Sony A9 III review: the most remarkable camera I've ever used

I have never used a camera like the Sony A9 III – and neither have you. Photography has just changed forever

Sony A9 III being held by photographer James Artaius
(Image: © James Artaius)

Early Verdict

The Sony A9 III is the most advanced camera on the planet, with the world's first full-frame global shutter sensor delivering full-resolution 120fps stills and 1/80,000 sec shutter speeds, and a dedicated AI processing unit that aims to predict human movement for better AF tracking. This camera truly ushers in a new era for photography, unlocking doors that others simply don't have the keys to. No gimmicks: if you're a sports photographer at the top level, this is a tool you simply won't want to be without – even though the AF proved occasionally funky in my experience.


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    Global shutter!

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    Flash sync at any speed

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    120fps full-resolution bursts

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    4K 120p 10-bit 4:2:2 video


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    AF occasionally gets confused

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    Battery grip feels essential

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The Sony A9 III is, hands down, the most advanced camera ever made. While not (yet, at least) being referred to as the company’s flagship, the A9 series has traditionally occupied that position. And as mighty as the Sony A1 is, its specs honestly look kind of quaint compared to the Sony A9 III.

The best sports cameras are the launchpad for manufacturers' bleeding-edge technology, but I have never seen a camera with as much earth-shatteringly futuristic tech as the Sony A9 III. Terms like “game changer” are banded about quite liberally these days, but honestly – this is a camera that will transform the way we use cameras.

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SensorFull frame global shutter Exmore RS CMOS
Effective megapixels24.6MP
AutofocusPhase detection, 759 points stills, 627 points video, AI-based Real-time Recognition AF
ISO250-25600 (exp to 125-51200 for stills)
Burst shooting120fps RAW + JPEG, full res, blackout-free, with AF/AE
Max shutter speed1/80,000 sec (1/16,000 sec for continuous)
Video4K 60p (oversampled 6K), 4K 120p (uncropped)
Image stabilizationUp to 8 stops
Screen3.2-in 2095k-dot 4-axis angle monitor
EVF9437k-dot Quad XGA OLED
Storage2x SD UHS-II / CFexpress A hybrid
Weight702g (1lb 8.8oz)
Size136.1 x 96.9 x 82.9 mm (5 3/8 x 3 7/8 x 3 3/8 inches)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.