Sony has released the full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera a7 IV, which was released on December 23, 2021, to be precise, with renewed still image and video shooting performance, operability, sharing, and distribution functions.
The Sony a7III has a high degree of perfection and is still selling well, so there are high expectations that it will become its successor. From the results, the Sony a7IV is finished as a successor to the Sony a7III overall.
The SONY a7 IV is a condensed state-of-the-art camera technology such as autofocus that uses AI to capture the subject.
In addition, in response to the need of sharing photos and videos on Social Media, it has a function that allows live streaming in 4K15p and full HD simply by connecting the captured content to a PC / smartphone with USB.
Sony A7iv Review and Features
Both photos and videos have been powered up, and it also supports 4K / 60p shooting. However, in the case of 4K/60p, it is a pity that it will be cropped to APS-C. Now let’s get down to the details!
1. Equipped with image processing engine BIONZ XR
The image processing engine BIONZ XR is used in the flagship model α1 and the high-end model α7S III is also used in the basic model SONY αIV.
In the previous model SONY αIII, the high-performance image processing engine BIONZ X and the front-end LSI” were separately processed, but by consolidating them into the BIONZ XR, the processing speed is faster.
High-speed processing, which is about eight times faster than before, has been achieved.
Improving the image processing engine means that the overall performance of the camera, such as image quality, continuous shooting, and autofocus, will improve, so we can expect a lot of overall performance from the SONY α7IV!
2. Equipped with a 33-megapixel full-frame sensor
It was rumored before it was released, but this time it has become 33 million pixels, which is over 30 million pixels.
Although the number of pixels has increased significantly, thanks to the new image processing engine BIONZ XR and the back-illuminated sensor Exmor R, it has high sensitivity performance and a wide dynamic range.
When the Sony a7IV was announced, there were reports that the high sensitivity performance and dynamic range were degraded, but recent performance evaluations show excellent results even with the increased number of pixels.
The amount of data will increase, but you don’t have to worry about the disadvantages of increasing the number of pixels!
3. AF that also supports real-time eye AF (birds)
SONY’s a7IV adopts hybrid AF with phase difference AF (759 points) and contrast AF (425 points). There are more points of phase difference AF than before, and the density is higher.
Equipped with the AI-based AF function of real-time tracking, the ability to follow the subject has been greatly improved.
And the biggest topic is that it supports “real-time eye AF (bird)”, which is also used in the flagship model of the Sony 1.
I think there are many people who would like to see bird AF supported, so even if you’re not using a professional or high-end amateur camera such as the a1 or a9II, you can easily enjoy bird photography.
4. Video function that enables 4K/60p shooting
There is a crop, but it also supports 4K / 60p shooting. The image quality is 4K video from an all-pixel readout with 7K oversampling, so you can shoot very high-definition video.
As far as I can see from the official examples, the rolling shutter phenomenon does not seem to bother me. Is it the benefit of adopting the image processing engine BIONZ XR?
The rolling shutter phenomenon is quite worrisome, probably because the processing speed cannot keep up with Sony’s cameras up to the 100,000 range. The screen shakes and feels uncomfortable.
As expected, I would like to expect that it will not happen with the Sony a7IV!
5. Uses a Vari-angle Monitor
Following the a7III and a7C, this is Sony’s third full-frame mirrorless camera with a vari-angle monitor.
In the past, vari-angle monitors were treated as evil due to reasons such as durability and the misalignment of the lens and monitor, but Canon actively adopted vari-angle monitors for full-frame SLRs.
Recently, more and more high-end and middle-class cameras are adopting vari-angle monitors, and the Sony a7 has finally been adopted. After all, a vari-angle monitor is convenient!
It’s easy to shoot at high and low angles, and with a tilt monitor it’s difficult to shoot in vertical composition, but with a vari-angle it’s easy to shoot at low angles even in vertical composition.
In addition, it is also advantageous for video shooting, and the monitor can be turned to the front, so you can easily take selfies.
Specification Comparison Between Sony a7IV vs a7III
|Camera Feature||Sony a7III Specs||Sony a7IV Specs|
|Release Date||Sony a7III release date 3, 23, 2018||December 17, 2021|
|Lens Mount||SONY E-mount||SONY E-mount|
|Sensor Resolution||24.2 million||32.7 million|
|Sensor Type||BSI CMOS||BSI CMOS|
|Sensor Size||35.6 × 23.8 mm||35.6 × 23.8 mm|
|Image Size||6000 × 4000||7008 × 4672|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ XR|
|Viewfinder||Electronic / EVF||Electronic / EVF|
|Viewfinder Type / Resolution||XGA OLED / 2,359,296 dots||Quad-VGA OLED / 3,686,400 dots|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/250||1/250|
|Storage Media||Two SD (one UHS-II, one USH-I)||One SD (UHS-II), one CF Express Type A / SD (UHS-II)|
|Lossless Compressed Raw||No||Yes|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||10 FPS (uncompressed or compressed raw)||10 FPS (lossy compressed raw); 6 FPS (uncompressed or lossless compressed raw)|
|Buffer at Highest FPS||30 frames (raw + JPEG); 34 frames (uncompressed raw); 89 frames (compressed raw)||828 frames (raw + JPEG); unlimited at all other settings|
|Shutter Speed Range||1/8000 to 30 sec, Bulb||1/8000 to 30 sec, Bulb|
|Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter||Yes||Yes|
|Shutter Closes When Changing Lenses||No||Yes|
|In-Body Image Stabilization||Yes, 5 stops||Yes, 5.5 stops|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||1200 Zone||1200 Zone|
|Meter Detection Range (f/2 Lens Attached)||-3 EV to 20 EV||-3 EV to 20 EV|
|Focusing Range (f/2, ISO 100 Standardized)||-3 EV to 20 EV||-4 EV to 20 EV|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-51,200||ISO 100-51,200|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||ISO 50-204,800||ISO 50-204,800|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF / contrast-dection AF)||Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF / contrast-dection AF)|
|Focus Points||693 points (phase-detection AF); 425 points (contrast-detection AF)||759 points (phase-detection AF); 425 points (contrast-detection AF)|
|Max Video Quality||4:2:0 sampling and 8-bit (internal); 4:2:2 sampling and 8-bit (over HDMI)||4:2:2 sampling and 10-bit (both internal and over HDMI)|
|Video Maximum Resolution||3840 × 2160 (4K) up to 30p; 1920 × 1080 up to 120p||3840 × 2160 (4K) up to 30p at full-frame at 60p at aps-c crop; 1920 × 1080 up to 120p|
|Articulating LCD||Yes, tilting||Yes, fully articulating|
|LCD Size||3.0″ diagonal LCD||3.0″ diagonal LCD|
|LCD Resolution||921,600 dots||1,036,800 dots|
|Sony’s New Menu||No||Yes|
|Battery||NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery||NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery|
|Battery Life||610 shots (viewfinder); 710 shots (rear LCD)||520 shots (viewfinder); 580 shots (rear LCD)|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes, dust and moisture resistant||Yes, dust and moisture resistant|
|Weight (with Battery and Memory Card)||650 g (1.43 pounds)||658 g (1.45 pounds)|
|Dimensions (Includes Protruding Eyepiece)||127 × 96 × 74 mm (5.0 × 3.8 × 2.9″)||131 × 96 × 80 (5.2 × 3.8 × 3.1″)|
|Price at Introduction||$1,998 (check current price)||Sony a7iv price (check current price)|
The SONY α7IV has been powered up in every field. Especially the performance improvement of autofocus and video is amazing! As a successor to SONY α7III, which became a big hit, it has a perfect finish.
Unfortunately, the price. The SONY α7III appeared at $1,998, but the SONY α7IV is priced at $2,498! In fact, the price has gone up by nearly $500.
It may be that the Sony α7 has given up its position so far to the α7C and is aiming for a slightly higher balance machine, but it is still expensive at over $1,798.
Since the SONY α7III was a camera with high-cost performance, the SONY α7 IV is a good camera, but I have the impression that the cost performance is poor.
Well, there are many things you can’t know until you touch the actual machine, so I’m looking forward to hearing reviews and word of mouth from people who have purchased it when it goes on sale!