Sony a7S III vs Sony a7 III | Key Differences

Sony a7S III is a low light shooting beast in the market and mainly aims at professional videographers. Sony a7 III on the other hand satisfies the need for both still photographers and videographers at a price that does not disappoint. How will it look when we compare a medium-end Sony a7 III from the Alpha lineup against the mighty Sony a7S III? Let’s take a look at Sony a7S III vs Sony a7 III comparison.

Price Comparison | Sony a7S III vs Sony a7 III

Sony a7S IIISony a7 III
Price (Amazon)Check Current Price & AvailabilityCheck Current Price & Availability
Launch DateSeptember 24, 202026 February 2018
Sony a7S III vs a7 III | Price Comparison

Sony a7S III – Unique Features

Record 4K 16-Bit RAW Externally – Sony a7S III

4K 10-bit and 4K RAW recording! Sony a7 III is nowhere near the a7S III in terms of video recording. Keep in mind that a7S III is a full-fledged video recording beast and a7 III is a still photography camera that provides a decent 4K video at a decent price. The improved Bionz XR processor in Sony a7S III, compared to the Bionz X in a7 III, really boosts the image and video processing capabilities of a7S III. The low light king Sony a7S III supports 4K RAW (16-bit) recording up to 60 fps only with an external recorder. At the time of this writing, there are no external recorders in the market that supports a frame rate more than 60fps. This may change sooner or later.

Record 4K 120 fps 10-bit videos Internally – Sony a7S III

Sony a7S III is capable of shooting 4K video at 120 fps supporting 10-bit video output at 4:2:2, and that too internally. Thanks to its Bionz XR image processor which is 8x faster than the Bionz X processor available in Sony a7 III. Sony s7S III utilized all of this pumping into better video output. This is a game-changer in 4K video recording cameras.

Unfortunately, Sony a7S III does not support 8K video recording as Canon EOS R5. Check out our comparison on Sony a7S III vs Canon R5.

Larger Pixel Size – Sony a7S III

Both Sony a7S III and a7 III feature the same BSI-CMOS 35.6 x 23.8 mm Exmor R sensors. However, a7S III has an effective resolution (12.1 MP) smaller than a7 III(24.2 MP). This allows Sony a7S III to increase the individual pixel size in order to gather more light information for better low light shooting results. But remember you’re sacrificing resolution here. If you’re a still photographer who also deals with large prints, going with a higher resolution camera will suit your needs.

H.265 support – Sony a7S III

H.265 is a video codec that produces smaller size videos without compensating on quality. However, the processing power required with H.265 is higher than the conventional H.264 codec. Exmor R clubbed with the Bionz XR allows Sony a7S III to store videos as H.265. This in turn allows the user to store longer videos with the same storage.

Sony a7S III vs Sony a7 III – Comparison in different Areas

Still Photography

Sony a7S III targets at the video market, whereas the a7 III is a still photography camera that also records videos. a7 III can shoot high clarity still photos for you if you are a still photographer, whereas a7S III can shoot decent photos compared to the full-fledged still photography camera a7 III. This is a close call for a photographer. if you shoot videos occasionally and want a decent still photography camera that won’t empty your wallet, opt for Sony a7 III.

Video Recording

We already discussed the exceptional 4K capability of a7S III. Note that Sony a7S III adds a crop factor of 1.1x while recording 4K. Sony a7 III also introduces a crop factor value of 1.2x while recording 4K. Keep this in mind so that you can compensate for the field of view while going for 4K videos.

Now, both a7S III and a7 III can shoot videos in 4K and Full HD. Since a7S III is a video-centric camera so it can record 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 videos up to 120 fps and store them internally in H.265/XAVC. At FHD (Full HD) resolution, it can record and store 10-bit 4:2:2 videos in H.264/XAVC S 4:2:2 up to 240 fps. So you can get amazing slow-motion shots with Sony a7S III. In contrast, a7 III only supports up to 30 fps in 4K recording and 120 fps in FHD recording.

Both models come with HDR support.

Autofocus

Both Sony a7S III and a7 III features the hybrid phase-detect AF. However, a7S III accommodates 759 focus points compared to the 693 focus points in Sony a7 III. Increased focal points offer better motion tracking in a7S III than a7 III. They also feature eye-tracking, & face tracking.

Shutter Speed, & ISO

Both models support 1/8000 s to 30 s shutter speed. Additionally, both models deliver a 10 fps continuous drive speed. However, Sony a7S III can store up to 1000 RAW files compared to 89 RAW files count of a7 III. If you have to cover a lot of shot bursts in an action scene, going with Sony a7 III would not be a wise choice.

Sony a7S III supports a wider ISO range (80-102400) than the a7 III(100-52100). The extended ISO range is even wider in a7S III. This will help you in low light conditions to boost the sensitivity to light.

Viewfinder & Monitor

Sony a7S III boasts the world’s first XGA OLED electronic viewfinder(EVF), whereas the a7 III has an OLED EVF. It has a superior 0.64″ 9,437,184 dotted EVF compared to the 0.5″ 2,359,000 dotted EVF in Sony a7 III. Note that Sony a7S III has a fully articulating monitor with a larger resolution(1,440,000 Dots) than a7 III’s monitor.

Apart from the above-discussed features, a7S III features 2 hybrid slots that support UHS-II and CFexpress Type A, whereas 1 slot in a7 III supports UHS-II and the second slot supports UHS-I. CFexpress Type A cards are faster than other card types and hence provide a better speed while shooting 4:2:2 10-bit videos.

In terms of weight, Sony a7S III (699g) weighs more than a7 III (650g).

Sony a7 III offers a better battery life than a7S III when it comes to taking shots, (710 shots in a7 III vs 600 shots a7S III).

Specifications Comparison| Sony a7S III vs Sony a7 III

Camera FeatureSony a7S IIISony a7 III
SensorBIS-CMOS 35.6 x 23.8 mm Exmor RBIS-CMOS 35.6 x 23.8 mm Exmor R
Image ProcessorBionz XRBionz X
Lens MountSony ESony E
Effective Pixels12.1 MP24.2 MP
Maximum Resolution4240 x 28326000 x 4000
ISO Range (Extended)80 to 102400 (40 to 409600)100 to 51200 (50 to 204800)
Shutter Speed1/8000 s to 30 s1/8000 s to 30 s
Continuous Drift Speed10 fps at 12.1 MP for up to 1000 RAW/JPEG10 fps at 24.2 MP for up to 89 frames RAW / 177 frames JPEG
Auto FocusPhase Detection: 759
Contrast Detection: 425
Phase Detection: 693
Contrast Detection: 425
IBIS5-Axis Sensor-Shift5-Axis Sensor-Shift
IBIS Ratingup to 5.5 stopsup to 5 stops
Supported Image File FormatsJPEG, Raw, HEIFJPEG, Raw
Image Bit Depth14-Bit14-Bit
Supported Video FormatsMPEG-4, XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S-1, H.264, H.265MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264
4K RAW SupportYes, 16-Bit RAW up to 60 fps externallyN/A
Other 4K Recording ModesH.265/XAVC HS 4:2:2 10-Bit at 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 100, 119.88 fps (50 to 280 Mb/s)
H.265/XAVC HS 4:2:0 10-Bit at 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 100, 119.88 fps (30 to 200 Mb/s)
XAVC S/H.264 at at 23.976, 25, 29.97 fps (60 to 100 Mb/s)
Other Video Recording ModesH.264/XAVC S 4:2:2 10-Bit FHD at 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 100, 119.88, 200, 239.76 fps (50 Mb/s)
H.264/XAVC S 4:2:0 8-Bit FHD at 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 100, 119.88, 200, 239.76 fps (16 to 100 Mb/s)
XAVC S/H.264 FHD at 100, 119.88 fps (60 to 100 Mb/s)
 XAVC S/H.264 FHD at 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94 fps (50 Mb/s)
External Recording Modes4:2:2 10-Bit 4K at 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94 fps
FHD at 23.976, 50, 59.94 fps
4:2:0 8-Bit 4K at 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94 fps
FHD at 23.976, 50, 59.94 fps
4:2:2 8-Bit 4K at 24.00, 25, 29.97 fps
FHD at 24.00, 50, 59.94 fps
4K Crop Factor1.1x1.2x
ViewfinderElectronic 9,437,184 Dots 0.64″Electronic 2,359,000 Dots 0.5″
Monitor3″ Articulating Touchscreen TFT LCD3″ Tilting Touchscreen TFT LCD
Monitor Resolution1,440,000 Dots921,600 Dots
Maximum Flash Sync Speed1/250 Second1/250 Second
Memory Card Slot2 hybrid slots – CFexpress Type A / SDSlot 1: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Slot 2: SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Duo Hybrid (UHS-I)
Battery Life600 shot710 shots
Weight699g650g
Current PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Sony a7S III vs Sony a7 III | Specifications Comparison
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Adarsh R

A blend of a photographer, a movie lover, and now a writer.