Yesterday Sony unveiled the new full frame flagship model for the High Resolution Line (A7R models): Sony A7R IV, successor of A7R III that was announced in October 2017.
Price at launch will be $3500.
Specifications and links to best reviews, as they will come out, are available in LightPoint Camera Database at this link, but let's review here Sony A7R IV most interesting aspects.
- sensor: a new sensor with.. 61 megapixels, this is the highest resolution for a full-frame camera. Sony here is trying to target medium format photographers - you can see in our Camera Database that medium format cameras like Hasselblad, Leica, Phase One and Fujifilm start from 64 megapixels up to 150- with a competitive price ($3500) and a very long list of compatible lenses. For the laws of optics, such high resolution → smaller pixels implies sharpness reduction by diffraction with small apertures, from around f/11 on, where medium format sensors, being larger, suffer less from this limitation.
- Sony has claimed that the new sensor is capable of 15 stops of dynamic range, really a lot for this price-range camera.
- As in previous Sony A7R III, a multi-shot mode is available for combining images into an extremely high resolution picture. In this new model there are two modes with 4 or 16 images: with the latter it is possible to create a.. 240 megapixels images with a huge file. The megapixels race is never stopping.
- Auto Focus: AF system taken from flagship A9 with 567 phase detection points plus 425 contrast based ones.
- The new real-tracking AF and animal eye- AF capabilities introduced in Sony A9 and A6400 are of course here.
- Two welcome additional options: one to change the color of the AF point between white or red (it was grey on previous models) and a new 'Focus Priority' mode that leaves the aperture wide open to better focus in low-light at the expense of course of a slightly longer shutter lag.
- View finder: a new one with 5.7 megapixels, a very welcome upgrade that closes the gap with Panasonic S1 series and Fujifilm GFX100, at 60 fps refresh rate. There is also a higher refresh rate (120 fps) with lower resolution - still unknown what are these lower figures. By the way, the read LCD gets no upgrade.
- Performance: A7R IV keeps the 10 frames per second burst rate of the A7R III (42 MP) while jumping to 61 MP. Rolling shutter (bending of moving subjects) with electronic shutter seems to be quite severe from first tests so better using mechanical shutter for moving subjects.
- Body: various ergonomic improvements like a larger grip (a common request for photographers with larger hands and this has been achieved with just 8 more grams in weigth), new feeling of the rear dial and of the joystick, a larger and higher in position button for AF-on, a lock for the exposure compensation wheel (it can be useful to avoid changing exposure compensation when taking the camera out of the bag).
- both card slots are high speed (both UHS-II capable while previous model had one fast and one standard speed slots).
- Better sealing - some tests on previous Sony models showed worse sealing than best full-frame cameras from competition in particular in battery compartment.
- video: real time-eye AF is ported to video with LCD touch to start tracking. A new microphone has been announced that will transmit the signal digitally through the hot-shoe to the camera.
- enhanced FTP transfer via wifi to servers.
- video: no improvement on quality versus previous model - no 10 bit recording (some cameras from competition do that), no 60p for 4K;
- rolling shutter quite present, not like sport-oriented A9.