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 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)
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.
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
Crop of Eye at 100%
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!
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.
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
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)
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
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.
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 ($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.
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.
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.
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
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