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

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.

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)

 

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.

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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Tomasz Romaniuk
Guest

h.264 8 bit ???

Joelle Mcneil
Guest

Smitty Iproduce. No A7S III 😢

Smitty Iproduce
Guest

Sucks

Jeremy Woods
Guest

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

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

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

 roger nelson
Member
roger nelson

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

Member
David Tembleque

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
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

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

Marko Hila
Guest

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

Member
Ari Kirschenbaum

What’s a real camera under $2k?

Serkan Erkılınç
Guest

What is with Sony A7s mk3???

Oren Blankstein
Guest

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

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

“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.

Sahel Kiraly
Guest

Chedly Bouzouaia finally

Chedly Bouzouaia
Guest

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

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

(random name) totally

Sam Cordell
Guest

Jeremy I got excited for a second.

Jeremy Withers
Guest

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

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

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

Suat Yilmaz
Guest

Tolga Poyraz

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

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

Jeremy Chu
Guest

Seal Pao Lucas Lei

Lucas Lei
Guest

那有錢

Seal Pao
Guest

好有誠意,A9 一堆功能都下放了

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

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

Patrick Hughes
Guest

Footage looks bad

Mandeep Kalsi
Guest

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

Member

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

Member

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.

Member

From the video the autofocus does not look so great…

BrunoSlam Compte A Rebours
Member

Love how full frame looks. Anyone wants a GH5 ?

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[…] También hay que mirar el material preparado por el equipo de 5D Cine , que está a unos pocos ejemplos de las escenas grabadas con diferentes configuraciones. […]

Pedro Hofmann
Member

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… Read more »

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[…] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCr2lfMoMPY It is also worth to look at the material prepared by Cinema 5D team , in which there are several sample shots recorded using various settings. […]

Member

Whats the hdmi output quality?

 Stanly ok
Member
Stanly ok

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

Ed Hecht
Member
Ed Hecht

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

 Chico Enrico
Member
Chico Enrico

“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… Read more »

Kevin Antonow
Guest

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

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

So the video encoding is no better than an RX100.

And you’re stuck with Sony lenses.

LAME.

Member

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
Member
Chico Enrico

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.

Member

Thank you for your reply !

Member
Ari Kirschenbaum

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.