How Good Is the Dynamic Range of the Sony a9 III?

The unveiling of the Sony a9 III, with its groundbreaking global sensor, has certainly turned heads in the photography community, sparking discussions about its potential drawbacks in terms of dynamic range and ISO capabilities. This comprehensive video analysis offers a peek into what users can anticipate from this sensor.

In this helpful video, delves into the eagerly awaited Sony a9 III mirrorless camera's sensor, taking a look at how its dynamic range holds up with the compromises made to create the world's first consumer full frame global shutter sensor. He provides an in-depth examination of the camera's dynamic range and ISO functionality, addressing concerns surrounding the global shutter. This feature, while eliminating the pesky rolling shutter effect, has raised questions about possible compromises in dynamic range. Watson's hands-on testing provides valuable insights into these concerns, demonstrating the tangible effects of shooting at the base of ISO 250 versus lower extended ISO settings.

Watson's findings reveal a significant discovery: shooting at the camera's base ISO of 250 versus dipping to ISO 125 can drastically affect dynamic range, particularly in the highlights. His comparison of slightly overexposed images at both ISO settings shows that while ISO 250 retains recoverable highlights, dropping to ISO 125 results in irretrievably blown-out skies. All in all, while there is certainly a dynamic range compromise in the sensor, it sure does not look like an issue in all but the most extreme scenarios. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Watson.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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