Sony has spent a significant portion of the past year demonstrating how seriously it is taking the requirements and expectations of professional and amateur photographers.
It upgraded its small flagship offering with the RX100 VII. It provided lovers searching for a mirrorless camera several places to turn for their following models the Alpha A6400, Alpha A6100, and Alpha 6600.
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New firmware upgrades have enhanced the focusing performance of Sony’s most popular cameras, such as the A9 and Alpha A7R III. Lens releases have varied from the little FE 35mm f/1.8 to the mammoth Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS, with many more in between.
Sony a7r IV Features
In recent years, advancements in performance in other areas may have caused sensor resolution to take somewhat of a back seat. However, the ‘R’ series has always been about solutions, and it’s undoubtedly the major attraction of this latest model.
The 63-megapixel sensor is capable of producing photographs with a resolution of 61 megapixels and, like the sensor found in the A7R III that came before it, features a back-illuminated design that improves its ability to gather light. The sensor is expected to have a dynamic range of up to 15EV stops, which is the same amount Sony claimed for the A7R III sensor.
SteadyShot Inside image stabilization has also been implemented into the body of the camera, which has become the norm for Sony cameras of this class. This offers a maximum compensating impact of 5.5EV stops and may be left on whether you’re taking stills or filming movies. It also works without issue.
Sony a7r IV Build Quality
The design of the Sony A7R IV does not appear to have been altered significantly from that of the A7R III, at least not to the naked eye; nonetheless, a few adjustments have been made to the design, and these changes have been done for a variety of reasons.
The exposure compensation dial formerly located on the top plate has been updated to include a locking button in the exact location as the mode dial. On a dial of this size, the fact that this can be locked and unlocked with just a single press is far handier than the alternative, which is to keep pressing it anytime you want to turn it.
There is no way to get around the fact that because there are three dials in this area, each one has to be small and a little too close to the others for optimal operation. However, if you tend to stick to one exposure mode and only rarely adjust exposure compensation, this may not be as much of an issue for you as it is for someone else.
Sony a7r IV Autofocus
In recent years, manufacturers have been observed to devote a considerable amount of attention to their focusing technologies. Sony previously wowed us with systems that use its Real-time Tracking and Eye AF technology. Both are included in the A7R IV, and they complement one another when it comes to tracking a subject on the move, whether a person or an animal.
When the camera is configured to maintain focus constantly, it can follow a moving subject successfully. To tell the camera what to concentrate on, the quickest approach to give it instructions is just to tap the screen in the proper area and let it do the rest of the work for you. This is true even if you have a focusing point already selected and position it over the subject.
Sony a7r IV Performance
At the time of this writing, the Sony A7R IV is the most recent camera to feature an electronic viewfinder with 5.76 million dots, following in the footsteps of cameras such as the Panasonic S1R and S1, as well as the Fujifilm GFX 100. This contrasts with other competitors’ viewfinders, which have 3.69 million dots.
It has a high level of brightness and sharpness, and its contrast is relatively strong compared to other finders that are more neutral. It does an excellent job of displaying details, even though its default settings appear to have a slightly higher incidence of aliasing artifacts than those of some other devices; however, this issue seems to be remedied by setting the Display Quality to High; however, so will reduce the battery life of the device.
The LCD screen underneath it functions well and reacts appropriately to gentle pushes, taps, and swipes. In particular, it works pretty well when shooting videos since touching the screen enables seamless transitions between the various focus states.
Sony a7r IV Image Quality
The colors that come out of the camera are beautiful, and the abundance of creative styles allows you to either select a suitable setting without much effort or make your own with only a little bit more effort. The lack of a post-capture raw processing option, which would have enabled you to make alterations to these images at a later time, is unfortunate. Still, the extensive pre-capture processing options help to alleviate some of the frustration.
When comparing photographs, one issue we found on several occasions was that there were tiny differences in how the auto-white balance was set. In most cases, this would occur when the primary subject filled a little different fraction of the frame compared to a prior photograph, yet there was a discernible change between warmer and cooler tones.
However, the metering system of the A7R IV proves to be far more dependable, performing well not just in well-balanced situations but also in more challenging settings, such as when dealing with backlighting or with expansive brighter regions like the sky.
Sony a7r IV Specs
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||9504 x 6336|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||61 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||63 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.7 x 23.8 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, ISO 100-32000 (expands to 50-102800)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||50|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||102800|
|White balance presets||9|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||5.5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Extra fine, fine, standard)|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Sony ARW v2.3)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (2x – 4x)|
|Number of focus points||567|
|Lens mount||Sony E|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)|
|Flash modes||Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync.|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Drive modes||SingleContinuous (Hi+/Hi/Mid/Lo)Self-timerBracketing (Ex0osure, WB, DRO)|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, XAVC S, H.264|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 + NFC|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Battery description||NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||670|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||665 g (1.47 lb / 23.46 oz)|
|Dimensions||129 x 96 x 78 mm (5.08 x 3.78 x 3.07″)|
Sony a7r IV Verdict
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The release of the A7R IV demonstrates that Sony’s Alpha range is continuing to enjoy great success. Even though there are a few issues that have been carried over from earlier models, the camera has a class-leading pixel count, a redesigned Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, and autofocusing improvements, in particular, demonstrate that the company is continuing to innovate and advance in the right directions. When you take into account all that is included in this package, the price tag is more reasonable than it was for earlier Alpha models, even though it is not inexpensive.