Sony Just Changed Photography Forever

Sony just changed photography forever by releasing the Sony a9 III, the world's first global shutter camera. 

Global Shutter—A First for Mirrorless

Sony has delivered the world's first full-frame global shutter mirrorless camera with the a9 III. The use of a global shutter provides a leap in performance over the rolling shutter technology used for decades. A global shutter provides a near instantaneous and simultaneous readout of all 24.6MP, eliminating skew and other artifacts that plagued rolling shutters. It also far surpasses mechanical shutter technology is every way, making the physical shutter unnecessary in the a9 III.Global shutters help ensure consistent and uniform exposure across the entire frame in all lighting conditions. Flash sync is possible at any shutter speed-even the maximum of 1/80,000 second. The simultaneous readout also prevents banding from certain light sources, such as fluorescent lighting. In a gym, outside, or with mixed artificial lighting the a9 III will handle it with ease.

Pre-Capture & Speed Boost—Never Miss a Moment

Along with the key technology delivered by the sensor, the a9 III offers features new features to unlock the camera's full potential.

  • Pre-Capture: The a9 III can be configured to begin recording images to the buffer when the shutter button is half-pressed. Users can set this between 0.05-1.0 second. Upon pressing the shutter these images will be saved to the memory card.
  • Speed Boost: Not every shoot calls for the a9 III's impressive max speed of 120 fps. With Speed Boost and the C5 button, which is conveniently placed near the grip on the front of the camera, users can instantly switch their camera from their usual continuous shooting frame rate to a faster one to make sure their next shot is just right. Photographers will be able to select various frame rates up to 120 fps.

Pro-Quality 4K Video

While video benefits greatly from the use of global shutter technology-rolling shutter and banding artifacts are completely eliminated-the a9 III boasts plenty of other video improvements over its predecessor worth talking about.

  • The a9 III captures and downsamples the full 6K image area to produce high-quality UHD 4K video up to 60 fps. It can also record 4K up to 120 fps with no crop.
  • Record 10-bit 4:2:2 internally using All-I encoding for maximum quality.
  • Output 16-bit raw via the full-size HDMI port to a compatible external recorder.
  • S-Log3, S-Cinetone, and other Picture Profiles are available for optimizing the image for your workflow and production environment.

Refined Body Design

With a new generation of Alpha-series cameras comes some slight tweaks and modifications designed to make the operation of the system more ergonomic. The a9 III features a handful of updates:

  • Addition of C5 custom button to front of camera body.
  • Continuous shooting mode dial can now be disabled and shooting speed can be adjusted in the menu.
  • Enhanced grip and the shutter button has been slightly moved to provide a more ergonomic experience.
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SD card slots provide versatility, allowing users to use existing media or pick up the faster CFexpress options to take full advantage of the a9 III's increased speed.
  • USB-C port now offers faster USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds of up to 10 Gb/s.
  • 3.2" 2.1m-dot 4-axis multi-angle touchscreen LCD-first seen on the a7R V. This screen has a wide color gamut covering the DCI-P3 space.
  • 9.44m-dot 0.90x OLED electronic viewfinder with maximum refresh rate of 240 fps. The a9 III benefits from maximum quality viewing at up to 120 fps.
  • Ethernet port for advanced networking and data transfer workflows.
  • The optional VG-C5EM Vertical Grip is designed to match the updated ergonomics of the a9 III, including the new C5 button.

Future Firmware Updates

The Sony a9 III is going to get better with time and there are some details on what to expect in future firmware updates:

  • The ability to shooting continuously at up to 120 fps when using the maximum shutter speed of 1/80,000 second.
  • Workflow enhancements for IPTC metadata and FTP functions.
  • Addition of C2PA technology from the Content Authenticity Initiative.

Pre-Orders will go up soon on B&H

Lee Morris's picture

Lee Morris is a professional photographer based in Charleston SC, and is the co-owner of

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"Changed X Forever" has got to be the laziest and most over-used of cliches.

^ I found the canon shooter

Wrong. Just tired of lazy cliched writing.

^found the angry Nikon shooter

^ Found the troll. -_-

Haha. Lee is living rent free inside your head man!

Found Gordon’s fake account

My video explains that.

--- "how does the 15 or so photographers who shoot Sony"

Hahaha! Projection at it's finest coming from you, "Found the man with 4-foot long arms, stretched out from reaching." lol smh

No duh. But, it still circles back to the irony of your statement.


Actually, I think you found a reasonable person with common sense. These articles on here are just way over the top, but I suppose that's how you get the clicks.

Not sure if the fact that a phrase is often misued makes it "lazy" when it is used correctly. A mainstream global shutter with these characteristics is as significant a change to photography as any of the major chemistry advances in the age of film. Probably more significant than any of the format changes such as the introduction of APS-C. Not quite as significant as the development of SLR, but very much in the same ballpark.

I wonder where this leaves leaf shutters.

Having crazy shutter speeds like this is just going to make flash durations that much more important. You are still going to need powerful lights - just for different reasons.

Most flashes at full power have a flash duration of 1/250 to maybe 1/400 or so. So whenever you use a shutter speed faster than 1/250 your shutter will cutoff the flash output.

The fastest flash durations are typically around 1/10,000. But to get those speeds you are typically only putting out 5w/s or less unless you are using a powerful pack head system from Broncolor or Profoto - even then you are getting maybe 25-50 w/s.

Shortest flash duration I have seen is Broncolor Satos 3200 at 1/30,000 second at about 2w/s. That might be enough output to get some decent exposure wide open depending on how large a light modifier etc you are using. But that pack is $20k.

So while 1/80,000 is cool and impressive theoretically its not going to be as useful as you think in practicality. It will be useful at say 1/1000 to maybe 1/4000 range or so. Beyond that the shutter will cutoff both the ambient and flash just like in HSS.

Even my Hasselblad with 1/800 shutter sync runs into issues where shutter sync speeds above 1/400 - 1/500 starts to reduce flash output slightly.

The shorter the shutter and flash duration the more precise sync and sequencing needs to be.

Not having a physical shutter in the sequence will probably simplify things and create less of an issue. Sounds like Sony has some tech to help really get things in perfect sync which will be absolutely critical to get the most out of things.

It is still a big deal.

Will be interesting to see what is practical in real world shooting though.

Maybe it will be actually useful up to 10,000 which is the upper limit for most flashes.

Still 10,000 is pretty far away from 80,000 theoretical spec. 3-stop difference.

Just trying to ground people to the reality rather than the hype machine.

Flash output isn't linear, it's highest at the beginning

Actually, it's highest a few milliseconds after the "fire" signal. But the slope during power up is much steeper than the slope during falloff.

What about Hensel Cito 500?

Forgot about the Cito. But all its specs are in t.5. So just understand that actual light output will be about 50% if you use the equivalent shutter speed on the camera.

Well said, not many people are used to having a sync speed faster than flash duration. I can just imagine some people are going to be turning the power up with no effect...

A faster shutter speed will reduce flash output, but so does HSS.
If one day all cameras have global shutters, no more ND filters will be needed for flash users.

Why would anyone need to shoot around 1/80,000? I will try to test the math out tomorrow but even at f1.2 at iso 100, the image would be pitch black. Even with the sun in the photo, everything except the sun itself will be black. No one needs a strobe to sync at those settings. It’s going to be revolutionary for 1/400 - 1/4,000 speeds though for sure.

I can think of a lot of technical/scientific reasons. Plus, as far a the synching goes, if you get a120fps burst, one of them has to be close... Time will tell as creative people get their hands on this tech!

Sony consistently raises the bar for mirrorless camera technology, setting a pace that challenges others to match. This could well be the pinnacle of mirrorless technology, can't wait for the reviews.

Still 4 to 6 months away from that.

I shoot live theatre, often under LED light, and a global shutter has always been the holy grail, allowing fully silent shooting with no LED banding. I'm still going to use my R6 which is quiet enough when shooting mechanical, but it's great to know this camera exists and the tech will eventually trickle down to the lower end pro bodies.

The R3 can do 1/64000th with zero jello effect, zero LED banding, and full flash support (albeit in HSS after 1/180th) but with the option of mechanical shutter and a much lower base ISO. For less money, with better lenses. This should only appeal to video shooters who don’t like internal ND and need poor battery life lol. R1 is also right around the corner.

Also, Nikon CCD cameras had global shutters like 20 years ago.

This doesn’t solve anything for videographers right? Videographers want 1/frame rate and at 1/25 or 1/60 shutters, the scene is still to bright. What videographers really want is ISO 1 or ISO 5 so we don’t need ND filters while maintaining slow shutter speeds.

I think you missed the sarcasm in that videographers would use a real video camera with internal ND, larger batteries, and XLR audio, the global shutter being a lesser priority for anything that isn’t constant panning action.

Also, as a writer, I would assume you know the difference between “too” and “to” in your reply, but here we are.

I quit reading the article after I read the first typo in the first paragraph. The writing was poor. I did want to know about the shutter, however. But I asked myself why someone who obviously knew all sorts of technical details about the new type of shutter wouldn't take the time to proof read their work.

Typo? As in one? As in single, not multiple? As in an integer > 0 but < 2? Gasp! Heaven forbid.

Kind of funny you spelled proofread wrong, though.

I’ll stick with better glass over a 80k shutter, thx

When you copy/paste the Sony press release word for word....

Come on man, seriously, that's not reporting

This is the laziest article I've seen, and heartbreaking to see that it's from one of the guys who runs the site.

Like digital camera world becoming just press releases after its acquisition, f stoppers is lowered itself to another tier down of photography blogs. I'm going to go ahead and ask Google to stop recommending this site after this.

We get it, you moved to a tax haven and don't have to try as hard. But you should also tell us when this is an advertorial.

"Heartbreaking"? Oof. I hope you pull through!

Make note of that base ISO of 250, and the comparatively low 24.6MP resolution. A global shutter means that dynamic range will decrease.

"Sony Just Changed Photography Forever."

To quote Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: "I do not think it means what you think it means."

I created an account to say that the global shutter sounds pretty good, but no image quality evaluation has taken place. Nikon has pre release, z8/z9 both only have e shutter, the new ZF has 8 stops on ibis, and my profoto strobes are great with hss. Tech seems cool but unproven and this seems a bit gimmicky.

--- "global shutter sounds pretty good, but no image quality evaluation has taken place."

There are jpg and video samples out there since this article. This site isn't only one that did the first look of the pre-release.

--- "my profoto strobes are great with hss."

I'll wager it'll do even better without the need for hss.

--- "this seems a bit gimmicky."

Not all genres of photography will benefit greatly from it. But, it will be very useful and helpful for ones that can use it.

It's not the world's first global shutter, it's just unusual, and it's been a while since we've seen one. There was at least one Nikon DSLR with a CCD sensor that had global shutter.