The Sony A7S Mark III is a terrific video camera and the perfect choice for anyone shooting 4K video with Sony E-mount lenses, especially smaller production teams and content creators who didn’t want the cost and bulk of Sony’s Cinema line cameras. Or at least it was. Because then Sony launched two new models that immediately put the A7S III in the shade – the FX6 and, more recently, the FX3. Ouch!
The FX6 essentially takes the tech in the A7S III and puts it in a larger, more modular cinema camera body that’s better suited to more advanced video productions with a whole set of connections and controls the A7S III doesn’t have – so it’s aimed at a different audience probably doesn’t undermine the A7S III that much.
But the Sony FX3 is different. It’s as if Sony designed the A7S III for video, but then actually did the job properly with the FX3, which has many features the A7S III lacks and could leave some A7S III users feeling they bought the wrong camera.
The Ver.2.0 firmware update does at least close the gap…
Sony A7S III Ver.2.0 firmware update details
• The key addition is Sony’s P11:S-Cinetone picture profile preset. This is a shooting profile used across Sony’s Cinema line cameras that produces high-quality skintones, rich shadows and delicate highlights. Sony quotes this as one of the selling points for the FX3, so it’s good news for A7S III owners that they now get this too.
• The update also adds Active SteadyShot support when recording movies with in the S&Q mode, though not with frame rates of 100/120fps or higher.
• Other improvements are to the camera’s overall stability and fixes issues with FTP transfer with some USB-LAN conversion adapters (though not all USB-LAN conversion adaptors are guaranteed to operate properly even now), and improved stability when using USB tethering with an iPhone – though annoyingly, tethering is not supported by iOS 14.
This is not the only Apple compatibility Sony is struggling with. The Ver.2.0 firmware update is installed via Sony’s own desktop software utilities, but the Mac version is not compatible with the latest Mac OS, Big Sur.