Sony’s A7R III packs big improvements into a familiar package


The star of the show is — as with the previous A7R — full-frame 42.4-megapixel EXMOR R sensor powered by a BIONZ processor. For those keeping track, that means the A7R III shoots at twice the resolution of Sony’s A9, but the A9 still has the edge in sheer speed because of its stacked, full-frame sensor design. The A7R III is definitely no slouch, though. Its autofocus is up to twice as fast as the A7R II’s, and the new model is capable of fast AF/AE tracking for continuous shooting at up to 10fps, up from the 5fps you could squeeze out of the last A7R.

Oh, and don’t worry if you prefer staring at screens instead of through viewfinders — we’re looking at 8fps with Live View, just like we got out of the A6500. Photographers who rely on discretion will also appreciate the ability to shoot at relatively high, 10fps speeds with the silent shutter enabled.

So yeah, the A7R III is pretty damned fast. You can mostly expect the same image quality here as with the A7R II, but those concerned about getting the best possible images can also dip into a pixel-shifting shooting mode where the camera captures four slightly offset images that can later be composited in post. The end result? Sumptuously detailed, richly colored shots, albeit ones that are still 42 megapixels in resolution.

On the video front, the A7R III captures 4K footage using the full width of the sensor, and once again packs the Super 35 oversampling mode. Like the A9, you can also shoot at 120fps at full HD, but the A7R III finally adds S-Log 3 and support for the hybrid log gamma HDR standard. (Here’s hoping you’ve got a television that supports it, too.)

On paper, there’s a lot to like about the updated A7R, and it’s important to note that the A7R II isn’t going anywhere just yet either. Stay tuned, though: we should be able to take Sony’s new mirrorless marvel for a spin soon, and we’ll share all the photos we can once we do.

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