Sony a7RIV / A7RIVa Review 2 years later | Mixed Feelings
Camera announcements i have ever witnessed even more surprising, was my initial reaction, which seemed to land somewhere between perplexed and completely overjoyed yeah. I mean it was completely unexpected right. We thought just about any other camera, except for this, but here it is and theres actually a lot more new than i first thought, but it wasnt long after this announcement. I eventually purchased the camera myself, because i couldnt deny this simple fact. It was the best camera you could buy, but two years later not everything has remained the same and a camera that initially felt years ahead of its time is now becoming even harder to recommend Music. So lets be honest, i think the sony a7r iv announcement was one of the more perplexing announcements ive been to. I mean at the time the a7r iii had been out less than two years. Nobody was even close to beating that camera. It was so good – and i remember when i first got this in – was working on a full review, because i was so torn between just how awesome this camera was and yet how unnecessary it felt, but either way within a couple months. I ended up buying one myself and the reason why there was just no other camera that was better than this one, but in those last two years a lot has changed, and so, if youre, considering picking up one of these cameras, there are definitely some things you Need to know, but if you are getting this camera and you want something a little more comprehensive and in depth, i do have a full review on the camera which you can check out, as well as a complete menu guide going over every item in this menu System how to change it, what it does my favorite settings for it and a bunch of tutorials on the camera itself.
So if you are picking up the a7 r4 or the a7 r4a definitely check those out ill link them below. So there were some pretty big upgrades that came along with that as well, namely the sensor 61 megapixels amazing, dynamic range. I mean this thing was setting dxo mark records like crazy, and the image quality is still absolutely stunning sony if you think we need 100 megapixels. Next, probably not, i think, im pretty set with 61. plenty of resolution right here for anything you could think of, but also there was some big autofocus improvements, so what they called real time, autofocus tracking, which really just meant that sony was able to combine features like Its eye autofocus, subject, recognition all of that into its tracking system, so one system to rule it all, and once i tried it, it was absolutely unbelievable. I mean two years later. This is still one of the best focusing cameras on the market, but we did have some hardware improvements overall, some new joysticks and button improvements, and also we had uhs 2 support on both of these card slots. Any brand new viewfinder which really helped sell this as an upgrade and made it a little bit better than i first thought, and all that sounds really good. But there are actually three things that have happened since then. Actually two things, and then one is probably gon na happen really soon that might make you reconsider this camera.
The first is that the competition has really started stepping things up. So in this space now we have the nikon z72, which honestly you could skip and the canon r5 which actually beats the sony a7r iv in a few areas, namely it has a little bit better ibis a little bit better hardware and slightly faster frame rates. But when it comes to video, it absolutely blows away the r4 to a degree. That is just absolutely crazy. The second thing that happened is that sony basically discontinued the a7 r4 and instead changed it to the a7r 4a, or sometimes you see like updated version of the sony a7r4, which is a hundred percent, the exact same camera, with a slightly higher resolution and rear lcd Screen and all that sounds pretty good – i mean technically, a better screen would be a better camera technical improvements right there, except that, when sony did that the price also jumped back to the original msrp of 3500, which is very high for a camera. That is two years old, but the third change right here is that most likely we will very soon see an a74 which will likely be so good. It could render a lot of features irrelevant on the sony a7r4 to the point that unless you absolutely needed over 50 megapixels, the sony a74 might be even better now its kind of funny, because i say that – and it kind of sounds a little negative.
However, i purchased this camera myself. I shoot with it all the time. It is absolutely an amazing camera right here, so there are five reasons that you should definitely pick up: the sony a7r for still in 2021 and maybe three reasons that you might want to hold back a bit. So definitely, if youre looking at a camera like this, you want to make sure you have some decent equipment coverage. Well, you probably heard of professional photographers of america or ppa, but now their equipment insurance program just got so much better. So ppa offers 15 000 worth of equipment insurance and now, since may 1st, they offer full replacement coverage with a flat 350 deductible or you can repair your equipment with a flat 50 deductible. You also get so much access to anything from discounts on apple products, to rentals courses like crazy, like 1100 hours of courses right now and then theres also contracts for virtually every type of photography go ahead and check it out. The link below is going to get you 25 off, so go check it out and everything that they offer start separating yourself from other photographers and get insured today, so hands down. Number one is image quality. This camera is just insane. So obviously you have 61 megapixels, but, along with that, just epic dynamic range on this, like record setting dynamic range i can under expose this camera preserve. My highlights really boost up my shadows in post, almost no added grain or artifacting, going on shadows at low iso are completely clean and then paired with that.
You get 10 frames per second, which, especially for a two year old camera, 61 megapixels at 10 frames per. Second, you do need to shoot compressed raw in order to get that uncompressed raw, i believe, gets you to about six frames per second, but you still get amazing image quality paired with very fast frame rates, and that is something that not a lot of other cameras Are really going to give you now? The second is something i dont usually talk about on cameras, and that is the aps c crop mode, but on this camera you have 61 megapixels, so the crop mode is very usable. So not only are you using it to get a little bit more reach, but also the buffer clears much faster and you get lower resolution files, which could be an advantage depending on what youre shooting. Also you get almost 100 autofocus coverage in that crop mode. So actually better autofocus coverage and if you are shooting video, which this is not my favorite camera for video, but in that aps c crop mode. Video is now 6k oversample to 4k, which actually means it has more detail and looks a little bit better in that crop mode than in the full frame mode, where youre doing a lot of pixel, bending and stuff like that. So if you are using this camera, dont underestimate that apsc crop mode, so number three is going to be autofocus and its insane that two years later, this is still one of the best cameras on the market.
567 af points spread out across almost the entire frame. If you have not used this or a similar new sony camera, the results are insane. It picks up the eye so early if youre doing portraits or anything like that. But overall you just have some impeccable tracking across the entire frame and some of the best autofocus performance that blows away cameras that came out just this year and this two year old camera is really beating them. But reason number four is going to be lenses and thats if youre really comparing this to a lot of other cameras on the market like the nikon, z72 or even canon r5 sony definitely has more lenses available, but also lenses that can really resolve these high resolution. Sensors, so, yes, you can use adapters with older lenses on the nikon and canon, but can those lenses really keep up with 50 plus megapixels? This can, and so many of sonys lenses can as well plus. If you want to go cheaper, they have a lot of tamron and sigma options right here. So if you want more inexpensive lenses or more compact lenses, those are always an option as well. So definitely if you want the most comprehensive lens lineup, with the most choices and some of the best image quality on here. This is a great camera to go with the other reason i really love this. Camera is just how compact it is, and i know its actually something ive complained on with some previous sony cameras, as well as cameras like the a1, which i thought maybe should have a little bigger body style, but it actually works very well for this.
So, first of all, it did get some build improvements on here, better weather sealing the buttons feel so much nicer. The joystick on the back feels much nicer, and the grip also got a little bit deeper to the point where my pinky isnt really falling off of it anymore. Like the previous sony cameras on there, so overall ergonomics just improved, and you still have this really compact size on this. So if you want something thats, pretty small, very convenient to take out if youre a landscape photographer, especially having something thats compact that you can throw in your bag is really awesome. So yeah sony earned some points on this for being compact, but not sacrificing build quality. Like they used to in the past, this camera is definitely a big improvement. Now whats interesting is the rear. Lcd screen didnt make the cut for me and the reason is even though this is a new, better resolution and the justification for the a7r, 4a or updated version. The fact is its still worse than the nikon z72 and the canon r5. So if you are considering getting this camera, the a7r 4a to me is not really a big improvement, so unfortunately, there are a couple of reasons you might not want to pick this camera up and the first is going to be video and whats. Interesting. Is that when this camera first came out, it was actually the best sony camera for video, despite it being crazy, high resolution, because it offered eye autofocus in video and it offered that 6k crop mode and a bunch of other things that other cameras didnt have.
However, so much has changed in that last two years, so, first of all, there are sony cameras that now shoot unbelievable video, like the s3 and the sony a1 and having 10 bit in those cameras made such a big difference. I dont like using this camera even as a b or c camera anymore compared to those cameras. The improvements are so good that this camera really has fallen along the wayside. For me, the other thing is that the canon r5 blows this camera away, so much that there really is no contest. So if youre shooting video, the canon r5 is going to be your best bet or if you plan on getting this and do want to shoot. Video instead, maybe look at the sony a1 or adding a sony a7 s3 to shoot video, because those cameras look so much better than this now the other is file size and whats. Interesting is that, even though this camera is 61 megapixels, it is also one of the few cameras that does not have a medium raw or small raw shooting option, which means that if you want to shoot raw, you are stuck with the entire resolution, which is huge And that means the file sizes are insane so uncompressed rob which it has uncompressed or compressed no lossless compressed. So uncompressed is over 120 megs compressed files are usually about 60 migs and so absolutely massive file sizes and no way to change it beyond that.
Now, if you do shoot jpeg, you do the option of shooting a small or medium jpegs, lower resolution jpeg. But if you are shooting raw, you are going to be shooting over 60 megapixel files, so just insane resolution and insane file sizes. The other reason you might not want to pick up this camera is going to be price. So, along with that change in the updated resolution of the rear lcd screen and the change to the updated version, a7r 4a came a price increase back to the original msrp. At thirty five hundred dollars, which puts it insanely close to brand new cameras like the canon, r5 and even more expensive, vastly more expensive and like the nikon, z7 or z72, and that means that this camera is definitely high price for it being an older camera. Especially with some older features and missing options in video, especially so, unless you really want the high resolution, this is going to be something to really consider plus do keep in mind that we will most likely see an a74 camera very soon with a lot of the Same abilities – maybe even some upgraded features for video on here with a slightly low resolution. So for me, if youre, primarily a photographer, not shooting a whole lot of video. This camera is still even two years later, absolutely amazing, with some of the best image, quality and autofocus on the market. Now, as a price decreases a little bit, i think thats going to help me recommend this camera even a little bit more with that sweet spot.
Being probably about that three thousand to thirty two hundred dollar mark, which is where the a7 r4 was before, that rear lcd got the resolution bump and i think thats really where this camera would excel now, if you do shoot video as well, i do think the Canon r5 is probably a better suited camera for you, its really only if youre, that hybrid shooter with some video needs, especially that 3500 mark, that this camera becomes more of a hard pass for me. But definitely if you need some more information on this camera want some additional tutorials go check out the links ive got those below hope.