The need for speed never seems to cease, especially when it comes to photography. Mirrorless cameras revolutionised the shutter system in an interchangeable lens system, relying on the readout time to achieve what a mechanical shutter couldn’t in terms of speed. Now even that is going to fade away with global shutter coming to full-frame cameras with the Sony Alpha 9 III.
The newly developed global shutter image sensor exposes and reads all pixels simultaneously, unlike a rolling shutter sensor that records images sequentially from the top row of pixels to the bottom. With this, the camera can shoot at burst speeds up to 120 frames per second with no rolling shutter distortion or camera blackout. But will the AF system latch on at that speed? Sony has paired the system with its most advanced AF system to date, boasting AI autofocus with up to 120 times focus calculations per second. Additionally, the global shutter allows the flash to sync at all shooting speeds, eliminating all those annoying vignetting issues.
The Alpha 9 III‘s full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor offers 24.6 million effective pixels and built-in memory. The camera relies on BIONZ XR engine for processing and features high-density focal plane phase-detection AF. A designated AI processing unit uses Real-time Recognition AF to recognise a wide variety of subjects with high precision. The system supports movies as well as still photography with accurate subject form and movement recognition. The 5-axis in-body optical image stabilisation provides up to 8 stops of shutter speed advantage.
The camera achieves a maximum of a whopping 1/80,000 seconds shutter speed during continuous shooting. Imagine capturing those hummingbird wings and peregrine falcons tack sharp. With flash sync speeds up to 1/80,000 seconds, it is now easy to freeze high-speed action shots in the studio without banding with flash at full power. A large buffer memory, high AF precision at light levels as low as EV-5, 4K 120p high-frame-rate video without cropping, S-Cinetone, feature which can create a cinematic look straight out of the camera are other interesting features.
The Alpha 9 III camera is available in select markets for a suggested retail price of USD 5,999.99 (approx. ₹5 lakh). An Indian release date is still awaited.