Sony unveils the a7 IV: another affordable beast?
Sony has just unveiled the highly anticipated a7 IV, the successor to the hugely popular a7 III, bringing significant improvements.
The a7 III had a huge impact on the market when it was introduced in 2018, offering a lot of versatility at a very aggressive price. Expectations for the a7 IV were high and Sony was under pressure to make sure it didn’t disappoint with the updated version.
The a7 IV increases the resolution of the back-illuminated full-frame sensor from 24 megapixels to 33, the viewfinder goes from 2.3 million dots to 3.69 million, and the rear LCD screen is touch-sensitive and fully articulated. The camera contains the BIONZ XR which is also found in the a7S III and a1. Sony claims the camera will offer over 15 stops of dynamic range and stabilization in the body is now 5.5 stops. The burst rate remains at 10 frames per second, for both the mechanical and electronic shutter.
Autofocus is aligned with other recent versions from Sony, offering real-time object tracking and human and animal eye autofocus for photos and videos. It is reliable up to EV-4.
The a7 IV borrows a lot from the design of the a7S III, using a very similar body with a video record button placed in front of the exposure compensation dial, a full-size HDMI port, and the same menu system.
Video performance has seen notable improvements. New to the a7 IV is focus mapping which uses color overlays to help you preview depth of field. Another novelty is the Focus Breathing Compensation which, together with Sony lenses, ensures smooth focus transitions.
The a7 IV films in 4K30 without cropping, oversampled from 7K. It captures both S-Cinetone and S-Log3 at up to 15 stops of dynamic range and internally samples colors in 10-bit 4: 2: 2. The 4K60 is available when shooting in Super 35, and the use of graphite material in the camera’s built-in stabilization system allows recording at the highest resolutions for over an hour without overheating.
An interesting change is that the exposure compensation dial is now programmable and there is a separate ring on the mode dial that allows you to switch between stills, video, and S&Q. Card slots have also been changed: one only takes UHS-II SDXC / SDHC, while the other accepts both SD and CFExpress Type A. The latter offers a buffer that can hold up to 828 files. raw uncompressed.
The a7 IV will be available for pre-order shortly on B&H Photo for $ 2,498 and shipping is expected to begin in December.
Are you going to upgrade? Is this the right price considering the a7 III was slightly cheaper when it was released three years ago? Let us know in the comments below.