Sony A7S III Vs Sony A9 II | Similarities and differences

The A7S lineup got the right boost with the arrival of Sony A7S III, a camera rejoiced for its exceptional 4K recording capability, light-gathering, and low light performances. Even at extreme ISO settings, this camera produces exceptional low noise results unlike any other competitor in its class. Sony A9 II, on the other hand, is a sports photography camera that boasts a 24.2 MP resolution along with the incredible Sony live tracking technology that tracks very fast movement. Let’s compare Sony a7S III vs Sony a9 II and take a closer look to understand how both models stand apart and find which one suits you best.

Camera ModelPrice (Amazon)
Sony a7S IIICheck Current Price & Availability
Sony a9 IICheck Current Price & Availability
Pricing and Availability | Sony a7S III vs Sony a9 II

Sony A7S III vs Sony A9 II

Both models have a tremendous following and we will discuss why they are good at getting things done. Before we start, it is crucial to keep in mind that Sony A7S III is a camera targeted for film-makers, which also takes decent photos as well. In contrast, A9 II is a high-end sports camera that can capture fast motion that will let you enter the professional side of sports photography. Moving on.

Sensor

Exmor RS, that powers Sony A9 II, is the world’s first stacked CMOS sensor. This stacked sensor has a layer for capturing the data and another layer to process the captured data. And this is what enables A9 II to shoot at a whopping 20 fps continuous burst speed without blackout along with 24.2 MP resolution, even with a full-frame sensor. Unlike the A9 II, Sony A7S III packs a 12.1 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor Exmor R that can gather more light. Thanks to the larger pixel size (not resolution) that allows this camera to do wonders in low lighting conditions.

Image Processor

The Sony A7S III features a Superior Bionz XR that is 8x faster than the older generation. This turns the machine into an excellent video maker that can produce 4:2:2 10-bit videos internally. Coupled with the back-illuminated sensor, A7S III excels in the area of 4K recording. The faster processing speed even lets it shoot 4K 16-bit RAW videos externally.

The Sony A9 II comes with a Bionz X processor and it supports the stacked sensor in processing data to output the image file. Where the Bionz X lack in speed, the stacked sensor catches up to make an incredible duo. This allows the A9 II to make extraordinary high detailed photos, with very fast shutter speed.

Following the discussion on the sensors and image processors, it is evident that both cameras belong to different spectrums. The Sony A7S III will be an excellent partner if you are more into video recording than shooting photos. And, the Sony A9 II is the beast you have been searching for to capture excellent fast-action photos. Let’s move on to the other aspects of both cameras.

Shutter Speed and ISO

The three key aspects of a camera that constitutes the exposure control are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Since the aperture is dependent on the lens used let’s talk about shutter speed. Sony A9 II can capture the fastest actions with its 1/32000s shutter speed, thanks to the excellent electronic shutter mechanism that helps this camera to capture continuous stills up to 20 fps without blackout. a9 II features an ISO range of 100-51200 that can be boosted up to 50-204800. But the low light sensitivity in A9 II is not as good as Sony A7S III. Overall, the ability to capture moving subjects within a fraction of a second makes this an incredible camera. However, you have to make sure that the subject is properly exposed, otherwise, you will shoot the dark.

Sony A7S III features a lower 1/8000s shutter speed but a higher ISO range of 80-102400 than Sony a9 II, which can further be boosted up to 40 to 409600. In terms of continuous shooting, a7S III can only shoot bursts up to 10 fps but up to 1000 RAW images. The combination of larger pixels and a better light sensitivity powers its owner to see and shoot what others hesitate to shoot, shooting in low lights. Sony a7S III will suit you best if you are a person who is frequently shooting in low-light. Even though Sony A7S III cannot capture stills as fast as A9 II, it can still be a nice still photography camera if you are using it inside studios with proper lighting.

Stabilization and Autofocus

In-built image stabilization or IBIS is a pro feature in a mirrorless camera, thanks to the mirror free design that lets manufacturers slip in an advanced IBIS module. Both Sony A7S III and A9 II perform very well in stabilization and compensates for up to 5.5 stops of light. This option will come in extremely handy if you don’t usually shoot on a tripod.

Autofocus is the most important feature that helps photographers when it comes to fast action capture or anything that involves movement. It is easier to shoot stationary objects against moving ones, let it be an athlete, or an eagle swooping down to catch its prey. Sony A9 II does an incredible job in motion tracking and so does the A7S III. Once the subject is in focus, the algorithms of these cameras make the hard work to track the subject until it is out of the frame. All you have to do is to follow the subject and compose it before pressing the shutter release button. They have in-built live tracking, animal tracking, and eye-tracking modes to find the subject in the frame.

Video | Sony A7S III vs Sony A9 II

Sony A7S III defeats the mighty A9 II when it comes to shooting videos. The high-speed Bionz XR processor lets the user shoot beautiful 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 videos internally up to 120 fps making it a monster for indie film-makers. In addition, it can also record 16-bit RAW 4k videos up to 60 fps with an external recorder. For wonderful slow-motion shots, this camera can shoot FHD videos up to 240 fps.

Unlike a7S III, Sony A9 II can shoot 4K videos only up 30 fps supporting 8-bit depth & 4:2:0 color sampling internally (4:2:2 with an external recorder). Unfortunately, there is no RAW video support in a9 II like a7S III. In regards to video recording capability, Sony A9 II is nowhere near a7S III. Sony A7S III is the beast that will be your best bet if you are a film-maker. It can help you shoot movies with impeccable quality, and a high frame rate, coupled with the modern high-speed CFexpress cards.

Monitor and Viewfinder

Both models feature a 1,440,000 dotted 3″ TFT LCD monitor. The A7S III features a fully articulating display allowing the users to easily shoot selfies, or make videos when working alone. This option is very useful for vloggers who need to see themselves recording. The A9 II on the other hand has a tilting screen.

The Sony A7S III features a slightly bigger 9,437,184 dotted 0.64″ OLED display whereas A9 II has a 3,686,400 dotted 0.5″ OLED electronic viewfinder. A7S III has a sharper display, but both models feature the same display refresh rate of 120Hz.

Other Features

Both models have 2 storage card slots that let you shoot videos without worrying about storage full notification. In addition, you can program different slots for photo and video storage, or you can program a backup from one card to another. Besides, the A7S III supports a faster CFexpress Type-A card and a better video codec H.265 that can encode videos without flooding on memory. Sony A7S III packs a battery rated for 600 shots and A9 II’s battery is rated for 690 shots. Sony A7S III has a lighter body which is an important aspect if you are a traveler. The Sony A9 II weighs 678g, (64 grams heavier than a7S III).

Specifications | Sony A7S III vs Sony A9 II

Camera FeatureSony A7S IIISony A9 II
SensorBIS-CMOS 35.6 x 23.8 mm Exmor RStacked-CMOS 35.6 x 23.8 mm Exmor RS
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 SpeedMechanical and Electronic Shutter: 1/8000 s to 30 sMechanical Shutter: 1/8000 s to 30 s
Electronic Shutter: 1/32000 to 30 s
Continuous Stills (Bursts)10 fps at 12.1 MP for up to 1000 RAW/JPEG20 fps at 24.2 MP for up to 239 frames RAW / 361 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 5.5 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, 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 at 24.00, 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 FHD at 24.00, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 100, 119.88 fps (50 to 100 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
4:2:2 8-Bit FHD at 24.00, 50, 59.94 fps
ViewfinderElectronic 9,437,184 Dots 0.64″Electronic 3,686,400 Dots 0.5″
Monitor3″ Articulating Touchscreen TFT LCD3″ Tilting Touchscreen TFT LCD
Monitor Resolution1,440,000 Dots1,440,000 Dots
Maximum Flash Sync Speed1/250 Second1/250 Second
Memory Card Slot2 hybrid slots – CFexpress Type A / SD2 Slots – SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
USB Type3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB ChargingYesYes
Battery Life600 shot690 shots
Weight614g678g
Current PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Specifications | Sony A7S III vs Sony A9 II

From the above comparison, it is safe to say that both models display impeccable qualities. Sony A7S III (Amazon) is a video recording camera that will let you shoot incredible 4K videos without compromising on quality. In addition, the low light sensitivity adds up to its overall rating. However, Sony A9 II (Amazon) is not inferior to A7S III, it is entirely from another league. The ability to shoot sharp high-quality photos and that too with fast speed makes it a monster in sports and bird photography. Both cameras deliver different types of service and it is all about whether you want a video-camera or a still photography camera.

Conclusion | Sony A7S III vs Sony A9 II

  • For Filmmaking: Sony a7S III (Amazon)
  • For Still Photography: Sony a9 II (Amazon)

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Adarsh R

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