In the year that is now the ten year anniversary of Sony releasing their first Alpha full-frame interchangeable lens mirrorless camera with the Sony a7, the legacy electronics company chose to mark the occasion by announcing another breakthrough camera with their new Sony a9 III.
The Sony a9 III is the world’s first full-frame mirrorless camera to incorporate a global shutter image sensor. A major technological innovation that should see a wide array of improvements to all aspects of this new camera’s photo and video capabilities.
Let’s take a look at this new Sony a9 III and explore its video features and improvements unlocked by this new global shutter image sensor to see where it might stack up in today’s crowded mirrorless camera market.
Introducing the Sony a9 III
While we’ll get a bit more into the global shutter technology at play in this camera a bit below, let’s start off the bat by looking at some of the base specs and features packed into this new Sony a9 III. As you might expect with a major Sony camera, it’s of course developed for both photo and video needs. And if we’re being honest, the a9 III might be more appealing to photographers than videographers here off the bat.
But still, with a 24.6MP sensor that makes use of Sony's powerful BIONZ X processor and their new AI Processing Unit, the a9 III will most likely prove to be a quite capable camera that can provide some incredible responsiveness and reliability for all manner of content creators.
For video specifically, the a9 III will be able to capture and down-sample the full 6K image area to produce high-quality UHD 4K at up to 60 fps. It will also be able to record 4K at up to 120 fps with no crop. It’s going to be able to record 10-bit 4:2:2 internally by using All-I encoding to maximize quality as well as output 16-bit raw via the full-size HDMI port to a compatible external recorder.
The Sony a9 III will also include S-Log3, S-Cinetone and other Picture Profiles so that creators and filmmakers alike will be able to optimize their footage for whatever your workflow and production environments need.
Global Shutter — A First for Mirrorless
While those video specs are all well and good for a standard 4K digital mirrorless camera these days, the true calling card of the new Sony a9 III is the global shutter. With the a9 III Sony has delivered the world's first full-frame global shutter mirrorless camera. This use of global shutter should provide a leap in performance over the rolling shutter technology used for decades.
With a global shutter providing near instantaneous and simultaneous readout of all 24.6MP, images should be able to fully eliminate skew and other artifacts that can often be found in rolling shutter capture.
This tech should also surpass mechanical shutter technology in almost every way, which will likely lead the physical shutter in the camera moot.
Overall, global shutter should help to ensure consistent and uniform exposure across your entire frame in all lighting conditions. The simultaneous readout will also prevent banding from certain light sources such as fluorescent lighting or other odd mixed lighting situations.
The backside of the Sony a9 III
Full Specs, Price and Availability
At the end of the day, it’s always a good thing (and frankly, just cool) to see a new camera come out that pushes technology forward in such a way. We can debate later as to how meaningful global shutter is over rolling shutter, but as the world’s first full-frame global shutter image sensor camera, the Sony a9 III should turn a few heads at the very least.
The Sony a9 III is set to retail at a price point of $5,998.00, which is a bit high if you just look at its 4K video specs when compared to other 4K mirrorless cameras on the market. The Sony a9 III is expected to officially arrive and be ready to pick up in spring 2024.
Here are the full specs and features, as well as price and pre-order options below.
- 24.6MP Full-Frame Global Shutter Sensor
- Up to 120 fps Cont. Shooting with AF/AE
- Pre-Capture Function; Speed Boost Button
- Flash Sync at up to 1/80,000 Sec.
- 4K 120p 10-bit Video; S-Log3 & S-Cinetone
- 759-Point Phase-Detect AF with Tracking
- 8-Stop 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
- 9.44m-Dot EVF with 240 fps Refresh Rate
- 3.2" 2.1m-Dot 4-Axis Touchscreen LCD
- Dual CFexpress Type A/SD Card Slots
Laying claim to the title of world's first global shutter mirrorless camera, the Sony a9 III is a speedy and incredibly capable system for sports, wildlife, photojournalism, and much, much more.Jourdan Aldredge