Here’s How Sony a7R IV 16-Shot Pixel Shift Produces 240.8 mp RAWs

Sony a7R IV ($3,498 Pre-order from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama) Pixel Shift Mode includes a new 16-shot mode that shifts the sensor in half-pixel increments to capture 16 separate images that can be combined to create whopping 240.8 mp (19,008 px x 12,672 px) RAW files using the next’s version of Sony’s Imaging Edge Desktop software.

Interval delay between shots can be set to: shortest, 1 sec, 2 sec, 3 sec, 4 sec, 5 sec, 10 Sec, 15 Sec, 30 Sec

When Pixel Shift Mode is selected, the camera automatically switches to silent shooting, continuous mode and uncompressed raw

You can shoot 16 shot mode, you can select either to combine the full 16 captures for a 240.8 mp RAW or if you prefer to keep the file to 60.2 mp, you can select to use just 4 of the 16 images using the upcoming version 2.0 Imaging Edge Desktop software. Download Imaging Edge software.

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34 thoughts on “Here’s How Sony a7R IV 16-Shot Pixel Shift Produces 240.8 mp RAWs”

  1. This camera looks amazing Brian but just imagine the strain on computer resources to process these pics. I just bought a new and powerful laptop for my A7riii that I dont think would handle files that big without lagging. Thoughts??

    1. LOL! Explain that to the people who are screaming “why not 100mp?”

      I had absolutely no issues with my two and a half year old MacBook Pro, but anyone rocking a decade old laptop (and you know who you are) might want to consider updating their computer to something a bit more current.

  2. David A Greenberg

    This pixel shift upgrade is incredibly appealing. I watched the video, but still don’t understand. Can you explain why with the new 16-frame 1/2-pixel shifting one achieves the extreme (4x) resolution but with the 4-frame 1-pixel shift for both the A7R III and now the A7R IV the resolution is unchanged.

    1. As I explained in the post, 16-shot shifts in half pixel increments which adds 4X the original megapixels.

      Four-shot pixel shift moves the sensor a full pixel at a time so that each pixel is capture in full RGB instead of R,G or B. File size is unchanged – just sharper.

  3. That’s good to hear! Thx… looking forward to seeing this beast when the Sony rep returns to my local camera store.

  4. Henrik Ramstad

    Does the camera now combine the shifted shots or do we still have to combine the images on a computer like with the A7riii?

    1. As with previous versions, you must use Imaging Edge Desktop software to combine individual captures. The version for a7R IV is not yet released

  5. Curious – will the new R4 correct the slot 1 problems on the earlier A7 series and even on some of the compact Sony models?

    Would love to have one. Bring out the details in portraiture even more than my present R3.

  6. Hi Brian

    Awesome Camera!

    “When Pixel Shift Mode is selected, the camera automatically switches to silent shooting, ”

    Great for weddings and photojournalism!

  7. Half way through a wedding R3 froze. “Unable to write to slot 1”. Did not say card was full. Pair of Kexars 1000 in the camera. Replaced with two slowe cards and finished the wedding. Data base in slot 1 wiped clean – unrecoverable. Had slot 2 also set to save in RAW and still had all my images. Checked the forums. Apparently firmware 2.1 was supposed to have fixed this. Have the 3.1 released in May 10th. Checked the forums and a host of other users have the same problem either right out of the box or randomly after during use. Showed up in the 7m3, 7Tm3 and even some contacts. Seems to come down to a slot issue, not a card problem.

  8. Oops – large fingers on an iPhone. The K and the L are close. Should have typed Lexar. In the forums it looks like Sony users having issues are using a variety of brands of memory cards, including Lexars, and it seems to be the faster cards with which Slot 1 has a problem.. Later did another shoot with slower cards which worked well. Put the faster cards back in for a test and it did not work. Camera is in for replacing Slot 1 card reader – hope something can be done with it.

    1. Oh, duh. Sorry my coffee hadn’t kicked in yet…

      I’ve only received one complaint about those cards and one reader swears by them. Yet they’re pretty new – so I’m not sure how big the sample size is.

      But for jobs, I wouldn’t cut any corners trying to save a few bucks on memory cards. I only use Sony SFG UHS-II SDXC cards and they’ve never let me down.

  9. My A7Rm3 is about three years old. Sent it in for repair. Sony is replacing slot 1 under warranty. .

    What does Sony know which has not been told to us?

    Anyway, am happy about that. Expect it back in a week.

  10. How long does the camera take to finish the 16 pixel shift routine? Let’s say with the fastest memory card out there?

    This is important for the specific situation of taking pictures of the moon, which moves but very slowly, or maybe total solar eclipse, which again changes and moves a little bit if it would take some time.

    1. It depends on a number of factors – but card speed is not one since a7R IV has a 68 shot Raw Buffer.

      The first variable is shutter speed x 16.

      Next, as I mention in this post, you can select the delay between shots. The shortest time used to be 1 second, but there is now a new shortest setting appropriately called “shortest”. In this setting the camera fires off the next exposure once the sensor has shifted to the next position. This time varies depending on the shift. The time required to move the sensor is longer for exposures 5, 9 & 13 when the camera moves 1/2 pixel than it is for the other exposures, but in all instances, “shortest” is under one second.

      If definitely too long for moving subject like an eclipse, but yes, it could probably work for photos of the moon.

        1. Once again, that’s somewhat dependent on shutter speed, but assuming you’re at a reasonably fast shutter speed, it’s somewhere around 8-10 seconds when the “shortest” setting is selected. It’s not designed for action.

      1. I would recommend getting a star tracker and then once you are polar aligned you can aim your camera directly at the moon or the eclipse and track so that the subject remains in place on your image. I use a tracker and do a lot of astrophotography and I can confirm that pixel shift works well for Milky Way and deep sky photos, as the tracker moves so slowly with no noticeable vibrations. I use a Skywatcher Star Adventurer and a counterweight and it works even with heavier and long focal length lenses. I use Canon L glass with a Sigma EF to Sony E-mount converter and have not had any issues.

        1. Doug. I thought about using pixel shift with my tracker but haven’t had the chance. I’ve been busy messing with tracked panoramas using 40mm and 100mm lenses. Each shot is 1 min exposure. And I take about 50 shots and combine them in ptgui.

          Do you think the pixel shift would have better results in terms of detail and resolution? I imagine you aren’t doing panos and are only doing wide angle like 12-24mm?

  11. I’ve taken alot of photos today with this camera and a zeis 55mm prime and oml my computer just can’t handle zooming into the file I haven’t even moved to develop yet. We need a tech guy to give computer spec requirements this is nutty

    1. There is no documented maximum length as that may vary based on lighting – but from a merely practical standpoint I’d probably not go beyond 1-2 seconds since a 30 second 16-shot pixel shift would take eight minutes to shoot provided you turned LENR off – and considerably longer if that was enabled.

      1. Hi, I wish to use the schneider 80mm apo digitar or the contax 100/2.8 N Macro via an adapter on the Sony a7r iv. Will the multi shot/ exposure work with any of the 2 lenses?

        Regards

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