Sony Alpha a7S III Delivers Next-Generation Video

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Does anyone know if the external HDMI 4k 60p limit is bound to the HDMI port on the camera or is it because of the limitations of the atomos ninja V? Is the HDMI port on the camera capable of exporting 4k 120p? Trying to decide if I should get a ninja V or wait till their next model which might be able to do 4k 120p. 

Hello, I preordered the A7Siii with the memory card kit and the time I preordered, expected shipping date was 9/23, then I see on the 2nd comment below that expected is 9/24. Any updates if the preorder was made back on August 7? Just wondering, B&H has always been good to me. Thank you.

Hello Cj C.

Unfortunately, the A7S III has not yet shipped and we're anxiously awaiting our first delivery.  While we do not have an ETA we can offer at this time, we will e-mail you as soon as your order has shipped on our end.  We're very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you and we appreciate your business.

I have a question about adapting Canon full frame lenses. The A7SIII no longer supports 4K crop mode (APS-C). I have a lot of full frame Canon glass that I'd like to adapt for video (though to be honest autofocus etc its not a concern, so it can be a smart or "dumb" adapter), but what I know about most EF to E adapters is that they don't project a full frame image circle, only an APS-C image circle. With the A7SIII no longer supporting full resolution crop modes, is there ANY adapter out there that will get full frame Canon glass onto the A7SIII in full 4K? Again, doesn't need to be a speed booster or smart adapter, just needs to project a full frame image circle. 

Hi Aimee,

Actually, most Canon EF to Sony E adapters are full-frame compatible these days. For proper functionality you will need a "smart" adapter since most Canon glass requires electronic communication for aperture control (unless you have third-party manual lenses). Two commonly recommended options are the Metabones T Smart Adapter or Sigma MC-11. A more affordable option would be the Vello Auto Lens Adapter. If you actually don't need a smart adapter you can get something like the Fotodiox Mount Adapter.

This is not something an adapter can fix.  The A7SIII does not allow 4K recording in the APS-C or Super 35mm Cropped Mode.  This is simply a limitation of the camera.

I already pre-ordered. When will it ship? More or less.

We are expecting to begin shipping the camera on September 24. Please keep in mind that this is subject to change and that other factors, such as quantity received, can impact actual delivery times. We want you to get your camera as much as you do! But, we don’t have control over everything unfortunately.

How many seconds per gb would you estimate the 16bit raw 4k 60 to be?

As an estimate, 3-6 seconds per GB for 4K 60. I’m basing this guess off the data rates of 4K ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ. ProRes RAW uses variable bitrates so it can fluctuate depending on your subject.

Are we able to import LUTs onto the new a7siii for image preview?

No unfortunately you cannot use custom LUTs on the a7S III. There are built-in Gamma Display Assists for the standard Log and HDR profiles though.

Please tell me this is a joke with only 12mp sensor? For the price I can get a FijiFilm GFX50R

Would you say the same about an Arri Alexa at 7.5mp??? Bigger pixels are better than more pixels. It can be used for huge prints as well if you know what your doing.

Lower resolution sensors offer numerous benefits, especially for video recording and low-light performance. The a7S III is intended for these roles. Sony has developed the a7R IV for high-resolution still imaging applications.

This camera isn't for you if you don't understand that 12mp for video is ideal. 

Does it record 4K DCI? I have not seen any info to that effect.

It will not record DCI 4K. The closest you could get is the raw output which is 4264 x 2408 (still 16:9 ratio) and then crop/down sample into a DCI timeline. This would be the only way to do so without upscaling.

Why is it so much cheaper for me as a European to order it from you guys with all the taxes and import fees than buying it from a german store? It would cost me around 1000$ less to order it from B&H.

I am sorry, but we cannot speak to why other stores outside of the USA would charge in a different way than us.

Three questions! First, how does the autofocus in video using a metabones or sigma MC-11 with ef lenses compare to using native E lenses? This is a worry as I've seen its very laggy on other sony cameras.  Second, using the 422 10 bit codecs in 1080 and 4k, how long can you record per gig (or per 100 gigs if thats easier to measure). I'm trying to estimate how much media I'll need.  Lastly, I see all codecs can record to SD card except for 4k 120P. What is the minimum level of SD card needed to record 422 10bit in 4k? Thanks!

We won’t know 100% about performance, but I would guess it is similar to performance on other recent Sony releases. Perhaps the FX9 if you can find some tests out there.

The codecs are getting quite heavy at those frame rates and keep in mind my guesses here are estimates based on the goal bitrates. Go for bigger cards if you can, with 128GB being safe. Personally I think XAVC HS is the best mix of quality and compression, but the H.265 encoding is tougher on computers.

- 4K 24p 10-bit in XAVC S or XAVC HS is 100 Mb/s, which is about 1 min 20 seconds per GB.

- 4K 120p 10-bit in XAVC S or XAVC HS is 280 Mb/s, which is about 30 seconds per GB.

- 4K 60p 10-bit in XAVC S-I is 600 Mb/s, which is just under 15 seconds per GB.

- Full HD 24p 10-bit is much lighter, starting at 50 Mb/s and going up to about 222 Mb/s, which will be 2 min 40 second to about 45 seconds per GB, depending on your modes.

You’ll need a V60-rated SD card to record 4K 120p 10-bit 4:2:2 in XAVC S or XAVC HS. You will need a V90-rated SD card for the same settings in XAVC S-I (intraframe). Or, if you opt to use the Slow & Quick Motion mode specifically with the XAVC S-I option you will need CFexpress Type A.

Hi, does the a7siii work with Sony SMAD-P3 MI Shoe Adaptor, to allow my 2 radio mics to go to the A7siii audio channels?

There should be no problem using the Sony SMAD-P3 on the a7S III.

Can I use a regular SD card like Sandisk Extreme Pro (170MB/s) to record 4K 120p in 10-bit 4:2:2? Thank you!

Unfortunately no. You will need a card that is rated at least V60 for 4K120 10-bit 4:2:2 in XAVC HS, though V90 is necessary for the higher bitrate (XAVC S-I) options and CFexpress is required for Slow & Quick Motion 4K120 using XAVC S-I. 

The reason for this is that stated memory card speeds are theoretical peak maximums. This means the card might be able to hit that top speed but it may not be able to sustain it. V## ratings, such as V60 and V90, are actual minimum sustained speed ratings. That means it will be able to maintain writing at at least 60 MB/s or 90 MB/s, critical for high-frame-rate video recording. CFexpress Type A is faster than SD all around so all of those cards will work with all modes.

I want to find a great manual focus "ultra-wide" lens for The Sony Alpha A7s III, would that be the Rokinon 14mm f/28 Series II Lens or is there a better choice for an Ultra Wide Lens?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1565708-REG/rokinon_se14_e_14mm_f_2_8_series_ii.html

Thanks!

For budget shooters the Rokinon you found is likely to be a great manual focus ultra-wide lens for the a7S III.

Thank you Shawn!

I am wondering if the auto focus will work with Canon EF lenses on it. Will the a7s ii metabones work for the a7s iii or are they making a new one for the autofocus feature. 

Metabones has made many of their electronic adapters updateable and have released firmware to fix bugs and add compatibility. I would suspect the adapter will work well already but may require a firmware update for perfect compatibility.

Wondering if when outputting to an eternal source like the Atomos Ninja V does the screen still go black and just show settings like my a7III and FS5 M2? This drives me nuts as sometimes I want to let my director use the Atomos for viewing but can't as I don't have a monitor to work with myself. 

When using the clean HDMI output you will still have full use of the a7S III’s touchscreen, including a live view image. In my testing, the one instance where it turned off was when I output the unclean signal with all the menu items and info displayed on it. Not sure why that is that way. But for traditional video purposes where you’ll use clean HDMI anyway you will not lose a thing.

This has Clean HDMI Out - correct?  

Yup! It can do 10-bit 4:2:2 output in 4K up to 60p. It can also output a 4K 16-bit raw signal up to 60p with compatible external recorders, such as the Atomos Ninja V.

Just above these comments you list the VG-C4EM Vertical Grip as a top accessory. Now if you go to the A7siii product page it lists the VG-C3EM Vertical Grip as a compatible accessory... I was even told in the Q&A by Staff that it was the latter... Can you clarify? I'd really like to purchase the right one but this is getting confusing. Thanks!

Hi!

We actually noticed this earlier and the changes should be made very very soon. Sony listed the newer VG-C4EM as the compatible grip.

Super impressed with the specs! Loving what I learn so far with the camera but I have one super important question, since this is a video centric hybrid camera, like the Panasonic S1H, will this have the option to change the shutter system from 'Shutter Speed' to 'Shutter Angle'? I'm more familiar using SA than SS.

It does not currently have a shutter angle function. A couple people actually suggested this as a feature to Sony during our live events yesterday.

Hi!

Do you know if the A7S III has the same 1.1x crop in 4K100p for PAL recording as it does for 4K120p in NTSC? Thank you!

Alex.

Hi Alex,

Yes, there is still a 1.1x crop in both the 100p PAL and 120p NTSC modes.

Did they lift the 30m record limit? Can it record continuous video for an hour (or more)?

Yes it can. The only resolution&frame rate that is limited I think is the 4K120p. 

There are no recording limits and it can record continuously for over an hour.

Unlimited recording time.

Big question does it badly overheat like the a7 3? The a7s ii at least didn't over heat very easily. The a7 3 is very difficult to work with, sometimes over heats and shuts off within 5mins and exact same setup on a7s ii could go anywhere from half hour to an hour before warnings on same settings, lenses etc. Biggest flaw overheating and air flow!

Overheating has been addressed with the a7S III. Sony has stated officially the camera’s passive system should permit 4K60p recordings of over an hour without overheating. Many tests, including some done ourselves, showed results that dramatically exceeded those expectations.

12.5 MP for three grand+....you've got to be kidding me, not caring about "fps", 4k's, and ISOs.....just quality resolution stills. I guess this is not for me

If you’re looking for a photo camera, there are better options. This is mainly a camera made for amazing quality video and that can also do some stills.

Hi Michael,

The a7S III is very much a video-first mirrorless camera. For stills only there are plenty of much better options, on the Sony side that would include the a7R IV.

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