DPR: Sony a9III Studio Scene – High Frame Rate Global Shutter Costs One Stop

Sony a9III: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

The Sony a9III’s electronic shutter is quite revolutionary, but it has some drawbacks. DPR published its studio scene and they noticed that the a9III is about one stop behind the performance of other full-frame cameras, which isn’t a huge deal for sports photographers. Below is an excerpt from DRP’s findings and you can view the full article here.

Examining the a9 III’s images shows everything that you’d expect from it having a reduced capacity for light. The higher base ISO isn’t inherently a problem for sports shooters, so it’s simply a question of whether the noise penalty is worthwhile for all the things that super-fast 120fps shooting and global shutter bring. That’s something we’ll consider in more depth in our final review.

But what does this trade-off mean beyond the pro sports market? Our tests show that this sensor’s performance comes with an image quality hit that might make less sense for general photography. Furthermore, this cost of up to a stop of image quality in return for added performance is likely to make global shutter less appealing in the smaller APS-C and Four Thirds formats, which don’t have the luxury of so much IQ to give up.

Overall, the a9 III still looks promising, for its intended purpose, but it shouldn’t be assumed to herald the future of cameras as a whole.

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