Sony a7R IV Sixty-One Megapixel Beast! Here’s What’s New…

Sony  a7R IV camera

Sony a7R IV Features a 61 Megapixel Gapless Back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor, Dual UHS-II Card Slots, Focus Point Color Selection, Real Time Tracking, Enhanced Eye AF, Animal Eye AF, Wi-Fi RAW Tethering and Adds 4:3 & 1:1 Aspect Ratios!

The next generation high-resolution fullframe Sony mirrorless camera you’ve been asking for is here…and earlier than anyone expected!
Sony a7R IV ($3,498 from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama) includes everything you like about a7R III plus MUCH more! Let’s take a look at what’s new and improved…

61 Megapixel Back-Illuminated CMOS Sensor

Sixty-One Megapixels – the most ever for a fullframe camera sensor is sure to grab the headlines for its 9504 x 6336 px (60.2 mp) resolution. As usual Sony didn’t just bump the resolution up a bit from 42 to 45mp and call it a day. Sixty-One megapixels is a significant jump that you can actually see in the images – not merely in the specs.

Back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor features gapless on-chip lens structure, improved low light performance and anti-reflective sensor coating. There’s no low pass filter to provide highest resolution and 15 stops dynamic range. Enhanced Detail Reproduction Technology and Area Specific Noise Reduction were designed specifically for its 61 mp sensor.

Pixel Shift Adds 16-Shot Mode for 240.8 mp RAWs

Pixel Shift Mode now includes both the original 4-shot mode as well 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 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.

Focus Point Color Selection!!!

Hurray!!! No more Gray Focus Points. You can now choose to display Flexible Point in either white or red!
Menu > Custom Settings 1 > Focus Frame Color > White / Red

White Focus Frame color is an excellent choice when shooting colorful subjects

Red Focus Frame color is an excellent choice when shooting a predominantly white scene such as portraits on white seamless, snow scenes or a white building…

4:3 & 1:1 Aspect Ratios

Sony a7R IV 4:3 & 1:1 Aspect Ratios

Sony a7R IV supports 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, 16:9 Aspect Ratios. I’ve been pushing for Sony to add this feature….forever! Firmware Update 5.00 added 1:1 aspect ratio to Sony a9. Now Sony finally adds both 4:3 & 1:1 to a7 Series!

Two UHS-II SD Card Slots

FINALLY! Card Slot 2 is upgraded to UHS-II so now both card slots are now UHS-II compatible. As before you can set recording for redundancy simultaneously record to both cards, Sort stills & video or Raw and Jpeg to different cards or simply choose to record to one card slot at a time and automatically rollover recording to the next card slot. Menu > Setup 5 > Record Media Settings > Auto Switch Media > On

Please Note: Unlike a7 Series III & a9 cameras, Card Slot 1 is now the top card slot

Phase Detection AF Points Increased to 567

Phase Detection AF points jump to 567 points (up from 399 points on a7R III.) Phase Detection now covers 74% horizontal and 99% vertical of the sensor. Contrast segments remain unchanged at 425.

PDAF Extended to F11

Sony a7R IV adds an additional stop sensitivity allowing PDAF down to F11. This allows PDAF with the FE 100-400 F4.5-5.6 GM lens using both the FE 1.4 & 2x TC or FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 G lens with a FE 1.4 TC.

Focus Priority Aperture Drive Opens the Aperture During Focus

Another request that’s been on my list for quite some time is the option to focus wide open instead of at the shooting aperture and Focus Priority appears to offer this option with certain lenses.

I tested Focus Priority Aperture Drive setting with the new Sony FE 35mm f/1.8, the lens focuses at f/2.2 or wider, while Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM stoped down to focus at the selected aperture. It’s unclear if this function can be implemented to older lenses via lens firmware updates or if it’s limited to newer lenses.

Focus Priority works with both AF-S and AF-C the difference is that in AF-S, the lens stops down once focus is achieved while AF-C remains open and only stops down to shoot. Just as you’d expect.

Low Light Shooting Improved to -3 EV

Improved low light shooting with autofocus sensitivity extended to -3 EV, which is a one stop improvement from a7R III (rated to -2 EV)

Wi-Fi Tethering!!!

It’s now possible to tether to a laptop and send RAW files via either a direct or Access Point 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz Wi-Fi Connection using the upcoming version 2.0 Imaging Edge Software. Download Imaging Edge Software.

Menu > Network 1 > PC Remote Function > PC Remote Connected Method >
USB / Wi-Fi Direct / Wi-Fi Access Point

You can also select the Wi-Fi Frequency:
Menu > Network 2 > Wi-Fi Settings > Frequency Band > 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz

Needles to say, 61 megapixel Raws will transfer a lot faster with 5 GHz if your other hardware supports it.

Real-Time Tracking

Sony a7R IV adds Real Time Function from Sony a9 (Firmware 5.00 and later) Subject Tracing enhanced using a9 Artificial Intelligence. Tracking can be assigned to custom key or touch tracking enabled,

Real-Time Eye AF & Eye Select

Like the functions found in Sony a9 FW Update 5.00 & a6400, a7R IV gets Real-Time Eye AF compatible with Real-Time Tracking and Eye Selection. In most instances Auto does a great job of selecting the eye nearest the camera, but if you want to lock in the right or left eye, you can select it here:

Right/Left Eye Select: Auto, Right, Left

Sony a7R IV + FE 135mm F1.8 GM Lens | 1/800 | F1.8 | ISO 100 (Auto Eye Select)

Crop of Eye at 100%

Sony a7R IV + FE 135mm F1.8 GM Lens | 1/800 | F1.8 | ISO 100 (Left Eye Select)

Real-Time Eye AF for Animals

Sony a7R IV also ships with Real-Time Eye AF for Animals.

Subject Detection: Human/Animal (Please Note that Animal Eye AF will not work with Real Time Tracking)

Real-Time Eye AF for Movies

Great news for video shooters! Real-Time Eye AF is now supported for Movie recording.

61 MP at 10 FPS Mechanical Shutter

Sony a7R IV can shoot 61 Megapixels with flash at a whopping 10 Frames-per-Second with its mechanical shutter!

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens + Profoto B1 AirTTL Flash | 1/250 | F8 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens + Profoto B1 AirTTL Flash | 1/250 | F9 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens + Profoto B1 AirTTL Flash | 1/250 | F9 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens + Profoto B1 AirTTL Flash | 1/250 | F10 | ISO 100

Mechanical Shutter – 10 FPS Max
Mechanical Shutter with No Viewfinder Blackout – 8 FPS Max
Silent Shooting – 7 FPS Max

Up to 68 Images per Continuous Burst

Sony a7R IV’s buffer will hold 68 fullsize Compressed Raw or Extra-fine Jpeg images – or roughly three times that number in APS-C Crop mode. When using high speed UHS-II cards, the buffer clears extremely quickly while you continue to shoot.

Physical Updates:

Improved OLED Viewfinder

Sony a7R IV gets an improved OLED Viewfinder up to 5,760,000 Dot from the previous 3,686,400 Dot OLED viewfinder

Redesigned Grip

Those of you with big mitts like me will appreciate the newly redesigned grip which is a bit deeper yet still provides a bit more room for your fingers between the grip and the lens mount.

The new Sony a7R IV grip (right) is deeper yet has more room for your fingers between the grip and lens mount than a7R III (left)

New VG-C4EM Vertical Grip

Thanks to tweak in the camera design every generation a7 camera got a new vertical grip and this is no exception. Like the previous model, VG-C4EM Vertical Grip ($398) holds two NP-FZ100 Lithium-Ion batteries

Sony a7R IV + VG-C4EM Vertical Grip

Lock/Unlock Button in EV Dial

Some Sony users strongly requested a lock to the EV Dial to avoid unwanted changes to that setting. Other users, like myself, were vehemently opposed to one since a lock makes adjustments a two finger operation.

Sony managed to find a clever solution that should make both sides happy with a Lock/Unlock Button

• Press the lock button down and the EV Dial is locked
• Press the lock button again and it pops up so the EV Dial can spin.

Redesigned Rear Dial

For those of you shooting in cold weather wearing gloves, Sony made the rear dial a bit more prominent.

Improved Joystick

Sony a7R IV’s joystick has been improved for a more tactile feel and better grip.

Redesigned Port Covers

Here’s another thing that seems to change with every generation a7 camera and it seems like Sony finally nailed it. The covers for the microphone, headphone, Micro-HDMI, USB-C, Multi-Terminal and PC terminal ports are all tucked beneath solid and sensible covers.

Weather-sealed Battery Door

The weakest link in a7R III’s weather-sealing is the battery door. Sony addressed this by adding a small gasket around the re-designed battery door. It’s a small change – but a necessary one.

Improved Dampening of Low-Vibration Mechanical Shutter

Every generation of a7R has featured an updated shutter mechanism and a7R Iv is not exception. The new mechanical shutter mechanism features improved dampening designed to minimize vibrations for their new 60 megapixel sensor. As an added bonus, this also makes the mechanical shutter noticeably quieter and softer than a7R III.

Fullframe File Sizes

Compressed Raw ≈ 59.8 mb
Uncompressed Raw ≈ 117.2 mb
Jpeg L Extra Fine ≈ 17-22 mb
Jpeg L Fine ≈ 9.5-13.6 mb
Jpeg L Standard ≈ 6-7 mb

Jpeg Size Options (Fullframe): L 60mp, M 26mp, S 15mp

26.2MP Capture in APS-C Crop Mode

Thanks to its new 60.2mp sensor, APS-C Crop mode results in 26.2mp capture

APS-C Compressed Raw ≈ 25.55 mb
APS-C Uncompressed Raw ≈ 50.7 mb
APS-C Jpeg L Extra Fine ≈ 10-11 mb
APS-C Jpeg L Fine ≈ 5 mb
APS-C Jpeg L Standard ≈ 3.3 mb

Jpeg Size Options (APS-C): L 26, M 15mp, S 6.5mp

JPEG Sharpness Settings Expanded to +/-5

Sharpness Settings for Jpeg are expanded from previous +/-3 range up to +/-5

5.5 Stop Image Stabilization

Sony a7R IV features a new image stabilization system that uses internal gyroscope data to improve image stabilization to 5.5 stop. Image Stabilization is active during Live View & Focus Magnification

Improved Custom Auto White Balance Options

You can now choose three types of Auto White Balance: Standard, Ambience or White AWB

AWB can be Locked with Shutter Release

Auto White Balance can also be locked to a half press or full press of the shutter release.

Menu > Custom Settings 1 > Color/WB/Img Processing2 > Shutter AWB Lock >
Shutter Halfway Down / Continuous Shooting / Off

Interval Shoot Function

Previously released on a9 FW 5.00 and a6400, a7 Series finally gets interval shooting as a menu item.

Menu > Custom Settings 1 > ShootMode/Drive1 > Interval Shoot Function >
• Interval Shooting > On/Off
• Shooting Start Time > 0 min 01 sec to 99 min 59 sec
• Shooting Interval > 1 sec to 60 sec
• Number of Shots > 1 to 9999
• AE Tracking Sensitivity > High / Mid / Low
• Silent Shooting in Interval > On / Off
• Shoot Interval Priority > Off / On

Focus Area Limit

This extremely useful update found on a6400 & Sony a9 (FW 5.00),allows you to turn off focus areas you don’t use. I highly recommend turning off Center and Flexible Spot Small Areas.

Center AF is a holdover from DSLR technology where center was the most accurate AF point. That’s no longer the case with mirrorless cameras.

Flexible Spot Small is the most common cause of focus hunting. While many users assume it’s more accurate because it’s smaller – it simply raises you chances of missing an area with sufficient edge contrast. This can result in the camera hunting for focus, so for most consitent results, stick to Medium or Large.

Signature a7R IV Strap

I’ve read a few complaints on photography forums that previous a7 Series camera straps are all simply marked “Sony a7” prompting some a7R Series users to complain their camera had a “lowly a7” on the strap. Grumble no more. Sony a7R IV comes with a new style strap that now carries the Sony a7R IV Signature.

What’s in the Box

Sony a7R IV body, a7R IV Strap, USB Charging/Tethering cable, NP-FZ100 Lithium-Ion battery, Cable Lock

New Accessories for a7R IV

Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip

Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip

Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip ($398) is designed for Sony a7R IV mirrorless cameras. It offers both double battery capacity and a more comfortable grip when shooting in the vertical orientation. The grip accepts either one or two NP-FZ100 batteries to increase the effective battery life for longer shooting sessions, and the batteries can be charged in the grip while attached to the camera via the body’s USB port. The grip’s design maintains the same layout as the camera body itself, and includes a secondary shutter button and Multi Selector for intuitive use. The VG-C4EM grip is built from magnesium alloy and is dust- and moisture-resistant to match the weather sealing of the camera itself.

Order Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip from B&H Photo | Amazon

Sony ECM-B1M Digital Shotgun Microphone

Sony ECM-B1M Digital Shotgun Microphone ($348) is an ultra-compact camera-mount digital shotgun microphone designed for mobile video creators working with Sony cameras equipped with the Multi Interface Shoe. Released alongside the a7R IV, which benefits from its built-in Digital Audio Interface, the ECM-B1M is able to produce its best quality by delivering a digital audio stream directly to the camera through the Multi Interface Shoe. Other Sony cameras with the standard Multi Interface Shoe can still make use of the microphone as there is a selectable digital/analog output.

Order Sony ECM-B1M Digital Shotgun Microphone from B&H Photo | Amazon

Sony XLR-K3M Digital XLR Adaptor Kit with Microphone

Sony XLR-K3M ($598) is a dual-channel digital XLR audio adapter that allows you to connect microphones and other audio sources to cameras equipped with a Multi Interface Shoe. Released alongside the a7R IV, which benefits from its built-in digital audio interface, the adapter is able to produce its best quality by delivering a digital audio stream directly to the camera through the Multi Interface Shoe. Other Sony cameras with the standard MI Shoe can still make use of the microphone as there is a selectable digital/analog output. XLR-K3M features two XLR-1/4″ combo mic/line inputs with 48V phantom power, and a 3.5mm stereo input with plug-in power, all with individual level controls.

Order Sony XLR-K3M Digital XLR Adaptor Kit with Microphone from B&H Photo | Amazon

a7R IV Specs:

Lens Mount: Sony E
Camera Format: Full-Frame (1x Crop Factor)
Pixels Actual: 62.5 Megapixel
Pixels Effective: 61 Megapixel
Maximum Resolution: 9504 x 6336
Aspect Ratio: 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
Sensor Type: CMOS
Sensor Size: 35.7 x 23.8 mm
Image File Format: JPEG, RAW
Bit Depth: 14-Bit
Image Stabilization: Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis

ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 32000 (Extended: 50 to 102400)
Shutter Speed: Mechanical Shutter 1/8000 to 30 Second + Bulb Mode
Shutter Speed Movie Mode: 1/8000 to 1/4 Second
Metering Method: Center-Weighted Average, Highlight Weighted, Multiple, Spot
Exposure Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Exposure Compensation: -5 to +5 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
Metering Range: -3 to 20 EV
White Balance: Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Daylight), Fluorescent (Warm White), Incandescent, Shade, Underwater
Continuous Shooting: Up to 10 fps at 61 MP for up to 68 Exposures (JPEG)
Interval Recording: Yes
Self Timer: 2/5/10-Second Delay

Recording Modes: XAVC S
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p [60 to 100 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/24p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/120p [16 to 100 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 50i/59.94i [17 to 24 Mb/s]
External Recording Modes: 4:2:2 8-Bit
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/50i/50p/59.94i/59.94p
Recording Limit Up to 29 Minutes
Video Encoding NTSC/PAL
ISO Sensitivity Auto: 100 to 12800
Manual: 100 to 32000
Audio Recording Built-In Microphone (Stereo)
External Microphone Input (Stereo)

Focus Type: Auto and Manual Focus
Focus Mode: Automatic (A), Continuous-Servo AF (C), Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus (M), Single-Servo AF (S)
Autofocus Points Phase Detection: 567
Contrast Detection: 425
Autofocus Sensitivity: -3 to +20 EV

Viewfinder Type Electronic (OLED)
Viewfinder Size 0.5″
Viewfinder Resolution: 5,760,000 Dot
Viewfinder Eye Point: 23 mm
Viewfinder Coverage: 100%
Viewfinder Magnification: Approx. 0.78x
Diopter Adjustment: -4.0 to +3.0
Monitor Size: 3″
Monitor Resolution: 1,440,000 Dot
Monitor Type: Tilting Touchscreen LCD

Built-in Flash: None
Flash Modes: Auto, Fill Flash, Hi-Speed Sync, Off, Rear Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Wireless
Maximum Sync Speed: 1/250 Second
Flash Compensation: -3 to +3 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
Dedicated Flash System: S-TTL
External Flash Connection: Hot Shoe, PC Terminal

Memory Card Slot: 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity: 3.5mm Headphone, 3.5mm Microphone, HDMI D (Micro), USB 2.0 Micro-B, USB 3.0, USB Type-C
Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
GPS: None
Operating Temperature: 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Battery: 1 x NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 2280 mAh (Approx. 530 Shots)
Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.07 x 3.8 x 3.05″ / 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5 mm
Weight 1.46 lb / 665 g

More Images:

Sony a7R IV + FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens | 1/160 | F5.6 | ISO 200

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/200 | F9 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/400 | F5.6 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/40 | F7.1 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/80 | F9 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/160 | F7.1 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/125 | F4.5 | ISO 200

Sony a7R IV + FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens | 1/30 | F40 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/250 | F8 | ISO 100

Sony a7R IV + FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens | 1/160 | F9 | ISO 100

Order Sony a7R IV from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama

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65 thoughts on “Sony a7R IV Sixty-One Megapixel Beast! Here’s What’s New…”

  1. Great write-up, Brian! Always can count on you to be first to the mark. Any details other than real-time Eye-AF on updated video functionality? 4K frame rate(s), color space, etc.?

  2. I’m so excited about this! I’ve been wanting to get an R to go with my A9 for awhile. Now seems like a good time to do it!

  3. I will order as soon as it becomes available. I was hoping for medium raw setting when shooting full frame (like the Canon 5ds/r has). I have yet to try pixel shift.

      1. Keep bringing it up to SONY. RAW file size options may be something that could be addressed in future firmware updates. As we saw this past year, SONY is more than willing to add new feature sets via firmware updates.

  4. Thanks for a very well rounded walk through and nice images!

    It seems many things on the wish list came through. I like to shot 3:2 format in landscape mode and 4:3 in portrait so if that new function could be coupled with camera orientation, I would be even happier.

    The A9 also have Focus Priority Aperture Drive according to the Sony online help guide. I have no lens that works with it so I haven’t been able to test it, but if the 35/1.8 does focus wide open at f5.6-f8 in AF-C on the A9 as well, I will get that lens just because of that.

    Best regards from Sweden!

  5. For some reason, some of the items you highlight are important to me too :)!

    Focus point color, focus priority, EV lock button, and 99.7% height AF point coverage.

    Glad to read you are pushing for mRAW too.

    Looking forward to seeing you at Kando 3.0 next month. Several times since last year, I have used the concept of adding flash from the same direction as the sun.

      1. My laptop specs include 5 GHz capable. Hope they transfer reasonable fast. Been using USB-C to USB-A Tethertools cable with the a7RIII. Especially on location wireless would be really great.

        Set up a Tether table with Pixel Sunscreen, move and shoot freely; that will be nice! Could have used that last week.

        I know it may be a stretch; however, hope to try the IV at Kanod 3.0. Of course the downside is that will probably create massive desire to acquire one :).

      2. Do you know if wireless tethering will work to an iPad on location (without a wireless network)? I’d love to be able to have the camera transfer small JPGs in real time so clients can view images as I shoot.

  6. Is Sony ever going to add GPS either in-camera or as an on-camera accessory? I so miss the Canon GP-E2 that I used on my 5D series camera. My only complaint about it was having to replace the batteries instead of it using the camera’s battery. I know I can use my phone and create a tracklog, but it’s too easy to forget to start it, stop it, or just have issues with it. It should be part of the camera so all my photos are tagged with location data.

    1. It can’t be done internally unless they remove a good chunk of the metal that makes the camera sturdy (which should tell you something about cameras with GPS built-in).

      I’ll mention your suggestion of a separate GPS Accessory Module, but as you say that would use a separate battery.

  7. “Sony a7R IV supports 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, 16:9 Aspect Ratios. I’ve been pushing for Sony to add this feature….forever! ” :)”
    “Firmware Update 5.00 added 1:1 aspect ratio to Sony a9. Now Sony finally adds both 4:3 & 1:1 to a7 Series!”

  8. Thanks for your very useful review. I am trying to find out if the new camera will offer automated focus stacking as seen in Nikon’s 850 and other cameras? Is there somewhere online that lists all menu options?

  9. Thanks for the great summary of features! It looks like Sony addressed many of the things that bothered owners of previous models. I was hoping they could find a way to keep the shutter closed when the camera is off to help keep dust off the sensor when changing lenses. Mirrorless cameras are dust magnets and this has been a problem when shooting video on lang trips with several lens changes.

  10. Wow! This is a dream camera.

    One thing that really got my attention was the “Focus Point Color Selection”. I have been needing that for a while. I wonder if a future firmware upgrade to the Sony A7lll will have this option. If so I’ll be thrilled.

    1. No word on that. I’ve been pushing for this for a LONG time so there may be more to it than a simple firmware update…

  11. Thanks for a great summary of the new features of the camera, but for me the new “Focus Priority” mode seems to be the most interesting feature, but where can I read more about this function? For example which lenses does it work with, and does it work both in AF-S and AF-C? Does it work in both single and continuous shooting?

    1. Focus Priority works with both AF-S and AF-C the difference is that in AF-S, the lens stops down once focus is achieved while AF-C remains open and only stops down to shoot. Just as you’d expect.

      Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 appears to focus at f/2.2 or wider, while Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM stoped down to focus at the selected aperture. I do not believe there is any list of which lenses work this way and which don’t.

      1. Thanks for your reply and if I understand you right this feature will probably not work at all with any of my current lenses? I do have 12-24/4, Tamron 28-75/2,8, 28/2, 55/1,8, Batis 85/1,8, 90/2,8 and 70-200/2,8GM.

  12. Hi Brian thank you for the artichle 🙂

    I have a questione for you:
    I often shoot with my a7r3 with 24-70GM in my studio or in indoor location with speedlights -so no modelling light- and I get everytime focus problem and out focus shots due the stopdown of the lens.

    Reading I think that the a7r4 doesn’t have anymore this issue and now finally we can say goodbye to the infsmous stopdown, is it true?

    Did I understand right?

    Can You confirm that?

    Thanks in advance and best regards 🙂

    1. That is currently the case with certain lenses such as the FE 35 f/1.8 but not with others like the FE 16-35 f/2.8. I’m not certain if that is due to improvements in firmware in the latest lenses or if that might be available by lens firmware updates. PDAF is improved to F11, so that certainly helps even with stop down lenses.

        1. how do you suggest to use the r4 in studio and lowlight? AF-S or AF-C? focus priority in AF-S?

          1. AF-S if the subject is stationary.
            AF-C when using Eye AF or the subject is moving.

            Unless shooting video, I’d leave the camera set to Focus Priority Aperture Drive 100% of the time

    1. It’s better to use more than less focus points. Small loses edge transitions too easily and will try to rack focus until it finds one again. Medium and large allow greater chance of finding areas of contrast.

  13. Thank you for the rundown, Brian. I noticed a small inconsistency between your list of “What’s in the box,” and a Sony brochure I picked up at a camera store. You don’t list an external battery charger whereas the Sony brochure lists the BC-QZ1 Battery Charger in addition to all the items you list. Would you mind finding out if the BC-QZ1 is included in the box? Thank you!

    1. This was what was included in the pre-release box. Generally it’s the same but I can’t say for certain until my release cameras arrive.

    1. People mistakenly assume smaller is more accurate – however its simply more likely to miss edge contrast required for AF which sends it hunting. Medium or Large are MUCH better AF choices. Turn Small OFF.

      1. I disagree with you there. Ok, small spot isn’t more accurate, that we know.
        Shooting macro at !:1 or close to 2:1 you can’t use anything but at living and moving insects or you will end up with focus at the wrong place, depending on I have the AEL button to switch between small Flexible spot and the small Expand Flexible spot in case the eye or whatever is one-coloured like black etc, works great with AF (if I can keep my hands steady enough).

        With BIF, Birds In Flight (or in trees) the AEL toggles between Zone and small Expand Flexible spot depending of foreground and background or many birds when I want one in focus. Bigger spots usually change to a branch in the foreground etc, or on a cloud in the background if high contrast.

        Will be very interesting to find out how the R IV behaves with such subjects once you got a lock on… if it just could arrive soon.

        At general shooting I do agree not to use the small ones, and at people you already have the small one at the eye, mostly.

        1. As long as you never experience focus hunting, stick to whatever works for you – but if you do – that’s the number one cause.

  14. “as long as you never experience the camera AF hunting for focus”
    OfC I do sometimes, mostly because I can’t keep it still enough or the subject moves to fast in depth, talking about a few tens of a mm at Macro and beyond , not easy but at 8-10 FPS there is quite a lot that are ok and better, and also not to few that are total fails 🙂
    Using a flash helps a lot to get f numbers up and ISO down
    Now I have to find a way to get as low ISO, enough f, and as short exp. time (to freeze wings etc,) but not that easy.
    Was thinking of a way to let the flash do all the exposure at very short flash-duration but can’t find a setting where both the camera and the flash cooperates enough. Either the flash won’t fire or the camera protests that the setting can’ be used etc etc.

    Just sharing how I do or try to do it

    1. Flash duration is the key factor. The good news is that you’re really, really close for macro so you should be able to get a very fast flash duration even with a very small F-stop.

      One factor that you may be running into is TTL lag. Since there’s no secondary AF sensor in mirrorless cameras, the imaging sensor has to handle all the calculations including TTL which can lead to lag. Flash to subject distance isn’t changing dramatically in macro photography so manual flash setting would eliminate this issue.

      1. Yes, I do but not without the influence of ambient light so still not down to under 1/4000s to freeze those wings.
        Setting I want: Camera at manual exposure, ISO100, f8-9, 1/250s for shutter, well enough to be under-exposed a few steps, then the flash will fix the exposure at very high speed durations… set that up and the camera either refuses … and/or will not fire the flash. HSS fire at the wrong side of the curtain sts and tries to maintain the flash duration for the whole shutter open time, tried to set the shutter speed to 1/8000s but not working either and not HSS can’t be used as the camera refuses to let me set that for some strange reason.

      2. Oh, I missed the 2:nd paragraph… Yes , I believe so too, so I will keep on experimenting. One problem with manual flash is that subject and distances vary a lot depending of where they are, size, if they fly away and I need to re-aim at another one etc etc 🙂

          1. Profoto A1X, with the Connect or without it. so both wireless or wired (in the cameras hotshoe).

          2. That’s your best choice so that’s good. Try being less conservative with the ISO. On a7R IV, I jump straight from 100 to 320 and see very little difference. If you’re not in bright ambient light you probably don’t need to crank shutter speed all the way up to 1/8000. HSS wastes a LOT of flash output even though you’re really close.

  15. Jupp, will do as soon i get it, even the a7RIII is quite good up to just under ISO 800, where it suddenly gets another tone in the colours, but still easy to deal with if there isn’t a lot of images going back and forth around ISO800… Well, I am in bright ambient light mostly, that why it’s not easy to deal with, in a dark room it would be easy. My shooting stile is to find a nice bush or something where I will be on my knees or laying down while shooting away. I seldom setup anything but the camera an flash, not even a monopod as it’s to slow to move around with in those situations where you mostly get 5-15 shoots at 10FPS. then the wind, always blows here if not raining 😀
    Yes, you are the 3:d to tell me HSS waste a lot of flash output, so I need to make it work the normal way, but the the flash duration gets too long… I wish i could understand this 🙂

    Thanks for taking your time with me though 🙂

  16. PLEASE somebody tell sony at least to make the video guidelines feature (different aspect ratio guidelines) available in photo mode too… Feels like sony forces me to get rid of my a7r iii only for a feature that is “common sense” in every digital camera (In other words, I feel very jealous of Mark IV). Thanks for your reviews!

    1. Why wireless to a laptop, wired is so much faster. But ok tuff if inside among the dancers wired will produce a mess 🙂

    2. A99 have it but none of the mirrorless.
      With a7R IV you can connect your mobile phone via WiIi to get its GPS data to the images.

  17. Curious about these huge files sizes and the performance of lightroom cc on a 5k display. On a 2018 Macbook Pro fully upgraded attached to a 5K LG, Lightroom struggles (heavily) to scroll through photos from the A7R3. I worry that the larger files will be even harder on my setup. Did you notice a difference?

    1. Your MacBook Pro is a year newer than mine and it works fine with a7R IV RAWs.

      Two questions.

      1. Is you RAM maxed out and are you using a fast graphics card? I highly recommend photographers do both.
      2. Compressed or Uncompressed RAW? Except for astro photography – I can’t see any visual difference and Uncompressed Raws are double the size.

    2. I have a MBPr late 206 with 16GB and the 5k LG and have no problem at with the uncompressed RAWs at all using PS CC and Bridge.
      Ok, loading more than 20 at the time into PS CC takes a minute or two.
      It’s fast, but not as fast as my MP Late 2013, also with 16 GB.

      1. You don’t read the files directly from the camera do you? For speed you ned to download to the computer or a fast external drive

  18. Hello Brian, is there any update / confirmation with regards to if a mRAW option is possible and if it’s likely to be included in the next(?) firmware update?

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