The New Sony A9 III – Game-changing Experience For Wildlife Photographers

The highly anticipated Sony A9 III has finally hit the shelves, promising a game-changing experience for wildlife photographers. As an enthusiast in the field, I read many reviews on this cutting-edge camera, and my initial impressions are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Announced in November 2023, this new model takes center stage as a groundbreaking marvel, introducing the world’s first full-frame global shutter image sensor. This innovation marks a pivotal moment in the industry, setting a new benchmark and redefining the possibilities for photographers and videographers alike.

But what is all about this innovation? In this review, I am sharing some of the most important details, pros and cons, and comparisons with older models. I am also giving a glimpse of other experts’ opinions on this new Sony mirrorless camera model. Enjoy reading!

World’s First Full-Frame Camera with Global Shutter

The Sony A9 III stands as a trailblazer, featuring the world’s inaugural full-frame stacked 24.6 MP CMOS image sensor equipped with a global shutter system. This cutting-edge Exmor RS™ image sensor sets itself apart from rolling shutter sensors by revolutionizing the image capture process. Unlike sequential recording, the global shutter simultaneously exposes and reads all pixels, eradicating the distortion commonly associated with rolling shutter systems. This revolutionary Sony A9 III gives a game-changing experience for wildlife photographers, where distortion-free imagery is paramount.

With a remarkable maximum shutter speed of 1/80,000 second, this camera empowers photographers to effortlessly freeze fast-moving subjects, even in the most challenging conditions. When combined with compatible Sony flash units like the HVL-F60RM2 or HVL-F46RM, it guarantees uniform illumination throughout the image. This feature caters specifically to photographers demanding split-second precision, making it an ideal choice for professionals in fields like event photography.

Sony Alpha A9 III-2 Mirrorless Camera Game-changing experience for bird and nature photographers
Sony A9 III Mirrorless Camera (Image credit; Adorama)

Design and Build Quality

This new Sony model boasts a robust and weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. It ensures durability in the diverse and challenging conditions often encountered in nature photography. The improved ergonomics enhance handling, providing a comfortable grip during prolonged shooting sessions.

Features and Specifications

Sensor35.9 x 24.0mm Exmor RS CMOS Sensor
Resolution24.2 Megapixels
ISO Range100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800)
AutofocusFast Hybrid AF with 1,200 AF points
Continuous ShootingUp to 30fps
Viewfinder0.5-inch 9.44M-dot OLED, 100% coverage
LCD Screen3.0-inch 1.44M-dot tilting touchscreen
Video Recording4K at 60fps, Full HD at 120fps
Weather SealingYes
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 3.2, HDMI, 3.5mm microphone jack
Battery LifeApproximately 530 shots per charge (CIPA)
Dimensions5.07 x 3.8 x 3.05 inches (128.9 x 96.9 x 77.5 mm)
WeightApproximately 1.48 lbs (673 g) with battery and card

Autofocus Performance

One of the standout features is the advanced autofocus system. With a remarkable 1,200 AF points and real-time subject tracking, the A9 III captures fast and erratic movements, crucial for bird photography, and gives a game-changing experience for wildlife photographers. The enhanced eye-tracking technology ensures sharp focus on the subject’s eyes, delivering unparalleled precision.

Low-Light Capabilities

For photographers immersed in the realms of wildlife, low-light portraits, or high ISO settings, the Composite RAW Shooting feature emerges as a valuable asset. Designed to mitigate noise and elevate image quality, this feature captures multiple shots (selectable at 4, 8, 16, or 32). That can be seamlessly merged using Sony’s Imaging Edge Desktop™ computer application software.

The α9 III’s Composite RAW Shooting proves to be a game-changer, particularly when operating at low sensitivity levels. This innovative capability significantly reduces false color and jaggies. It ensures that photographers can achieve exceptional image clarity and detail in various challenging shooting scenarios.

Burst Shooting and Buffer Capacity

The A9 III’s impressive 30fps continuous shooting speed is a game-changer for bird photographers who never want to miss a moment. The expanded buffer capacity allows for extended bursts, accommodating the unpredictable nature of wildlife photography.

Connectivity and Workflow

The Sony A9 III introduces seamless connectivity options, including built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, facilitating quick file transfers and remote control through the Imaging Edge app. This feature enhances the workflow, making on-the-go editing and sharing a breeze.

4K Video Capabilities

Beyond stills, the A9 III excels in video recording, supporting 4K at 60fps. The camera’s impressive autofocus system seamlessly transitions between subjects. The new Sony A9 III gives a game-changing experience for wildlife photographers.

Pros and Cons of Sony A9 III


  1. Advanced Autofocus: The A9 III boasts an impressive 1,200 AF points and real-time subject tracking. It ensures fast and accurate focusing in dynamic shooting situations.
  2. High-Speed Continuous Shooting: With a remarkable 30fps continuous shooting speed, the A9 III excels in capturing fast-paced action, making it an ideal choice for sports and wildlife photographers.
  3. Enhanced Low-Light Performance: The expanded ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800) and improved noise reduction make the A9 III well-suited for low-light conditions, crucial for diverse photography scenarios.
  4. Improved Ergonomics: The camera features a robust and weather-sealed magnesium alloy body with improved ergonomics. It provides a comfortable grip during extended shooting sessions.
  5. Versatile Connectivity: Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 3.2, and HDMI connectivity options enhance the camera’s versatility, facilitating seamless file transfers and remote control.
  6. 4K Video Capabilities: The A9 III excels in video recording with 4K at 60fps. It makes it a versatile tool for videographers in addition to still photographers.
  7. Durable Build: With weather sealing and a durable magnesium alloy body, the A9 III is built to withstand challenging environmental conditions.


  1. High Cost: The advanced features of the A9 III come at a premium. It makes it a significant investment for photographers who demand top-tier performance.
  2. File Size: The high continuous shooting speed can generate large file sizes quickly. It requires ample storage space for users who shoot in burst mode frequently.
  3. Limited Resolution: For photographers who prioritize extremely high resolution, the 24.2-megapixel sensor might be considered a limitation compared to other models in the market.
  4. Learning Curve: The multitude of features and customization options may have a steeper learning curve for beginners or those transitioning from a different camera system.
  5. Battery Life: While the battery life is reasonable, users engaged in prolonged shooting sessions may need to carry extra batteries to ensure uninterrupted shooting.
  6. Weight: Its weight is approximately 1.48 lbs (673 g) with the battery and card. The A9 III is not the lightest camera in its class, which could be a consideration for those prioritizing portability.

Sony A9 III vs. Sony A9 II

Sony Alpha a9 III Mirrorless Camera Game-changing experience for bird and nature photographers
Sony A9 III
Sony a9 II Mirrorless Camera
Sony A9 II

The A9 III represents a significant evolution in the A9 series, building upon the successes of its predecessors while introducing several key enhancements. Let’s compare it with the previous model, the A9 II:

1. Autofocus System:

  • A9 III: Features an advanced autofocus system with 1,200 AF points and improved real-time subject tracking.
  • A9 II: Had a reliable autofocus system with 693 phase-detection points.

2. Continuous Shooting:

  • A9 III: Offers an impressive 30fps continuous shooting speed, ideal for capturing fast-paced action.
  • A9 II: Supported up to 20fps continuous shooting.

3. ISO Range:

  • A9 III: Boasts an expanded ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800).
  • A9 II: Featured an ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800).

4. Viewfinder:

  • A9 III: Equipped with a high-resolution 9.44M-dot OLED viewfinder providing a clear and immersive shooting experience.
  • A9 II: Featured a 5.76M-dot OLED viewfinder.

5. Connectivity:

  • A9 III: Introduces built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB 3.2 for enhanced connectivity.
  • A9 II: Had Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.

6. Video Capabilities:

  • A9 III: Offers 4K video recording at 60fps and excels in video autofocus for versatile content creation.
  • A9 II: Supported 4K video recording but at a lower frame rate.

7. Design and Ergonomics:

  • A9 III: Features an improved ergonomic design with a comfortable grip, catering to extended shooting sessions.
  • A9 II: Had a solid and well-received design but with incremental improvements.

8. Weather Sealing:

  • A9 III: Maintains a durable magnesium alloy body with weather sealing for robustness in challenging conditions.
  • A9 II: Also had a magnesium alloy body with weather sealing.


In summary, the Sony A9 III brings notable upgrades in autofocus, continuous shooting speed, and video capabilities. It makes it a compelling choice for photographers who demand cutting-edge performance. While the A9 II remains a formidable camera, the new Sony A9 III gives a game-changing experience for wildlife photographers.

Sony A9 III vs. Sony A7R IV

Sony Alpha a9 III Mirrorless Camera Game-changing experience for bird and nature photographers
Sony A9 III
Sony Alpha A7R IV Mirrorless Camera
Sony A7R IV

Let’s compare the Sony A9 III with another popular series, the Sony A7R IV from the A7 series:

1. Sensor Resolution:

  • A9 III: Comes with a 24.2-megapixel sensor, optimized for speed and low-light performance.
  • A7R IV: Boasts a higher 61.0-megapixel sensor, emphasizing resolution for detailed and high-quality images.

2. Autofocus System:

  • A9 III: Features an advanced autofocus system with 1,200 AF points and real-time subject tracking, ideal for fast-action scenarios.
  • A7R IV: Equipped with 567 phase-detection AF points but prioritizes high resolution over speed.

3. Continuous Shooting:

  • A9 III: Offers an impressive 30fps continuous shooting speed, catering to fast-paced action.
  • A7R IV: Supports up to 10fps continuous shooting.

4. ISO Range:

  • A9 III: Provides an expanded ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800).
  • A7R IV: Features an ISO range of 100-32,000 (expandable to 50-102,400).

5. Viewfinder:

  • A9 III: Equipped with a 9.44M-dot OLED viewfinder, prioritizing speed and real-time tracking.
  • A7R IV: Also has a high-resolution 5.76M-dot OLED viewfinder, emphasizing detailed composition.

6. Video Capabilities:

  • A9 III: Excels in 4K video recording at 60fps, with advanced video autofocus capabilities.
  • A7R IV: Supports 4K video recording but at a maximum of 30fps.

7. Intended Use:

  • A9 III: Primarily designed for sports, action, and wildlife photography with a focus on speed and responsiveness.
  • A7R IV: Geared towards photographers who prioritize high resolution for applications like landscape and studio photography.

8. Design and Size:

  • A9 III: Features a robust and weather-sealed body with an emphasis on ergonomic design for comfortable handling during action shooting.
  • A7R IV: Also has a weather-sealed design but is slightly more compact, catering to a broader range of photographic scenarios.


The Sony A9 III and A7R IV cater to different needs within the Sony Alpha lineup. The A9 III excels in speed, making it ideal for fast-action photography, while the A7R IV prioritizes resolution for photographers who demand maximum detail in their images, especially in controlled environments. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the photographer.

Comparing the Sony A9 III, Sony A9 II, and Sony A7R IV cameras

Here’s a table comparing the specifications of the Sony A9 III, Sony A9 II, and Sony A7R IV:

FeatureSony A9 IIISony A9 IISony A7R IV
Sensor Resolution24.2 Megapixels24.2 Megapixels61.0 Megapixels
Autofocus System1,200 AF points, Real-time tracking693 phase-detection AF points567 phase-detection AF points
Continuous Shooting30fps20fps10fps
ISO Range100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800)100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800)100-32,000 (expandable to 50-102,400)
Viewfinder9.44M-dot OLED5.76M-dot OLED5.76M-dot OLED
Video Recording4K at 60fps4K at 30fps4K at 30fps
Weather SealingYesYesYes
Dimensions5.07 x 3.8 x 3.05 inches (128.9 x 96.9 x 77.5 mm)5.07 x 3.8 x 3.05 inches (128.9 x 96.9 x 77.5 mm)5.07 x 3.8 x 3.05 inches (128.9 x 96.9 x 77.5 mm)
WeightApproximately 1.48 lbs (673 g) with battery and cardApproximately 1.48 lbs (673 g) with battery and cardApproximately 1.66 lbs (751 g) with battery and card

Find a comprehensive review of

What do other experts say?

Discovering the nuances of the Sony Alpha A9 III is more than just delving into another camera release; it’s navigating the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Andy Westlake’s insightful review at Amateur Photographer, sheds light on this highly anticipated model, questioning the prevailing narrative that labels it an unequivocal “game-changer.” While acknowledging the technical excitement surrounding the A9 III as the first full-frame mirrorless camera with a global shutter sensor, Westlake advises readers to temper their expectations.

In the review, Westlake takes us on a journey back to the origins of the A9 line, emphasizing its groundbreaking status upon its introduction in 2017. The original A9’s stacked CMOS sensor revolutionized high-speed data readout, challenging the conventions of sports photography by enabling silent shooting at 20 frames per second. The subsequent A9 II refined workflow productivity, and the Alpha 1, introduced in early 2021, elevated the series with 30fps shooting in 50MP raw and 8K video capabilities.

Enter the A9 III, making a resounding return with its global shutter technology, presenting an impressive spec sheet that beckons to professional sports and action photographers. Westlake underscores its significance in the context of major sporting events in 2024, painting it as a major leap forward. However, he pragmatically asserts that, for most users, the A9 III may not be the transformative force it’s often hailed to be. The review, grounded in historical context and technical understanding, provides a balanced perspective on the A9 III’s impact.

For those seeking a nuanced evaluation and a thoughtful analysis of the Sony A9 III, Andy Westlake’s review is a valuable resource. It offers a discerning viewpoint, cautioning against succumbing to hyperbole and encouraging readers to consider the broader implications of this technological marvel within the context of their specific photographic needs.

Review of a Sony Brand Ambassador

The latest addition to Sony’s Alpha lineup, the Alpha 9 III, has ignited a buzz in the photography community with its groundbreaking global shutter image sensor. In a detailed exploration of this technological marvel, Sony Brand Ambassador and portrait expert Scott Robert Lim delves into why the Alpha 9 III is poised to redefine the world of lighting for photographers.

Lim emphasizes the crucial distinction of the global shutter, which exposes and reads all pixels simultaneously, eliminating the limitations posed by traditional rolling shutter sensors. In a captivating interview, Lim shares his insights on how this innovation has the potential to reshape lighting techniques in ways that many photographers may not fully comprehend.

The key differentiator lies in the global shutter’s ability to allow a momentary flash to cover the entire sensor simultaneously, even at shutter speeds as high as 1/80,000-sec. Lim breaks down the complexities of traditional shutters, explaining how they necessitate multiple flashes during high-speed sync to capture the entire image. With the Alpha 9 III’s global shutter, photographers can now seamlessly synchronize a single flash, resulting in enhanced lighting control.

Lim’s practical examples showcase the transformative impact of the Alpha 9 III on outdoor photography. By pushing the boundaries of flash sync speed to an impressive 1/80,000-sec, photographers can maintain wide-open apertures such as f/1.2 or f/1.8, while still achieving optimal exposure. This newfound flexibility enables control over background illumination using shutter speed, a feat previously constrained by aperture limitations.

For photographers seeking to grasp the full extent of the Sony Alpha 9 III’s impact on lighting, Scott Robert Lim’s deep dive serves as an invaluable resource, providing both technical insights and practical applications that showcase the potential of this revolutionary camera.

Conclusion – Does Sony A9 III give a game-changing experience for wildlife photographers?

The A9 III, Sony’s swiftest full-frame camera for action photography, captures 24-megapixel photos at an impressive 120fps with optional pre-capture buffering. Offering a blackout-free viewfinder, uncropped 4k 120 videos, and an unparalleled autofocus system, it stands out as a specialized tool for specific tasks. At its core is Sony’s first full-frame CMOS sensor with a global shutter. It eradicates rolling shutter effects and banding under artificial light. The global shutter allows flash synchronization up to 1/80,000, transforming bright daylight into the ambiance of dusk or night.

However, this high-performance camera, priced at six grand, is suited for those with specific needs. It excels for tasks requiring 120fps, avoiding skewing in video or electronic photos, eliminating banding under artificial light, and enabling fast flash sync. While the A9 III impressively enhances electronic capture, alternative technologies can approach some of its benefits. In the niche world of professional wildlife photography, especially for events like the Olympics, the A9 III sets a benchmark, challenging competitors like Canon and Nikon.

Stay tuned for an in-depth review as I delve deeper into the A9 III’s features and performance in real-world scenarios.

If you are interested more in other mirrorless or DSLR cameras click HERE.

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