Sony's bread and butter full-frame gets upgrade: say hello to the A7 IV

The A7 IV is Sony's attempt at an enthusiast's full-frame camera that delivers top-notch video and stills.

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Amazingly, Sony’s new Alpha 7 IV (A7 IV) is considered a basic camera, but that’s in the context of its series of full-frame cameras, which is designed for enthusiasts and professionals.

The basic A7 is Sony’s all-rounder and is pretty much a must-have for those who are invested in full-frame E Mount lenses. And the A7 IV update features new tricks that will take the daily beater of the series into 2021.

While Sony has more specialised bodies in the form of the R for stills and the S for video, it understands that most users increasingly need to be able to do both. Thus, the A7IV takes an all-rounder approach featuring more streamlined operability and enhanced reliability for photos and movies.

New Sensor

At the heart of the camera is a new 33MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with an ISO sensitivity range that’s expandable to ISO 50-204800. According to Sony, the sensor provides high resolution for smooth gradation, fine details and textures of the subject while reducing noise, while possessing an impressive 15-stop dynamic range.

The new sensor is accompanied by the latest BIONZ XR processing engine, which powers the advanced autofocus (AF) capabilities based on the flagship Alpha 1 model: high-speed AF, uninterrupted continuous shooting at 10 fps with AF/AE tracking and a large buffer.

The system is also capable of Real-Time Tracking and features 759 phase-detection AF points in a high-density focal plane phase-detection AF system that covers approximately 94 per cent of the image area.

Furthermore, the Real-time Eye AF can now also track birds and animals’ eyes for both still images and movies. Sony adds that the detection accuracy has improved by about 30 per cent over the A7III for human faces and eyes.

In addition, the 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation adds support with a 5.5- step shutter speed advantage.

Video

The video features aren’t no slouch either, and the camera can shoot up to 4K 60p Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode.

The A7IV also supports 10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling to enable natural gradation, along with XAVC S-I intra-frame encoding for efficient editing workflows and XAVC HS for doubled compression efficiency.

You can also use the A7IV as a live-streaming camera as it doesn’t need dedicated software and supports UVC and UAC USB standards. It can stream up to 4K 15p/1080 FHD 60p resolution and is equipped with a digital audio interface for microphone support.

Quality of life stuff

Many of the A7IV’s improvements help better the shooting experience. This includes:

  • When used with E-mount lenses, the AF Assist supports focus transitions while Breathing Compensation helps offset lens jerkiness with sudden transitions.
  • The new dual-layer mode dial adds a secondary Still/Movie/S&Q dial to the regular Auto/P/A/S/M dial, so you can also transition easily from stills to video and back.
  • The camera offers CFexpress Type A support for faster writing speeds while the camera’s heat-dissipating structure enables the A7IV to film 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video continuously for more than an hour.

Availability

The Alpha 7 IV will be available at selected retail shops and online shops from December 2021, with prices starting from $ 3,599 (Body only). For more information (or if you would like to purchase direct) visit the local Sony page .

Sony also announced two new flash modules – the HVL-F60RM2 (GN 60, 20-200mm coverage) and HVL-F46RM (GN 46, 24-105mm coverage). Priced at $699 and $529 respectively, both are also available at selected retail shops and online shops (including Sony).

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