When Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record in 2009, he covered the 60m to 80m section of the track in just 1.6 seconds – that’s enough time for the Alpha 9 III mirrorless camera to fire off a whopping 193 frames, making this the photographic equivalent of the Jamaican speedster. It’s thanks to a global shutter system which reads all of the full-frame sensor’s pixels simultaneously.
According to Sony, that completely eliminates rolling shutter – the wobble and spatial warping effects you’ll find on just about every other mirrorless camera when shooting fast moving subjects. Add in 120fps shooting with no blackout and 1/80,000 shutter speeds, and the Alpha 9 III could quickly become a go-to for pro sports and nature photographers.
759-point autofocus and eight stops of in-body optical image stabilisation should also help ensure even the nippiest of subjects are frozen in time. The only snags are the 24.6MP pixel count, which is the bare minimum for a top spec mirrorless camera these days, and the fact it can only maintain that lightning pace for 1.6 seconds before the Bionz XR processing engine needs a breather. But you wouldn’t expect Mr Bolt to keep it up all day either.
Other must-haves include a one second pre-burst feature, which captures the scene before you press the shutter button.
A global shutter sensor has benefits when it comes to video recording, too. The Alpha 9 III is Sony’s first camera with cropping-free 4K/120p video, and it can do 4K/60 with 6K oversampling too. 10-bit recording, S-Log3 capture in all modes, the S-Cinetone picture profile (usually found on the firm’s top-tier Venice camera models) and subject tracking autofocus also make the grade.
Elsewhere you can expect a 9.44 million-dot electronic viewfinder, a flip-out touchscreen display, a full compliment of customisable manual dials and support for both CFexpress Type A cards and UHS II-grade SD cards.
Naturally a pro-grade camera commands a pro-level price. The Sony Alpha 9 III is available to pre-order right now for $6000/£6100, directly from Sony.