Sony's latest Alpha is the first full-frame global shutter camera
Sony has launched the Alpha 9 III mirrorless camera, which is billed as the first full-frame model rocking a global shutter system, which enables high-speed shooting at up to 120 frames per second and shutter speeds of 1/80,000 of a second.
"Designed with the needs and demands of professional photographers in mind, every single update to this camera – from the sensor to even the size to the button layouts and menu functions – has been made to address specific input and feedback from our community," said Sony VP, Yang Cheng. "We have listened and are thrilled to bring the new capabilities of the Alpha 9 III to market – capabilities which allow photographers to capture things they’ve never been able to capture before."
Rather than record images sequentially from top to bottom, the new 24.6-megapixel global shutter stacked CMOS sensor reads all pixels at the same time, which makes for continuous bursts at up to 120 frames per second when combined with the Bionz XR image processing engine.
The Alpha 9 III succeeds 2019's model and is reckoned to features Sony's most advanced autofocus system so far, which taps into AI for real-time subject recognition in photography and video recording and sports the latest algorithms for low-light AF precision. The hybrid system makes up to 759 phase-detection focus points available for stills, and 627 points for movies.
Light sensitivity starts at an unusually high ISO250 and rolls up to ISO25,600 – though this can be expanded to ISO125 and ISOP51,200 for stills. And there are eight stops of in-body image stabilization available to compensate for shaky hands.
The electronic shutter allows for speeds of up to 1/80,000 of a second (or 1/16,000 of a second for continuous bursts), making for high-speed image capture without risk of distortion. Full-speed sync with compatible Sony flash units is onboard, and the shutter speed can be matched to the frequencies of LED lighting for flicker-free shooting.
The camera also eases the worry of missing out due to slow button action thanks to a pre-capture feature that records up to a second before the shutter releases.
For movie-makers, the camera comes with 4K/60p video chops from 6K oversampled capture and is reported to be the first Alpha capable of crop-free 4K 120p video recording. It can shoot in 10-bit 4:2:2, S-Log3 and includes the S-Cinetone profile for "a cinematic look straight out of the camera."
Elsewhere, Sony has improved the ergonomics of the grip in response to user feedback, the 9.44-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder comes with 0.9x magnification, and there's a 3.2-inch multi-angle LCD touch monitor at just over 2-million dots. An onboard mic has been included at the back for recording voice memos.
Content is saved to CFexpress Type A, UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards over dual slots, and the camera can be used with a companion mobile app via Bluetooth 5.0 that promises to speed up the image delivery workflow, with remote shooting options also available. HDMI and USB, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, are also cooked in, and the Alpha 9 II is reported capable of transferring data at twice the speed of its predecessor.
Enhancements including FTP capabilities, relay playback and C2PA authentication are to be added via an upcoming firmware update.
The Alpha 9 III is up for pre-order now for US$5,999.99, with shipping estimated to start in February 2024. The video below has more.
Product page: Sony Alpha 9 III