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Sony a7S III vs a7R III Comparison

Storage & Battery

Sony a7S III

Sony A7S III camera image

Sony a7R III

Sony a7R III camera image
Sony a7S III
Sony a7R III
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
July 28, 2020
October 25, 2017
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Sony a7R III takes the lead with a score of 83/100, compared to the Sony a7S III at 74/100. Both mirrorless cameras share similarities in their announcement years (2017 and 2020) and launch prices ($3,200 and $3,499). The two cameras also have comparable sizes and weights, with the a7R III being slightly lighter and smaller.

The winning a7R III camera excels in image quality and performance, making it a top choice for professional photographers. On the other hand, the a7S III camera shines in its video capabilities, catering to the needs of videographers and filmmakers.

Although the a7R III has a higher score, the a7S III still holds its ground in specific areas. Choosing between these two cameras ultimately depends on the user’s priorities and intended use. Regardless, both cameras are excellent options within the Sony lineup.

Sony a7S III vs a7R III Overview and Optics

The Sony a7R III emerges as the winner in optics with a score of 84/100, while the Sony a7S III scores 69/100. Both cameras share several specifications, such as a 10 fps shooting speed, CMOS sensor type, Full Frame sensor size, Sony FE lens mount, and image stabilization.

The a7R III’s superiority in optics comes from its higher megapixel count of 42.4, compared to the a7S III’s 12.1 megapixels. This difference allows the a7R III to capture more detailed images, making it an ideal choice for photographers who require high-resolution photos. Additionally, the a7R III boasts a higher DXOMARK sensor score of 100, compared to the a7S III’s score of 86. This indicates that the a7R III’s sensor performs better in terms of color depth, dynamic range, and low-light performance.

The a7S III, on the other hand, has a more advanced Bionz XR processor compared to the a7R III’s Bionz X processor. This contributes to better overall performance and faster image processing. However, this advantage may not be significant enough to outweigh the benefits offered by the a7R III in terms of optics.

In terms of optics, the Sony a7R III is the clear winner due to its higher megapixel count and superior sensor performance. The a7S III’s advantage in processing power is not sufficient to surpass the a7R III’s optical capabilities. Therefore, photographers seeking high-resolution images and better sensor performance should opt for the Sony a7R III, while those prioritizing processing speed may find the a7S III more suitable.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
12.1 MP
42.4 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
4240 x 2832 px
7952 x 5304 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.8 x 35.6 mm
24 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
10 fps
10 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Sony FE
Sony FE
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Bionz XR
Bionz X
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Viewfinder Resolution
9,440,000 dots
3,686,400 dots

Sony a7S III vs a7R III Video Performance

The Sony a7S III emerges as the superior camera for video capabilities, scoring 77 out of 100, while the Sony a7R III lags behind at 56 points. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a maximum video resolution of 4K and dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Neither camera has built-in time-lapse functionality.

The a7S III outperforms the a7R III in video frame rate, offering a maximum of 120fps compared to the a7R III’s 30fps. This significant difference allows the a7S III to capture smoother, more detailed slow-motion footage, making it a better choice for videographers or those frequently shooting action-packed scenes.

On the other hand, the a7R III has no specific video advantages over the a7S III, as both cameras possess the same video resolution and lack time-lapse functionality. Therefore, the a7R III does not excel in video capabilities when compared to the a7S III.

Considering the video capabilities of both cameras, it is clear that the Sony a7S III is the better choice for those prioritizing video performance, due to its higher score and superior frame rate. The Sony a7R III, although offering the same 4K resolution, falls short in terms of frame rate and does not provide any unique advantages in video capabilities.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
3840 x 2160 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
120 p
30 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
XAVC S, AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MP4

Sony a7S III vs a7R III Features and Benefits

The Sony a7S III and Sony a7R III both achieve a feature score of 83 out of 100, indicating no clear winner in terms of features. They share several specifications, including a 3-inch screen size, 1,440,000-dot screen resolution, touchscreen capabilities, flip screens, and the absence of GPS. Additionally, both cameras offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Despite the identical feature scores, there are areas in which each camera excels. The Sony a7S III is superior in low-light performance and video capabilities, making it an ideal choice for videographers and those shooting in challenging lighting conditions. Its impressive high ISO performance and advanced autofocus system ensure sharp, noise-free images and smooth video recording.

On the other hand, the Sony a7R III stands out for its high-resolution 42.4-megapixel sensor, which captures more detail and allows for large prints and extensive cropping. This makes it a better option for photographers who prioritize image quality, such as landscape, portrait, and commercial photographers.

While both cameras offer a robust set of features, the choice between the Sony a7S III and a7R III ultimately depends on the specific needs of the user. The a7S III is the better choice for low-light and video work, while the a7R III excels in capturing high-resolution images. Regardless of the choice, both cameras deliver excellent performance and are worthy additions to any photographer’s arsenal.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
1,440,000 dots
1,440,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Sony a7S III vs a7R III Storage and Battery

The Sony a7S III outperforms the Sony a7R III in storage and battery with a score of 76/100, compared to the latter’s 65/100. Both cameras share common specifications, such as two memory card slots, compatibility with SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II) cards, and the same battery type, NP-FZ100.

The a7S III has an advantage with its support for CFexpress Type A cards, allowing for faster storage performance. Additionally, it offers USB charging, providing extra convenience for on-the-go photographers.

On the other hand, the a7R III has a slightly longer battery life of 650 shots, compared to the a7S III’s 600 shots. However, it lacks USB charging capability.

Taking these factors into consideration, the Sony a7S III proves to be the better option in terms of storage and battery, with its added features and usability. The a7R III, while having a marginally longer battery life, falls short in other aspects.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), CFexpress Type A
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
600 shots
650 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
23.7 bits
26 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
13.9 EVs
14.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Alternatives to the Sony a7S III and a7R III

Sony a7S III vs a7R III Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Sony a7S III or the Sony a7R III:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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