I hate to make the comparison, but it seems like Sony is actually listening to its customers instead of what Canon has been doing for so many years now. When I shot Canon, I always thought about ways a camera can be improved, and generation after generation they wouldn’t address these possibilities for improvement. Sony seems to have addressed almost every way their users wanted their cameras improved… and then some!
As someone who owns an A7RII and two A7SIIs, it leaves me wondering what the A7SIII will be like. After playing with the A7RIII at the Photo Plus Expo in NYC this past weekend, I am super excited for the next generation of A7 cameras. Here are 7 of my thoughts on what I’m hoping the A7SIII will feature based on the A7RIII specs and how it will help for video:
1. Battery Life
It’s clear that Sony has fixed the main issue that their users have been complaining about, and that’s battery life. All their new full frame bodies will use the new NP-FZ100 battery that the A9 features, which gives the A7 camera 2.2x more battery life which is HUGE. As someone who uses their A7SIIs on long wedding shoots (10-12hrs) this is a huge improvement and I think it’s safe to say that the A7SIII will feature the use of this larger battery also.
Along with that bigger battery comes a slightly larger body to accommodate. From handling the A7RIII, you can feel a beefier grip and it feels a little better in the hands. I’m not 100% sure on this, but it seems like it shares the same body (or very similar) to the A9. The only form factor wasn’t a big deal for me, but it’s nice that the A7RIII has a little bit of junk in the trunk to hold on to, and I’m sure the A7SIII will have the same.
2. Touch Screen
Even with all of the innovations of the second generation Sony A7 cameras, I still couldn’t believe they didn’t have a touch screen. Now, we’re all happy to see that all of Sony’s new full frame cameras are coming out with touch screens which I think is more important for video than photo, which is why I’m happy to see this most likely coming to the A7SIII. I was always jealous of Canon or Panasonic shooters that were able to touch to rack focus back and forth on different subjects in the frame, and now we will finally be able to do that.
3. Record Button Has Been Moved
ABOUT TIME!!!! I hope the guy at Sony HQ who put the location of the record button on the A7SII got fired without severance. It’s nice to see the record button on the back of the A7RIII in a normal and more natural location. With my A7SII’s, I reprogramed the C2 button for recording but hopefully for the A7SIII, I can leave the record button where it is and save C2 for another custom function.
4. Additional Stop Of In Body Stabilization
We had 4.5 stops of in body image stabilization (IBIS) in the 2nd generation A7 bodies, and now Sony managed to squeeze out another stop. This was huge for hand held video and is only getting better. As a video shooter, I can’t imagine ever using any camera without IBIS ever again, so this extra stop of stabilization will be a nice touch to the A7SIII.
5. Sharper Video
The A7RIII has an improved 4k video by downscaling a 5k image in camera. Sony has been doing this a lot with their cameras recently such as the a6500 and I can’t wait to see the clarity of the video now. This might be a stretch since the A7S only has a 12mp sensor, but it would be nice to see if the geniuses over at Sony were able to pull a bit more detail out of that sensor to get a downscalable 5k image with the A7SIII. This would also come along with being able to shoot APS-C at 4k also instead of 1080p like with the A7SII. That would be a huge plus.
6. Improved AF
I think the biggest downfall of the A7SII was the lack of hybrid phase detection AF that almost every other Sony camera has. By only having contrast detection AF, it’s hard to keep subjects in focus while shooting video, which is kind of an oxymoron to me. Having AF while shooting video makes you think you can fly on a gimbal or track moving subjects with ease but it’s not that simple with only having contrast AF. Even when I would try to shoot photos with the A7SII, there were certain instances where the AF wouldn’t focus accurately or fast enough. The A7RII does a much better job than the A7SII and I'm praying that the A7SIII will feature phase detect AF to make it that much closer to being a near perfect camera.
7. Improved Slow Motion
I believe that 4k at 60p is the new standard in well-renowned video cameras. The A7SII shoots amazing 4k up to 30p, so a nice upgrade to that would be to have that improved to 60p. I hate not having slow motion options when shooting a project in 4k.
The A7RIII has an improvement from its predecessor of 120fps at 720p to 120fps at 1080p now like the Sony A7SII but that means that it’s still a 2x crop. I wish it was full frame when over cranked this high or at least a 1.5x crop would help a lot as well. I just wish I could get those super wide super slow motion shots that I keep seeing people with Canon 1Dx’s getting.
I know that It’s completely understandable to not make a “do it all” camera but after seeing how much Sony keeps improving their cameras, these hopes might not be far off. Are these requests unrealistic? What do you think? What would you like to see in the A7SIII?
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