Sony Alpha A7S III
Rumors of an A7S III, and update to Sony's video-focused full-frame mirrorless A7S II camera, continue to grow
Predicted specs: 20MP+ sensor allowing for 6K video | Joystick AF control | Z-series battery
Is there a camera more anticipated than the Sony A7S III? The Alpha A7S II broke new ground at the time of its release, appealing to videographers who required excellent 4K footage and high-level control, together with low-light shooters who appreciated the more modest pixel count, low noise and wide dynamic range not offered by other mirrorless cameras at the time.
Since its release, Sony has given us all manner of other mirrorless Alpha models, from the enthusiast-focused A6400 through to the hugely popular (and rightly so) Alpha A7 III and the most recent 61MP Alpha A7R IV. The latter marks the start of the fourth generation of A7 models – so how come we're still on the Mark II here?
There's clearly massive demand for one, and we can predict many specs and features from those in models released since the A7S II. We don't see any call for a sensor resolution beyond 12MP, although if the camera breaks into 6K video recording – as Panasonic's upcoming S1H will – it will need 20MP at the very least.
Even if the model is capped at 4K video recording, we do expect a new sensor that performs to a higher standard than before, given the company's expertise in sensor design and build.
Handling refinements will no doubt include a dedicated AF joystick, AF-On button and touchscreen interface, all missing from the A7S II but introduced in subsequent models. The model is also highly likely to get a Z-series battery with much higher battery life than the NP-FW50 found inside the A7S II.
The biggest improvements should be seen in video performance. With Panasonic's Lumix GH5S, S1R and S1 models offering a wealth of advanced video features, we'd be disappointed if Sony didn't match or better these. The Alpha A7S II can record 4K 4:2:0 8-bit video, but could we see this increase to 4:2:2 10-bit like the GH5S? Could we see 4K capture at 60/50p possible as well? It would be surprising if not.
Sony Alpha A7000
With the A6400 now with us, what might a more senior A7000 bring to the mirrorless party?
Predicted specs: 26MP APS-C sensor | Improved AF | Design similar to the Alpha A9
Sony has shown full-frame users a lot of attention in recent years, and this has left its A6000-series looking a little unloved. The A6000, A6300 and A6500 can all still be bought brand new, as as each camera had a solid set of specs to begin with, all three are still a respectable choices in their price categories.
The company finally showed the line some love with the most recent A6400, which technically replaces the A6300 and has a very capable performance to recommend it, but it's fair to say it wasn't quite the A7000 that everyone was hoping for. So what might the A7000 feature?
A 'baby' Alpha A9, with the A7000 camera borrowing many of the features of the flagship camera that would then be distilled into a camera based around an APS-C sensor. This is something that Nikon has done with its D5 and D500 DSLR models.
Rumors suggest that it matches and in some aspects exceeds the performance of the Fujifilm X-T3, with better AF and in-body image stabilization, while it will match the 20fps burst shooting speed of the Alpha A9.
As for the sensor, Sony's just updated the database of sensors it manufactures, which includes a back-illuminated (BSI) 26MP APS-C sensor, which would be a good fit for the new camera. There's also talk of the Alpha A7000 using a 32MP APS-C sensor as well.
Sony has made great changes to its autofocusing systems in recent generations of camera too, and while the 425-point phase-detect AF system inside the A6500 is still a cracking performer, the eventual update will likely bring speed improvements and additional AF points to form a denser array, with better tracking capabilities.
Design-wise, it's likely the new camera will feature a similar DSLR inspired look to Sony's full-frame cameras, with a raised and centralised electronic viewfinder.
- Read more: Sony Alpha A7000: everything we know so far