Sony A7 IV Overview
An all-arounder that pushes beyond basic, the Sony Alpha a7 IV does double duty with strong stills and video performance. An advanced hybrid mirrorless camera, the a7 IV has the resolution and AF performance that appeals to photographers along with robust 4K 60p video recording for filmmakers and content creators.
The newly developed 33MP Exmor R CMOS sensor pairs with the BIONZ XR processor from the Alpha 1 to achieve quick shooting up to 10 fps and 4K 60p video recording, along with broad sensitivity up to ISO 51200 and a wide 15+ stop dynamic range. Beyond image quality, the sensor and processor also contribute to an advanced AI-based AF system that supports Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking for intuitive AF control and subject tracking.
This fourth-generation of the a7 camera also sports an updated body design that houses a higher resolution 3.68m-dot EVF, vari-angle touchscreen LCD, and dual memory card slots, including one dual CFexpress Type A/SD UHS-II slot. Connectivity and streaming are also a key attribute of this camera, and it supports a simple plug-and-play design for live streaming directly from the camera when connected to a computer via USB.
Sensor and Processor
33MP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
Newly developed 33MP Exmor R full-frame sensor features a back-illuminated design that promotes high clarity, low noise, and vivid color rendering. This design benefits working in low-light conditions and works in conjunction with a broad sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200. The sensor's design also achieves an impressive dynamic range of approximately 15 stops and files can be recorded in raw, JPEG, or the 10-bit HEIF format.
BIONZ XR Processor
Using the flagship-class BIONZ XR engine, high-speed image processing capabilities are available for fast continuous shooting, 4K video recording, and advanced AF tracking performance. The quick processing also helps to reduce rolling shutter and other motion distortions for clean rendering of moving subjects.
In terms of shooting speeds, the sensor and processor enable up to 10 fps shooting, using either the mechanical or electronic shutter and with AF/AE enabled. Also, the buffer permits recording up to 828 consecutive uncompressed raw + JPEG frames when using a CFexpress Type A card.
Advanced External Flash Control
Suiting working with flash while photographing fast-moving subjects, P-TTL flash metering is possible in between each exposure when working with lo, mid, or even hi-speed continuous shooting modes. This helps to maintain stable illumination if making low-light bursts and greatly benefits working in changing light or low-light conditions. The updated flash control system also helps to reduce flash trigger lag, uses the camera's AWB information for natural color rendering, and supports adjusting select flash and transmitter units directly from the camera's interface.
4K 60p Video Recording in 10-Bit
- Making full use of the high-resolution 33MP sensor and fast processing capabilities, UHD 4K 30p XAVC HS 10-bit recording is possible using the full width of the sensor, offering 7K oversampling for impressive sharpness and realism.
- There is also oversampled 4K recording, via a 4.6K capture area, with a Super 35 crop, that offers UHD 4K output up to 60p in 10-bit.
- No recording time limit allows for unlimited clip lengths and the camera's physical design features an improved heat-dissipating structure to promote longer possible recording times; longer than one hour of continuous 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, for example.
- The a7 IV employs a pair of codecs to suit different workflows: XAVC HS, which uses HEVC/H.265 encoding to retain more detail at smaller bitrates and XAVC S-I, which is an intraframe codec for consistent performance and quality at bitrates up to 600 Mb/s.
S-Cinetone, S-Log3, and Other Color and Gamma Controls
- S-Cinetone can be used to deliver distinct colors and healthy-looking skin tone rendering that matches the FX9 and FX6 cameras, along with the a1 and a7S III, and is based on technology from the professional Cinema Line cameras, such as the VENICE. This color profile offers natural mid-tones, soft colors, and especially well-controlled highlights.
- HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) support permits recording within a wide color gamut for producing HDR-ready content directly from the camera.
- S-Log3 is also available for producing a 15+-stop dynamic range with increased grading control in the shadow to mid-tone regions of the image.
Fast Hybrid AF System
Covering approximately 94% of the image area, a Fast Hybrid AF system incorporates 759 phase-detection points for quick and precise focusing in a variety of lighting conditions with sensitivity down to -4 EV. This focusing system is available for use in all recording modes, to benefit both video and stills applications.
Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF
Borrowing from the flagship AF system, the a7 IV has tuned tracking and subject detection capabilities that lock onto subjects quickly and refines focus accurately on recognized eyes and faces of subjects:
- Real-time Tracking is an AI-based subject recognition system that recognizes color, pattern, and subject distance information for high accuracy and focusing speed.
- Beyond just tracking subjects, Real-time Eye AF fine-tunes the focusing accuracy and recognizes human, animal, and bird's eyes for critical sharpness. Real-time Eye AF even maintains focus on a subject's eye when they leave and re-enter the frame, allowing for working in more spontaneous shooting situations.
AF During Video Recording and Additional Focusing Modes
- Real-time Eye AF is fully supported during video recording, for subject detection and tracking of human, animal, and bird eyes while shooting.
- For more control over how focus shifts appear during recording, seven-step AF transition speeds and five-step AF subject shift sensitivity controls let you refine how quickly focus shifts from point to point and how smoothly focusing shifts occur.
- A unique solution to compensate for how certain lenses perform when racking focus, Focus Breathing compensation will automatically smooth focus transitions and maintain a consistent field of view when changing the focus position during a shot. This mode crops into the image slightly and corrects for any detected shifts in composition when focusing is happening.
- Focus Map is a unique way of visualizing depth of field and functions in a similar way to peaking with a colorful overlay of the scene that indicates which parts of the scene are in front of and behind the focus point depending on the chosen aperture.
- A feature carried over from the FX6 digital cine camera, AF Assist lets you intuitively switch over to manual focus control for adjusting focus position when working with AF. This is a quick way to shift selective focus between various subjects in a scene while recording.
Body Design, Connectivity, and Streaming
Viewfinder and LCD Screen
- An improved QVGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF features a 3.68m-dot resolution that is approximately 1.6x higher in resolution than its predecessor for sharper, clearer viewing. This viewfinder supports both standard 60 fps and 120 fps frame rates for smooth motion rendering and its physical design has a long 23mm eye point, 0.78x-magnification, and 37.3° field of view.
- Perfect for vlogging or other self-recording needs, the side-opening 3.0" 1.03m-dot vari-angle articulating screen can be used in a front-facing orientation or can be tilted up or down to suit working from high or low shooting angles. This LCD is a touchscreen, too, for intuitive shooting control and menu navigation.
Hybrid Stills and Video Body Design
- New to the Alpha line, there is a convenient Still/Movie/S&Q dial, beneath the shooting mode dial, that allows for quick changing between different recording modes. By changing between stills and movie recording modes, the menu system and custom buttons will change for more intuitive and practical use.
- Customizable interface permits assigning 169 functions across 18 different buttons and the new rear dial R.
- Dual memory card slots allow for flexible file saving and handling and can be configured to partition file types or can be used for overflow recording. One slot is a dual CFexpress Type A and SD slot and the other is solely an SD card slot; both are rated to support UHS-II memory cards.
- Updated menu structure is more intuitive and complements having different workflows and settings selections for movie recording and stills shooting. The menu system also works in conjunction with the touchscreen design of the rear LCD.
- Accepts the high-capacity NP-FZ100 rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which provides approximately 520 shots per charge when working with the viewfinder or 580 shots when working with the rear LCD.