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Sony Introduces Alpha 7R IV Camera

Features of the full-frame mirrorless camera include Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder to date, advanced connectivity to enhance workflow and longer battery life.

ASC Staff

Features of the full-frame mirrorless camera include Sony's highest resolution viewfinder to date, advanced connectivity to enhance workflow and longer battery life.

Sony Electronics Inc. has announced the latest addition to its Alpha 7R series full-frame mirrorless camera line-up: the Alpha 7R IV (model ILCE-7RM4).  

The camera features a newly developed 35mm full-frame, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 61.0 MP, the first of its kind. The sensor’s back-illuminated structure and noise-reduction techniques combine to deliver extremely low-noise and high-sensitivity performance, ensuring maximum image quality. The camera also boasts a 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights, and utilizes algorithms from many of the latest Alpha cameras to maintain outstanding color reproduction.  

“We are continuing to drive innovation, break boundaries and redefine the expectations of digital-camera performance,” says Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Product and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The Alpha 7R IV combines medium-format-level image quality with high-speed shooting, extremely fast focusing and an extensive list of upgrades to design, connectivity and usability. This will allow professional photographers, videographers and other creators to capture content in new ways.”

The Alpha 7R IV is equipped with a five-axis image-stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a shutter speed advantage of 5.5-steps. Additionally, the shutter-unit assembly has been redesigned to reduce movement that might cause blur.  

The camera features Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder ever, a 5.76-million-dot UXGA OLED Tru-finder, which is about 1.6x the resolution of the EVF in the Alpha 7R III. The display quality can be set to Standard or High mode and to either 60 fps or 120 fps refresh rate to best match the subject and shooting conditions.  

The Alpha 7R IV also features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the camera shifts the sensor in one pixel or half-pixel increments to capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 963.2 million pixels of data, which are then composited into a 240.8-million-pixel image using Sony’s Imaging Edge desktop application.  

The camera can shoot full-resolution images at up to 10 fps with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to approximately seven seconds in full-frame, full-resolution mode (JPEG/Raw), and approximately three times as long in APS-C crop mode, delivering 26.2MP images. These high-speed options ensure that fast-moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail.  

The upgraded focusing system of the Alpha 7R IV is comprised of 567 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 74 percent of the image area. There are also 425 contrast AF points that add extra precision and reliability for low-light and other situations that are best served by contrast AF. The higher AF sensor density and refined tracking algorithms of the new camera produce a notable improvement in tracking performance, allowing complex subject motion and sudden subject movements to be reliably tracked with precision.  

The Alpha 7R IV supports Real-time Eye AF, which employs artificial intelligence to detect and process eye-location data in real time, locking and maintaining focus on the subject’s eye. This is available for both animal and human subjects, with either Animal or Human Eye AF mode selectable as options.  Real-Time Tracking, which utilizes a newly developed subject-recognition algorithm to ensure the ultimate subject tracking and persistence of the focusing system, is also available, as is an Anti-Flicker shooting mode, which automatically detects the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting in the environment to minimize impact on the final image.  

The camera is equipped with a variety of advanced connectivity features designed to enhance workflow. These include wireless LAN functionality to support the conventional 2.4 GHz band, as well as a high-speed 5 GHz band for faster, more stable data transfer. Wireless PC remote connectivity (wireless tethering shooting) is also available, a first for Sony cameras. Requested by many working professionals, this allows for much more freedom in studio and location shoots.

The camera also features a SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.2 Gen 1) USB Type-C connector that supports extremely fast wired data transmission, with almost double data-transfer speed achieved in combination with Sony’s Imaging Edge software (compared to the Alpha 7R III). It also supports FTP data transfer with background transfer capability, allowing photographers to send images to a specified FTP remote server while they are still shooting or reviewing images.  

To support an efficient, connected professional workflow, Sony has announced version 2.0 of its Imaging Edge desktop applications (Remote/Viewer/Edit). The Remote application allows users to control cameras and monitor live shooting on their PC screen; the Viewer application is used to quickly preview, rate and select photos from large libraries; and the Edit application can develop raw data into high-quality photos for delivery. When utilizing the latest version of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile application, the camera can now transfer images to a connected smartphone even if the camera’s power is off.  

The Alpha 7R IV offers 4K video recording across the full width of the image sensor and full-pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm mode. This ensures high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 are also available to maximize color-grading flexibility, with S-Log 3 offering 14 stops of dynamic range. Hybrid Log-Gamma is also available to support an Instant HDR workflow.

For video autofocus, the camera utilizes a refined Fast Hybrid AF system that achieves faster, smoother, more stable autofocus during shooting. The camera also includes Touch Tracking functionality during video shooting, allowing the user to simply touch the screen on the intended subject for instant acquisition. 

The Alpha 7R IV debuts Real-Time Eye AF for video shooting, a first in Sony cameras. When activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content as opposed to what is in focus. Touch Tracking functionality will automatically initiate Eye AF when a human subject is selected. 

The camera’s Multi Interface Shoe features a digital-audio interface, allowing a direct digital connection from the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit for low-noise, high-quality audio recording. Interval shooting for creating time-lapse videos is available, as are full HD recording at up to 120 fps, Slow and Quick Motion functions and more.  

The Alpha 7R IV features several improvements to design and usability, including enhanced dust and moisture resistance and an improved six-screw lens mount. Additional enhancements include an improved grip, an increase in the diameter and feedback for the AF-ON button, a new multi-selector joystick design, an exposure-compensation dial lock button and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial. In response to requests from many users, Sony has also provided two UHS-II-compatible media slots, allowing for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds.

Almost all camera settings can be saved to and read from an inserted memory card. Up to 10 combinations can be saved to any individual card and loaded into any camera body of the same model.  

The camera’s battery life has also been improved, with a CIPA measurement of up to 670 still images per change using LCD monitor (or 530 images with EVF). The new optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip holds two NP-FZ100 batteries, and the optional Multi Battery Adaptor can hold up to four Z batteries. The body can also be powered via the USB connector.

The Alpha 7R IV will ship in September and will list for $3,500.

To compliment the camera, Sony has also announced a variety of new accessories, including the VG-C4EM Vertical Grip and the ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone, which will both ship in September, and the XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit, which will ship in October.

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