Review of the Sony a7r IV: full-frame mirrorless with an incredible resolution
Sony continues to develop its line of mirrorless full-frame cameras. Regularly updated, in particular, the line 7R. New model Sony a7r IV is striking in the first place unprecedented resolution — 61 megapixel! Thus, remarkably, the other characteristics of the camera also can impress — the manufacturer claims and a decent burst speed, and a sufficiently large buffer. For whom this camera? How it behaves in the real world? Will we see a breakthrough in picture quality, or such high resolution, on the contrary, will make the surface of the weakness of cameras? Try to figure out during the test.
Sony produces the camera, particularly for Amateur photographers, making still a heavy emphasis on professional equipment with full frame sensors. And here is a series a7r. In 2018 began selling the model III, Sony a7r, and it seemed that she just does not have yet become obsolete. But Sony is clearly not going to relax and can say that working ahead of the curve — so in 2019 releases an update for its top model. 61 megapixel — truly an unexpected move, because the biggest resolution that we’ve seen in digital cameras with full frame sensor, of 47.3 megapixels in the camera Panasonic S1R.
In Sony a7r IV uses a sensor made by the same technology with CMOS back-illuminated, which we saw in previous models of the series. There is no low-pass filter, which in theory can lead to the appearance of moire in the pictures, but in practice, in most cases, this plays into the hands of the photographer, allowing you to maximize the details and textures in photographs, and also reduce the noise level. From MUAR today without problems can be eliminated software. For the processing of the information meets the latest image processor BIONZ X. the Manufacturer claims excellent color reproduction and an impressive dynamic range pyatnadtsativekovoy.
As in the previous models, a7r IV much attention is paid to the image stabilization system — and with such a huge resolution, this is especially important, because the slightest blurring in the picture will be visible. According to the manufacturer, the stabilizer adapted to work with the new matrix, and final stabilization reaches as much as 5.5 degrees, which allows you to shoot handheld at slow shutter speeds.
Also the camera uses a completely new shutter: again, the case of the sensor resolution, which imposes special requirements — any movement of the seal may lead to Micronase. The shutter in the a7r IV is designed in such a way as to keep vibration to a minimum. He is very reliable and designed more than five hundred thousand cycles of operation.
Already familiar from previous models, the system Pixel Shift has also undergone improvement. Is it implemented through the already mentioned stabilizer, executed on the basis of the shift matrix, and allows you to create images of remarkable resolution. In IV a7r have the opportunity to combine as many as 16 images, with the first four frames are shifted in one pixel, and further with a shift of 0.5 pixel. The result is an image with a resolution of 240 megapixels (19008 × 12672). Option is quite specific and require complete stillness of the camera and the subject, but it can be useful, for example, in a reproductive shoot, which is really important the ultimate transfer of the smallest nuances.
In crop mode (when the circumcision of the frame) picture resolution is 26 megapixels, which is more than many cameras on the market.
So, it seems obvious that the manufacturer relies on permission, specification, printing large format, and, consequently, slow thoughtful work. But there it was. Second time Sony a7r IV was surprised when it was announced the speed characteristics. The ability to shoot up to 10 frames per second (at full resolution in continuous shooting mode with focus lock and exposure at the first frame) — really unusual for a camera with such high resolution. In continuous focus the camera shoots at a speed of 8 frames per second, in the mode of silent shooting — 7 frames per second, which is also quite a lot.
The focus the focus: the focus sensors covered 100% of the frame vertically and 74% of the frame horizontally, is 567 phase sensors and 425 points contrast focus. The manufacturer claims that, although the frame is not completely covered horizontally, camera with very high probability will be able to focus on objects that are on the edge of the frame. But we have to check during testing. A7r to IV we also see a lot of familiar face recognition, but there are innovation — recognition of animals. There are tracking the subject in real time.
|Sony a7r IV||Sony a7r III||Nikon Z7||Canon EOS R||Panasonic S1R|
|Image sensor||36 × 24 mm (full frame)||36 × 24 mm (full frame)||36 × 24 mm (full frame)||36 × 24 mm (full frame)||36 × 24 mm (full frame)|
|Effective sensor resolution||61 megapixel||42.4 megapixel||45.7 megapixels||30.3 megapixel||47.3 megapixel|
|Mount||Sony E||Sony E||Z Nikon||Canon RF||Leica L|
|Photo format||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (ARW)||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (ARW)||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (NEF)||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW, Dual Pixel RAW, C-Raw||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (ARW)|
|Video format||XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MP4||XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MP4||MOV, MP4||MOV, MP4||AVCHD, MP4|
|Frame size||To 9504 × 6336 pixels||To 7952 × 5304 pixel||To 8256 x 5504 pixel||To 6720 × 4480 pixels||To 8368 × 5584 pixel|
|Video resolution||Up to 3840 × 2160, 30p||Up to 3840 × 2160, 30p||Up to 3840 × 2160, 30p||Up to 3840 × 2160, 30p||Up to 3840 × 2160, 60p|
|Sensitivity||100-32000 ISO, expandable to 50, 51200 and 102400||100-32000 ISO, expandable to 50, 51200 and 102400||64-25 600 ISO expandable to 400 32-102||100-40000 ISO expandable to ISO 50, 51200 and 102400||ISO 100-25 600 expandable to 50-51 200|
|Shutter||Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 – 30 s;
|Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 – 30 s;
|Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 – 30 s;
|Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 – 30 s;
long time exposure (Bulb)
|Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 – 30; e-up to 1/16000
long time exposure (Bulb)
|The burst speed||Up to 10 frames per second||Up to 10 frames per second with electronic shutter||Up to 9 frames per second||Up to 8 frames per second in normal mode, up to 5 fps with tracking focus||Up to 9 frames per second|
|Autofocus||Hybrid, 567 points of phase AF + 425 points contrast AF||Hybrid, 399 points of phase AF full frame; 255 points of phase AF + 425 points contrast AF||Hybrid (contrast + phase), 493 points||Dual Pixel CMOS AF covers up to 88% of the sensor horizontal and 100% vertical||Contrast, 225 points|
|Metering modes||The measurement matrix, 1200 zones: matrix, center-weighted, spot, spot for standard/large plot, averaged for the entire screen, in the brightest region||The measurement matrix, 1200 zones: matrix, center-weighted, spot, spot for standard/large plot, averaged for the entire screen, in the brightest region||TTL-sensor: matrix, center-weighted, spot, for bright areas||TTL-metering in 384 areas: evaluative, partial, center-weighted, spot||Touch system with 1728 dots: matrix, center-weighted, spot, for bright areas|
± 5.0 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
|± 5.0 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV||± 5.0 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV||± 5.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps||± 5.0 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV|
|Built-in flash||No, X-sync
|No, X-sync 1/200 s||No, X-sync
|Self-timer||2 s, 5 s, 10 s; the self-timer to shoot with bracketing; auto timer for continuous shooting (3 shots)||2 s, 5 s, 10 s; the self-timer to shoot with bracketing; auto timer for continuous shooting (3 shots)||2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5; 1; 2 or 3||2/10 with||2/10 with|
|Memory card||Two slots, compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS type I/II||Two slots compatible with Memory Stick (PRO, Pro Duo) and SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS type I/II||Slot for XQD/CF-Express||Slot for SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS type II||Two slot: XQD and SD type UHS-II|
|Display||Touch tilting LCD, 3 inches, a resolution of 1.4 million dots||Touch tilting LCD, 3 inches, a resolution of 1.4 million dots||Touch tilting LCD, 3.2 inches, a resolution of 2.1 million pixels||Swivel touch LCD, 3.2 inches, 2.1 million pixels; additional monochrome display||Touch tilting LCD, 3.2 inches, a resolution of 2.1 million pixels|
|Viewfinder||Electronic (OLED 5.7 million pixels)||Electronic (OLEDs, of 3.69 million dots)||Electronic (OLEDs, of 3.69 million dots)||Electronic (OLEDs, of 3.69 million dots)||Electronic (OLEDs, of 5.76 million pixels)|
|Interfaces||USB Type-C (USB 3.0), microUSB, 3.5 mm headphone Jack, 3.5 mm Jack for microphone, microHDMI type D connector for synchronizer||USB Type-C (USB 3.0), microUSB, 3.5 mm headphone Jack, 3.5 mm Jack for microphone, microHDMI type D connector for synchronizer||USB Type-C (USB 3.0), HDMI type C, 3.5 mm headphone Jack, 3.5 mm microphone connector, connector for remote control||HDMI, USB 3.1 (USB Type C), 3.5 mm for external microphone, 3.5 mm earphone Jack, a port for remote control||USB Type C (USB 3.1), HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone Jack, 3.5 mm microphone connector, connector for remote control|
|Wireless modules||Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (SnapBridge)||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
|Food||Li-ion battery NP-FZ100, 16,4 W·h (2280 mAh, 7.2 V)||Li-ion battery NP-FZ100, 16,4 W·h (2280 mAh, 7.2 V)||Li-ion battery EN-EL15b, 14 WH (1900 mAh, 7)||Li-ion battery LP-E6N capacity 14 WH (1865 mAh, 7.2 V)||Li-ion battery DMW-BLJ31, 23 WH (3050 mAh, 7.4 V)|
|Dimensions||128,9 × 96,4 × 77.5 mm||126,9 × 95,6 × 73,7 mm||134 × 101 × 68 mm||Of 135.8 × 98,3 × 84.4 per mm||149 × 110 × 97 mm|
|Weight||665 grams (with battery and memory card)||657 grams (with battery and memory card)||675 grams (with battery and memory card)||660 grams (with battery and memory card)||1020 grams (with battery and memory card)|
|Current price||244 490 rubles for the version without lens (body)||165 000 rubles for the version without lens (body)||184 990 rubles for the version without lens (body), 224 000 rubles for the version with lens 24-70mm f/4||115 990 rubles for the version without lens (body), 164 000 rubles for the version with lens (kit)||269 700 rubles for the version without lens (body), 338 990 rubles for the version with lens 24-105mm f/4|
Design and ergonomics
In terms of design, Sony adheres to a number of schemes: it’s generally like one another and not trying to flirt with the user of some unusual “chips” or “beautiful”. To be honest, in the aesthetic attitude the older buttercake Sony never caused me raptures, but by turning off emotions, I must admit that it is a reliable and sophisticated machines. In tactile terms, meanwhile, was not very large, but significant changes: the number of buttons became more prominent for more comfortable working in the blind, including more convenient to find them with gloves. The camera body is made of magnesium alloy and has protection from the weather. Weight with battery and memory card, 665 grams, dimensions — 128,9 × 96,4 × 77.5 mm. the Camera is slightly bigger and slightly heavier than its predecessor, but only slightly, it’s still pretty lightweight and compact machine, the thrill of which changed depending on the used optics: the lenses are the G-master can weigh more than the camera itself, and most of them are quite overall. However, even with heavy optics heavy imbalance I felt. Have a7r IV has a large and reliable ledge to grip with the right hand. Also if you want you can buy a vertical grip with extra batteries, which will provide a more secure grip of the camera.
Let’s see how the controls on the a7r IV. On the left edge of the cell contains numerous interfaces are divided into three groups, each of which is covered with its cover. Covers, by the way, slightly modified in comparison with the previous model: two of them became significantly easier to access, and most importantly — close. However, the cover connector to sync all the same inconvenient — it takes a while to get a tight seal when closed. Separate the sync terminal. Under the second cover hides a connector for an external flash, mini-Jack for microphone and a microHDMI. Under the third USB Type-S for quick transfer of files to computer (USB 3.0), and microUSB for charging.
On the right side is a compartment for memory cards. Both slots designed for SD memory card (supports UHS-I/II). Available simultaneous recording to both cards in photo or video mode, video recording on one card and photos on the other or RAW on one card and JPEG on another. There is also a contact pad for NFC.
From below we see the battery compartment and tripod socket. They are located at a sufficient distance from each other, the photographer had access to the battery even when shooting with a tripod.
The front mount system E, release button lens selector disk (placed on the handle for grip), IR transmitter for wireless remote control and lamp the AF-assist illuminator.
The top panel is a speaker, stereo microphone holes on either side of the “hump” universal interface “hot Shoe” and a group of controls, concentrated in the right side: classic mode selector operate the lock button on the center selector to change settings (this update compared to the previous model, where the wheel settings was below — on the back of the camera), wheel input exposure compensation, shutter release button with reed — switch and two soft keys.
On the rear panel — LCD display, inclined in a vertical plane. Over them – the eyepiece of the electronic viewfinder with diopter correction wheel and a proximity sensor. And the second group of controls: third soft key, the call button on the main menu, press start videos, forced activation of the autofocus/zoom in when viewing, exposure lock/zoom out while browsing, the second selector disk, a joystick, navigational ring with four “rays” reacting to pressing, and the Central confirming button, function key (by default, it invokes the quick menu) and keys view and delete pictures. The latter is also programmable.
Display and viewfinder
In Sony a7r IV uses the same display as in the previous model a7r III, touch, oblique, with a resolution of 1.44 million points. On screen Live View is available on the main display and the viewfinder, you can display a comprehensive set of settings, virtual horizon, histogram, “Zebra”, a grid of several types. The constant use of the viewfinder on the main display you can display all the key settings to “mirror” style.
Overall the display is good, I was comfortable working with him in any conditions, but one would expect increased resolution. The tilt mechanism of the camera of this series allows you to shoot from low points and other awkward positions, but still the screens with an absolute degree of freedom (that we saw on the camera of Sony ILCA-99M2) — for me another level of comfort in shooting. The manufacturer explains the absence of such a screen by a desire for maximum compactness, but is it really important? IV a7r with lens in either case to form an overall system, we are not talking about carrying the camera in a pocket or small purse.
But the OLED viewfinder has changed. The resolution just increased from 3.68 million points to 5.76 million points — and it had a huge impact on display quality. The update rate can be set as 60 Hz and 120 Hz. Coverage of the field of view 100% magnification approx 0,78 H. Available diopter correction.
Overall impressions of working with the viewfinder is very positive — the picture is clear, rich, no “slowdown” no.
The camera menu is organized in traditional Sony way: to select settings, use horizontal navigation with vertical lists. The menu is very extensive, because the camera of this level has many finely adjustable parameters. For development will take some time — but not everything can be used. For example, quite uncomfortable was “hidden away” is a simple option to batch delete pictures. Pleases that controls the photographer can customize yourself so that the camera responded more personal needs — and for photos and videos a separate control setting. Also, of course, helps the item “My menu” where you can add most popular shooting functions. It is organized in the form of a small matrix located at the bottom of the screen. Quick menu can do different for the photos and video, and it is very convenient.
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Sony a7r IV has all the habitual options of file transfer. There is the possibility of wireless communication with a computer, also provides the opportunity to connect through an access point. There is a possibility of direct control the camera from your smartphone (which will need a free mobile app, and finally a new, not obsolete PlayMemories) is very convenient, for example, in the subject the photographer can capture changes of the composition and to amend settings, without departing from the objects. It is also possible to send the pictures in the background on an external server, and you can register up to nine servers. This option may be useful, for example, advertising photographers who work with the customer: the latest in real-time can control the process of shooting and to be specific, not present in the Studio. It is also useful in situations where it is necessary in a matter of hours or even minutes after shooting — don’t have to spend valuable time transferring files to the computer. Sending images to a smartphone in the background is also possible, but do not forget about the huge weight of files — the memory of the mobile device can fill up quickly.