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Sony A9 III Comparison Review

The Sony Alpha A9 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in November 2023 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24 megapixel.

camera

Is the Sony A9 III a good camera? The A9 III has a Camera Elo of 3250. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The A9 III ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A9 III also ranks among the top 10 percent.

Headline Specifications
Sony A9 III
Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/120p Video
ISO 250 - 25 600 (125 - 51 200)
Electronic viewfinder (9440k dots)
3.2 LCD, 2100k dots
Fully flexible touchscreen
120 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
530 shots per battery charge
136 x 97 x 83 mm, 702 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.

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Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony A9 III vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony A9 III vs credit card front
A9 III versus credit card top view
A9 III and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A9 III alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just 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
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A9 III 136 mm 97 mm 83 mm 702 g 530 Y Nov 2023 EUR 6 999 amazon.com
2.
 
Canon R6 Mark II 138 mm 98 mm 88 mm 670 g 450 Y Nov 2022 EUR 2 899 amazon.com
3.
 
Fujifilm X-H2S 136 mm 93 mm 85 mm 660 g 580 Y May 2022 EUR 2 749 amazon.com
4.
 
Panasonic S5 II 134 mm 102 mm 90 mm 740 g 370 Y Jan 2023 EUR 2 199 amazon.com
5.
 
Sony A1 129 mm 97 mm 81 mm 737 g 530 Y Jan 2021 EUR 7 299 amazon.com
6.
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 EUR 2 099ebay.com
7.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 EUR 2 299 amazon.com
8.
 
Sony A7R V 131 mm 97 mm 82 mm 723 g 530 Y Oct 2022 EUR 4 499 amazon.com
9.
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 EUR 5 299ebay.com
10.
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 EUR 5 399 amazon.com
11.
 
Sony ZV-E1 121 mm 72 mm 54 mm 483 g 570 Y Mar 2023 EUR 2 699 amazon.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony A9 III was launched in the US market at a price of $5,999. 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.

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Check A9 III price at
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Sony A9 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 A9 III among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Sony A9 III sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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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
1.
 
Sony A9 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/120p25.414.7324396
2.
 
Canon R6 Mark II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004k/60p25.414.6315496
3.
 
Fujifilm X-H2S APS-C 26.0 6240 41606.2k/30p24.313.9222486
4.
 
Panasonic S5 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40006K/30p25.414.6315896
5.
 
Sony A1 Full Frame 49.8 8640 57608k/30p25.914.5316398
6.
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
7.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
8.
 
Sony A7R V Full Frame 60.2 9504 63368k/24p26.514.83187100
9.
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
10.
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
11.
 
Sony ZV-E1 Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/60p25.414.6318196
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The A9 III indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A9 III can use is 4K/120p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A9 III has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 9440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.9x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A9 III and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Sony A9 III9440 n3.2 / 2100 full-flex Y 1/80000s 120.0/s n Y
2.
 
Canon R6 Mark II3690 n3.0 / 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0/s n Y
3.
 
Fujifilm X-H2S5760 Y3.0 / 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 15.0/s n Y
4.
 
Panasonic S5 II3680 n3.0 / 1840 swivel Y 1/8000s 9.0/s n Y
5.
 
Sony A19437 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
6.
 
Sony A7 II2400 n3.0 / 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0/s n Y
7.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
8.
 
Sony A7R V9440 n3.2 / 2100 full-flex Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
9.
 
Sony A93686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0/s n Y
10.
 
Sony A9 II3686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0/s n Y
11.
 
Sony ZV-E1none n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
Note: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Sony Alpha A9 III is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is multi-hinged and can be tilted both vertically and horizontally to enable odd-angle shots in landscape and portrait orientation. The LCD thereby offers a lot of flexibility to adjust and use the rear screen in a diverse set of situations.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the A9 III

One feature that differentiates the A9 III from many older cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A9 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.

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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 A9 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony A9 IIIYstereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
2.
 
Canon R6 Mark IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
3.
 
Fujifilm X-H2SYstereo / monoYYfull3.0Y-Y
4.
 
Panasonic S5 IIYstereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
5.
 
Sony A1Ystereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
6.
 
Sony A7 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
7.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
8.
 
Sony A7R VYstereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
9.
 
Sony A9Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YYY
10.
 
Sony A9 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
11.
 
Sony ZV-E1Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.2Y-Y

It is notable that the A9 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.

Further information on the features and operation of the A9 III can be found in the free online Sony A9 III Manual or on the Sony support site.

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Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A9 III handle or perform in practice. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A9 III4.5/5....91/100.... Nov 2023 EUR 6 999 amazon.com
2.
 
Canon R6 Mark II5/5+ +4.5/591/1004.5/55/5 Nov 2022 EUR 2 899 amazon.com
3.
 
Fujifilm X-H2S5/5+5/590/1005/55/5 May 2022 EUR 2 749 amazon.com
4.
 
Panasonic S5 II4.5/5+ +5/590/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2023 EUR 2 199 amazon.com
5.
 
Sony A15/5o4.5/593/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2021 EUR 7 299 amazon.com
6.
 
Sony A7 II5/5+4/582/1004.5/55/5 Nov 2014 EUR 2 099ebay.com
7.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +4.5/589/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 EUR 2 299 amazon.com
8.
 
Sony A7R V5/5+ +4.5/592/100.... Oct 2022 EUR 4 499 amazon.com
9.
 
Sony A95/5+ +4.8/589/1005/55/5 Apr 2017 EUR 5 299ebay.com
10.
 
Sony A9 II....5/590/1005/55/5 Oct 2019 EUR 5 399 amazon.com
11.
 
Sony ZV-E1..+4/5....4.5/5 Mar 2023 EUR 2 699 amazon.com
Note: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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Check A9 III price at
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Sony A9 III FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A9 III.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the Sony A9 III?

The camera has a Stacked CMOS (Stacked Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used in the Sony A9 III to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the A9 III with the Dual BIONZ XR image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Sony A9 III?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 250 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 125-51200.

Does the Sony A9 III have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the A9 III is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony A9 III?

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

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences with the Sony A9 III?

No, the Sony Alpha A9 III has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony A9 III?

The A9 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 A9 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 the Sony A9 III for flash photography?

The A9 III's flash sync speed is 1/80000 sec.

Does the Sony A9 III support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s).

Which battery does the Sony A9 III use?

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

Is there a vertical grip available for the Sony A9 III?

Yes, Sony offers the VG-C5 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Where can I find the best deals for the Sony A9 III?

Grey imports from Asia, as found on ebay, are often very attractively priced. However, these cameras come without a warranty from Sony.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony A9 III
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2023
    Launch Price USD 5 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology Stacked 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 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6 000 x 4 000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/120p Video
    ISO Setting 250 - 25 600 ISO
    ISO Boost 125 - 51 200 ISO
    Image Processor Dual BIONZ XR
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.9x
    Viewfinder Resolution 9440k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 2100k dots
    LCD Attachment Fully flexible screen
    V-logging Friendliness Front-flip possible
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/80000s
    Continuous Shooting 120 shutter flaps/s
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CFexA or SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    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 Sony NP-FZ100 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)530 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 136 x 97 x 83 mm
    (5.4 x 3.8 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 702 g (24.8 oz)

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