Sony A7 IV review
Jun 04, 2022
The Sony A7 IV is currently the greatest mirrorless all-arounder available. It isn't as powerful as the Sony A1, and is almost as speedy as the Canon EOS R6, but it's as affordable as the Fujifilm X-T4, but it does provide a fantastic mix of photographic and video features. It's the best example so far of the hybrid convenience that current mirrorless cameras can provide by effectively integrating two cameras into one. If you photograph a variety of portraits, weddings, wildlife, and video, you'll like the camera's adaptability, functionality, and lens options.
The A7 IV improves on the iconic A7 III in every way, featuring a new 33MP sensor, Bionz XR processor, and greatly improved video capabilities. Outside of pro sports cameras, it also has the greatest autofocus mechanism we've seen. Whether you're shooting images or video, the Sony A7 IV excels at staying focused on your subject and, in the case of humans and animals, locking focus on their eyes.
It isn't quite the perfect video camera, with a cropped 4K/60p setting and rolling shutter flaws. However, it provides more than enough quality and versatility for photographers who are increasingly being expected to capture a similar quantity of video, with support for 10-bit video, no recording restrictions, and new techniques like focus breathing correction.
There are some minor compromises with the A7 IV, as with any all-rounder cameras. The improved detail from the resolution boost is somewhat counterbalanced by some reasonable noise at higher ISOs, so overall image quality isn't a big step up from the Sony A7 III. It also has average battery life, in-body image stabilization, and burst shooting rates, rather than class-leading. The A7 IV isn't precisely an inconspicuous camera for travel or street photography, nor is it a light camera for lengthy excursions across the countryside.
Sony A7 IV specs:
- Sensor: 33MP full-frame
- AF points: 759-point hybrid phase/contrast-detect
- Video: 4K/30p, or 4K/60p with Super35 crop
- Viewfinder: 3.69 million-dot Quad VGA EVF
- Memory cards: 1x CFexpress Type A/SD UHS-II, 1x SD UHS-II
- LCD: 3-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 1.04m dots
- Max burst: 10fps, up to 828 raw+JPEG (with CFexpress Type A card)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Size: 131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8mm
- Weight: 658g (with card and battery)
The Sony A7 IV should be at the top of your purchase list if you take a fairly balanced mix of images and video and require a powerful hybrid camera that will last you for years. With Sony's latest G Master lenses to make the most of its 33MP resolution, it offers pro-level quality that barely edges out the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6, despite the latter's greater burst-shooting rates. It's without a doubt one of the greatest cameras for photography, and it's also a good pick for video.
Sony's Multi-Interface hotshoe is an added benefit on top of the A7 IV. This means that external microphones like Sony's ECM-B1M and ECM-W2BT can be plugged in without the need for additional connections or power. In comparison to its predecessor, the A7 IV brings yet another string to its video-shooting bow.
Although the A7 IV is certainly a good stills camera, how about video? Here, the leaps are significantly greater. The boost to 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling (from 8-bit on the A7 III) is significant for filmmakers who prefer to color-grade their footage. The maximum video bit rate has also increased from 100Mbps to 600Mbps, and you can now shoot 4K/30p footage with the sensor's entire width.
In-body image stabilization (IBIS) and battery life are two further areas where the Sony A7 IV reaches 'good enough' rating. Its Active Stabilization mode, which adds an electronic hand to the camera's mechanical IBIS, is competent and useful for handheld shooting or vlogging. Before our micro-jitters obliterated delicate details, we were able to go down to shutter speeds of roughly 1/20s.