Product Review: Sony Alpha A7S III

4 other

Sony Alpha A7S III

Sony

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The Sony Alpha A7S III is the third iteration of the A7 series. It is the most impressive video-centric consumer camera to date.

It offers a series of new features such as 10-bit internal video, raw video output, and much more.

4,9/5

4,9

Based upon6 reviews from Wedio members

Effectiveness icon

Effectiveness

5,0

Usability icon

Usability

4,8

Value for money icon

Value for money

4,8

Overall icon

Overall rating

4,9

What creators like

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An absolute beast in terms of video and still image quality, especially in low light situations

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Super for videospots on socialmedia

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The A7S III offers great low light capabilities plus the colours on this model are outstanding, offering great skin tones compared to previous A7s models

What creators don't like

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The camera takes a few minutes of getting used to as does any camera with these specs

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Too many buttons

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Is it worth it?

Yes

The A7S III is a better option for anyone who shoots continuous video for long periods of time. The camera is especially suitable for videographers who need high-quality, noise-free video in very low light. 

No

If you’re a hobby creator who likes to focus on still photography. For someone who does high-resolution stills, the Sony a7S III is not recommended.

Pros

12MP full-frame sensor

4K recording at 10-bit quality

High sensitivity for low light

Face and eye detection autofocus

Dust and splash protection

New touch UI

Cons

CFExpress required for quality slow-motion videos

Video autofocus doesn't work with an SLR lens adapter

Low resolution for stills

Does not support 6K or 8K video resolution

Specs

Weight

33.3oz / 945g

Usable Memory Types

MS PRO Duo / SD / SDHC / SDXC / CFexpress

Dimensions

128.9 x 96.9 x 69.7 mm

Sensor

12 MP BSI CMOS

Baterry runtime

13 hours

Image File Format

JPEG, HEIF, RAW, RAW+JPEG, RAW+HEIF

Movie File Format

XAVC S; XAVC HS; XAVC S-I

ISO

80-102,400

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Sony Alpha A7S III Best Features

Solid design and large record buttons

The Sony A7S III is a relatively compact but solid camera. The body is comfortable to use with big telephoto lenses but still light enough to use with a wrist strap and a light prime if that's more your style.

The handgrip is the same as you get with the a7R IV and a9 II.

With a similar body construction to the A7S II, you would first think they look identical, but the difference is in the details.

Large record button for video shooting

For starters, one of the custom buttons above the grip has been swapped out for a large record button, setting the scene for this camera's strong emphasis on video shooting.

The rear plate includes all the expected controls—a dial-direction pad hybrid used primarily for menu navigation, a dedicated joystick to set the autofocus point, AF-ON, AEL, menu, and playback controls to round things out.

Interactable touch-screen

The on-screen interface includes controls, too. You can interact directly with the touch screen—Sony has finally updated its menus to work via touch. It has a full-sized HDMI port – a real boon for videographers – plus a USB-C port and micro USB port, not to mention a headphone jack and 3.5mm microphone jack.

Moreover, A7S III's bright, sharp viewfinder is a photographer's dream, with crisp clarity, excellent coverage, and ample brightness.

And whether you're shooting stills or video, the Sony A7S III handles well because it offers so many controls and top-end specs.

Video-first capabilities

If you're just starting out making a video, it's unlikely you'd look at the A7S III right away.

The Sony a7S III is the only current-generation mirrorless camera with a relatively low pixel count sensor, especially appealing for 4K video and low-light photography.

When cropped to the 16:9 video ratio, the 12MP sensor captures 4K video at native quality, without any sort of binning, line skipping, or down-sampling. Autofocus is as capable as with stills (when using a native lens).

High-ISO imaging with 12MP BSI sensor

The pixel readout is quicker than the a7S II, so the camera records slower, slow motion and does a good job avoiding rolling shutter distortion. Therefore, hybrid creators with more eye for video will be well served by the a7S III.

Its 12MP BSI sensor offers cleaner high-ISO imaging and video than typical 24MP cameras. And the ability to record in 4K at up to 120fps can add slow motion to projects without dropping back to HD resolution.

Final verdict: Who should get the Sony AS7 III?

The Sony Alpha A7S III is the most impressive video-centric consumer camera to date. Sony offers full-frame recording at staggering resolution quality by using a suitable sensor, processing power, and heat dissipation.

The price might make you wince a bit, though. While the sensor and performance lend the camera to professional video work, it also makes it very good in low-light situations for both stills and video.

With a good lens, you can forget the tripod and shoot dimly lit handheld scenes.

However, those still photographers looking to shoot ultra-resolute images should look elsewhere. But for those invested in Sony for video work, the A7S III will be the mirrorless camera of choice for years to come.

What creators like

An absolute beast in terms of video and still image quality, especially in low light situations. Does 4k-video at 100/120 frames pr. second and maintains high quality even at those frame rates.

Super for videospots on socialmedia

The A7S III offers great low light capabilities plus the colours on this model are outstanding, offering great skin tones compared to previous A7s models. The S-Cinetone profile is fantastic for quick turnarounds.

Low light, internal stabilisation

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What creators don't like

The camera takes a few minutes of getting used to as does any camera with these specs.

Too many buttons

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long can the Sony A7S III record for?

The maximum continuous recording time for a single movie shooting session is approximately 13 hours (a product specification limit).

What is Sony A7S III good for?

It's beneficial when you just want to get a little more light for a streetlamp-lit portrait, and works just as well for long-exposure photography without the aid of a tripod. It's quite possible to get 1/4-second and 1/2-second shots without the aid of a tripod. The a7S III supports JPG, HEIF, and Raw imaging.

How long does Sony A7S III battery last?

The Sony A7S III uses the NP-FZ100 which effectively doubles the battery life compared with the smaller NP-FW50 battery found in the a7S II. Battery life stills: 2000 shots (best I've got when shooting sports/wildlife).

Why is the A7S III good in low-light?

Sony has equipped the A7S III with a 12-megapixel sensor, which is in stark contrast to the much higher resolution 61-megapixel full frame sensor on the A7R IV. The reason: to feature enough pixels to effectively capture full 4K resolution video, but also to enable much better low-light performance.

Is the Sony A7S III good for vlogging?

The Sony A7S III is one of the best vlogging cameras on the market. It's small, portable has great image quality, has a fully articulating touchscreen, and is very easy to use. But where most people miss out on its full potential is the lenses.

Review by Samuel Ridge London LTD and 5 other community members

Great

Nothing

5,0

Ben Ogunbiyi

Chessington, GB

Low light, internal stabilisation

Too many buttons

5,0

Gerard Puigmal

Edinburgh, GB

The A7S III offers great low light capabilities plus the colours on this model are outstanding, offering great skin tones compared to previous A7s models. The S-Cinetone profile is fantastic for quick turnarounds.

5,0

baouproductions

London, GB

5,0

inmvejrum

, DK

Super for videospots on socialmedia

4,3

gemmergemmer

København N, DK

An absolute beast in terms of video and still image quality, especially in low light situations. Does 4k-video at 100/120 frames pr. second and maintains high quality even at those frame rates.

The camera takes a few minutes of getting used to as does any camera with these specs.

5,0

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Sony Alpha A7S III Alternatives

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Canon EOS R1

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The research

Why you should trust us

At Wedio, we are on a mission to keep great stories alive. We achieve this by facilitating the sharing of knowledge, tools, and services that help you as a creator craft better stories. Today we help 100,000+ monthly creators become better — together. We believe in the power of the community. Instead of gathering product reviews from one creator, we involve hundreds of creators, and create both video- and written reviews. In that way, we present the essence of the collective rather than one opinion.

How we tested this product

We used a mixed-method design. Our qualitative video reviews, were created by hand-picked Wedio members. We shipped the product to them, they tried it for at least 30 days in real-life projects, and then they did an honest video review. Our quantitative written reviews, were collected from Wedio Renters and Lenders. When renters have rented the product, they have the option to leave a product review. When lenders create a product listing, they have the option to share their thoughts on the product itself.

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In order to keep delivering the best possible reviews for creatives, we have four different revenue streams. This includes (1) commissions from our short-term rentals (10 % from renters 20% from lenders whenever a rental is happening through Wedio), (2) commissions from our subscriptions (we get paid by our retail partners to deliver an order), (3) commissions from brands delivering products, and (4) commissions from affiliate links to other partners (such as retail partners, software, and other creative tools).

Limitations

Even though we try to be as unbiased as possible, we still want to address two limitations of this review. First, our lenders can be affected by the “Endowment effect” when reviewing their gear. They would potentially rate their product higher than they would have done if they rented the product — just because they own the product themself. Second, there is the potential of instructors experiencing “Confirmation bias” when reviewing a product. If they received the product from us, they might have a tendency to look for all the advantages and good things about the product because they want to please Wedio and the product brand. To overcome this limitation, we strictly guide our instructors to be as objective as possible — a low rating is as valuable to us as a high rating. The review aims to guide other creators in the choice of gear.

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