Technology Reviews

The A7R IV is the next and latest generation of the A7R full frame mirrorless camera, featuring a useful 61MP pixel count. This is considered a remarkable leap when 3 years ago, people were still busy praising their predecessor A7R III with 42MP. This new generation 4 was officially available in September with prices starting at $3,499.99.


Design and manipulation on the A7R IV

Looking back at every generation of Sony Alpha back then, the biggest change from that time was the way the E mount (used on almost every Sony mirrorless camera) developed to dominate the mirrorless segment, with 52 existing Sony lenses and countless other lenses from third party.

Sony has set the standard for a full frame mirrorless camera and continues to be a pioneer, not just in terms of resolution. Sony cameras offer a sense of satisfaction, good balance, a reasonable control layout, and the A7R IV has been improved on a deeper grip, improved dust and moisture resistance, a lock button on exposure dial, textured autofocus (AF) joystick, and a few other minor enhancements. There are also additional issues such as the movie button placed too close to the AF-On button, but most of the local parts are very clear, even somewhat similar to DSLR, although not as big as Lumix S1R. The battery is also more powerful with 670 shots when using LCD according to CIPA rating.

The LCD looks similar on the 3rd generation with a resolution of 1.44 million dots and a 3 ″ size, but the EV6 OLED 5.76 million points is completely new with an optional refresh rate between 100 or 120 fps. Lumix S1 also has a similar screen and can say that it is very beautiful.

Despite the addition, the A7R IV is still an easy-to-carry camera. It measures 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5 mm and weighs 665 g including battery and memory card. When attaching an extra lens, such as the GM 85mm f/1.4 ($1,800), the machine weighs in clearly, but the operation is still quite good.

The menu system, which has always received a lot of complaints, has also been redesigned. With the A7R IV, you no longer have to fumble around in the menu system to connect Eye AF because this feature has now become the default. Other minor improvements include the ability to customize function options for both photography and video, but you still need to look up the menu to get the most out of the camera. Anyway, Sony’s effort should be acknowledged for that effort.

High resolution meets high speed

Thanks to the new BIONZ X processor, the A7R IV retains the continuous shooting speed of the III generation at 10 fps. The cache stores up to 68 Extra Fine JPEG files. Of course, when downloading the file to the memory card is a bit slow, but considering that the data needs to be processed, the speed is still calculated as fast.

Sony introduced Eye AF a few years ago and continues to improve this feature so far. If you like taking portraits of people or animals, you will need to experience this Real-Time focusing system.

It is also clear that the lens also plays a significant role in showing AF performance. For a lot of still scenes, the 85mm lens is more than enough, but for a dancer-like subject, the lens like 85mm is nothing to keep up with because it can’t keep up with the high burst speed. The 85mm lens uses an ultrasonic wave AF motor that is older than the XD linear motor system of new lenses such as 135mm. When shooting with 61MP, even tiny AF errors will be exposed.