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Sony a7r IV Review

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 flagship small offering with the RX100 VII. It provided lovers searching for a mirrorless camera several places to turn for their next models with the Alpha A6400, Alpha A6100, and Alpha 6600.

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 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.

Sony a7r IV Autofocus

In recent years, manufacturers have been observed to devote a considerable amount of attention to their focusing technologies, and Sony has previously wowed us with systems that make use of its Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF technology. Both are included in the A7R IV, and they complement one another when it comes to tracking a subject that is on the move, whether it be 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 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 that is already selected and you 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 the viewfinders that other competitors use, 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 mild pushes, taps, and swipes. In particular, it works quite 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 surely beautiful, and the abundance of creative styles gives you the option 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 alter these images later, is unfortunate. Still, the extensive pre-capture processing options help to alleviate some of the frustration.

When comparing photographs, one issue that we found on several occasions was that there were tiny differences in the way the auto-white balance was set. In most cases, this would take place when the primary subject filled a little different fraction of the frame in comparison to an initial 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 typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution9504 x 6336
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels61 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors63 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.7 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, ISO 100-32000 (expands to 50-102800)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102800
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
CIPA image stabilization rating5.5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard)
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Sony ARW v2.3)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x – 4x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points567
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,440,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.78×
Viewfinder resolution5,760,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesFlash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync.
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingleContinuous (Hi+/Hi/Mid/Lo)Self-timerBracketing (Ex0osure, WB, DRO)
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedAverageSpot
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)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, XAVC S, H.264
Modes3840 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
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 + NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)670
Weight (inc. batteries)665 g (1.47 lb / 23.46 oz)
Dimensions129 x 96 x 78 mm (5.08 x 3.78 x 3.07″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Verdict

The overall greatness of the Sony A7R IV may be attributed, in a significant part, to the fact that it follows a string of excellent predecessors. This is similar to the case with the company’s RX100 line of cameras.

These models have provided the company with the opportunity to make adjustments and learn from the feedback of users along the way, ultimately allowing them to craft a camera that is built around a robust core of specifications and includes a multitude of secondary features and controls that have been carefully considered.

The sensor is the focal point of this discussion, and the fact that it captures this level of detail – in addition to being augmented by the impressive Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode – means that it outperforms both its immediate competitors as well as its medium format competitors. However, it would be best if you exercised caution to achieve the best possible results.

Even if the rolling shutter is a concern, the video quality is as excellent as we expect it to be. This may not be anyone’s first pick for video, but the video quality is as strong as we expect it to be.

Face and eye detection work exceptionally well, and the improved focusing system demonstrates that Sony concentrates its efforts where it matters the most. However, to get the most out of it, you should spend some time learning what is possible and adjusting your shooting style accordingly.

Sony a7r IV Pros & Cons

Good For
  • A viewfinder that is bright, crisp, and has high contrast.
  • Excellent maneuverability coupled with much-enhanced ergonomics
  • Rapid and clever AF system
  • Well-behaved metering system
  • Pixel Shift Multi-Shot can capture exceptional detail.
  • Excellent 4K video quality
Need improvements
  • Few problems with the AWB, and the focus
  • Pixel Shift mode does not include motion correction.
  • There is no raw processing done in the camera.
  • Touchscreen technology may be improved.
  • The mode dial is more difficult to access than it was previously
  • Some evidence of a rolling shutter in the videos

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
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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 flagship small offering with the RX100 VII. It provided lovers searching for a mirrorless camera several places...Sony a7r IV Review