Sony A7 IV: the advanced entry level fighting with the heavyweights | Review

Sony A7 IV: the advanced entry level fighting with the heavyweights | Review

Sony A7 IV


A few months after the initial test we had the opportunity to test the camera body again, with an updated firmware and with two recently marketed Sony lenses (FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS II and FE PZ 16-35 mm F4 G). The A7 IV's impressive dynamic range offers plenty of leeway (and recovery) when it comes to increasing or decreasing shadows in RAW files. On several occasions we have shot largely underexposed scenes to be able to recover, in serenity, all the details with a low noise level; of course, these are images intended for web use, but we are sure that with a more accurate work it is possible to obtain really important results.

The two optics under test have also emphasized the qualities of the camera body returning noteworthy images; in our opinion, the most evident result can be seen with the new FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS II telephoto lens, a truly formidable lens capable of maintaining focus in any context and situation. In three words, we could define the telephoto lens as a light, extremely fast and above all sharp lens like few others. The FE PZ 16-35 mm F4 G wide-angle lens, also newly developed, is dedicated to both photographers and cinematographers, offering a range of features suitable for both worlds. Also in this case, the build quality is as enviable as the functional qualities.

The long awaited moment has come for photographers who are passionate about the Japanese brand, Sony has today presented the brand new Sony A7 IV mirrorless that replaces the A7 III released three years ago; the news are many and substantial. Sony entered the mirrorless world in 2010 and has never stopped innovating and redefining photography ever since. The positioning of the A7 IV is that of an "entry level" full frame camera aimed at the prosumer public even if, as Sony itself admits, we are faced with a product capable of satisfying the demands of even the most demanding professionals.

The news

Compared to its previous version it improves every aspect, offering more megapixels, more general speed, a decidedly improved autofocus and also an adjustable screen as seen on the A7S III, all together with many general improvements.

The other connections have also been revised by improving their arrangement; The positioning of the audio jacks dedicated to microphone and headphones is therefore different, as is the 10 Gbps USB-C 3.2 Gen2 connectivity which allows, in addition to file transfer, also battery recharging. Finally, the storage section has also been improved, which is now compatible - only on the first slot - with high-speed CF Express Type-A memories, as on A7S III, while the second slot remains compatible only with UHS-II.

New sensor and display

Like the menu, even the display has always been one of the Sony A7's most painful notes. For generations, the full frame display has remained unchanged in its use, obtaining only incremental improvements in quality and resolution. Now with the A7 IV everything changes! Sony, with this new model, has finally decided to replace the previous limited display in the movements with the same solution used on the A7S III. This is an important change that will be appreciated mostly by those who make videos, but also by those who decide to compose by shooting from narrow positions or trivially close to the ground. A nice step forward that allows, under the right conditions, to film oneself independently.

Another huge novelty - before talking about the sensor - is the new EVF OLED electronic viewfinder that benefits of a resolution 1.6x higher than the previous one; this means having a resolution of 3.68 million pixels at 120 fps versus 2.36 million pixels at 60 fps, still lower than that of the A7S III but it is a huge step forward in any case.

The beating heart of the new A7 IV is the 33 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor paired with the Bionz XR processor borrowed from A1 and A7S III; this combo manages to bring a huge advantage in terms of dynamic range, reaching 15+ stops on both photos and videos. Considering the considerable increase in megapixels, over 35% compared to Sony A7 III, it is surprising that Sony manages to maintain such a low noise level even at high ISO, guaranteeing an action range between 50 and 204800 for photos and 100 -102400 for videos.

The only negative point is the battery which, remaining unchanged (Sony NP-FZ100), cannot offer the same performance seen on the A7 III; However, it cannot be ruled out that the amount of shots that can be obtained with an active LCD display may improve in the future with the arrival of updated and improved firmware. In any case, even under stressful conditions, it is possible to capture more than 600 images on a single charge.


Model A7 IV A7 III CMOS sensor Exmor R 35mm (23.8 × 35.6mm) Resolution 33.1 Mpixel - 7008 × 4672 pixels 24.2 Mpixel - 6000 × 4000 pixels Sensitivity 100-51,200 ISO (50-204,800 ISO) OLED viewfinder - 3.69M dots OLED - 2.36M dots 3 ″ TFT display (7.5 cm) / 1.03K VARI-ANGLE TFT 3 "(7.5 cm) / 921K Shutter speed 30s to 1 / 8000s (1 / 32000s ES) Continuous shooting 10fps Autofocus Hybrid AF Number of AF points 759 693 Video 4K 3840 × 2160 - 60 * / 50 * / 30 / 25p

HD 1920 × 1080 - 120 / 100p max.
(*) Super35 format only 4K 3840 × 2160 - 30 / 25p

HD 1920 × 1080 - 120 / 100p max. Slot connectivity 1x CF Type A / SD (UHS-II)

1x SD (UHS-II) 1x SD (UHS-II)

1x MS / Pro / Duo + SD (UHS- I) Multi ports, USB Type C, HDMI Type D, Mic-in, Headphones, Wi-Fi with NFC, Bluetooth, PC Sync Body Dimensions 131x96x79 mm 126.9 × 95.6 × 62.7 mm Weight 658 g 650 g


What surprised us most about this new A7 IV was the really lightning fast and intelligent autofocus system, not surprisingly the one present on the A1 flagship which, with 759 points and coverage of the 94% of the frame via Real time tracking and Real time Eye AF (for humans, birds and animals) makes the shooting experience a real pleasure.

An exclusive novelty of the A7 IV is the Focus Map. mask that allows you to understand at a glance what is fire and what is not through very bright contrasting colors; the 5-axis stabilization is always precise and never intrusive, but it must be borne in mind that the starting point of the A7III was already excellent and therefore a net improvement cannot be expected.

Nell ' daily use we really appreciated the ease with which subjects are tracked, allowing you to shoot creatively and with maximum freedom of movement. No matter what position you take or how lightning-fast you will be in your movements: the focusing system will always be able to surprise you and give you truly unimaginable shots. More specifically, we tested the focusing system with Sony FE 24mm, 40mm, and 50mm lenses from the G series and GM 24-70mm.

Video compartment

One of the more difficult tasks that Sony has in this sector is to balance the newcomer in a range full of other offerings such as A7R IV, devoted to high resolution photos, and A7S III or the specialized camera for videos; for this Sony has decided to reserve the 4K 120 fps only for the A7S III and bring to the A7 IV only the 4k 30p without crop and the 4k 60fps in Super35 with 1.6x crop. The biggest difference compared to the previous model is obtained on the bitrate sector where Bionz XR manages the Full HD 4: 2: 2 at 10 bit pushed up to 600 Mbps as on A7S III.


A7 IV has finally arrived and is ready to arrive in your hands at the beginning of December; this camera manages to combine exceptional photographic capabilities and surprising video capabilities in a single body, all at a price of 2800 euros (list price) which remains very competitive even when compared with other Sony offers. We are sure that it will be a success among enthusiasts and among professionals who will use it both as a second body and as a main solution.

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