Sony Alpha 9 III– world’s first full-frame global shutter sensor in a mirrorless

Sony Electronics today introduced the Alpha 9 III camera with the world’s first full-frame global shutter image sensor in a mirrorless hybrid. ​This is a big deal especially if you shoot fast-moving subjects. Sports photographers will finally get distortion-free images, and videographers won’t have to deal with the dreaded jello issues when panning. It’s a big win for all!  

While technically it isn’t the world’s first full-frame global shutter image sensor, it is the first one to actually be available in a camera. Canon announced its LI5030SA 35mm full-size 19-megapixel sensor equipped with a global shutter that exposes all pixels simultaneously earlier in the year, however, that is yet to find its way into any camera that you can buy.

The LI5030SA has a pixel pitch of 6.4μm, and Canon claims that this sensor is able to achieve high dynamic range and low noise. The physical size of the sensor is 5688 x 3336 and it is capable of capturing up to 57.99fps in 12-bit, or 60fps in 5688 x 3240.

Key features

  • 24.6MP Full-Frame Global Shutter Sensor
  • Up to 120 fps Cont. Shooting with AF/AE
  • Pre-Capture Function; Speed Boost Button
  • Flash Sync at up to 1/80,000 Sec.
  • 4K 120p 10-bit Video; S-Log3 & S-Cinetone
  • 759-Point Phase-Detect AF with Tracking
  • 8-Stop 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
  • 9.44m-Dot EVF with 240 fps Refresh Rate
  • 3.2″ 2.1m-Dot 4-Axis Touchscreen LCD
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SD Card Slots

The newly developed global shutter image sensor exposes and reads all pixels simultaneously, unlike a rolling shutter sensor that records images sequentially from the top row of pixels to the bottom. The global shutter full-frame image sensor enables the camera to shoot at burst speeds of up to 120 frames per second with no rolling shutter distortion or camera blackout. This sensor is combined with Sony’s latest AF (autofocus) system, which uses AI to make up to 120 AF/AE focus calculations per second, with the added ability to sync flash at all shooting speeds. Speaking of flash sync you can use it up to the camera’s highest shutter speed which is an insane 1/80,000 Sec (1/16,000 second during continuous shooting).

This allows flash to be used for extra subject illumination when shooting outdoors in bright daylight with a high shutter speed, reducing the need for large lighting setups. This is great news for photographers who do flash photography.

Screenshot 2023 11 08 at 10 06 23 AM

You can use a compatible flash unit from Sony (such as the HVL-F60RM2 or HVL-F46RM) to be able to synchronize at all shutter speeds, eliminating the steep, nonlinear drop-off in illumination that occurs with high-speed sync (HSS) and ensuring even illumination across the image.

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