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Yes, Sony A7S III overheats – sometimes even FASTER than Canon EOS R5

Sony A7S III overheats, too – sometimes even FASTER than Canon EOS R5

The new Sony A7S III rolled out amid a great deal of fanfare thanks to its raft of impressive specs, but its biggest statement was that it can record 4K 60p for over an hour without overheating – double that of the Canon EOS R5. 

However, early tests by reviewers in the United States reveal that the Sony A7S III does in fact suffer from more severe overheating issues in 4K 60p – and, in certain circumstances, it actually overheats even faster than the Canon EOS R5

On paper, it looked like a Sony had absolutely routed Canon. The R5 can only shoot 4K 60p for 35 minutes (or 25, if oversampled) before shutting down, while Sony claimed that the A7S III can manage in excess of 60 minutes. (Standard recording at 4K 30p causes no heating issues on either camera). 

Indoors, both numbers hold true. YouTuber Dan Watson was able to record for 90 minutes on the Sony and 25 minutes on the Canon. When he shot with both cameras outdoors, though, in the direct Florida sunshine, the A7S III actually overheated first – shutting off at 23 minutes while the R5 made it to 33. 

"When I went outside in the crazy Florida heat, things took a kind of unexpected turn here. The Sony was consistently measuring about five degrees hotter than my Canon, and it actually shut off at about 23 minutes where my Canon went to about 32, 33 in 4K 60." 

After the comments section went apoplectic at his methodology, Watson repeated the experiment with a greater emphasis on test conditions – this time both cameras fared a little better, but again the Sony tapped out at 29 minutes while the Canon soldiered on to 34.

Fellow YouTuber Hugh Brownstone achieved near identical results in direct sunlight, even without the same intense heat as the Florida sun. 

"We tested the A7S III on two different days, between 84 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit [28.9-32.2°C], recording 10-bit 4:2:2 4K 24p; we found that it shut down after just 23 minutes  the first time. We were so surprised that we tested it again [where it shut down at 24 minutes]… For now, call this a real concern."

As we've noted before, these 4K overheating issues are nothing new – they've just come back to the fore, because the Canon EOS R5 is such a high profile camera. The Fujifilm X-T4 overheats in 4K, as does the Canon PowerShots G7 X Mark III, and infamously Sony's earlier generations of Alpha cameras got so hot that they were physically uncomfortable to hold.

If you want the best 4K cameras that don't overheat, look to the Panasonic GH5S and Panasonic S1H, which will shoot in the sun until the cows come home. However, in the current Reddit battles between the A7S III and R5, this latest news is sobering for many who thought Sony had a magic bullet. 

• US: Pre-order the Sony A7S III at Adorama
• US: 
Pre-order the Sony A7S III at B&H Photo
 UK: Pre-order the Sony A7S III at Wex Photo Video
 AU: Pre-order the Sony A7S III at CameraPro

Read more: 

Sony announces the long-awaited Sony A7S III, but it’s still 4K. Is that enough?
Hands on: Canon EOS R5 review
The best 4K camera for filmmaking for photographers, vloggers, pros

  • Darren-Wright
    Im sorry but this comment contains a part moan about this article and the people behind it.

    I think this is just an attack on a really pretty impressive bit of kit. There are more than 50 professional photographers carrying out tests in all conditions and they have shown that it holds up pretty dam well and far longer than previous models even in the heat. A few had issues but many didnt. A few bet all other cameras and a few didnt. Also, Florida is a focused hot area. Any camera will have issues in Florida's hot summer days. Yet the detail and colour and cinema-like feel to what it can capture is incredible.

    Were all up for debate but this article seems to cherry-pick out of all the impressive beating reviews done and find the few where there were issues. Which is a shame from Digital Camera. It beats the Canon eos 5 in a few areas whereas the canon eos 5 is still a very impressive camera.

    I watched birds nesting on this camera and the detail and colours and just magic was really a step forward to what we have had before this. Digital Camera should be praising its abilities. But using headlines in a few places where its been subjected to tests that would be hard for any camera. Is rather a low blow and looks more bad on you than the camera in my eyes.

    Ever since digital camera printed that sigma lenses were not so great then a few months later printed that there the most impressive lens they have seen and had ads for them all over the magazine. It has raised questions in me about the truthfulness of what is printed. There are many great suggestions and information but i think you should leave the opinions down to those buying and using them. And not who can pay for the most adverts.

    I like photography and videography and i like Digital Camera World for its highlights and news etc but this is a low kick to what is pretty impressive. I'd even go as far as to say paid for by canon. Or seems to be. And if its not its by canon users who are miffed at how capable this sony a7siii turned out to be.

    If you actually try this camera with water running or with birds feathers rustling or taking flight. It is most definitely a step forward compared to what we have had before. They have really made these 12 MP work harder than ever before.

    Of course, this comment is just an opinion also but give this device a try and a chance. Because from what i have seen of it my self it deserves both.
    Thank you
  • gkochanowsky
    The test conditions were not reasonable. I don't really care how the Sony a7Sm3 compares to an R5 when operated in an oven. If anyone should find me shooting under those conditions please poke me with a fork to check if I'm done.