It’s Confirmed: Sony a7s III is Arriving Summer 2020

Expect the Sony a7s III to have the best sensor of the Alpha series to date.

DPreview has confirmed rumors through an exclusive interview with Kenji Tanaka of Sony about the highly-anticipated a7s II successor. The article mentions "everything is new" and the camera "will be coming later this summer." 

When asked, Tanaka said, "We’ve received many requests, especially from professional video content creators, and I can confirm that a successor to the a7S II will be coming later this summer. Right now we’re focused on the launch of the new camera, and it will be a complete redesign of the whole system, including the image sensor. Everything is new. We hope it will meet and exceed the expectations and requests of our customers. I’m very confident that our new model will meet their demands."

Tanaka also goes on to say features, including 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, are in the pipeline. Sony is considering RAW as well. "We’re aware that there is a certain amount of demand for RAW video. As you know, our customers include a lot of professionals, so we’re working hard to be able to deliver RAW data capture to these people."

Another interesting quote is the reclassification of the 'S'. Tanaka says, it "originally stood for ‘sensitivity’ but now I think it should stand for ‘supreme’ in terms of image quality, and expression. It comes from having really big pixels. I think that many professionals and high-end users will enjoy the new camera." 

So, its possible multi-year delay is due to a new sensor design. If Tanaka is suggesting the camera will have "really big pixels," the sensor is most likely a complete overhaul and not something found on the a9 II. 

Sony FX9

There are many things that affect the quality of the image. Just because a camera has a high megapixel count or records at a high resolution doesn't mean it produces better images than one with a lower count. Pixels capture light. That light is turned into data and eventually becomes the image. The data captured is either good data or noise. Larger pixels tend to capture more good data than smaller pixels. If Sony is aiming for bigger pixels, then this is good news for filmmakers, especially for those shooting in low light conditions. 

Pixel pitch is another area Sony is possibly considering. Pixel pitch refers to the density of pixels on a sensor and is usually measured in microns. The Sony a7s II has around 5.97 microns while the RED's Helium 8K S35 sensor packs in 3.65 microns. Generally, the higher the pixel density, (the lower number) the better the image. But that's not always true as it all depends on the sensor design. While some may point out the aperture of a lens is the most important factor when collecting light and not the sensor size or pixels size, generally, a larger sensor with densely packed pixels is going to perform better on modern cameras. Is this where Sony is possibly headed? 

When Sony introduced the PXW-FX9, it combined features of the VENICE and the Alpha series. Is Sony looking to do the same for the a7s III? Why not? The research is there. The FX9 has a full-frame 6K sensor that oversamples to produce 4K DCI. Why wouldn't Sony take advantage of its existing Cine Alta series and start incorporating it into the Alpha universe? It seems logical especially if the company wants to continue to market the Alpha cameras as a viable B- or C-camera to its cinema line. But only time will tell. 

What features do you think the a7s III will have? Let us know in the comments below.      

Your Comment


I'm beginning to lose hope of seeing an official FX6 announcement this year.

June 30, 2020 at 6:16PM


Not coming this summer:
"Announced" this summer...
Availability for Christmas 2020 without the main recording mode
Firmware 1.0 beta upgrade for March 2021 with half of it
and final firmware with 4k60p 10 bita available to download on June 2021.

June 30, 2020 at 7:23PM

DoP freelance cameraman 4K HK & Shanghai.

...ends up shooting raw, but only over HDMI to an atomos recorder.

July 3, 2020 at 8:58AM

Jesse Yules

Expect the Sony a7s III to have the best sensor of the Alpha series to date.

July 1, 2020 at 12:50AM

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July 1, 2020 at 5:40AM


nice post

July 1, 2020 at 10:35PM

Hafiz Shahid
Social Media Marketing

Will be interesting to see the specs. Also if the color in the final image is compatable with existing Sony alpha series cameras. (ie. can the color science match up with other Sony cameras like fs7, fs5, a7iii, a6400). They have been saying its been not that straight forward to match up the new fx9 to the past cameras for color science.

July 2, 2020 at 7:45AM, Edited July 2, 7:45AM

Dan Kim

I'm going to pass on this A7s iii. Rumor has it that the A7s iv is going to be announced in September of this year. I'm holding my breath for that camera. 12 bit 4:4:4:, 8k sensor, Sony SR codec, Raw Format, and 25 stops of dynamic range

July 2, 2020 at 12:48PM

Tim Kuhlman
Real Estate Videographer

Actually it will be 32 bit 8:8:8 according to a very reliable source... who I can't name.

July 2, 2020 at 6:02PM

Chris Tangey
Cinematographer (including aerial) /Location Manager

“ Generally, the higher the pixel density the better the image” - this statement is completely false. The best example would be a phone camera, let’s say an iPhone vs an a7s mk2 sensor. Both are roughly 12Mp but the phone has a 1.22 µm pixel pitch vs 8.4 µm on the Sony. The large pixels is one of the things that Arri fans love about the Alexa sensor over e.g a RED Helium sensor (aside the obvious color science differences).

July 3, 2020 at 12:27PM

Tim Sessler