To imagine what tomorrow’s cameras will look like, you needn’t look much further than Sony. Forever innovating and pushing boundaries, Sony is fast redefining the look, feel and performance of photographic gear. And customer expectations are following suit.
Since CameraPro began in 2007 we’ve seen a lot of standout cameras from all manufacturers, and many of them bear the Sony badge. With that in mind, let’s reflect on Sony’s latest and greatest hits.
Released: October 2017
Without exaggeration, the comfortably sized and weather resistant Sony A7R III is considered by many as one of the best cameras ever made. While the majority of stills cameras specialise in either image quality or speed, the A7R III manages to do both – as well as 4K/30p video.
Like earlier A7R models, the A7R III boasts a remarkably high resolution full-frame sensor; with the added advantage of pixel shift technology, this renders every subject in ultrafine detail. Whether it’s a dusky landscape stretching towards the horizon, or a delicate snowflake caught on an eyelash, photos and videos taken on the A7R III look truer to life – no matter how dark the shadows or how bright highlights. Not only that, the sensor also offers ample freedom for you to crop frames (so you can emphasise some minor detail) or print on a large scale for maximum impact.
A 10 fps burst rate and fast, sophisticated autofocus system provide the speed you need to sharply capture virtually any moment, be it a match-winning goal or a bird of prey caught mid-flight. The camera’s large, bright viewfinder and LCD touch screen—together with revamped controls, menus and in-body stabilisation—make an almost effortless task of this.
Released: February 2018
Launched shortly after the A7R III, the Sony A7 III became the most sought after camera of 2018 – and for good reason. This ‘entry-level’ full frame mirrorless model is almost physically identical to the higher-end A7R III and, though it doesn’t meet certain features of the A7R III, it outdoes that camera in numerous respects including battery life, low light performance, buffer speed, and autofocus.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the A7 III would not excel. Its sensor (albeit lower res than the A7R III’s) produces stunningly lifelike imagery. It offers industry-leading dynamic range (up to 15 stops) wide enough to handle bright light streaming into a dark cave or cathedral, and sufficient sensitivity to keep that darkness clean. Thanks to efficient sequential shooting and the action-oriented Sony A9’s AF system, it can sharply capture fast and unpredictably moving subjects, from wild animals to race cars, so there’s little change of missing that crucial shot. And with pro video capabilities including oversampled 4K/24p, it can record footage in polished, captivating detail.
Even a year after its release, the A7 III remains unrivalled in terms of value for money. Its brilliant specs and attractive price point make the A7 III equally appealing to hobbyists and professionals.
Scheduled for release: Late February 2019
Superseding the A6300 (and slotting between the A6000 and A6500), the highly usable and versatile Sony A6400 is equally ideal for impromptu stills, quickly captured video, and vlogging. With an APS-C sensor and lightweight, portable, and dust- and moisture-resistant design, this camera is the perfect option for anyone wanting to travel light but still get excellent picture quality. The A6400’s state-of-the-art focusing is amazingly fast (more so than any other camera in its class, at 0.02 seconds), as is its burst rate, making it easy to catch dynamic performances, street life, social activities, and other action at a moment’s notice.
Videographers have a fantastic choice of not only 4K with full pixel readout (delivering incredible detail) but also fast and slow motion in full high definition, and time lapse movies. A lift on the usual 29 minute recording limit means you can film without interruption, subject to power and memory – great news to all filmmakers but particularly documentarists and feature producers. Also welcome is the large, high resolution touchscreen, which tilts as much as 180° so you can shoot in challenging light or from creative angles and frame up selfies and vlogs.