Sony A7S III evaluation: The low-light video clip champ

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( Pocket-lint) – Sony has actually expanded a myriad of followers for its expanding variety of Alpha system electronic cameras. Whether it’s the ultra compact A6000 collection or a full-frame A7 collection, there’s something for everybody. It’s videographers that’ve transformed a lot more in the direction of Sony’s mirrorless full-frame bodies in current years – and also it’s simple to see why when looking at the Alpha A7S III.

Spec smart, this third-generation’S’ version uses some amazing capacities, with specific emphasis for video clip and also low-light efficiency. Instead of go full-blown on the pixel matter, the A7S III choose larger pixels on a top quality sensing unit. Does that restriction its charm?


  • Dimensions: 128.9 mm x 96.9 mm x 80.8 mm/ Weight: 699 g (with battery)
  • 3-inch, 1.44 m-dot vari-angle LCD touchscreen
  • Moisture- and also dust-resistant style

Sony was amongst the initial makers to place a full-frame sensing unit in a small mirrorless body (the initial A7, from back in 2013, was innovative for its dimension). And also while several makers have actually because done the same and also Sony – with its very own A7C – has actually made an also smaller sized one, the dimension of the A7S III makes it widely sensible to bring about. It’ll suit a lot of video camera providers, despite a lens on it.


The body evaluates regarding 700 g with a battery and also sd card in it, however – certainly – that weight rises when you connect a lens. We were checking with the 12-24 mm G Master lens, which is substantial and also rather large, however not a lot that we obtained actually tired from capturing with it portable.

A great deal of the A7S III’s switches are well placed, consisting of the switch-ring around the shutter switch on top of the grasp. There’s a committed red motion picture ring for shooting video clip, plus a direct exposure gain modification ring, a custom-made feature switch, and also the shoot setting choose dial.

The shoot setting dial needs to be opened by pushing the switch between prior to transforming, which includes a little safety, however likewise aggravation if you’re made use of to simply transforming the dial to swiftly transform in between motion picture setting and also among the image settings.

The various other doubtful choice is the setting of the food selection switch. Many switches on the back of the A7S III are within simple thumb reach. Not the food selection switch. That’s method off to the opposite side, on the left side of the viewfinder, implying you need to utilize your various other hand to study the food selection system to change and also transform setups and also attributes.


There are lots of customisable feature switches. 4, actually, which are extremely helpful when you desire fast accessibility to necessary features like transforming the autofocus location or transforming the white equilibrium. Having that autofocus option setting is extremely helpful, particularly if you intend to make use of the joystick to by hand select a tiny location to concentrate on. Simply for those times when the extremely wise autofocus engine does not fast choice the ideal location.

Like a variety of Sony’s current electronic cameras, the A7S III has a correct flip-out touchscreen also. It makes that little screen method a lot more functional and also helpful. It allows much better framework at uncomfortable angles and also – as notably – makes firing to video camera less complicated whether portable vlogging or when firing with the video camera on the tripod. You can mount and also concentrate without needing to go behind the video camera or having your sight blocked like on the older versions.

Videographer’s multi-tool

  • Ports: HDMI, 3.5 mm, USB-C
    • XLR adapter offered – deals 4-channel 24- little bit audio recording
  • 16- little bit Raw information outcome for exterior recorders
    • Proxy videotaping inside
  • Cards: Dual SD (UHS-II)

If you’re simply starting making video clip, it’s not likely you would certainly consider the A7S III as soon as possible, particularly as the cost factor suffices to make your eyes water (it’s numerous thousand at launch – and also we question that’ll go down much). For the experienced pro or a person desiring to up their video game, it’s simple to see the charm.

It might not look like it from the outdoors, however there’s a tonne of versatility right here when it concerns linking added equipment like screens and also microphones. Not just do you obtain a 3.5 mm input for microphone, the hotshoe with the ideal adapter affixed (note: marketed independently) can be made use of to power an XLR adapter for connecting in ‘correct’ microphones also.


Using the HDMI you can attach the A7S III’s outcome to an exterior recorder/monitor (with 16 little bit Raw outcome), plus you have the capacity to videotape proxy data all at once while recording at your preferred resolution and also bitrate. That indicates your computer system process lots times must be much faster, since you currently have the proxies to hand, your desktop computer should not need to create them for you.

That’s without noting all the bitrate, colour account, resolution and also frame-rate alternatives offered. And also there are several (it’s worth looking at Sony’s comprehensive failure in the A7S III’s complete specs). You can fire in S-Log3, S-Gamut3 or Cine range accounts, to make sure that your video clip matches the colour account on your specialist video camera and also permits you to colour quality it to your heart’s material, consisting of the capacity to fire in HLG for HDR operations.

Video and also image

  • 121 MP Exmor R CMOS sensing unit, Bionz XR cpu
  • ISO level of sensitivity: 80-102,400 requirement
  • 4K video clip (4:2:2 as much as 10 little bit)
  • Full-frame 4K at 120 fps
  • S-Log2 and also S-Log3

Sony has actually furnished the A7S III with a 12- megapixel sensing unit, which remains in plain comparison to the much greater resolution 61- megapixel complete framework sensing unit on the A7R IV. The factor: to include sufficient pixels to properly record complete 4K resolution video clip, however likewise to allow better low-light efficiency. The larger the sensing unit diodes (basically the ‘pixels’), the a lot more light it can pull in. And also it functions.

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Shooting in predicaments with little light, utilizing primarily road lights outside after dusk, still allowed us to take suitable, sharp photos totally portable. Certainly, component of this is to the constructed in 5-axis stabilisation – which is fantastic, however not foolproof, so if we really did not fairly hold the video camera stable sufficient after that some photos still brought out a little blur.

Switching the video camera right into automobile setting, the default in our evening time shoot was for the video camera to choose ISO 12,800 – which is instead high – however the sensing unit still handled to record an excellent quantity of variety (at f/4 and also a 2/5-second direct exposure), exposing the clouds overhead and also also shapes of hillsides miles distant. It’s not totally image-noise-free, however the outcomes are a lot more grain-like, at an appropriate degree, and also does not cause the damage of information.

Testing with the 12-24 mm G Master lens likewise suggested we reached attempt among Sony’s latest wide-angle lenses. It’s not one of the most functional lens worldwide, however we located it greater than useful for our routine close-up item capturing for our YouTube network. It did battle to concentrate when also close, however or else is a fantastic device to have in the workshop.

Being able shoot virtually endless 4K/50 p video suggested we never ever needed to fret that the video camera would certainly get too hot. The upgraded warmth dissipation inside the body indicates the A7S III never ever has a hard time – which is an action adjustment from earlier Sony video-focused electronic cameras. The outcome is smooth, comprehensive and also sharp video clip with fantastic colour. Moving shutter appears to be a distant memory also.

Further assisted by that stabilisation – which presents a 1.1 x plant, however can be turned off for full-frame accessibility – it’s simple sufficient to fire portable and also maintain points smooth and also stable. For the times it obtains a little bit janky when our hands weren’t as stable as we would certainly like them to be, the resulting restlessness was simple and also very little to take care of in post-production with Final Cut’s one-click stabilsation device.

And for those times where we ‘d inadvertently over-exposed and also wound up with highlights that were overexposed, we had the ability to go down those illumination degrees down for to keep information and also surface area structure with no trouble. It’s a really flexible video camera.

For those of you that do not fire much past 60 frameworks per 2nd, however require 4K for information and also 10 little bit for colour grading and also information, the A7S III is greater than qualified, although the highest possible bitrate and also frame-rate recording does need you to make use of Sony’s brand-new CFExpress Type A card (likewise called XQD). The remainder can be taped inside on UHS-II SD cards.

While it could not be the best video camera for those wanting to creat huge, high-resolution photos that are fantastic for chopping right into, the A7S III still takes fantastic shots in daytime also. Hues are charming, the deepness of area available is superb. Close-ish shots of plants exposed some spectacular smooth bokeh.

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Battery efficiency is solid for an electronic camera this effective also. It utilizes among Sony’s brand-new FX100 batteries – which benefits around 510 shots or 80-95 mins of video clip recording, depending upon whether you make use of the viewfinder or LCD keep an eye on. And also, you can bill it by means of the USB-C port on the video camera, so you might take a Type-C cord and also a battery pack to fill up while on the relocation.

Autofocus and also monitoring

  • 759 phase-detection autofocus factors (PDAF) & & 425 comparison discovery factors
  • 9.44 million-dot viewfinder
  • Real-time monitoring

Sony’s toughness for the previous number of years has actually been autofocus and also monitoring and also – till the lately introduced A1 – the A7S III was the embodiment of that initiative. It has 759 phase-detection AF factors, implying virtually the you can choose to concentrate virtually anywhere within the framework. What’s even more, it integrates with 425 comparison discovery factors, making concentrating exact and also actually fast.


Whether we left it to immediately concentrate on individuals’s or animal’s eyes, or by hand picked the area we intended to concentrate on, it was actually fast and also monitoring was receptive and also so smooth we hardly ever saw it searching when we took video clip footage right into the edit collection. It does it with such effectiveness virtually at all times.

Digging right into the setups you can select whether you desire it tracking a human eye or a pet eye, or whether you intend to prioritise a certain eye, or to allow the video camera determine (it’s really rather smart and also will certainly select whichever is closest by default, and also does so consistently).

There are a great deal a lot more alternatives in the setups food selection, and also while colour coding and also reorganising points has actually made Sony’s software program less complicated than it made use of to be, it can still be a little bit frustrating sometimes. There’s so a lot there to handle. You might quickly invest a hr simply experiencing the different alternatives and also attempting to bear in mind where everything is.


The Sony Alpha A7S III is one of the most outstanding video-centric customer video camera to day. By utilizing the ideal sensing unit, refining power and also warmth dissipation, Sony uses full-frame recording at shocking resolutions top quality. The cost could make you recoil a little bit though.

While the sensing unit and also efficiency provides the video camera to specialist video clip job, it likewise makes it great in low-light scenarios for both stills and also video clip. With an excellent lens, you can go and also neglect the tripod shoot poorly lit scenes portable.

However, those stills professional photographers wanting to fire ultra-resolute photos should certainly look somewhere else – however it’s not as if there’s an absence of option in the Alpha variety. For those spent in Sony for video clip job, the A7S III will certainly be the mirrorless video camera of option for years to come.

Alternatives to take into consideration


Panasonic Lumix S5

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It’s much less than half the cost of the Sony, and also while it does not fairly match its efficiency in regards to video clip capacities or low-light capacities, if you’re desiring a solid video-centric mirrorless with piece de resistance that will not cost you virtually 4 grand, the Panasonic is a really solid option.


Sony A7R IV

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Sony’s A7R IV has a much higher-resolution sensing unit, making it a preferable option for professional photographers chasing after those super-sharp picture data that hi can offer in significant layout or plant right into greatly. It’s not as solid on the video clip side, however, however it can still fire 4K.

Creating by Cam Bunton. Editing And Enhancing by Mike Lowe.

Camera Bunton.


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