The long-awaited Sony A7S III – or a least a successor the A7S II full-frame video camera – will definitely be launching very soon, a Sony exec has revealed in an interview.
In a chat with DPReview (opens in new tab), Kenji Tanaka, VP and Senior General Manager of Sony Imaging Business, said: "I can confirm that a successor to the Alpha 7S II will be coming, later this summer. Right now, we’re focused on the launch of the new camera, and it will be a complete redesign of the whole system, including the image sensor. Everything is new."
Rumors of a successor to the Sony A7S II, which won't necessarily be called the A7S III, have been growing recently. The most recent speculation was that the launch had actually been pushed back so that Sony could see how the Canon EOS R5 announcement (which is expected to take place on July 9) would pan out.
And from Tanaka's comments, it certainly sounds like the Sony A7S III – or whatever the A7S II's successor is ultimately called – will be arriving after the dust has settled on the big Canon reveal.
While that "everything is new" proclamation will excite videographers who've been waiting years for a new video-oriented full-frame camera from Sony, it sounds like the camera's fundamental concept will remain the same.
In the DPReview interview, Tanaka added: "The ‘S’ originally stood for ‘sensitivity’ but now I think it should stand for ‘supreme’ in terms of image quality, and expression. It comes from having really big pixels. I think that many professionals and high-end users will enjoy the new camera."
The flipside to the A7S II's lack of resolution is that its 12MP sensor's pixels are comparatively large, making it a strong low-light performer for both stills and videos (as long as you're not shooting fast-moving subjects). One of the big areas of improvement for the next version is likely to be autofocus, an area in which Sony has excelled with cameras like the Sony A7R IV.
- Sony Alpha A7S III: everything we know so far
- These are the best full-frame cameras you can buy right now
- Or check out our guide to the best cameras in the world
So what else can we expect from a Sony A7S III, or other A7S II successor? While the interview didn't officially reveal anything in the way of specs, Tanaka did say that some of the most requested features from A7S II owners have been 4K/60p video and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, a feature which gives color graders much more flexibility in post-production.
A previously rumored new 15.36MP back-illuminated sensor with a Quad Bayer design would fit with the hints Tanaka dropped in the interview too, as it would mean the new camera would retain the advantages of having large pixels, but without stepping on the toes of all-rounder siblings like the Sony A7 III.
Other possibilities for the Sony A7S III include Raw video capture, which would see it match the Canon EOS R5, and improvements like a new battery – one of our main gripes about the A7S II was that you needed four or five batteries to get through a day of intense shooting, and Sony has far better batteries these days, including its high-capacity Z-series packs.
We'll bring you more official news about the Sony A7S II's successor as soon as we get it; in the meantime, check out our Sony Alpha A7S III: everything we know so far round-up to read about all its expected features.