The Sony A7S III Camera Review | Perfect 4K Video For Everyone

One of the greatest cameras for filmmakers wanting quality, yet compact enough for vloggers needing versatility.

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Sony’s long-term masterpiece seals the deal. A powerful BIONZ XR image processor offers fast performance, improved noise reduction, and a more comprehensive dynamic range than its predecessors. It also features UHD 4K 120p video recording and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling. Although it's been a few years since its release, the Sony Alpha 7S III is one of everyone's favorite filmmaking cameras. It's a video-focused full-frame multi-hyphenated camera with a 12-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. There are not enough good things to say about this powerful beast. I’m incredibly stoked to review this magically fantastic piece of equipment. Sony’s name shines bright, and as the Moment Team, we couldn’t be more honored to sell their cameras in our shop. If you want to see how well you can edit RAW footage from this masterful camera, download the sequence of clips in this folder here. Have fun!

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To Know:

The timeless Alpha A7S III boasts noteworthy specs even years after its initial debut. The body is a complete redesign of the S-series system from its predecessors: increased sensitivity, 12.1MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor, and an updated BIONZ XR image processor that offers faster performance, improved noise reduction, and a more comprehensive dynamic range along with UHD 4K 120p video recording and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling.

What We Love:

Crazy Great Dynamic Range

With 15 stops of dynamic range, you can fully clamp down any scene with precise clarity.

A Flip-Out Screen

It is an excellent camera with a flip-out screen for easy recording and vlogging sequences.

Incredible Picture

Incredible 4k 16-bit raw output over HDMI with no recording limits for ultra-amazing-looking footage.

The Details:

Brand: Sony

Product Type: Mirrorless Camera

Best For: Filmmakers who want to be more professional and have a taste for quality tech. It's also perfect for content creators who don't care about having the latest model.

I won’t cut corners. This camera is fantastic.

I’ll be the first to say it: this puppy isn’t cheap. However, by paying sub $3,500 for a cinema-quality picture, you get near-perfect footage as smooth as melted butter. It boasts a brand new dual-chip Bionz XR processor, which caters to a considerable amount of horsepower to allow for fast auto-focus, auto exposure, and bitrate video. It, amazingly, offers an ISO range of 80-102,400, expanding to a near 40-409,600, claiming to capture a 15-stops of dynamic range, too, honing in on precise clarity. The camera’s autofocus system has nearly 759 on-sensor phase-tect trigger points to support even the squirmist of “Eye” and “Animal” AF settings.

To impress you even more with its video capabilities, its in-body image stabilization can reduce shake-ups up to 5 and a half stops. There’s also a 3.2” fully articulating LCD screen, made perfect for the vlogger in mind. With the highest resolution electron viewfinder found on today’s camera market, it shines bright with 9.44 million dots. WOW. The camera holds up to 2 memory card slots, both of which can accept SD (UHS-II) or CFexpress Type A cards. Including both USB 3.⅓.2 An external power bank can also power a type 1 micro USB port.

Being a Blackmagic fanboy, cinema-quality cameras have been my forte for years. I’m confident in saying this Sony beast is a truly worthwhile investment for anyone looking to up their professional filmmaking game. You can capture UHD 4K video at up to 120p without pixel binning. This camera can also record high-speed (up to 240FPS) Full HD video. While Sony claims that the A7SIII can record for up to an hour at 4K/60FPS, thanks to that improved heat dissipation, I’d suggest recording for a little less as an expectation. It offers Long GOP and All-intro compression with a maximum bitrate of 600MPS. It can record 10-bit 4:2:2 ratioed footage, supporting both S-Log2/3 and HLG. Of course, the full-frame capabilities include 16-bit RAW footage at up to 60p that’s later transferred to an output for external recording. A standard-sized HDMI port is also there, alongside a mic and headphone jack with an XLR adapter that can be purchased separately.

The 12.1MP sensor resolution means the camera can’t afford to offer 6K, let alone 8K, instantly putting it behind other cameras on the market that now offer up to 12K. However, the quality of retention you receive in 4K is genuinely all you need unless you’re a high-brow pixel peeper who can’t shake a mere minuscule lower resolution. Alongside considerable improvements in handling and low-light capabilities, this hugely impressive hybrid video camera is the best money can buy.

Additional Features:

  • New 9.44m dot eye viewfinder
  • 12.1 megapixel, back-illuminated
  • 15 stops of dynamic range
  • 759-point phase-detection AF
  • Up to 409,600 ISO
  • Minimized rolling shutter
  • Flip-out touch screen
  • 4K 120pi, 10 bit 4:2:2 color depth, All-Intra recording, XAVC HS format with H.265 codec, and more
  • Can record internal proxies alongside standard files.
  • 4k 16-bit raw output over HDMI with No recording limits
  • Touch tracking
  • Built-in IBIS & Optional Active Mode IS
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In Detail:

As mentioned above, Sony’s improved sensitivity performance is ramped up by enabling the A7S III to identify subjects within low-light conditions than other cameras with inferior sensitivity levels. It's a game-changer for any landscape artist looking to capture scenes in that famous blueish after-light glow. Regarding power, the Z battery delivers a 60% improvement rate over the performance of previous models and up to 95 extra minutes of video capture on paper. It can comfortably capture 4K video over time compared to its competition. Additionally, the A7S III takes advantage of fast-charging technology by powering up four times quicker than old-school micro USB connectors thanks to its addition of the USB-C port.

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The Market & Competitors

Despite its timeless quality, which makes it ideal for typical filmmakers or today's content creators, it's essential to compare the Sony A7SIII's features with similar models like the Sony A7III, the newer Sony A7IV, and the Sony FX3.

Sony A7III:

The Sony A7S III has a 12.0MP full-frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) BSI-CMOS sensor and utilizes a Bionz XR processor. Conversely, the Sony A7 III has a higher-resolution 24.0MP full-frame (35.8 x 23.8 mm) BSI-CMOS sensor but runs on the older Bionz X processor. As a result, while the A7 III delivers good performance under optimal conditions, the images it captures offer limited flexibility for color correction or grading due to their lower latitude. This limitation is leading me to consider upgrading to the A7S III.

Sony A7IV:

The critical distinction between the A7SIII and the A7IV is their 4K recording capabilities. The A7SIII records 4K at 120p with a slight 1.1x crop and offers uncropped 4K at up to 60p. In contrast, the A7IV can record uncropped 4K at 30p, but recording 4K at 60p is only possible in Super35/APS-C mode, resulting in a 1.5x crop. Furthermore, the A7SIII can achieve 240fps in Full HD, outperforming the A7IV's 120fps.

Sony FX3:

Physically, the Sony A7SIII is slightly smaller than the Sony FX3, being 1mm narrower and 4mm thinner, though it's 19mm taller. However, both models are equipped with Full-frame sensors having 12.0 MP resolution. This means there's no sensor size and resolution difference between the Sony FX3 and the Sony A7SIII.

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