Since its launch in 2013, the full-frame mirrorless cameras of the Sony Alpha A7 series have secured a good position in the photography gear market. They are well-known for their video quality and excellent capacity to shoot in low light. The A7 III, which was released in 2018, provided high resolution for still photos too. But it lacked internal 10-bit video recording capabilities and autofocus. Now the latest model of this series, i.e. the A7 IV has been released recently, claiming to be the entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera.
So, without wasting time, let us see what is the specialty of the Sony Alpha A7 IV camera in terms of its design, features, and quality of photos and video.
Sony Alpha A7 IV Review: Should You Buy It?
Sony Alpha A7 IV Design
Photo Credit: Future
Though the Sony A7 IV looks closely similar to the previous alpha series cameras, it has certain subtle changes in its designs. These small changes have made it all the more user-friendly. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the top is especially helpful for you to track moving objects. It comes with a 3.69-million dot resolution and 120fps refresh rate.
Below it, a new vari-angle touch screen is present. It can pivot around to face the right direction while shooting. It will particularly help you out while shooting alone. Like the Sony A7S III, the Sony A7 IV also has Sony's latest UI.You will find a new ring below the mode dial, which allows you to flip between still photography, video photography, and S & Q' mode which is to record time-lapses and slow-motion footage. A red-colored record button for video shooting is a new addition. A lockable exposure compensation dial is also added. Just like its predecessor, it offers a joystick to choose AF points, a rear scroll wheel that will prevent you from changing the shutter speed by mistake, and an AF-On button to aid back-button focusing.
Another big change is the Multi-Interface Hotshoe of Sony, which you will find on the top of the A7 IV camera. With its help, you will be able to connect Sony's ECM-B1M and ECM-W2BT without using an extra cable or a power source. If you have used an Alpha camera before, you will not feel many changes in its weight or size. It is comfortable to handle overall.
Sony Alpha A7 IV Features
Photo Credit: Future
The upgrades in the Sony A7 IV have made it an everyone's camera- be it for a landscape photographer or a food photographer. The main two features to talk about are the newest autofocus smarts and a much better buffer depth for burst shooting. You can compare it with the Canon EOS R6 because the features are nearly similar. Though its top burst shooting speed, 10fps, is slower than that of the Canon EOS R6 which is 20fps, you should consider its autofocus speeds and buffer.
It has the Bionz XR processor, which is just like that in the Sony A1. The resolution of Sony A7 iv is 33MP, which is much higher than its predecessor. After testing the burst shooting skills of A7 iv with a UHS-II card, experts have assured that the buffer is much more than what is commonly required. If you shoot in RAW, the speed is 9fps for the initial 8 seconds, and then reduce to about 6fps. In the case of shooting in JPEG, you will find the A7 IV continuously striking the speed of 9fps for about a minute. As Sony claims, the buffer capacity of Sony A7 IV is 828 shots in CFExpress cards while shooting in both JPEG and RAW and unlimited in other modes.
The main attraction of the A7 IV is undoubtedly its autofocus skills, which are much upgraded from that of A7 III. As it uses the latest AF system of Sony, you will have Eye AF for capturing humans, birds, and animals in still photos as well as a video shoot. Like all the A7 series cameras, shooting videos with the A7 IV is also very comforting. It even has been much upgraded for video shooting than still from the A7 III. If you like to color-grade the videos you shoot, this camera will win your heart. The maximum video bit rate, which was 100Mbps in A7 III, has taken a huge leap to 600Mbps in A7 IV. The sensor with full width allows you to shoot 4K/30p video. But this mode is available only with a super 35 crop. Its size is near to an APS-C sensor.
There is a Focus Map too, which is an upgraded version of focus packing and shows color blocks to the area you are focusing on. The S-Cinetone picture profile looks just like any of the cinema cameras by Sony. Undoubtedly, this camera is great for both still photography and video shooting, like most of the good hybrid cameras.
Sony Alpha A7 IV Image and video quality.
Photo Credit: Future
It seems like the key focus of the makers of A7 IV was on bringing more versatility in this model, rather than adding features to improve the image quality. The best part with this camera for clicking stills is the capacity to shoot in low-light conditions. When the light is very little, you can set the ISO as high as 6400 in this camera and still get an image free from grains. Similarly, you can lower the shutter speed up to 1/10 sec and still produce a decently sharp photo. The in-body image stabilization (IBIS) offers a compensation till 5.5-stops. If you use polarizing filters, you can easily hold this camera by hand, where you need to use a tripod while shooting with other cameras. The 7K resolution of the sensor can be oversampled to 4K/30p video in A7 IV. A
There is no doubt that the Sony A7 IV is capable of shooting in almost any situation. Very few cameras like the Canon EOS R6 can provide these facilities. But you need to consider your budget too. For example, if you don't shoot video that much, you can opt for much cheaper cameras like Nikon Z5, Nikon Z6 II, or the Fujifilm X-T4. If you want to buy Sony's camera only, then go for the Sony A7 III. But if you regularly shoot both stills and video, the Sony A7 IV is all you need.
Written By Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.