Succeeding the incredibly popular a7 III, the new camera maintains many of its beloved features in addition to some exciting updates. Here’s everything we know so far about the Sony a7 IV.
Everything We Know So Far
Perhaps the most crucial update implemented for the Sony a7 IV is its sensor. The camera uses a new 33MP full-frame Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor – a significant increase in resolution from the 24.2MP sensor in the a7 III. Also equipped with the latest BIONX XR image processor – the same used by the Sony a1 and a7S III – the new camera is designed to offer significant improvements in overall performance.
Firstly, the new sensor and image processor combination enables up to 10fps continuous shooting (33MP RAW+JPEG, with AF/AE) with full pixel readout. Additionally, faster sensor readout allows 10-bit 4:2:2 4K video recording up to 60p internally (when shooting in Super 35 mode). Plus, the heat-dissipating structure of the camera means you can record continuously at this rate for over an hour.
The high-resolution sensor also allows the a7 IV to record 4K 30p video with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode. However, we’re perhaps most excited about the fact the new camera can shoot in S-Cinetone, a picture profile used by Sony’s Cinema Line cameras. The preset enriches the colors and tones of your imagery, ultimately producing a more cinematic look.
The BIONZ XR image processing engine used by the A7 IV is eight times faster than the processor used by the a7 III. This helps the camera offer an incredible photo and video output, while also delivering faster response times and autofocus.
Speaking of autofocus, Sony estimates that face and eye detection is approximately 30% more accurate on the a7 IV than the a7 III. Furthermore, the Eye AF feature can now also track the eyes of birds and animals in both stills and video. The new camera uses an enhanced Hybrid system, combining 794 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points that cover approximately 94% of the image area.
While the ISO range is consistent with the a7 III at 100-51200, expandable to 50-204800 for stills and 100-102400 for video, the a7 IV’s impressive internal mechanics help it capture more texture and detail and less noise at medium and high sensitivities. That’s not to mention the camera’s 15+ stops of dynamic range.
The a7 IV offers plenty of other updates and new features. Physically, the camera has a new 3-inch vari-angle touch screen LCD display, and an improved Quad-VGA OLED viewfinder with 1.6 times the resolution of the EVF on the a7 III.
Meanwhile new functionalities include Focus Map, for visualizing the depth of field, focus breathing compensation, and AF Assist. Inherited from the FX6, AF Assist enables you to switch between auto and manual focus while recording video.
The sample images above show off the awesome power of the Sony a7 IV. The remarkable hybrid camera harnesses some of the raw power of Sony’s flagship camera, the a1, and offers it to users for a significantly smaller price.
Should I Pre-Order the Sony a7 IV?
The Sony a7 IV is available now for pre-order for $2,498, or $2,698 with a 28-70mm kit lens. It’s expected to start shipping in late December. Conversely, the Sony a7 III is currently stocked and on sale for $1,798.
While the Sony a7 IV is undoubtedly the more powerful camera, if you’re ready to upgrade now, you could have the a7 III in your hands within a few days. It’s a fantastic camera, and you won’t be disappointed. However, if you don’t mind waiting until 2022, we anticipate the a7 IV will be one of Sony’s most popular and celebrated full-frame cameras yet.