Sony Launches the 42-megapixel A7R III


Sony has pulled the covers off its latest mirrorless camera – the a7R III. Built around a 35mm full-frame 42.4-megapixel Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor, the a7R III is set to deliver amazing image quality to professionals looking for high resolution in a compact body. The sensor uses a gapless chip with anti-reflective coating that Sony says ‘dramatically improves light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range.’

A powerful sensor and new processor will help the a7R III set new benchmarks for quality.

The a7R III can shoot 10 frames per second with either Silent Shooting or Mechanical Shutter and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking, that’s up from 5 FPS on the a7 II. What’s more, the a7R III offers a sophisticated autofocus system offering 399 phase-detection and 425 contrast detection AF points, up from 117/25 on the MkII.

Capable of shooting 10 FPS, the a7R III is now suitable for action photography.

To keep shots steady, there’s 5-axis in-body stabilisation, affording users up to 5.5-stop of compensation – incredibly useful when shooting in low light conditions and, thanks to a new BIONZ X processor engine that doubles the readout speed of the image sensor to crank out those 14-bit RAW files. In fact, the Sony a7R III can shoot up to 76 JPEGs or 28 uncompressed RAW images in one burst.

A new feature combines four images to create a 169-MP super file.

Sony’s a-series cameras are well known for their impressive video specifications and the new a7R III continues this trend. Able to record 4K (3840×2160) video across the full width of the sensor, when shooting Super 35mm format, the camera actually uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 5K of information, before oversampling it to produce that high quality 4K footage. Videographers will be pleased to hear that a new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma)[xviii] is available, along with the usual S-Log2 and S-Log3 grading options. The a7R III can also record Full HD at up to 120FPS (at up to 100Mbps), making this camera a tempting proposition for film-makers.

There’s dual SD card slots and the a7R III features an all-new multi-selector joystick to quickly shift focus points, along with an AF ON button to activate focus. Those seeking even more resolution can make use of the new Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, which uses the sensor and 5-axis stabilisation to combine four images into a massive 169.6-megapixel file. The Sony a7R III is due to be shipped in November and will feature a price-tag of $3200(US)/£3200(UK).

 Sony a7R III 
Sensor42.2-megapixel full-frame 
Continuous shooting10 FPS 
Focus points399 phase detection/425 contrast detection 
Image stabilisation5-axis 
Video4K (3840×2160) 
Card slots2 x SD 
LCD resolution1.44M dot