Following the recently refreshed A7R III, tonight Sony announced its "basic" model update with the A7 III mirrorless camera. This time around it's packing a 24.2 MP sensor, internal 4K HDR video capability (downscaled from 6K) and what Sony says is the longest rated battery life of any mirrorless camera thanks to its Z series battery. It will cost $2,000/£2,000 for the body alone when it goes on sale in Europe in March and in the US this April, or as a kit with FE 28‑70 mm F3.5‑5.6 lens for $2,200/£2,200.
That's a bit pricier than the A7 II was when it was introduced in 2014, but the list of improvements justifying it is long. Owners will find items like dual SD slots, a USB-C port as well as microUSB , HDMI and wireless connections via WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth. The BIONZ-X processor is 1.8 times faster than its predecessor's chip, and the camera has pulled in a 693-point autofocus system from Sony's A9 model. It also shares a frame with that camera (and the A7R III) so it's ready for all E-mount accessories.
Interestingly, since the A7 III has Sony's absolute latest autofocus system, it actually works a bit better than the one on the A7R III, the company said, yielding faster focus with less "wobble." It also does a full sensor readout for 4K video, unlike the A7R III, which can only readout an APS-C-sized chunk of the sensor (full-frame 4K is possible with the A7R III, but results in less sharp, pixel-binned video).
This camera can shoot full resolution pictures at up to 10fps and has a quad-VGA OLED viewfinder. While it doesn't match Sony's A9 for speed or the A7R III in resolution, the so-called "basic" model still pulls enough of their capabilities for it to appeal to photographers at a more affordable price. Pre-orders begin Wednesday morning.
Steve Dent contributed to this article.