Sony a7R IV Mirrorless Camera Review

The Sony Alpha a7R IV, which offers even greater resolution than the previous model, is the latest in a long line of very adept full-frame cameras that have been distinguished by their outstanding stills and video performance as well as their adaptability.

More: Best Gimbal for Sony 7R IV | Best Sony a7r IV Bundle & Deals

The improved 61MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and expanded BIONZ X image processor are included in this fourth generation of the a7R, resulting in exceptional imaging results with notable smoothness, a 15-stop dynamic range, and, of course, fast processing. Shooting at up to 10 frames per second is possible, as is the ability to capture UHD 4K30 video, both of which are compatible with Real-time Eye AF and Tracking AF technology.

The updated sensor design employs a Fast Hybrid AF System, which has 567 phase-detection autofocus points, to provide far faster and more accurate focusing performance than previous models. While being a highly detailed sensor, it is also differentiated by its wide native sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 32000, which allows it to be used in a variety of lighting settings.

Additionally, the a7R IV retains the 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization, which is helpful in reducing the appearance of camera shaking by up to 5.5 stops and is beneficial for both stills and video capture.

In addition to improvements in image performance, the a7R IV has a revised physical design that includes more durable weather sealing to allow it to be used in particularly adverse weather situations. In terms of usability, the OLED electronic viewfinder has been upgraded to an impressive 5.76m-dot resolution for clear viewing, and the 3.0 inch touchscreen has been upgraded to a more responsive 3.0 inch touchscreen “Featuring a high 1.44m-dot resolution for crisp playback, live view shooting, and menu navigation, the rear tilting touchscreen LCD has a lot to offer.

In addition to having dual SD card slots that are both UHS II graded for speedier performance, the camera also has a USB Type-C connector that allows for tethering and speedy in-camera battery charging. Additionally, built-in Bluetooth and both 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands enable wireless transmission of data and remote camera operation from connected mobile devices, among other things.

Sony offers a variety of specialized accessories.

Additionally, a trio of attachments are included with the camera body, which are designed to extend battery life and improve audio recording capabilities when capturing video. With the VG-C4EM Vertical Grip, you can shoot longer with up to two additional NP-FZ100 batteries, which may be used in conjunction with the specific battery grip. The ergonomic form of the camera also makes it easier to handle when shooting in the vertical posture.

The ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone, which makes advantage of the a7R IV’s upgraded Multi Interface Shoe and digital audio interface, provides clearer audio recording while also delivering a digital audio stream straight to the camera for cleaner quality with reduced noise, is available for purchase separately.

Additionally, the XLR-K3M XLR Adapter Kit, which is a dual-channel digital XLR audio adapter for connecting extra microphones to the camera while still benefiting from the digital audio interface, is available for even more advanced audio control.

Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor with 61MP resolution and BIONZ X image processor

The Exmor R CMOS sensor, which has a back-illuminated design, works in conjunction with the BIONZ X image engine to produce exceptionally high-resolution stills and video while minimizing noise, increasing speed, and attaining a broad 15-stop dynamic range.

This sensor construction works in conjunction with a gapless on-chip lens design and an anti-reflection coating, as well as the elimination of the optical low-pass filter, to improve light collection and detail capture while reducing noise. Another benefit of using the copper wire layer is that it significantly speeds up data transfer speed while generating 14-bit, high-resolution 61MP still images with a native ISO sensitivity range of ISO 100-32000, which can be further increased to ISO 50-102400.

Additionally, it offers internal UHD 4K video recording with a broad 14-stop dynamic range using either the whole width of the full-frame sensor or an APS-C-sized region, depending on the configuration. As mentioned above, the BIONZ X CPU works in tandem with a fast front-end LSI to provide quicker processing speeds while still capturing an amazing 15-stop dynamic range with seamless tonal rendition.

Aside from that, the sensor and processor combination allows for rapid continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second at full resolution for up to 68 consecutive frames with full-time autofocus and auto exposure (AF/AE).

System with Hybrid AF with Quick Response Time

A new Fast Hybrid AF system employs a combination of 567 phase-detection points, which cover approximately 99.7 percent of the height and 74 percent of the width of the frame, and 425 contrast-detection areas to provide reliable and quick autofocus and subject tracking performance, as well as improved subject tracking performance in low-light conditions.

This focusing mechanism also delivers very swift speed and dependable tracking, as well as improved low-light focusing response down to -3 EV, thanks to its advanced algorithms. The use of phase-detection points also permits the use of A-mount lenses with full continuous AF/AE tracking compatibility when using the optional LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 lens mount adapters, which are available separately.

For improved accuracy, the apt focus system is also capable of a variety of focusing functions. These include: Lock-on AF, which maintains focus on moving subjects throughout the use of a configurable frame that is placed over the desired moving subject; and Expand Flexible Spot, which employs neighboring focus points to maintain focus on moving subjects even if the originally selected point loses focus.

Additionally, Eye AF, which can be used to focus on identified human subjects’ eyes for portraiture, is available in both AF-S and AF-C modes, and can be used for both stills and video. It is accessible in both stills and video modes. When photographing animal subjects, eye AF may be utilized in any focusing mode and with any focusing mode when taking stills.

When focusing on minute subject details, autofocus can be utilized in concert with the Focus Magnifier feature to achieve critical focus on the topic at hand. It is also possible to utilize the back touchscreen for Touch Focus control, and a Touchpad Focus Control mode allows you to operate the rear touchscreen in an easy manner while keeping your gaze fixed on the viewfinder.

Design of the body as well as the presence of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

  • Among the new features is an improved UXGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF with a 5.76 million-dot resolution for bright and crisp viewing in rich detail. A dedicated High quality preset allows for a 120 frames-per-second refresh rate for very smooth playback of moving subjects.
  • In addition to the EVF, a 3.0 is included “The camera may also be equipped with a back LCD with 1.44 million dots and a touch screen interface for intuitive operation and focusing adjustment. In addition, the screen tilts upward at 107° and downward at 41° to profit from working at high and low angles, respectively.
  • The chassis is made of magnesium alloy, which provides stiffness, durability, and stability while staying lightweight. The lens mount has also been upgraded to better accept large lenses, and the grip stiffness has been increased to provide a more comfortable grip when using the camera.
  • Extreme weather sealing, including improved sealing around the battery cover, terminal cover, and chassis joints, has been implemented to keep dust and moisture out and to ensure dependable operation even in the most adverse weather situations.
  • The a7R IV’s battery life is rated at around 530 shots per charge with the electronic viewfinder and 670 shots per charge with the rear LCD, both using the same NP-FZ100 battery as its predecessor.
  • Dual SD memory card slots allow for more versatile file storing and processing and may be configured to divide raw and JPEG files, as well as to record overflow data when the card is full. Both of the card slots have been certified to accommodate UHS-II memory cards, which allow for quicker data transfer.
  • Wired flash sync with strobe packs or wireless radio remotes is made possible via an integrated PC sync terminal.
  • There is now an additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, in addition to a micro-USB port, to allow for speedier and more reliable tethering functionality. The USB Type-C connection enables the camera to be charged from the host power source while it is attached to the host power source.
  • The updated Multi-Interface Shoe now allows functioning with the optional ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adapter Kit, which delivers enhanced, clear audio recording sound by providing a digital audio signal to the camera, rather than an analog signal, as contrasted to the previous version.

In addition, the a7R IV includes a 3.5mm microphone input connector, which allows it to be used with external microphones.

Thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, the a7R IV may rapidly transmit imagery to mobile devices for direct uploading to social media sites, sending through email, or storing in cloud storage services. Wireless tethered shooting is also supported thanks to the inclusion of both the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is also enabled, allowing for a one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices without the need for any complicated set-up. If a mobile device is connected to the camera, it may also display a live view image on its screen and control the camera’s shutter remotely.

The use of a Bluetooth connection enables the capture of location data.

5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization INSIDE the camera

The powerful a7R IV is equipped with a 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization technology that provides 5.5 stops of effective stabilization for five different forms of camera wobble that can occur during handheld still and video photography. The ability to utilize any lens, including adapted lenses, for important images without encountering blur due to camera shake is a huge advantage for photographers.

When working with longer focal lengths, the system will compensate for pitch and yaw corrections automatically. Macro and high-magnification photography, on the other hand, will benefit from the addition of horizontal and vertical shift correction. The roll compensation will be beneficial to photographers of all shooting types. No matter if you are using third-party lenses and adapters or lenses with built-in optical stabilization, all five axes of stabilization will always be active and working properly.

Multi-Shooting with Pixel Shift

Through the use of this unique compositing mode, you may get an even higher resolution than the 61MP sensor is capable of. Using the sensor-shift image stabilization, this mode shifts the sensor while taking 16 consecutive exposures to capture approximately 240.8MP of information, resulting in greater color accuracy and detail than is possible with a single exposure, as well as an impressive image size of 19,008 x 12,672-megapixels.

Using the Sony Imaging software package, these files may then be blended together during the post-production process.

UHD 4K Video Recording with XAVC S Format

Because of the Super35mm recording area and effective 6K resolution, internal recording of UHD 4K movies is possible at multiple frame rates up to 30 frames per second. Oversampling provides greater detail, and full pixel readout, which is devoid of pixel binning, allows for higher quality imagery with reduced moiré and aliasing.

A significant improvement has also been made to full-frame 4K recording in order to increase quality while operating at medium to high sensitivities, allowing for full utilization of the complete sensor width. It is also possible to record in full HD 1080p at frame rates of up to 120 frames per second, and both resolutions make use of the 100 Mbps XAVC S codec, which is stored behind an MP4 wrapper with 4:2:0 sampling.

The high-speed, 120-frame-per-second recording also allows for 4x and 5x slow-motion video recording at frame rates of either 30p or 24p, depending on the frame rate setting. An optional external recorder capable of clear 4K recording with 4:2:2 sampling can be used in conjunction with the high-resolution internal recordings made possible by the uncompressed HDMI output, which is also available.

While recording 4K video, users will have the option of creating 8MP still images during playback by capturing a frame grab from the video and saving it as a separate file.

Additional Video Characteristics

Support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) Content:

  • The a7R IV provides extensive color and gamma controls, allowing users to modify the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and other parameters, among other settings. The S-Log2 Gamma Curve used on high-end Sony Cinema cameras, which squeezes up to 1300 percent more dynamic range into the video signal than typical REC709, can also be used to boost post-production versatility.
  • The HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) color space is also supported, as is the BT.2020 color space, for recording images with a wide color gamut. In addition to S-Log2, S-Log3 is also supported for producing images with an effective 14-stop dynamic range and increased grading control in the shadow to mid-tone regions of the image. The BT.2020 color space is also supported.

Motion in both slow and rapid motion:

  • Using the S&Q mode, you may have greater control over your video capture capabilities by using a number of different frame rates that are accessible in S&Q mode. Shooters will be able to capture Full HD footage at one of two frame rates: one step between 1-120 frames per second or one step between 1-120 frames per second. These options will allow you to slow down fast-moving action while simultaneously speeding up a slow-moving scenario. This parameter is also switchable between NTSC and PAL.

Zebra Function Has Been Improved:

In high-contrast scenarios, an increased Zebra function is particularly well suited for aiding in the monitoring of exposure levels. Video signal level goals may be set anywhere between 0 and 109, and particular ranges can be defined to facilitate adjusting the exposure level easily.

Time Code and User Bit Configuration:

A time code may be used to record hours, minutes, seconds, and frames on picture data for more exact editing, while the User Bit function can record the date, time, and scene number to help in the editing of video from various cameras when putting together footage from numerous cameras.

Recording using a proxy:

It is possible to record both UHD 4K videos and lower-resolution proxy movies at the same time. The smaller proxy files are perfect for short previewing or pre-editing, which can help to decrease the amount of time spent on the final 4K post-production.

Additional Camera Functions

  • A Rating tool allows you to apply star ratings to photographs in-camera, ranging from 1 to 5, to make editing and sorting easier at home during post-production.
  • When used in multi-segment, center-weighted, or spot metering modes, an innovative 1200-zone evaluative exposure metering sensor produces consistent and precise results.
  • With the Highlight and Average metering modes, you can avoid blown-out highlights and achieve consistent auto-exposure, which are both beneficial.
  • For still photographs, anti-flicker shooting automatically detects and timing the shutter action to eliminate flickering, resulting in more consistent results than with conventional photography.
  • Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera (Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), and Soft High-Key are some of the picture effect options available.
  • Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, and more creative style modes are available. Style Box (1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Style Box (1-6).

Sony a7r IV Specs

MSRP$3500 (body only)
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution9504 x 6336
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels61 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors63 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.7 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, ISO 100-32000 (expands to 50-102800)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102800
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
CIPA image stabilization rating5.5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard)
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Sony ARW v2.3)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x – 4x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points567
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,440,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.78×
Viewfinder resolution5,760,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priority shutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesFlash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync.
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingleContinuous (Hi+/Hi/Mid/Lo)Self-timerBracketing (Ex0osure, WB, DRO)
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedAverageSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, XAVC S, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 + NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)670
Weight (inc. batteries)665 g (1.47 lb / 23.46 oz)
Dimensions129 x 96 x 78 mm (5.08 x 3.78 x 3.07″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

Sony a7r IV Price


Joseph has been a tech photography journalist for over 20 years, covering many product categories. He specializes in timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors, and drones. His deep knowledge of drone technology makes him an indispensable resource for anyone interested in aerial photography. Joseph has contributed to our site since 2008.