Sony Alpha A7S III rumors hint at 4K/120p video… and a built-in cooling vent

(Image credit: Sony)

It's been a long time coming, and there's still no word on when the successor to the video-centric Sony Alpha A7S II will arrive. So, to fill the gap and make the waiting harder, rumors of the hotly anticipated A7S III keep on coming. 

The latest report comes from "a reliable source" who has shared with Sony Alpha Rumors that the electronics giant is kicking the video recording capabilities of the A7S II up a notch. 

According to the source, who claims to have gotten their hands on a prototype model of the A7S III, the forthcoming shooter will potentially be capable of shooting 4K video at up to 120fps. As a comparison, the A7S II can record UHD 4K video at 30p, while the Panasonic Lumix S1H can capture 6K/24p and 4K/60p video in 10-bit 4:2:0.

That's twice the frame rate most people were expecting from the A7S III and, if true, could give the newly released Lumix S1H a run for its money and pique the interest of serious videographers.

The source makes it clear that the camera does not record 8K video, although there were rumors last year that Sony was working on an 8K video codec for the A7S III. However, if the camera can shoot 4K/120p, then 6K video at 24fps may be a possibility if Sony decides to take the sensor resolution from 12MP (as in the A7S II) to 24MP.

Keeping it cool

(Image credit: Panasonic)

Sony Alpha Rumors has also been told that the A7S III "has a cooling vent on the back". That would be a welcome addition as most cameras can overheat – then shut down – when recording high resolution videos over long durations.

However, the A7S III won't be the first video-focused camera to feature a cooling vent. Panasonic has beaten Sony to the punch, adding a fan close to the sensor to keep operating temperatures down. 

The Lumix S1H has vents on either side of the camera body (pictured above) that allow cool air to enter at one side and hot air to exit the other. We're expecting something similar in the A7S III as well.

Long time coming

While the upcoming camera might be able to keep its cool during trying times, Sony fans are clamoring to know when the A7S III might be announced – after all, it's been four years since the A7S II launched.

The third generation A7S snapper was originally expected to arrive in 2018. When it was a no-show, expectations moved to a possible January announcement during CES 2019. 

However, Sony has historically announced the A7S cameras during the annual IBC Show (International Broadcasting Convention) held in Amsterdam. So rumors were rife that perhaps we could finally see the official unveiling of the A7S III at this year's IBC Show – that, too, has come and gone, and we still have no word on when we can expect a refresh to the aging A7S III. All we can do is wait and watch.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.