Sony focuses on speed for latest full frame mirrorless camera
In a somewhat familiar move, Sony has followed an RX camera refresh with a new full frame mirrorless model – the α7R III. Much faster and more capable than its predecessor, the Mark III delivers speedy burst shooting, features improved autofocus and promises mammoth battery life.
The new model's sensor looks about the same as the outgoing model on paper, but Sony has paired the 42.4 MP back-illuminated Exmor R with the latest Bionz X image processor for up to 10 fps continuous shooting with full autofocus for a burst of 28 uncompressed RAW or 76 JPEG format stills using a mechanical shutter or silent shooting. And an ISO range of 100 - 32,000, which can be expended down to ISO50 and up to 102,400, together with a reported 15 stops of dynamic range. There's an LSI processor for super fast readout speed, too.
The Mark III is capable of capturing 4K footage, with Super 35 mode serving up even higher resolution, better dynamic range and low light performance than the 4K full-frame mode. Slow motion needs are met with Full HD availability at 120 fps with AF tracking.
The camera features a brand new low vibration shutter mechanism designed to deliver maximum image sharpness, and 5-axis optical image stabilization for stills and video shooting. Autofocus gets a refresh, with 399 point phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast AF points. The mirrorless camera is also reported to acquire focus much quicker than the Mark II in low lighting, with face and eye detection also getting a substantial speed bump.
Something called Pixel Shift Multi Shooting makes its debut in the Mark III, which alters the sensor position for each shot so that the image produced contains around 169.6 megapixels of data. In this mode, the four images will need to be exported to free software from Sony for processing.
The Mark III has pretty much the same look as 2015's α7R II, but with the addition of a focus point controller and an AF-On button. Anti-flicker technology that attempts to compensate for inconsistent exposure in fluorescent/artificial light, and Sony has included dual SD card slots. The camera's been given a higher capacity battery, too, that snaps up to 650 stills per charge when using the 3-inch, 1.44 million dot touchscreen display panel, or 530 shots with the 3.686 million dot Tru-Finder OLED viewfinder.
Finally, there's integrated Wi-Fi for wireless file transfer to a smartphone or computer, and micro-USB is joined by a USB-C port – meaning that the Mark III could operate when tethered and charging.
The α7R III is due for release next month for a suggested retail price of US$3,199. The video below outlines the main features of the new camera.
Product page: Sony α7R III