Sony Alpha camera event announced, could this be the Sony A9 III?

Sony Alpha

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has released a YouTube teaser for a new Alpha camera, with rumors claiming it could be the announcement of the Sony A9 III.

The teaser says that the event will go live on January 26 at 10am EST / 3pm GMT, which works out as 2am AEST for Australian Alpha fans.

The only clue the teaser provides is the tagline “the one never seen”, with the background showing some motion blur, which suggests it could be a sports or action camera.

This also seems to be the suggestion from Sony Alpha Rumors, which spotted the new event. The site suggests the event could be for the announcement of the Sony A9 III, which would be Sony’s flagship successor to the Sony A9 II sports camera.

Sony Alpha Rumors, which has a pretty good track record with predictions, suggests the Sony A9 III will have an 8K sensor and a new 50MP sensor. However, it doesn’t sound entirely convinced that the January 26 event will be for the A9 III, or that the camera will indeed have that name.

According to its earlier rumors, the new A9 series flagship – which sits above Sony A7 series cameras like the Sony A7R IV – could also be called the Sony A9s. Either way, we’ve only got a few days to find out.

Sony A9 II

(Image credit: Sony)

Speed freak

The super-speedy Sony A9 II only arrived in October 2019, so it would be a very fast turnaround for a successor to that camera. 

This means it’s possible that the new Alpha announced on January 26 will bear a different name and perhaps be more of a stills-video hybrid to complement that camera, rather than replace it.

So what else do we know about the mysterious camera? Sony Alpha Rumors suggests it will have similar specs to the Sony A7S III, including the same EVF and autofocus) and be “at least $1,500 more expensive than the Canon EOS R5“. 

That would put the A9 III or A9s in the ballpark of $4,999 (around £3,645 / AU$6,450), which would certainly place it firmly in the professional realm. 

On the video side, the latest rumors suggest the camera will be able to shoot 8K/30p video “with no overheating”, although there will apparently be limits on what you can record internally, suggesting that bit-depth and subsampling could be limited in a similar way to the Canon EOS R5.

Despite being what we’ve called Canon’s “best ever stills camera”, the EOS R5 was dogged by reports of overheating while shooting video, at least immediately after its launch before firmware upgrades stepped in to help.

We found the EOS R5 to be fine unless you’re a high-volume, high-speed filmmaker, but it certainly seems likely that Sony could respond with a direct rival to that camera on January 26. We’ll see you at the livestream.

January 21, 2021
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