More than 3.5 years after the A7 III, Sony announced today a successor in the form of the A7 IV. The new model brings a host of changes including a new sensor, processor, ergonomics, and both stills but mostly video-related features.
After a long wait and countless rumors and leaks (including some “interesting” ones), Sony announced the A7 IV. The company’s new all-around professional full-frame stills/video hybrid camera with lots of new capabilities, most of them taken from the higher A7S III and A1 cameras.
The new A7 IV
A7 IV – What’s new
We spent a great deal of time with Sony at a (virtual) press event earlier this week going over all the new features of the A7 IV. We made a long list of all the new features in the A7 IV which encompass almost every major aspect of the camera.
- *All new* 33MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor (with BSI technology).
- New BIONZ XR processing engine (similar to one found on the A7S III/A1 and 8x faster than that of the A7 III).
- Increased sensitivity 100-51200 ISO.
- Huge new buffer with up to 828 RAW+JPEG uncompressed images (max shooting speed is still 10fps).
- Improved AF system – 94% frame coverage, eye AF on people, animals, and birds including in video, and improved tracking.
- Improved AF-S mode with no leg/”jumps” and -4EV sensitivity.
- Focusing as low as F/22 (like the A1).
- Official dynamic range – 15 stops.
- Full-size HDMI and micro USB + USB-C ports (including one which can be connected via an adapter to ethernet for streaming/FTP work).
- Dual card slots – both with SD UHS-II support and one also with CFexpress Type-A.
- Sony’s new touch menu system (introduced on the A7S III).
- A 3″ 1 million dots fully articulating screen (again similar to the A7S III).
- 4K 60p (super 35 only) and 1080p up to 120p.
- Video shooting up to 10bit 4:2:2 (up to 600Mbps). 4K 30p is oversampled from 7K.
- S-Cinetone and Slog3 support.
- Video button at the upper part of the camera.
- Passive cooling system (similar to that on the A7S III/A1).
- Active stabilizer up to 5.5 stops.
- Digital audio support through the hot shoe.
- The shutter can be locked camera is turned off.
- Improved EVF with 3.7 million dots with OLED technology and up to 120fps (same as the A9 II).
- *All new* – Focus breathing correction in-camera (using clear image zoom). Only works with Sony lenses.
- *All new* – Focus map feature shows different colors for objects in front and behind the focus over imposed on the live view image.
- *All new* – mode dial with two levels – the top includes PSAM and 3 user-configurable modes (1/2/3) and the lower one includes stills/video and S&Q modes for a faster workflow.
- *All new* – exposure compensation dial can be configured to also control other functions (like ISO).
- Improved grip for better holding of the camera.
- Improved WIFI with 5Ghz support and faster mobile integration.
- Improved Imaging Edge app/software support with better workflow with lightroom mobile and AF control from the app.
- *All new* – faster streaming options directly from the camera with 4K 15fps or 1080p 60p including digital audio and internal recording while streaming via USB-C.
Sony Product features video of the A7 IV
There is one small drawback compared to the original A7 III – battery life is rated at 610 images (CIPA) – lower than the A7 III (using the same Z type battery), but Sony explains that the new sensor/processor and EVF draw more power and actual field performance should be very good like its predecessor.
The A7 IV in the hand
The way we see it, the A7 IV is an expected update to an already very capable camera that in many respects is still relevant today, years after it was announced. This is especially true for stills shooters. For video shooters, however, Sony offers a lot of important updates with the A7 IV and provides more enticing for an upgrade.
2 new flashes – Sony HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM
Sony also announced today two new advanced flashes:
- HVL-F60RM2 – a powerful on-camera flash with a Guide Number of 60, 20mm-200mm zoom, up to 200 flashes at 10fps (or 20 fps on a fast burst with the A1 and up to 1/400 sync speed). New angle mechanism, sync terminal, improved TTL operation, stronger shoe (with better sealing), and up to 240 flashes per charge or 720 with a special Sony external battery.
The all-new powerful on-camera HVL-F60RM2 flash
- HVL-F46RM – Guide Number of 460, 24mm-105mm zoom, new angle mechanism, stronger shoe (with better sealing), and up to 320 flashes with AA batteries.
The smaller HVL-F46RM flash
Pricing and availability
The A7 IV will start shipping in December 2021 (processor shortage allowing). Pricing is set at $2500. The two new flashes will start shipping in November 2021. Pricing for the HVL-F60RM2 is set at $550 and pricing for the HVL-F46RM will be set at $400.
Hands-on reviews from across the web
As you can expect, Sony supplied several of the new cameras to reviewers and content creators, and here are a few hands-on and early reviews of the new camera:
Chris and Jordan from DPR with their Hands-on of the A7 IV
Tony & Chelsea Northrup look at the A7 IV vs. the original A7 III
Gerald Undone with his look at the A7 IV
Gordon Laing look at the A7 IV vs. A7 III for photographers
Nino from CineD look at the A7 IV
Armando Ferreira look at the Sony A7 IV
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