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Sony A7S III Comparison Review

The Sony Alpha 7S III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in July 2020 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 12 megapixel.

Is the Sony A7S III a good camera? The A7S III has a Camera Elo of 2919. This rating puts the A7S III among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A7S III ranks among the top 20 percent.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7S III
Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses
12 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/120p Video
ISO 80 - 102 400 (40 - 409 600)
Electronic viewfinder (9440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1440k dots
Swivel touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
600 shots per battery charge
127 x 97 x 81 mm, 699 g



Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Sony A7S III relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony A7S III vs credit card front
A7S III versus credit card top view
A7S III and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A7S III alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A7S III 127 mm 97 mm 81 mm 699 g 600 Y Jul 2020 3,499 i
 
Canon R5 138 mm 98 mm 88 mm 738 g 320 Y Jul 2020 3,899 i
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
 
Sony A7R IV 129 mm 96 mm 78 mm 665 g 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 i
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
 
Sony A7R III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199i
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A99 II 143 mm 104 mm 76 mm 849 g 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i
 
Sony A7R II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 625 g 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199i
 
Sony A7S II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 627 g 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999i
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony A7S III was launched in the US market at a price of $3,499. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sony A7S III:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Sony A7S III features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony A7S III among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Sony A7S III sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Sony A7S III Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/120p........
 
Canon R5 Full Frame 44.8 8192 54648k/30p........
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
 
Sony A7R IV Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p........
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
 
Sony A99 II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792
 
Sony A7R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498
 
Sony A7S II Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The A7S III indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A7S III can use is 4K/120p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7S III has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 9440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.91x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7S III and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Sony A7S III9440 n 3.0 1440 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Canon R55760 Y 3.2 2100 swivel Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Sony A9 II3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A7R IV5760 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A7 III2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A7R III3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Sony A99 II2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Sony A7R II2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Sony A7S II2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Sony A7 II2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y

One feature that differentiates the A7S III from many other cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7S III reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha 7S III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Sony A7S IIIYstereomonoYYfull3.2Y-Y
 
Canon R5YmonomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
 
Sony A9 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A7R IVYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Sony A99 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Sony A7R IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A7S IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-

It is notable that the A7S III has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the A7S III in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A7S III+ +..4.5/5..5/5 Jul 2020 3,499 i
 
Canon R5..91/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2020 3,899 i
 
Sony A9 II..90/1005/5..5/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
 
Sony A7R IV+91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2019 3,499 i
 
Sony A7 III+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
 
Sony A7R III+ +90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199i
 
Sony A9+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A99 II..85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i
 
Sony A7R II+ +90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199i
 
Sony A7S II+..4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999i
 
Sony A7 II+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Sony A7S III FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A7S III.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the A7S III?

The camera is build around a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the A7S III with the BIONZ XR image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the A7S III?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 102400, which can be extended to ISO 40-409600.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the A7S III is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha 7S III?

Sony mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the A7S III. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the A7S III over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.

How do I find the shutter count on my Sony A7S III?

Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your A7S III has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony A7S III?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony A7S III?

The A7S III offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Sony A7S III feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The A7S III's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Sony A7S III support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the A7S III use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-FZ100 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the A7S III?

Yes, Sony offers the VG-C3EM as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony A7S III
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2020
    Launch Price USD 3 499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 847 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 42.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 240 x 2 832 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.40 μm
    Pixel Density 1.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/120p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 102 400 ISO
    ISO Boost 40 - 409 600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ XR
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.91x
    Viewfinder Resolution 9440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 1440k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CFexpress or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.2
    HDMI Port full HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FZ100 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 97 x 81 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 699 g (24.7 oz)

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