7K 120 frames, 2K 480frames, 10bit 422, full size hdmi, new wifi with professional app for cam controls, 1.000 nits touch screen oled (haha), same A9 AF.
But I would really prefer a A9s with same speed double SD slots and finally a really flexible flip screen – not that crap they offer now with the A7sII

Member
February 27th, 2018

Love how full frame looks. Anyone wants a GH5 ?

 simeone ricci
Member
February 27th, 2018

From the video the autofocus does not look so great…

 simeone ricci
Member
February 27th, 2018

camera,camera,camera…still no decent lenses form sony,unless they cost a fortune!!!
we have a a7sII impossibile to use with any adapter and canon lenses. likely Sygma is pulling out,in the following days, some decent and not overpriced lenses. these camera have all very good sensors and good autofocus. color balance in sony cameras are orrible. the only reason why we boyught a Sony is because canon still does not make a decent mirrorless camera.

 simeone ricci
Member
February 27th, 2018

No it’s not a new day.They pull out cameras but still there are not good and affordable autofocus lenses made by sony. The only good ones cost a fortune

Patrick Hughes
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Footage looks bad

Mandeep Kalsi
Guest
February 28th, 2018
Reply to  Patrick Hughes

Can see some moire/aliasing in Sony’s own footage

Jeremy Chu
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Seal Pao Lucas Lei

Lucas Lei
Guest
February 27th, 2018
Reply to  Jeremy Chu

那有錢

Seal Pao
Guest
February 27th, 2018
Reply to  Jeremy Chu

好有誠意,A9 一堆功能都下放了

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
February 28th, 2018
Reply to  Jeremy Chu

That’s not a comment. Did you have something to tell us?

Suat Yilmaz
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Tolga Poyraz

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
February 28th, 2018
Reply to  Suat Yilmaz

That’s not a comment. Did you have something to tell us?

Sam Cordell
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Jeremy I got excited for a second.

Jeremy Withers
Guest
February 27th, 2018
Reply to  Sam Cordell

I forgot about this boring model… Right, it has to be the next one god damn it!

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
February 28th, 2018
Reply to  Sam Cordell

(random name) I really didn’t care that Sam got excited. Don’t know why he felt the need to tell us that.

Sahel Kiraly
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Chedly Bouzouaia finally

Chedly Bouzouaia
Guest
February 27th, 2018
Reply to  Sahel Kiraly

c’est le a7s III qu’on attend depuis un bout!!?

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
February 28th, 2018
Reply to  Sahel Kiraly

(random name) totally

Oren Blankstein
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Impressive…….
But I’m waiting for the a7siii
Hope i don’t have to wait to long

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
February 27th, 2018

“Hope i don’t have to wait to long”

Why would you have to wait to long? You can long for it right now; no need to wait.

Serkan Erkılınç
Guest
February 27th, 2018

What is with Sony A7s mk3???

Marko Hila
Guest
February 27th, 2018

A bit overpriced. For that money you can get a real camera.

 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
Member
March 14th, 2018
Reply to  Marko Hila

What’s a real camera under $2k?

 roger nelson
roger nelson
Member
February 27th, 2018

8 bits is 16 million colors…If you cant Get 4k with 16 million colors right out of camera then you need to open a book and increase you skills. Or work two jobs and get a red or alexa and shoot RAW

 David Tembleque
David Tembleque
Member
February 27th, 2018
Reply to  roger nelson

Don’t forget the Blackmagic pocket camera:
Internal RAW and prores HQ 422.
5 years ago.
The technology is there my friend… They just don’t want to release it.

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
February 27th, 2018
Reply to  roger nelson

Nah. You need to get a book and read up on the effects of bit depth on gradients and grading.

Jeremy Woods
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Awesome. All rolled up in a nice little ball and neutered with an 8-bit, 100mbps codec in 2018?.

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
March 8th, 2018
Reply to  Jeremy Woods

Ha ha ha, true. +1 for you, sir.

Joelle Mcneil
Guest
February 27th, 2018

Smitty Iproduce. No A7S III ?

Smitty Iproduce
Guest
February 27th, 2018
Reply to  Joelle Mcneil

Sucks

Tomasz Romaniuk
Guest
February 27th, 2018

h.264 8 bit ???

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