Sony A7 IV Review in 2023

If you need a full-frame mirrorless digital camera with a fast shutter speed, brilliant autofocus system and advanced image stabilization system, the Sony A7 IV is a great choice. They are the best option because the advantages of a full-frame digital camera include higher resolution and the ability to cover wider angles. The Sony Alpha range is known for its interchangeable FE lenses, which allow for different focal lengths. Sony camera quality is good and the Sony A7 IV can compete with anything on our best digital cameras list.

Sony A7 IV Review in 2023

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Performance of Sony A7 IV

Sony’s micro lens cameras are renowned for their auto focus speed and artificial intelligence, and the A7 IV is no exception. However, Sony has made some compromises that affect performance.

The new 33-megapixel sensor is back-illuminated but not stacked like the A1’s sensor, so reading speeds are relatively slow. As a result, the A7 III shoots at 10fps in mechanical or electronic shutter mode for compressed RAW photos, and drops to 6fps if you use lossless or uncompressed RAW, as many photographers prefer to do.

That’s still impressive considering the resolution has been increased by about 50 percent. By comparison, though, the Sony A1 can take 50-megapixel photos in electronic mode at up to 30fps, showing the speed advantages of a stacked sensor.

While burst speed isn’t improved, you can capture more photos at once, up to 1,000 in uncompressed RAW. If you use a Sony CFexpress Type A or ProGrade card, you can shoot forever without filling the buffer.

Another drawback of the A7 IV’s slow sensor read rates is the roller shutter. If you want to shoot silently in electronic mode, you have to keep the camera steady and the subject can’t move quickly. Otherwise you’ll see diagonal lines and other artifacts that can be bad enough to ruin the shot. Using crop mode helps a lot, but then you lose the benefit of a full frame sensor.

The A7 IV is Sony’s most advanced camera when it comes to autofocus. All of Sony’s new AI techniques make this one of the easiest to use and most reliable cameras I’ve tested.

Unlike the A7 III, face, eye and body tracking works in all focus modes for animals, birds and humans. Unless you turn it off, it will automatically capture your subject’s eyes, face, or body and track them even if they move or disappear from the frame.

Whether you’re tracking sports, birds or cars, the tracking dot will stay firmly locked onto your subject in most situations. All you have to do is tap on the subject you want to track and the camera will take it from there.

The A7 IV’s autofocus can easily keep up with the camera’s burst of speed for shooting sports or birds. But more importantly, the A7 IV is always in focus in other difficult situations, especially with people. In some chaotic situations with many subjects and complex lighting, I ended up with very few unusable shots. Note that the best focusing performance requires the latest Sony lenses, but it also worked well with the latest Sigma models.

Focus is only part of the equation. It always maintains auto exposure and automatic white balance in difficult situations with mixed lighting. It worked well in a bar with a mix of studio and practical lighting, or in front of the famous animated department store windows in Paris with all kinds of colored lights.

In-body stabilization improves on the A7 III with compatible lenses by half a point to 5.5 points, but nowhere near Canon’s claimed 8 points on the EOS R6. However, this is somewhat offset by the Sony’s higher top ISO performance. I was still able to get reasonably sharp shots in under half a second with some care.

Design of Sony A7 IV

Sony’s A1, A7S III and A7R IV have all had significant body changes compared to their predecessors, and the A7 IV follows the same script. It has the same nice big grip, so you’ll never feel like you’re dropping it, even with a big lens. However, it has gained some weight and size, coming in at 699 grams compared to the AIII’s 650. It is also 7mm thick.

It has similar controls to the A7 III, with the biggest difference being that the record button has been moved from the back to a more easily accessible position on top. The buttons and dials generally feel better and more precise, and the joystick has more grip and is easier to use. Compared to the much more expensive A1, it lacks specific dials, such as shooting mode and autofocus dials. The lockable exposure compensation dial is the same, but lacks graphics because it’s designed to be programmable.

However, in a sense, the A7 IV’s body is a step up from the A1. The rear touchscreen can be fully articulated and not just tilted, making it more practical for low-angle shots in portrait orientation. This makes it even more useful as a vlogging camera.

It has the same well-organized menu system as the A1 and A7S III, although some controls can be a bit harder to find. As with any modern camera, now is a good time to set the function menu, custom menu and manual controls to your liking.

The 3.69 million dot EVF is much clearer than the A7’s 2.68 million dots and is on par with similarly priced rivals. However, the rear screen is smaller and has a lower resolution than the R6. This can make manual focus tricky, though the A7 IV has a new feature that can help – more on that soon.

The A7 IV has a dual-slot card system that supports SD UHS II and faster CFexpress Type A cards. However, unlike the slots on the A1 and A7S III, it only has one dual slot, the other being the SD UHS II cable. Type A CFexpress cards are not as fast as regular CFexpress cards, peaking at 800MB/s compared to 1700MB/s. Also, they are only used in Sony cameras, so they are relatively hard to find and quite expensive.

Other features include a USB-C port that can power the camera during operation, plus a full-size HDMI port, thankfully. It uses Sony’s new NP-FZ100 battery that offers up to 580 shots or about 2 hours of 4K video recording on a single charge. Finally, the A7 IV can close its mechanical shutter when the camera is off, protecting it from dust when you change lenses. This is a feature that first appeared on the EOS R, so thanks for starting that trend, Canon.

Value of Sony A7 IV

This Sony A7 II review seems to be excellent value for money. It’s a well-built camera with plenty of customization options. It produces brilliant full-frame images from various focus modes, including Hybrid AF. The camera is extremely versatile and can be used by both novices and some professionals for exceptional image quality. It comes with Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity and memory card slot. The price is perfect for those who want an outstanding camera that can accept the lenses of their choice.

Why we love it: Sony A7 IV

The Sony A7 II is a full-frame mirrorless camera that delivers superb image quality. Its innovative in-body image stabilization works with a five-axis system to compensate for shake. Compared to the original A7, the A7 II features magnesium alloy construction and a stronger camera body.

Pros:

  • Excellent image quality
  • 4K 60p 4:2:2 video
  • Incredible autofocus
  • Great handling

Cons:

  • Blind
  • Relatively slow firing speed
  • Price increase

Sony A7 IV Wrap Up

The A7 IV offers big improvements in resolution, AF tracking, video features and more, but forget the spec sheet for a second. Sony’s greatest achievement is that it has created a conventional camera that makes photography and videography easy, thanks to artificial intelligence that can help any photographer, regardless of their ability.

The biggest drawback is the rolling shutter which can stop you if you need a silent mode or want to shoot 4K video without cropping. Another problem is the $2,500 price tag which is $500 more than the A7 III at launch.

Almost four years after Sony released its successful A7 III micro lens full-frame hybrid camera, it has finally released a follow-up. The A7 IV brings a number of new features and improvements, such as a higher-resolution 33-megapixel sensor, improved video specs and updated AI-powered autofocus. However, at $2,500 it is $500 more than the A7 III at launch.

With all that said, of course, I was curious how the A7 IV would fare in a segment it’s dominated for several years. How does it stack up against its rivals, especially when it comes to video? How much of the new technology from the high-end model made its way into the mainstream A7 IV? And is it suitable for professional use? Let’s dive in and find out.

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