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Sony A9 III Review

Sony is no stranger to innovation with numerous world first breakthroughs and accolades galore across the entire Alpha mirrorless camera and E-mount lens range. With the launch of the third generation Sony A9 III camera the trend continues as they forge ahead with what was previously impossible technology, which is now available for professional photographers spanning a variety of industries.

The Sony a9 III Looks INCREDIBLE - First Look Video


Sony A9 III Review

Our comprehensive Sony A9 III review has all the most essential details about this new high-speed full-frame camera and its potential impact on your content creation. Whether you're just curious about the price of the a9 III, the groundbreaking features it offers, or how it compares to the previous generation, continue reading to find the answers.

When was the Sony A9 III camera released?

Sony announced the A9 III camera in early 2023, and released full specifications on November 7 the same year. It is billed to be available soon and accompanies the launch of the Sony 300mm F/2.8 GM Lens for pro sports and wildlife.

A9 III sample image Camera settings: 1/3200 sec. f/4.5. ISO 640

© Aleksandra Szmigiel Sample image with Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS Lens and 1.4x Teleconverter @560mm. Camera settings: 1/3200 sec. f/4.5. ISO 640

Sony A9 III new key features

We’ve got a full specs comparison between the mark II and mark III Sony a9 cameras below, however it’s definitely recommended to note the most significant upgrades first, of which there are many! In brief, these include:

  • World’s first full-frame stacked 24.6 MP Exmor RS™ global shutter image sensor
  • Highs-speed BIONZ XR image processor with 8x processing capabilities
  • Continuous bursts at up to 120 fps with completely blackout free shooting and new speed boost mode
  • Maximum 1/80,000 shutter speed with flash sync at all shutter speeds
  • 759 point phase-detection with 95.6% coverage and -5EV AF
  • Wider range of realtime subject AF tracking
  • 8-stop in-body stabilisation
  • 4K/60p video from 6K oversampling and full sensor 4K/120p with zero rolling shutter
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 All-I, S-Cinetone and S-Log 3 colour profiles
  • Upgraded 9.44 million-dot EVF with 120fps refresh rate at max. resolution
  • 4-way high-resolution LCD screen
  • Updated grip, curved body and new control buttons

Chris Shmid Sample image with Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS Lens and 1.4x Teleconverter

© Chris Shmid Sample image with Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS Lens and 1.4x Teleconverter @560mm. Camera settings: 1/3200 sec. f/4.5. ISO 640

The improvements in the new A9 III are immediately evident, marking a substantial upgrade over the previous generation A9 camera. Key features include the world's first full-frame global shutter, which significantly improves the camera's performance in terms of speed, features and image quality for both stills and video.

What does the global shutter mean for creators?

As the world’s largest manufacturer of camera sensors it was perhaps inevitable that Sony has developed what was previously considered impossible with their new full-frame stacked 24.6 megapixel Exmor RS™ global shutter image sensor.

This development provides numerous benefits to photographers and videographers who gain a high-speed sensor, which reads out all data from every pixel simultaneously. The means there is zero rolling shutter with zero image distortion at any speed up to 1/80000, and notably you can sync flash at any speed, right up to the maximum shutter speed. The implications for photographers and image-makers are enormous given the camera's fantastic high-speed capabilities.

Sample a9 III photo from Diego Souto of skater

©Diego Souto Sample image with Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS Lens and 1.4x Teleconverter @560mm. Camera settings: 1/3200 sec. f/4.5. ISO 640

Advantages to a global shutter include:

  • Automatic flicker-free shooting between 100 Hz and 120 Hz
  • Eliminates flash banding
  • Flash sync at all shutter speeds
  • 4K distortion-free movies
  • 4K 120p without crop for the first time in an Alpha camera
  • 120fps burst with full AE/AF and full resolution

Blackout-free shooting

Blackout-free shooting is a game changer when capturing fast moving sports, wildlife and other quick-moving subjects. EVF lag that often associated with EVF viewing has also been reduced to a minimum, offering an experience closer to that of an optical eyepiece.

The upgraded EVF also displays the highest reoslution and highest refresh rate simultaneously, for a sharper, clearer viewing experience.

Pre-Capture mode

Sony has added Pre-Capture mode to the A9, which is a recently developed feature seen on other high-end mirrorless cameras. This is available in any image format, up to the maximum 120 fps continuous burst, with full AF/AE tracking. Pre-Capture essentially triggers the shutter release button slightly before you depress it, enabling the camera to record images in the current setting for anywhere between 0.005 to 1 second.

If you’re shooting mission critical events this is a highly desirable feature, which can help you capture images that you may otherwise have missed.

The rear of the alpha 9 mark III body


The a9 III is able to transfer data up to twice as fast as its predecessor thanks to IEEE 802.11ac WiFi with 2x2 MIMO support. 5 GHz28 communication offers maximum speed and stability, which has proven itself to be essential for news and sports shooters who need to deliver images immediately. The in-camera interface makes it easy to transfer stills and movie data via an FTP server, Wi-Fi, fast-wired LAN, or USB tethering with a smartphone.

Specific movie features

Sony’s recent mirrorless cameras offer a seemingly endless array of features for creators, which are designed to make your job easier across a wide range of scenarios. The A9 III combines the best of these capabilities, with:

  • Breathing compensation
  • Dynamic active Mode stabilisation
  • Auto Framing, which harness AI subject recognition
  • The latest Sonycolour profiles (which were omitted from the A9 II)
  • Oversampled 4K from 6K and for the first time 4K 120p using the full sensor width

The new sensor brings substantial benefits for filmmaking too and this camera is without a doubt one of Sony's most proficient video bodies ever made, competing with cinema cameras in terms of redout speeds and image quality.

AI-driven autofocus with extended subject recognition

The A9 Mark III combines all of the latest AF technology available from Sony, including an AI processor which identifies subjects, tracks them and defines colour rendition. The camera blends the best of hybrid AF, drawing on hybrid Phase and contrast detection across 759 phase-detection points.

AF coverage is also wider, with 95.6% of the image area covered by user-adjustable AF points, and subjects which the A-series camera recognises now include:

  • Human (eyes, heads, and bodies, with human pose estimation)
  • Animal (eyes, heads, and bodies)
  • Bird (eyes and bodies)
  • Animal/Bird single setting
  • Insect
  • Car/Train
  • Airplane

Sample image with Sony GM 24-70 mark II lens and A9 III camera

Sample image with FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II @41mm. Camera settings: 1/16000 sec. f/9. ISO 800

Sony A9 III specs compared to A9 II

Our specs table below compares the third generation Sony A9 III vs the previous A9 II, which was released in Aug 2020. Three years has made a big difference between these two high-speed cameras, with the widespread adoption of AI for subject recognition and a brand new global shutter.


Sony A9 III

Sony A9 II


Full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor with a global shutter system

Full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor


24.6 megapixels

24.2 megapixels




Max. continuous burst shooting

Blackout-free shooting at 120 fps (full AF/AE tracking)

Max. 20 fps

Max. Shutter speed

1/80000 second shutter speed with flash sync


Flash sync speed 1/250 sec

ISO sensitivity (base)

 ISO 250 - 25600

ISO 100-51200

Image stabilisation


5.5 stops

Still image formats






Focus system

Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF / contrast-detection AF)

Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)

Focus points

Still images: Max. 759 points (phase-detection AF)

Still images: Max 693 points (phase-detection AF)

AF sensitivity range

EV-5 to EV20

EV-3 to EV20

Subject recognition

Human, Animal, Bird, Insect, Car, Train, Airplane

Human, Animal, Bird

LCD Screen

8.0 cm (3.2-type) type TFT, touch panel with 2 095 104 dots

7.5 cm (3.0-type) type TFT, touch panel with 1,440,000 dots


1.6 cm (0.64 type) electronic viewfinder (Quad-XGA OLED)

9 437 184 dots

Approx. 0.90x magnification

1.3 cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder (color), Quad-VGA OLED

3 686 400 dots

Approx. 0.78 x magnification

Viewfinder frame rate

NTSC mode: STD 60fps / HI 120fps / HIGHER 240fps, PAL mode: STD 50fps / HI 100fps / HIGHER 200fps

STD 60fps / HI 120fps

Recording system (movie)


  • Max 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 10bit) (Approx.):119.88p (200Mbps)
  • 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit) (Approx.):119.88p


  • 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8bit) (Approx.):119.88p (200Mbps)
  • 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit) (Approx.):119.88p (280Mbps)


  • 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit) (Approx.):59.94p (600Mbps)
  • 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit) (Approx.):29.97p (300Mbps)

4K recording at up to 30fps 4:2:0 8-bit with XAVC compression

Movie colour profiles

S-Log 2


xvYCC standard


  • Mass-storage / MTP
  • Yes5
  • Yes (SuperSpeed USB 5 Gbps (USB 3.2) compatible)
  • NFC
  • Yes
  • Yes (Wi-Fi Compatible, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz band/5 GHz band))67
  • Yes (Bluetooth Standard Ver. 5.0 (2.4 GHz band))
  • HDMI connector (Type-A), 3840 x 2160 (30p / 25p / 24p) / 1920 x 1080 (60p / 50p / 24p) / 1920 x 1080 (60i / 50i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit, 4672 x 2628 (59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p) , Raw 16bit
  • Yes (with Digital Audio Interface)8
  • Yes (3.5 mm Stereo minijack)
  • Yes (3.5 mm Stereo minijack)
  • Yes (Bluetooth remote control)
  • Yes (1000BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 10BASE-T)
  • FTP Transfer Func.(Wired LAN, USB Tethering, Wi-Fi), Send to smartphone, Remote control via smartphone, PC Remote
  • Mass-storage, MTP, PC remote
  • Yes10
  • NFC™ Yes
  • Wi-Fi Compatible, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz band/5GHz band)1112, View on Smartphone, Remote control via Smartphone, Send to Computer, View on TV
  • HDMI micro connector (Type-D), BRAVIA Sync (Control for HDMI), PhotoTV HD, 4K movie output/4K still image PB
  • Yes
  • Yes (Bluetooth Standard Ver. 4.1 (2.4GHz band))
  • Yes (with Digital Audio Interface)13
  • Yes
  • Yes (3.5 mm Stereo minijack)
  • Yes
  • Yes (3.5 mm Stereo minijack)
  • Yes (1000BASE-T)

Lens correction

Shading, Chromatic Aberration, Distortion, Breathing (Movie)

Peripheral Shading, Chromatic Aberration, Distortion

Memory cards

x2 Multi slot for SD (UHS-I/II compliant) memory card / CFexpress Type A card

x2 Slots for SD (UHS-I/II compliant) memory card


Battery life (NP-FZ100)

Approx. 400 shots (Viewfinder) / Approx. 530 shots (LCD monitor)

Approx. 500 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 690 shots (LCD monitor)


Approx. 702 g (battery and memory card)

Approx. 678 g (battery and memory card)


Approx. 136.1 x 96.9 x 82.9 mm

Approx. 128.9mm x 96.4mm x 77.5mm




This is a huge leap forward, although the newer model does sacrifice some battery performance, but Sony is adding a new optional VG-C5 Vertical Grip, which will extend shooting through an additional battery chamber and 15% greater performance using parallel power.

With 10 Years of Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless there’s a huge variety of Sony lenses to complement this, and any other full-frame camera. In fact there’s even a newly released Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens for Pro Sports and wildlife photography, which will be the perfect partner for the A9 III.

A9 III top control dials

Ergonomics and operability

Alongside numerous internal upgrades, Sony also saw fit to improve the exterior of the A9 III camera, which introduces an improved grip,rounded edges, upgraded EVF, new touchscreen LCD with multi-angle positioning and new C5 button, while up top there’s a speed boost button, as well as dial for focus settings.

The Sony VG-C5 Vertical Grip was announced at the same time as the camera and deserves a special mention as Sony has reinvented their grip with unique features, which complement the body. It holds up to two additional batteries that support Parallel Power supply, for not only extended shooting, but longer duration too. The grip features an additional C5 button and the same operability as the camera’s horizontal grip, for improved balance and muscle memory when shooting vertically, even for extended periods.

Sony has pulled out all the stops with the third generation A9 III. It’s significantly faster, provides better burst shooting, upgraded autofocus with wider coverage and more subjects are now recognised and tracked. Stabilisation is outstanding, low light performance is improved, and just about every aspect of the hybrid, high-speed body is either new or upgraded.

The only downside is that you’ll have to wait a hair longer to get your hands on one, but you can register and preorder as soon as it becomes available by visiting our Sony A9 III product page.

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By Nick Dautlich on 07/11/2023

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