Sony A7R IV Review: All You Need To Know for Wildlife Photography
If you are anything like us, you want the best of technical qualities, speed, and handling in your camera. Then, we have got a cheat for you: Sony A7R IV.
In a market brimming with a plethora of options, A7R IV stands tall. It is sleek, fast, and comes with incredible performance.
But wait! Is A7R IV different from A7R III?
Yes, this mirrorless camera is the fourth generation of Sony’s A7R: an upgrade over A7R III. Like all the previous models from Sony, this beauty features excellent resolution and speed.
Regarding resolution and image quality, A7R IV outstrips its competition with an incredible 61MP sensor. What’s more, that resolution is the first for all 35mm cameras.
Well, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A7R IV has more juice besides its market-shattering resolution.
What juice? How can you even be sure that Sony A7R IV is worth the hype?
You will find all the answers to your inquiries in this Sony A7R IV review!
Sony A7R IV’s Juice: The Key Features
- Dimensions: 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm
- Weight: 665g (battery and storage card inclusive)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi & WiFi tethering, dual storage card slot
- Sensor: 61.0MP 35mm format BSI Exmor R CMOS
- ISO Sensitivity: 100 – 32000 ISO (pull 50, push up to 102400)
- Lens system: E-mount
- Rear monitor: Tilting 3in LCD, 1.44M dots, and touch sensitivity
- Viewfinder: 0.5in OLED, 5.7K dots, 23mm eyepoint, 0.78x magnification, and 120fps refresh rate
- Autofocus: Hybrid, 567 phase, and 425 contrast detection points
- Shutter speed: Bulb, 1/8000 to 30s
- Continuous shooting: 3fps to 10fps, AE/AF Tracking, and Pixel Shift Multi Shooting
- Movie recording: 4K max at 30fps, Full HD max at 120fps, S-Log, and HLG gamma
- Internal Stabilisation: Yes; a 5-axis stability
- Built-in Flash: No
- Weatherproof: Yes
- Miscellaneous: Bracketing and intervalometer
How Does Sony A7R IV Weigh Against Previous Models?
Understandably, you might not want to invest in a new camera costing over $3K, especially when you own a model such as A7R III. Well, you understand!
Even at that, A7R IV is a different beast, and it’s worth all the investment. And to prove that to you, we will weigh this 61MP mirrorless camera against another delight: A7R III. Have a look!
A7R IV Vs. III: Which Is Better?
Short answer: A75 IV is the best of the two Sony mirrorless cameras. See how we arrived at that bold conclusion:
A7R IV is a bit bulkier than its immediate predecessor. It weighs about 8g more than A7R III and has a slightly wider shape. Nevertheless, they both have a compact design that will fit into most bags.
Here’s the fun part: the improved size on A7R IV means it comes with an enhanced grip and deep indentation not seen in other models. Thanks to those slight modifications, you won’t stress your fingers.
Furthermore, the robust design of the A7R IV makes room for easier handling when working with heavy lenses. Unlike in previous models, you won’t toil to fit a widely-used lens like the Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art.
Much like the sizing, the designs of A7R IV are a total upgrade to previous models. Now, the buttons are thicker. That means you needn’t press hard for fast responses.
Also, the dials at the front and rear side got their share of modifications. They both shift upwards now and are easier to grab. Plus, the A7R IV allows you to add more functions to the said dials – thanks to the new custom button.
Furthermore, the texts on the A7R IV are narrower, and that gives room for visual assistance. Besides, the arrangement of the menu is personalized and allows for easy navigation.
Lastly, the storage card cover in A7R IV is now different and easier to use. Unlike the switch option in A7R III, the IV model uses a simple slide design.
Note: this section is a bit bulky, and that is because it contains the key differences.
There is a gulf of improvement on A7R III in the A7R IV. Everything, from the sensor, sharpness, battery life, to reliability improved.
Let’s start with the obvious: the sensor. A7R IV is a beast at 61MP – which is about 20MP more than A7R III. The best part: the former can shoot 16 frames and jolt the sensor even more to a massive 240MP. Imagine the image quality that you will derive from that!
Indeed, the two cameras feature a similar back-illuminated, BSI-design sensor. Even at that, the capacity of the Sony A7R IV is peerless. How so?
For a start, you can increase image sharpness on A7R IV to a +5 compared to the +3 of A7R III. Besides, the former’s viewfinder comes with 5.7M dots against the 3.6M on the latter. In essence, you will get an enhanced sharpness on your pictures, especially when using magnification.
Pro tip: leave your image sharpness at +3 on A7R IV. Else, you might lose the quality of your pictures.
About battery life, A7R IV is the better option. Indeed, both (III & IV) models can get you up to 2000 images on a full charge – and even with some cells to spare. However, when you consider that the A7R IV comes with more (battery-draining) features, it is a no-brainer for battery life and performance.
Lastly, and most importantly, A7R IV has an incredible tracking mode with the latest algorithm for real-time functions. Thanks to that upgrade, your camera can analyze elements within its frame faster and clearly. Hence, enhanced reliability.
Overall, A7R IV is a welcome upgrade from previous models. While it isn’t entirely new, its enhanced features will undoubtedly increase your picture and video quality.
Sony A7R IV Review: The Pros & Cons
What We Like
- Ease of use: A7R IV screams comfort all over. For a start, the buttons are thicker. Besides, features such as front and rear dials are more suited for long-hour use. Plus, the visual aids on the screen are helpful and detailed. In all, all those modifications make the camera beginners’ and even experts’ delight.
- Exclusive resolution power: by default, A7R IV comes with a whopping 61MP sensor power. That’s the world-first for cameras of similar description. Still, you can improve the resolution to even 240MP with the enhanced Viewfinder feature. That means improved image quality and long-range performances.
- Real-time tracking: allows you to get clear pictures. And all that is down to A7R IV’s algorithm updates. These upgrades help the camera to analyze the various elements without its frame. In the process, the autofocus and skin tones can come out better.
- Longer hours for video capturing: A7R IV does not have a cap on the length of the video you can capture. This camera will take you for as long as your storage card and battery allow. That means you won’t cut your recordings out of lack of capacity. And that will undoubtedly save time.
- Fast transfer: A7R IV comes with USB Type C 3.2 ports. Thanks to that feature, you can transfer your media files faster than the 3.1 ports on previous models.
What We Don’t Like
- Price: at above $3K, A7R IV is an expensive investment. If you can wait, the price will soon drop.
- LCD location: if the camera had a top-plate display, it would be even easier toggling the settings.
- The large resolution will take up a lot of drive space. But you can use an SD card to counteract that.
Reviews From Other Users:
- Rod Lawton
“The 61 megapixel Sony A7R IV is remarkable as a technical achievement, but as a camera, its handling is starting to grate.”
- M. Furqan
“Amazing quality of images when compared to 7R III. I have not used it for wildlife yet but took some great landscapes and portraits with it. The difference in the quality of images is obvious when compared to 7R III. Also, I made a switch from the Nikon D810’s entire setup. I am happy I made that decision.
Recommend the following lenses:
- Sony 16-35 mm f 2.8 (Landscape),
- Sony 50 mm 1.4 ( portraits) two-person,
- Sony 85 mm 1.8 ( portraits) one person close shots, and
- Sony 100-40 mm (Wildlife)”
FAQs About Sony A7R IV
Is Sony A7R IV The Best Camera?
Spoiler alert: no one camera is best for all purposes.
That said, A7R IV performs better for several activities. Its flexibility is why it makes one of the top mirrorless cameras to own.
Here are some of the best uses of A7R IV:
- Family events & moments – birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries
- Formal video & portraits – landscapes, lifestyle, people, and street
- Documentaries – adventure & travel, nature, and sports
What Does The “R” In A7R Mean?
The R in the A7R series denotes resolution. As such, the emphasis for these Sony cameras is picture quality. And when you consider that the fourth generation has a 61MP sensor, the goal remains enhancing resolution for better performance.
Are Mirrorless Cameras Better Than DSLRs?
Yes and No! If you want a compact and light camera for fast and easy use, mirrorless cameras like A7R IV are perfect.
However, mirrorless cameras come with a disadvantage: they can only work with limited lenses. That’s where DSLRs trump them. Plus, DSLRs have better battery life.
Sony A7R IV is a masterpiece among mirrorless cameras. It is compact and easy to use. More importantly, it comes with an incredible 61MP sensor. With that, your pictures will be sharper and more beautiful.
However, the A7R IV comes at a steep price. You can either wait out a price deduction or invest right away. Either way, the camera is a wise investment.