Sony α7R III Claims Better Speed, Dynamic Range

Sony has announced the α7R III (Alpha7R III or A7R III), the third edition of their high-resolution range of full-frame mirrorless cameras. The camera uses a 42.4 MP back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and provides 4K videos along with 10 fps continuous shooting speed with full AF/AE tracking. The α7R III is claimed to have a 15-stop dynamic range, and high sensitivity with noise reduction equivalent to almost one stop.

The α7R III sensor utilises a gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface to improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. A front-end LSI effectively doubles the readout speed of the sensor, as well as an updated Bionz X processing-engine boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the α7R II. The sensor unit lacks an optical low-pass filter to facilitate high-resolution imaging.

The camera features an equivalent ISO range of 100 – 32,000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400). The camera is equipped with a 5-axis optical image stabilisation system, providing about 5.5-stop advantage in shutter speed. The low-vibration shutter suppresses vibration and image blur in all modes, including the high speed 10 fps shooting.

The 10 fps high-speed shooting can use ;either the mechanical shutter or a completely silent electronic shutter. In live view, the camera can shoot continuously at up to 8 fps with minimal lag in the viewfinder or LCD screen. Another improvement over its predecessors is that many of the key functions including access to the ‘Fn’ (Function) and ‘Menu’ buttons and image playback are operable even while large groups of burst images are being written to the memory card.

The α7R III uses 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 68% of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions. There is also 425 contrast AF points, an increase of 400 points compared to the α7R II.

Video

The new α7R III offers 4K (3840×2160 pixels) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image 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 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

A new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is available on the camera that supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TVs to playback beautiful, true-to-life 4K HDR imagery. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased colour grading flexibility.

Hardware Changes

The α7R III utilises dual media slots with one supporting UHS-II type SD memory cards.
The new camera uses Sony’s Z series battery that have approximately 2.2 times the capacity of the W series battery of the α7R II. An upgraded high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder monitor offers 3,686k-dot resolution and utilises a ZEISS T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections. The LCD screen has been upgraded with a resolution of 1.44M dots and WhiteMagic technology that improves viewing in bright, outdoor conditions.

A multi-selector joystick provides a fast, efficient way to shift focus points, as well as an ‘AF ON’ button to activate autofocus when shooting stills or movies.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α7R III will ship in Europe in November 2017, priced at approximately €3500.


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