The Sony A7S III might be just around the corner. While the name of the camera is not yet official, Sony’s Kenji Tanaka confirmed that the “successor to the Alpha 7S II” will arrive this summer, according to an interview with DPReview. That release window will likely see the camera go head-to-head with the Canon EOS R5, another video-centric, full-frame mirrorless camera.
The A7S II, a popular camera for videographers, was released in September 2015. No details of the presumed A7S III were given, but Tanaka did mention both 4K/60p and 10-bit 4:2:2 as features that were requested by users. Interestingly, he also suggested a shift in how the A7S line will be marketed, saying that the S, which originally stood for “sensitivity,” may now simply mean “supreme.” This may imply the next A7S camera will have more megapixels — until now, the A7S line has been known for its relatively low resolution of 12 megapixels, which meant each pixel was much larger, increasing its sensitivity to light. In practice, however, even full-frame cameras with many more pixels — like the 61MP Sony A7R IV — achieve excellent light sensitivity.
Additional resolution would also be needed for 8K video, which requires over 30MP. Rumors have long pointed to a 15MP sensor in the A7S III, although a 36MP sensor is apparently another option. Tanaka made no mention of 8K, but Sony may be looking into it if the company wants to stay competitive with the Canon EOS R5 on specifications. 8K isn’t a necessity for the vast majority of customers, but the lack of it would lead to a perceived gap in performance between Sony’s and Canon’s video-focused models. Given that pricing remains a mystery on both cameras, it’s impossible to say how closely they will compete, however.
RAW video might also be on the table. Without confirming anything, Tanaka said Sony is “working hard to deliver RAW capture” to professional video shooters. RAW video is another feature found on the upcoming Canon EOS R5.
Whatever the eventual spec sheet includes, Tanaka described the camera as being “all new.” After five years, we should hope so.