Sony a7R III U.S. Launch Live Blog

This article was written live during the Sony event, 10 am EDT, Wednesday, the 25th of October 2017. Live coverage concluded at 10:49 am EDT

A livecast of this announcement can be found here.

Sony a7R III

Sony’s Mike Fasulo took the stage at a private media event in New York City to officially announce the Sony a7R III, as well as two lens announcements.

If you haven’t already, take a look at our first impressions of the new camera and the features.

Sony Japan’s Yas Nagata took the stage to talk about the camera industry. He showed the decrease in the worldwide digital imaging market, a remarkable decline since 2013. However, Sony’s full-frame sales have increased every year, aside from 2016, when the Kumamoto earthquake shut down the company’s factories.

Introducing The a7R III

Neal Manowitz, VP of Digital Imaging, took the stage. While the lens business in the industry is flat, Sony’s lens business, which has seen 27 new lenses announced in under five years, has been up more than 50%. The full-frame camera business, which is down 7% across the industry, is up 57% for Sony.

The company announced that it has maintained the number-two spot in full-frame cameras (U.S. market by dollar sales), including all sales data, he pointed out, through September. (The implication there is that this includes the period when the Nikon D850 went on sale.)

Manowitz walked through the features of the camera, which we covered in yesterday’s announcement post.

Those include a 42.4MP sensor, the same as found in the a7R II, but with added processing from the a9, giving it AF speeds twice as fast as the a7R II.

The camera has outstanding 4K video specs, as well, creating full-frame 4K file from oversampled full-frame 5K capture.

A number of changes have been made to the body, including the use of the Sony a9 battery for improved runtime, dual card slots, USB-C support and more.

The camera will ship next month for $3,299. Preorders begin October 26th.

Manowitz then turned to the Sony 24-105mm lens, which we also covered in our first impression coverage.

The lens uses silent motors for quiet operation during video use, is 633 grams and is based around an advanced design.

Sony Professional Shooters

Next, Chris Robinson, editor for the Alpha Universe site (and, full disclosure, former editor of this publication) took the stage with a number of Sony shooters, and Mark Weir, Sony’s Senior Technology Manager. Those shooters—Chris Burkard, Me Ra Koh, Brian Smith and Brooke Shaden—took the stage to talk about their respective specialities and how the camera performed.

Burkard, an adventure sports and travel photographer, talked bout his need for a durable camera in high-stress situations.

Me Ra Koh (who has contributed to Digital Photo magazine), talked about the benefits of the silent shutter during wedding, portrait and family shoots.

Fine-art photographer Brooke Shaden talked about the dynamic range of the camera and the ability to layer her images in Photoshop to bring out details in highlight and shadow.

Brian Smith, a portrait and commercial shooter, covered the 10 fps capture rate of the a7R III, and how it allows him to capture “the moment between the moments.”

Sony’s Mark Weir reiterated that the entire pipeline of the camera, including the CPU, has been replaced in the camera, “allowing the processor to really dig through all the data that’s coming off of the sensor to yield image quality that we’ve never really been able to realize.”

Mike Fasulo took the stage to reiterate Sony’s commitment to the photo experience. “It’s not about market share and who is number one or two or beyond; it’s about listening to the experts, understanding the pain points and using the power of Sony’s engineers to resolve those.”

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