Today, Sony announced the long-awaited addition to its Alpha 7S full-frame mirrorless camera series — the Alpha 7S III (model ILCE-7SM3).
What follows is the official Sony Press release as of course, we haven’t as yet seen the camera (and have been told this won’t happen until late August).
Following is a 2nd release regarding new Sony CFExpress Type A Memory Cards.
Featuring a brand new 12.1MP (approx., effective) back-illuminated full-frame image sensor with ultra-high sensitivity and 15+ stop wide dynamic range14, a host of impressive video recording capabilities including 4K 120p1 and 10-bit 4:2:2 color depth, a new heat dissipating mechanism and dual slot relay recording that realises over one-hour of 4K 60p movie shooting until battery ends10, a brand new autofocus system, touch screen interface and side flip LCD screen, the new Alpha 7S III will become the ultimate creative tool for video professionals and all types of hybrid still/video shooters.
Jun Yoon, Head of Digital Imaging Sony ANZ commented, “We are thrilled to be launching the highly anticipated Alpha 7S III which has been designed and created for enthusiast and professional videocontent creators. The implementation of internal 4K video recording at both 60 and 120 frames per second with 10-bit 4:2:2 colour sampling, and external RAW recording with an astounding 16-bit colour sampling, goes beyond the requests we heard from working professionals. The low light capability which has been the hallmark of the “S” series, is now paired with high-level cinema functions, opening new workflows and production levels for filmmakers. Throw in 15+ stops of dynamic range, Real-time Tracking autofocus, improved colour science, improved weather sealing, redesigned heat management, improved battery life, and a world-first use of the CFexpress Type A media card – you start to feel the gravity of progress and innovation in this camera. We are very proud how the critical features that enthusiasts and professionals desire have been delivered, and are very excited to see what our creators will produce with the Alpha 7S III.”
Jun Yoon continued, “To show our filmmaking community just how serious we are about video content creation, I am excited to announce that Sony Australia will be hosting its first-ever short film festival in 2021. The festival will be a celebration of the cinematic abilities of Sony cameras and the filmmakers who use our gear to tell captivating and memorable stories. We envisage this film competition will run side-by-side our Alpha Awards which recently celebrated its fifth year.”
The system architecture for the new Alpha 7S III has been completely redesigned to deliver exceptional video and still shooting performance. The brand new 35mm full-frame 12.1MP (approx., effective) back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor, utilises a variety of advanced light-gathering techniques to ensure high-sensitivity with low noise, allowing users to shoot in low-light situations without needing large-scale lighting setups. In addition to improved image quality, this new image sensor includes a focal plane phase-detection AF system for the first time in an S-series camera.
To compliment the new sensor, the Alpha 7S III also includes a new BIONZ XR™ image processing engine that provides up to eight time more processing power3, minimises processing latency, reduces rolling shutter up to three times4, and enables many of the hallmark still and imaging features of the camera. The new system also includes the world’s brightest12 and largest12 9.44 million dot OLED electronic eye-level viewfinder and is the world’s first12 camera with dual CFexpress Type A card slots, enabling high-speed data transfer in a compact size.
Professional video workflow solutions
The Alpha 7S III offers in-camera 4K recording up to 120 frames per second1, 10-bit depth and 4:2:2 colour sampling, producing stunning video recording. The new camera offers a more flexible and efficient post-production workflow with a variety of advanced movie recording modes such as All-intra 15 and MPEG-4 HEVC/H.265 coding (XAVC HS™)16. The Alpha 7S III makes it easy to integrate videorecordings with other professional camcorders by providing three colour gamut settings: S-Gamut,
S-Gamut3, and S-Gamut3.Cine. Using S-Gamut3 or S-Gamut3. Cine, users can easily match footage shot on the Alpha 7S III with footage shot on the professional camcorders to simplify multi-camera post-production workflow. In addition to S-Log3 gamma curves, the Alpha 7S III supports an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile, with minimum post-production. The Alpha 7S III also allows up to 4K 60p 16-bit RAW output17 to an external recorder via HDMI Type-A18, offering additional post-production flexibility.
Improved image quality
The new CMOS image sensor and BIONZ XR™ image processing engine in the Alpha 7S III delivers legendary S-series sensitivity with significantly enhanced colour reproduction and texture renderings for improved overall image quality. The base ISO has been lowered to 80, resulting in a normal range of 80-102400 (expandable to 80-409600 for video and 40-409600 for stills) to provide more flexible ISO plus wide dynamic range with low noise at all settings. It offers improved image quality by approximately 1 stop of noise reduction4 in the middle and high sensitivity ranges.
The colours and textures of foliage, human skin, and more are ideally and consistently reproduced without dependence on light sources. Gradation rendering has also been refined for better looking skin tones and highlight roll-off in portraits. It also improves AWB (Auto WB) performance where a new “Visible light + IR Sensor” helps to achieve more precise white balance under artificial lighting, including fluorescent and LED lights.
Advanced autofocus performance for hybrid use
For the first time in an Alpha 7S series camera, the Alpha 7S III offers Fast Hybrid AF by combining phase-detection and contrast-detection AF, giving it the ability to track subjects over a wide area with outstanding speed, precision and smoothness, even when using a narrow depth of field. Fine focus expression is possible with Sony’s E-mount lenses.
For environments with a lot of movement, Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF are available to maintain constant focus on the intended subject. Sony’s advanced Real-time Eye AF improves detection performance by 30% over previous systems3, thanks to the new image processing engine. It ensures accurate, reliable detection even when the subject’s face looks away. Real-time Tracking is initiated simply by touching the subject on the screen. Simultaneously, Real-time Eye AF is initiated when an eye is detected.
Flexible autofocus settings for movie shooting
Based on customer feedback, the camera includes several AF features for professional users including AF Transition Speed in seven settings, to easily create rack-focus transitions, and five AF Subject Shift Sensitivity settings, which allows the user to customise how easily AF will switch or stay with the locked-on subject. Touch Tracking allows users to not only initiate Real-time Tracking, but also compose and shoot while using a gimbal or while shooting solo. It’s now possible to Touch Focus during manual focus mode on the LCD screen or remotely from the Imaging Edge Mobile application19
New heat dissipating structure
The Alpha 7S III’s design has been overhauled to ensure effective heat dissipation and minimises overheating – even during extended continuous recording sessions at 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video for an hour or more9. A newly developed unique heat dissipating structure, keeps image sensor and image processing engine temperatures within their normal operating ranges, preventing overheating while maintaining compact body dimensions. The new heat dissipating structure requires
no fan or cabinet vents allowing Alpha 7S III to maintain dust and moisture resistance
Movie assist functions
For video on-the-go, the Alpha 7S III is the first Alpha series camera to include Active Mode20 for supporting especially difficult handheld movie shooting with 5-axis in-body image stabilisation.
It is also the first Alpha series E-mount body to feature a side opening vari-angle rear screen, perfect for gimbal-mounted shots, complicated angles, handheld operation and more. The screen rotates sideways, up and down, and features a 3.0 type 1.44 million-dot touch panel LCD monitor, for good visibility even under bright outdoor environments.
In addition, the Alpha 7S III provides a selection of 10 new customisable presets via the Creative Look feature which creates interesting moods for both photo and video shoots.
A digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe for clearer audio recordings from a compatible Sony external microphone. Used with the Alpha 7S III, the XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit additionally provides 4-channel 24-bit digital audio recording capability in an Alpha series camera for the first time. Like other MI shoe accessories, no cables or batteries are required, providing unrestrained freedom for Alpha system moviemaking.
Additional movie assist functions include redesigned monitor display with a bold, clearly visible red frame that makes it clear when recording is in progress even when mounted on a rig or gimbal, custom zoom settings, adjustable white balance while recording, display rotation, interval recording, still extraction from movies and more.
Outstanding still image photography
The Alpha 7S III carries a fast Hybrid AF system with a 759 point phase-detection covering 92% of the image sensor. The camera can also achieve high AF precision to accurately and reliably focus in lightdown to EV-621 where subjects are difficult to see clearly even with the naked eye.
Continuous shooting at up to 10fps or up to 8fps in live view mode is possible either mechanically or electronically for more than 1,000 uncompressed RAW22 images.
The Alpha 7S III also includes the world’s first12 9.44 million-dot (approx.), 0.64 type Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder with a high-definition OLED display and refined optics that delivers the highest resolution in its class12. The Alpha 7S III viewfinder offers a 0.90x viewfinder magnification23, 41° diagonal field of view, 25mm high eyepoint for clear, low-distortion corner to corner viewing. It is also dust, fog and moisture resistant, extremely responsive and has switchable modes for different subject types. Every aspect of the Alpha 7S III viewfinder has been designed and refined for a professional workflow.
For the first time in a Sony’s digital camera, the Alpha 7S III includes the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) allowing for smooth 10-bit gradations and advanced compression technology to maintain image quality while significantly reducing file size and saving storage space. HEIF stills shot in this mode can be played back on a compatible Sony HDR (HLG) TV via a direct HDMI connection from the Alpha 7S III, delivering true-to-life dynamic range24.
Versatile design made for the pros
CFexpress Type A for high-speed data transfer
Another world’s first12, the Alpha 7S III features two CFexpress Type A compatible media slots, which also support UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards. It enables high write-and-read speed while keeping the camera body compact in size. CFexpress Type A cards are ideally suited to high-speed continuous RAW still image shooting as well as 4K 120p movie recording at high bit rates25, providing next-generation write speeds that can quickly clear the buffers of cameras that generate high volumes of still image and movie data. High-speed data transfer to a PC is possible at about 1.7 times faster26 than an SD card. The dual slots can be set to relay mode for extended continuous recording of even the high bit rate data as well as simultaneous recording and sort by format type recording.
Revised menu system with enhanced touch screen
The Alpha 7S III also features a revised menu structure for easier navigation and touch-responsive menu operation for faster, more intuitive control. For creators who shoot both stills and movies, separate settings can now be stored for stills and movie shooting for quick transition between the two.
High reliability gives creators new freedom
Professional users need more than just refined features and performance. They also need the reliability and durability demanded of any professional tool. The Alpha 7S III features a redesigned grip for greater comfort and a secure hold, an improved dust removal feature, plus dust and moisture resistance that maximises reliability in challenging environments. It includes a durable, reliable HDMI Type-A connector, and is the first Alpha series camera to support USB PD (Power Delivery), allowing higher power to be supplied from an external source so that users can continue to record for extended periods with minimal drainage of the internal battery.
Advanced connectivity for professional working environments
The Alpha 7S III has been designed and configured to support photo and video journalists and sports shooters who need to deliver stills or movies as quickly as possible with several advanced connectivity options. The camera supports 5GHz27/2.4GHz wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11ac) and offers MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) to improve communication quality by using multiple antennas. It doubles the speed compared to the Alpha7R IV. It also carries new USB tethering support28.
When connected to a 5G (5th generation technology standard for cellular networks) compatible smartphone device via USB cable, it is possible to use 5G network for fast and stable FTP file transfer29. USB to high-speed wired LAN connectivity30 also offers stable and fast FTP transfer for both movies and stills. A USB Type-C™ connector that supports fast SuperSpeed USB 5Gpbs (USB 3.2) data transfer is provided, enabling high-speed PC Remote (tethered) data transfer available for smooth handling of large image files.
Sony is excited to announce, off the back of the Alpha 7S III launch, its inaugural short film festival with categories including Fiction, Non-Fiction and Music Video. Filmmakers, cinematographers and videographers can use Sony’s Alpha, HandyCam and professional ranges to capture content, with submitted films being screened via a digital platform in 2021. A range of fantastic prizes will be awarded to finalist and winning films. For interested filmmakers, cinematographers and videographers, the link to register interest for the competition as well as for Alpha 7S III product information is: www.sony.com.au/alphavideo
Sony announces world’s first CFexpress Type A memory card with high-speed performance and tough durability
Today, Sony announced a new generation of media — the world’s first2 CFexpress Type A memory cards, in both 80GB and 160GB (CEA-G80T and CEA-G160T), as the most recent addition to Sony’s TOUGH specification cards. Delivering high transfer speed, durability and reliability, Sony’s new CFexpress Type A cards offer professional and stress-free performance for photographers and content creators.
Both the CEA-G80T (80GB) and CEA-G160T (160GB) use the latest flash memory control technology to achieve write speeds as high as 700MB/s1 and read speeds as high as 800MB/s1, greatly reducing buffer clearing times for efficient, stress-free shooting. The CFexpress Type A cards are ideally suited for high-speed continuous shooting of more than 1,000 uncompressed RAW still images, as well as 4K 120p movie recording at high bit rates with the Slow & Quick Motion function3 when paired with new Alpha 7S III. The Alpha 7S III features two CFexpress Type A compatible media slots, that also support UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards, for simultaneous media capture or extended continuous recording of even the highest bit rate data. Compliance with the VPG400 video performance guarantee profile specification ensures stable video recording at 400 MB/s, creating a smooth workflow for professional creators.
Effective heat dissipation design
The new CFexpress Type A memory cards are equipped with a heat sink to transfer heat generated by the card to the exterior when transmitting large amounts of data at high speed, using Sony’s original alloy with excellent thermal conductivity. This enables users to record for long periods of time4 even when recording 4K 120p video internally.
Keeping up with Sony’s TOUGH specifications, the new CFexpress Type A memory cards feature bending and impact resistance to protect precious data, even when frequently changing cards in the harshest environments. They are up to five times more resistant to drop impact and up to ten times more resistant to bending, compared to CFexpress Type A requirement standards, for outstanding durability. In addition, thanks to a specialised internal structure, they achieve an IPX7 water ingress protection rating and an IP5X dust ingress protection rating (IP57) for enhanced durability.
Accidents happen. Sony’s Memory Card File Rescue5 data recovery software allows users to recover accidently deleted RAW images and 4K video from memory cards. In addition, Sony’s Media Scan Utility6 media diagnostic software will be updated to support CFexpress Type A cards, allowing users to diagnose and receive a warning before the number of read/write cycles approaches the card’s limit.
CFexpress Type A/SD Card Reader
Optimised for the new CFexpress Type A memory cards, the CFexpress Type A/SD card reader (MRW-G2) provides SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2) transfer speed, via its USB Type-C® connector, allowing creators to establish an efficient workflow when dealing with high-resolution image files, 4K video and other types of high-volume data. When combined with a CFexpress Type A card, it allows users to transfer data approximately 2.8 times faster than with conventional media.7
The MRW-G2 card reader can be used with CFexpress Type A and SDXC/SDHC (UHS-I and UHS-II) memory cards.
The CFexpress Type A memory cards and card reader will be available in Australia mid-September.
CEA-G80T: SRP $369
CEA-G160T: SRP $699
MRW-G2: SRP $249.