DXO: Sony a7SIII Sensor Review

DXO mark released its review of the Sony a7SIII calling it the “Low-light specialist”. You can read the full review here, but there are a few interesting excerpts below. To begin with, it is interesting how the new Sony a7SIII sensor compares to its predecessor:

Against its predecessor, it’s almost identical in overall sensitivity, with the two having practically the same DXOMARK rating. While color sensitivity is similar at base, there’s a useful increase between ISO 1600 and 6400. However, mid-tone noise levels are slightly higher at all ISOs in our SNR 18% tests.

Another benefit is the Sony A7S III sensor has a useful 2/3rds of stop (+0.7 EV) extra dynamic range (DR) at base, as well as a dramatic increase in DR of 1.5 stops (+1.5 EV) at ISO 1600. That’s not without some downsides, however, the most significant being that the rate at which DR decreases in between is higher than on the A7S II, meaning that DR is actually lower in the A7S III between ISO 200-400, and there’s no advantage beyond ISO 12,800.

Even though I largely take photographs the Sony a7SIII has been on my shortlist of cameras to own just for doing astrophotography or even trying some astrovideography, but it looks like the Sony a7SII might be a better value for me and most. Below is an exhirpt from DXO’s conclusion and I think myself like others hoped Sony would up the megapixel count some even though the current sensor maps pixels well for 4k video.

The Sony A7S III leverages a lot of tech from the A7 and A7R models, and its stills credentials are impressive. However, 12 MP is considered a bit on the low side for stills nowadays, and it is principally as a video camera that the Sony A7S III appeals. The lower pixel count means the sensor’s pixel dimensions on the long edge deliver essentially native 4K without cropping, and those large pixels should have benefits when working with less than ideal lighting.

Although it puts in a strong performance at its lowest ISO settings, with a relatively high maximum dynamic range and maximum color sensitivity, evidently some concessions were made in that regard, as it is at high ISOs where it’s class-leading. In particular, the Sony A7S III sensor has an impressive response between ISO 1600 and ISO 6400, even outperforming rivals using 24 MP BSI CMOS sensors.

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Sony a7SIII: B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
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