Sony A7S III is here – Sensible update but not as revolutionary as hoped, plus tough competition from Panasonic S1H

5 years after the previous A7S, the new model sees Sony playing catch up in some ways, having made users wait many years for 10bit recording on a mirrorless camera. The Panasonic GH5 has had 10bit since 2017 – 3 years ago. We have waited even longer for Sony to reorganise their menus! With the A7S III, they have finally implemented a Panasonic / Fujifilm style menu but the results don’t look aesthetic.

The Sony A7S III was promised to be “revolutionary”, an “everything is new” camera. I’d say it is more like an “everything is tweaked” camera, but I do like the new 4K/120p continuous recording (not limited to S&Q but up to 30 minutes in 10bit) and a seemingly efficient modern processor to handle the heat, although as we saw with the EOS R5 early quick-tests cannot be relied on for the full story. As for the tweaks – better EVF, faster BSI sensor, improved controls, new media, bigger full sized HDMI, 10bit 4:2:2 codec, H.265 option and of course those new menus. But it’s not the space-age camera some were anticipating from the rumours. Sony’s advanced Quad Bayer sensor did not make it. Stills remain at just 12 megapixel. There is no 8K recording. There is no internal RAW codec. There is no internal e-ND filter. There is a small crop in 4K/120fps. The ergonomics follow the A7R IV to a tee, so there’s not really a revolution here as far as hybrid usage goes and it is very much a stills camera design rather than anything more adventurous. At least the camera now has a GH5 / S1H style fully articulated screen!

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