- Larger and deeper grip makes this the most comfortable A7 series body yet
- Improved weather sealing and port covers throughout the camera
- Buttons, joystick and dials all have improved tactility and responsiveness
- Incorporates the recent real-time Eye-AF and tracking AF, making it one of the best focusing cameras on the market
- Eye-AF continues to be exceptionally accurate
- Excellent 5.7 milllion dot EVF
- Extremely customizable interface and controls
- In-body IS improvements add another half stop to stability
- Exceptional detail from the 60 megapixel sensor
- Outstanding dynamic range and color
- Good noise control, especially considering the sensor density
- Excellent battery life
- Good connectivity options including transferring images when the camera is off
- Dual UHS-II card slots
- 10 frame per second shooting with impressive buffer considering the image size
- 16 image pixel shift can produce whopping 240 megapixel images
- Touch screen implementation still trails competitors
- Wi-Fi features can sometimes take a long time to connect or will drop connection
- Remote shooting still lacks ability to move focus point
- Slightly higher per-pixel noise from previous generation
- Still missing an in-camera RAW conversion option
- Grip is still just a bit too close to the lens mount, though better than previous iterations
- Pixel shift images are impractical in most situations
- Some delays in operation, with slow start-up and the need to wait until buffering is complete to change some settings.
The overall quality of the A7R IV is outstanding. The camera has improved on many of the ergonomic concerns of earlier bodies, though they haven’t yet reached perfection. The autofocus system is excellent , and trails only the A9 and A9 II among mirrorless cameras as of this writing. The real-time Eye AF allows you to simply focus on composition, knowing that the final image will be in focus. Sony has also improved the EVF, fixed a few things like ensuring both card slots are UHS-II and somehow keeping the fast burst speed despite enormous RAW files.
But the headline feature of the A7R IV is the incredible detail, high dynamic range and fantastic overall image quality from the new 60 megapixel sensor. Not everyone has a need for a 60 megapixel camera, but boy is it nice to have when you need it. While the majority of shooters will be well served by the standard A7 line, whether it be the current A7 III or the sure to be upcoming A7 IV, the A7R IV fills a niche for those who demand the absolute best in image quality, but don’t want to step into the world of medium-format digital. For those shooters, the A7R IV offers a fully featured body that is as capable for shooting events, sports, wildlife or portraiture as it is on a tripod shooting landscapes. The A7R IV is truly a flagship camera, and it’s worth every penny of its $3,500 price.
Click on an image to enlarge.
13 thoughts on “Review: Sony A7R IV”
Thank you for your work and this excellent review. Your findings echo mine. I very much enjoy reading your articles and love your carefully composed and edited photos.
Just what you said 🙂
Wow. Some folks at the big box sites should take a lesson on what artwork should look like in a review article. Amazing images. I know it is too much camera and lens to haul around for me all the time, but it certainly can perform.
Regarding sample images made with the Sony A7R-IV, I notice you have several sample shots made with the Sigma 14-24 but not yet a review. You also have sample shots using the Tamron 17-28 but your review only included using the A7 III. Of these two lenses, which did you generally find exploited the Sony’s 60MP the best?
My review of the Sigma should be posted sometime in the next day or two. I have it 99% written…just cleaning things up. My Tamron review was written before I got the A7R IV. As a bit of a preview…let’s just say the review of the Sigma is, well, glowing.
Hi Jordan, are you going to or have already switched to the A7r4 away from the A7 III? If so what were your key motives for doing so?
Thanks for your review work, it is always a refreshing read!
I did. I switched back in December and sold my A7 III. Main motive was that I got a great deal on a new A7R IV and couldn’t pass it up, and the big motivation was the real-time Eye AF and tracking. After using it on my a6400, not having it on my A7 III felt like a huge step down in AF functionality. It’s not that the A7 III is bad at focusing…far from it, but the compositional freedom that the upgraded tracking system offers is just so nice to have.
After using it for a while, the 60MP files are a bit intoxicating too. 🙂
Thanks Jordan for your feedback. I thought Sony had updated the Eye-AF of the A73 to A6400 level?
I am still debating whether to upgrade from my ailing single camera setup A6000 with A6400/6600 and the Sigma primes or go for the A7-III and the Tamron zooms. Price is not that different as weight is. However, I am not on your Pro level :-).
Do you have any recommendations regarding that choice?
The AF updated on the A7 III brought improvements to EyeAF, including animal Eye AF, which is part of the a6400/a9 style focusing, but it did not bring the real-time Tracking AF, which makes all the difference. The A7 III still required you to have the focus point generally in the vicinity (though with Eye AF, you could use zone focusing and have it pick eyes out in general.) The tracking AF, combined with Eye AF is what is really revolutionary….it will follow your subject around the frame, and not lose them if they hide their face, but switch to tracking them as a whole, then re-acquire the eye once it reappears. It’s also super useful for other types of shooting that don’t require Eye AF.
As to choosing between the crop bodies and the A7 III, it’s really a personal choice. The A7 III image quality is going to be better, with more dynamic range and better noise control, though only you can know if that really makes a tangible difference for your shooting. If you don’t shoot a lot of low light, or you don’t print very large, it’s unlikely you’ll see any real difference in output in day to day usage. The A7 III will show improvement when the sensor is stressed, such as wide dynamic range applications and the such, and has a bit smoother tonal rolloff. However, the overall improvement isn’t something that will likely jump out at you. The a6400/6600 are definitely much smaller, and consequently are lighter to carry around, especially as a kit with smaller lenses, though they also aren’t as comfortable to shoot with. Personally, I preferred my A7 III to to the a6400, but it really is a personal choice.
The Full frame system certainly has a better overall lens selection, and while you can buy FE lenses for use on the a6400, they generally aren’t not well suited ergonomically, and sometimes may not be quite sharp enough for you, though that is dependent on each lens…the best lenses will be just fine on the denser a6400/6600 sensor. I will say I wouldn’t go for the Tamron zooms on the crop bodies. First of all, they make for very awkward focal lengths (26-42mm and 42-112mm), but they also aren’t going to be quite as good image quality wise as something like the new Sony 16-55mm f/2.8, which is what I’d get if I were investing in an APS-C only system as a standard zoom. That will cover most of the range of the two Tamron zooms and do so with a lens that is geared towards the smaller sensor.
The Sigma f/1.4 primes are outstanding, though. I own the 30/1.4 and 56/1.4, and they’re great. The 56/1.4 is astonishingly good.
Excellent review and astounding images Jordan….. I’ve really enjoyed your site and the real world reviews you have done…. Straight with no chaser…… I’m not quite there yet, just having finally upgrading from my A99 to A7Rii, I along with both Tamron’s 17-28 / 28-70, and the Batis 25. I’ve been chopping at the bit to get out and shoot once the NP’s open up again and after looking at your images just intensified those feelings.
Thank you for review Jordan. How would you rate AF accuracy difference in lower light (indoor lights) with f/1.4 or f/1.8 primes between A7iii and A7Riv? For cases where placing AF point over subject is not a problem (so real time tracking advantage of A7Riv does not matter). Is it about same or is there a difference?
I don’t notice much of a difference, if there is any at all. Both focus very well.