Sony Middle East and Africa announced the long-awaited addition to its acclaimed Alpha 7S full-frame mirrorless camera series — the Alpha 7S III (model ILCE-7SM3). Featuring a brand new 12.1MP back-illuminated full-frame image sensor with ultra-high sensitivity and 15+ stop wide dynamic range, a host of impressive video recording capabilities including 4K 120p and 10-bit 4:2:2 colour depth, a new heat dissipating mechanism and dual slot relay recording that realises over one-hour of 4K 60p movie shooting until battery ends, a brand new autofocus system, touch screen interface and side flip LCD screen, the new Alpha 7S III will become the ultimate creative tool for video professionals and all types of hybrid still/video shooters.
“The Alpha 7S III is the ultimate representation of Sony’s passion to solve the pain points of customers in the Middle Eastern region,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa. “We are always listening to our customers feedback, pushing hard to deliver innovation that goes far beyond their expectations. There is no better example than this new camera. Combining classic S series sensitivity with a feature set, performance level and user experience that is simply unmatched in market today — at any price level — the Alpha 7S III opens up a new world of possibilities for today’s creators.”
The system architecture for the new Alpha 7S III has been completely redesigned to deliver exceptional video and still shooting performance. The brand new 35mm full-frame 12.1MP back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor, utilises a variety of advanced light-gathering techniques to ensure high-sensitivity with low noise, allowing users to shoot in low-light situations without needing large-scale lighting setups. In addition to improved image quality, this new image sensor includes a focal plane phase-detection AF system for the first time in an S-series camera. To compliment the new sensor, the Alpha 7S III also includes a new BIONZ XR image processing engine that provides up to eight time more processing power, minimises processing latency, reduces rolling shutter up to three times, and enables many of the hallmark still and imaging features of the camera. The new system also includes the world’s brightest and largest 9.44 million dot OLED electronic eye-level viewfinder and is the world’s first camera with dual CFexpress Type A card slots, enabling high-speed data transfer in a compact size.
The Alpha 7S III offers in-camera 4K recording up to 120 frames per second, 10-bit depth and 4:2:2 color sampling, producing stunning video recording. The new camera offers a more flexible and efficient post-production workflow with a variety of advanced movie recording modes such as All-intra and MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 coding (XAVC HS). The Alpha 7S III makes it easy to integrate video recordings with other professional camcorders by providing three color gamut settings: S-Gamut, S-Gamut3, and S-Gamut3.Cine.
Using S-Gamut3 or S-Gamut3.Cine, users can easily match footage shot on the Alpha 7S III with footage shot on the professional camcorders to simplify multi-camera post-production workflow. In addition to S-Log3 gamma curves, the Alpha 7S III supports an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile, with minimum post-production. The Alpha 7S III also allows 16-bit RAW output to an external recorder via HDMI Type-A, offering additional post-production flexibility.
The new CMOS image sensor and BIONZ XR image processing engine in the Alpha 7S III delivers legendary S-series sensitivity with significantly enhanced color reproduction and texture renderings for improved overall image quality. The base ISO has been lowered to 80, resulting in a normal range of 80-102400 (expandable to 80-409600 for video and 40-409600 for stills) to provide more flexible ISO plus wide dynamic range with low noise at all settings. It offers improved image quality by approximately 1 stop of noise reduction in the middle and high sensitivity ranges.
The colors and textures of foliage, human skin, and more are ideally and consistently reproduced without dependence on light sources. Gradation rendering has also been refined for better looking skin tones and highlight roll-off in portraits. It also improves AWB (Auto WB) performance where a new “Visible light + IR Sensor” helps to achieve more precise white balance under artificial lighting, including fluorescent and LED lights.
For the first time in an Alpha 7S series camera, the Alpha 7S III offers Fast Hybrid AF by combining phase-detection and contrast-detection AF, giving it the ability to track subjects over a wide area with outstanding speed, precision and smoothness, even when using a narrow depth of field. Fine focus expression is possible with Sony’s E-mount lenses.
For environments with a lot of movement, Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF are available to maintain constant focus on the intended subject. Sony’s advanced Real-time Eye AF improves detection performance by 30% over previous system3, thanks to the new image processing engine. It ensures accurate, reliable detection even when the subject’s face looks away. Real-time Tracking is initiated simply by touching the subject on the screen. Simultaneously, Real-time Eye AF is initiated when an eye is detected.
Based on customer feedback, the camera includes several AF features for professional users including AF Transition Speed in seven settings, to easily create rack-focus transitions, and five AF Subject Shift Sensitivity settings, which allows the user to customise how easily AF will switch or stay with the locked-on subject. Touch Tracking allows user to not only initiate Real-time Tracking, but also compose and shoot while using a gimbal or while shooting solo. It’s now possible to Touch Focus during manual focus mode on the LCD screen or remotely from the Imaging Edge Mobile application.
The Alpha 7S III’s design has been overhauled to ensure effective heat dissipation and prevent overheating – even during extended continuous recording sessions at 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video for an hour or more. A newly developed unique heat dissipating structure, keeps image sensor and image processing engine temperatures within their normal operating ranges, preventing overheating while maintaining compact body dimensions.
For video on-the-go, the Alpha 7S III is the first Alpha series camera to include Active Mode for supporting especially difficult handheld movie shooting with 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation. It is also the first Alpha series E-mount body to feature a side-opening vari-angle rear screen, perfect for gimbal-mounted shots, complicated angles, handheld operation and more. The screen rotates sideways, up and down, and features a 3.0 type 1.44 million-dot touch panel LCD monitor, for good visibility even under bright outdoor environments.
In addition, the Alpha 7S III provides a selection of new Creative Look with 10 presets, that can be used for both photo and video shoots, making it easy to create interesting moods right in the camera to be used as is or customise by the user. A digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe for clearer audio recordings from a compatible Sony external microphone. Used with the Alpha 7S III, the XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit additionally provides 4-channel 24-bit digital audio recording capability in an Alpha series camera for the first time. Like other MI shoe accessories, no cables or batteries are required, providing unrestrained freedom for Alpha system moviemaking.
Additional movie assist functions include redesigned monitor display with a bold, clearly visible red frame that makes it clear when recording is in progress even when mounted on a rig or gimbal, custom zoom settings, adjustable white balance while recording, display rotation, interval recording, still extraction from movies and more.
The Alpha 7S III carries fast Hybrid AF system with a 759 point phase-detection AF sensors covering 92% of image sensor. The camera can also achieve high AF precision to accurately and reliably focus in light down to EV-6 where subjects are difficult to see clearly even with the naked eye. Continuous shooting at up to 10fps or up to 8fps in live view mode is possible either mechanically or electronically for more than 1,000 uncompressed RAW images.
The Alpha 7S III also includes the world’s first 9.44 million-dot (approx.), 0.64 type Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder with a high-definition OLED display and refined optics that delivers the highest resolution in its class. The Alpha 7S III viewfinder offers a 0.90x viewfinder magnification, 41° diagonal field of view, 25mm high eyepoint for clear, low-distortion corner to corner viewing. It is also dust, fog and moisture resistant, extremely responsive and has switchable modes for different subject types. Every aspect of the Alpha 7S III viewfinder has been designed and refined for a professional workflow.
For the first time in a Sony’s digital camera, the Alpha 7S III includes the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) allowing for smooth 10-bit gradations and advanced compression technology to maintain image quality while significantly reducing file size and saving storage space. HEIF stills shot in this mode can be played back on a compatible Sony HDR (HLG) TV via a direct HDMI connection from the Alpha 7S III, delivering true-to-life dynamic range.
Another world’s first, the Alpha 7S III features two CFexpress Type A compatible media slots, which also support UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards. It enables high write-and-read speed while keeping the camera body compact in size. CFexpress Type A cards are ideally suited to high-speed continuous RAW still image shooting as well as 4K 120p movie recording at high bit rates, providing next-generation write speeds that can quickly clear the buffers of cameras that generate high volumes of still image and movie data. High-speed data transfer to PC is possible of about 1.7 times faster than that of SD card. The dual slots can be set to relay mode for extended continuous recording of even the high bit rate data.
The Alpha 7S III also features a revised menu structure for easier navigation and touch-responsive menu operation for faster, more intuitive control. For creators who shoot both stills and movies, separate settings can now be stored for stills and movie shooting for quick transition between the two. Professional users need more than just refined features and performance.
They also need the reliability and durability demanded of any professional tool. The Alpha 7S III features a redesigned grip for greater comfort and a secure hold, an improved dust removal feature, plus dust and moisture resistance that maximises reliability in challenging environments. It includes a durable, reliable HDMI Type-A connector, and is the first Alpha series camera to support USB PD (Power Delivery), allowing higher power to be supplied from an external source so that users can continue to record for extended periods with minimal drainage of the internal battery.
The Alpha 7S III has been designed and configured to support photo and video journalists and sports shooters who need to deliver stills or movies as quickly as possible with several advanced connectivity options. The camera supports 5GHz/2.4GHz wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11ac) and offers MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) to improve communication quality by using multiple antennas. It doubles the speed compared to the Alpha7R IV. It also carries new USB tethering support. When connected to a 5G (5th generation technology standard for cellular networks) compatible device such as Sony’s “Xperia 1 II” smartphone via USB cable, it is possible to use 5G network for fast and stable FTP file transfer. USB to high-speed wired LAN connectivity also offers stable and fast FTP transfer for both movies and stills. A USB Type-C connector that supports fast SuperSpeed USB 5Gpbs (USB 3.2) data transfer is provided, enabling high-speed PC Remote (tethered) data transfer available for smooth handling of large image files.
The new Alpha 7S III Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camerawill be available in the Middle East from October 2020.
Sony MEA Launches the Alpha 9 III
Sony Middle East and Africa has introduced the new Alpha 9 III camera equipped with the world’s first full-frame global shutter image sensor. The new global shutter full-frame image sensor enables the camera to shoot at burst speeds of up to 120 fps with no distortion or camera blackout. By combining this innovative sensor with Sony’s most advanced AF system to date – boasting AI autofocus with up to 120 times AF/AE focus calculations per second – as well as the ability to sync flash at all shooting speeds, the Alpha 9 III opens up a new world of possibilities for professional photographers to capture that decisive moment.
The new Alpha 9 III is equipped with a newly developed world’s first global shutter full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.6 effective megapixels and built-in memory, combined with the latest image processing engine BIONZ XR. It achieves blackout-free Continuous Shooting Speed with AF/AE tracking of up to approximately 120 frames per second. The new Alpha 9 III is equipped with high-density focal plane phase-detection AF. A Designated AI processing unit uses Real-time Recognition AF (autofocus) to recognise a wide variety of subjects with high precision.
By combining the high-speed performance of up to 120 frames per second with highly accurate subject recognition performance, it is possible to easily photograph decisive scenes and moments that cannot be captured with the naked eye. The AI processing unit in the Alpha 9 III supports movies as well as stills with accurate subject form and movement recognition, providing a significant improvement in human eye recognition performance with Real-time Recognition AF and Real-time Tracking automatically recognising, tracking, and focusing on the eyes of a specified subject. The Alpha 9 III is equipped with 8.0 stops of optical 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, allowing for high-quality image rendering.
Shutter speed is freed from the limitations of conventional mechanical shutter image sensors and achieves a maximum shutter speed of 1/80000 second (1/16000 second during continuous shooting), making it possible to capture at high speed without any distortion. When a compatible Sony flash is attached, such as the HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM (sold separately), it is possible to synchronise the flash and take pictures at all shutter speeds up to 1/80000 second.
Previously, if the user released the shutter at a speed faster than the flash’s synchronisation speed, the amount of light would drop sharply, but with the full-speed flash synchronisation function, it’s now possible to photograph scenes that could not be easily captured with conventional technology. Also, when shooting stills or movies under LED lighting, the Hi Frequency Flicker function can significantly reduce high-frequency flicker problems by allowing the shutter speed to be finely adjusted to match the flicker frequency while viewing the monitor.
The Alpha 9 III features selectable release lag modes which allows the user to prioritise release lag or viewfinder/monitor display. The newly installed Pre-Capture function allows the user to go back up to 1 second and record the moment before pressing the shutter, a Continuous Shooting Speed Boost change during shooting, and enhanced burst stamina ensure that important moments are reliably captured due to a large buffer memory and increased overall system speed allow up to approximately 390 Fine JPEG images to be captured in one continuous 30 fps burst.
Customisable focus areas have been expanded to include from XS to XL instead of the previous S, M, and L sizes. The Preset Focus/Zoom function allows preset focus and zoom settings to be memorised in the camera for quick recall when needed. In addition to the existing custom white balance frame size, the user can now select other sizes as needed which allows for fine white balance adjustment after an image has been composed. The Alpha 9 III has upgraded features such as the latest AF algorithms to achieve high AF precision down to light levels as low as EV-5 in AF-S mode (ISO 100 equivalent, F2.0 lens), AF tracking for continuous shooting at F22 and a composite RAW shooting function that gives the ability to combine multiple consecutive images into a high-quality composite.
The global shutter image sensor provides distortion-free image expression for videos as well as still images. For example, the user can shoot images of nearby scenery from a fast-moving vehicle such as a car or fast-moving subjects with ease. This camera is the first in the Alpha series to be able to record 4K 120p high-frame-rate video without cropping, allowing the user to shoot at the angle of view intended. It is also possible to shoot high-resolution 4K 60p videos with 6K oversampling.
The Alpha 9 III has the image creation process S-Cinetone, created through the development of the VENICE digital cinema camera for video production, making human skin and subjects stand out beautifully, creating natural highlights. The Alpha 9 III is equipped with the latest video performance including rich gradation performance and S-Log3, and when in Log shooting mode, it can reflect and display the user’s favorite imported LUT. Alpha 9 III is compatible with the mobile app “Monitor & Control” for video creators.
Sony has listened to the voices of professional photographers and created operability and reliability that supports professional image makers. The shape of the grip is improved and ergonomically designed so that it can be easily held in the palm of the user’s hand to avoid straining the user even when wearing a telephoto lens or using it for long periods of time. The VG-C5 vertical grip (sold separately), provides the same operability and versatility as when shooting horizontally; the user can comfortably support long shooting sessions.
The grip and shutter button area share the same design as the main body, allowing image capture without feeling uncomfortable, with the same operability as the camera. The Alpha 9 III is equipped with a 4-axis multi-angle LCD monitor that can be operated by touch, allowing for intuitive operation using the latest touch menu. The electronic viewfinder uses a 9.44 million-dot Quad XGA OLED and achieves high visibility with the same brightness as the α7R V and a magnification of approximately 0.90x. Also, a custom button is placed on the front of the camera, and the continuous shooting speed can be changed by operating the custom button assigned with Continuous Shooting Speed Boost with the finger holding the grip, allowing for highly immediate operations. It supports professional photographers when shooting in all environments.
New features for the Alpha 9 III include a playback image filter that allows the user to efficiently select a large number of images using high-speed continuous shooting and a function menu that can be used even during image playback, strongly supporting professional workflows from shooting to delivery. A function menu can now be used during playback so the user can efficiently select a huge number of images using high-speed continuous shooting.
The “Playback Function Menu” can be assigned in advance, so the user can perform protection, smartphone transfer, FTP transfer, etc. during image playback. The user can select images narrowed down with a playback filter and play them from the function menu, allowing for quick delivery of specific images. The camera is equipped with a dedicated microphone for voice memos on the back, and the built-in microphone located near the mouth allows clear recording of audio even in noisy environments. The recorded audio data can be transferred via FTP along with the images. The camera allows the user to set up to 20 presets from the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), an international consultative body in which news organisations from various countries participate.
The Alpha 9 III can transfer data up to twice as fast as the Alpha 9 II. 5 GHz communication offers maximum speed and stability for news and sports shooters who need to deliver immediately via FTP, as well as for studio environments. The Alpha 9 III allows stills and movies to be recorded to memory media in numerous ways including the two media slots that support CFexpress Type A cards as well as UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards.
It is compatible with the professional mobile application “Transfer & Tagging” which speeds up the image delivery workflow, and the application “Remote Camera Tool” which allows remote shooting of PCs using wired LAN. In addition, the Alpha 9 III is scheduled to support functional enhancements such as FTP operability, relay playback, and C2PA format support through a camera software update. Sony says it will continue to expand functions such as breathing correction, relay playback, and C2PA format support for the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III in the future to meet the needs of professionals along with the Alpha 9 III.
The Alpha 9 III camera will be available in the UAE from Q1 2024 (calendar year). The VG-C5 vertical grip will be available in the UAE from Q1 2024 (calendar year).
Fujifilm Launches INSTAX Square SQ40 Instant Camera
Fujifilm Middle East has announced the launch of INSTAX Square SQ40. This is an exciting new addition to the INSTAX series of instant cameras compatible with square format films, allowing users to enjoy on-the-spot photo printing. The SQ40 is an analogue instant camera that sports a premium and classical leather-look design, focusing on a texture that fits comfortably in the hand. It runs on plain operations to produce square-format prints with ease.
Released on the same day, the square format film “SUNSET,” is characterized by graininess and gradation around the frame of the film. The INSTAX series has been affectionately called “Cheki” in Japan since its initial launch in 1998. The series has gained popularity for its ability to not only print and preserve a precious moment right on the spot but also as a new tool for users to communicate their emotions. Offered in this series are card-sized “mini format” prints, “square format” prints, and double-card-sized “wide format” prints to expand the range of photographic expressions.
Square format film can cover a wider range of photographic scenes and is suitable for group shots and landscape photos. It can capture the subject with the background and atmosphere of the scene, expanding the user’s pallet of photographic expressions. The Square format film is well-liked across countries and generations because it offers the advantage of taking pictures with a 1:1 aspect ratio and arranging the creative composition, square format films are able to turn casual scenes into the artistic work of photography.
The camera features the “Automatic Exposure” function, which achieves optimum exposure for a given scene by simply turning the lens barrel to turn on the camera, pointing the camera at the subject and pressing the shutter button. Users can also switch to the Selfie Mode for taking selfies and close-ups by simply rotating the lens barrel to turn the camera on and rotating the barrel again in the same direction. Such simple operations are all that are needed to bring joy to photography.
Fujifilm will continue to expand the world of the “INSTAX” instant photo system that allows people to enjoy on-the-spot photo printing.
Canon Launches the Widest Auto Focus Zoom Lens Ever Made for a Full Frame Camera
Canon has launched the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM, a new addition to the L-series range for photo and video professionals. Offering limitless possibilities by enabling an extreme ultra-wide shot, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM provides unrivalled image quality, all in a compact size. The lens builds on the capabilities of the existing wide-angle RF range as the widest AF zoom ever made for a full-frame camera, with an angle of view of up to 130°. Featuring a zoom that ranges from 20mm wide-angle to an exceptional and unique ultra-wide 10mm focal length, users can now achieve a shooting area more than twice that of a 16mm focal length.
Fitting more in the frame allows for fresh perspectives when it comes to capturing dramatic panoramas. Photographers can add extra foreground interest, capture tight interiors and architecture, and add depth to landscapes, and filmmakers can be more creative with awe-inspiring establishing shots. The new lens delivers unparalleled image quality in a wide-angle lens, achieving incredible sharpness and clarity with virtually no distortion.
Engineered to the highest standard, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM incorporates the latest Peripheral Control Image Stabilisation (IS) technology which ensures crystal-clear, shake-free images even in challenging shooting conditions or without tripod access. The new IS ensures shake-free images from the centre to the edge of the frame and offers five stops of optical stabilisation or six stops in combination with an in-body stabilised camera. Its advanced rectilinear optical design means you can expect a crisp and accurate outcome – so straight lines remain straight, even at the edges of the frame, all thanks to an advanced optical formula. A constant f/4 maximum aperture provides consistent exposures at every zoom setting, and state-of-the-art optical coatings minimise ghosting and flare which can be common with ultra-wide shots.
The advanced tech comes at no expense to ease of use. The RF mount allows outstanding image quality from a compact design by enabling hugely increased communication speed and bandwidth between the camera and lens. Weighing just 570g, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM deserves a permanent place in your kit bag. It’s less than half the weight (610g lighter) and 2cm smaller in width and length than the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM – in fact, the new lens paired with an EOS R8 weighs less than the older EF lens alone. All this despite offering a wider angle of view and the addition of IS technology – so shooting with limited space not only becomes easier, but your bag will be lighter too.
Due to its superior image quality, greater capacity for wide-angle stills and video, and lightweight design, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM is an essential upgrade for photographers and videographers looking to push their capabilities to the next level. While it’s ideal for landscapes or architecture, the lens can also capture a different perspective on sports or documentaries. The RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM can withstand even the most challenging weather conditions, as it is resistant to dust and moisture for professional use.
Key features and attributes include:
- The aspherical, Super UD, and UD lens elements (including one Aspherical UD element) help to achieve high image quality appropriate for an L lens
- Highly durable dustproof and waterproof qualities, to withstand rigorous conditions faced by professionals
- SWC (on 2 lens surfaces) and ASC (Air Sphere Coating) reduce ghosting caused by light sources within the image, a phenomenon often seen in wide-angle lenses
- First L series lens to feature STM motor and full-time manual focus capability, thanks to compact lightweight focus group
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