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Sony introduces high-resolution Alpha 7R IV camera

25 Jul 2019
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Sony has announced the latest addition to its Alpha 7R series full-frame mirrorless camera line-up: the Alpha 7RIV (model ILCE-7RM4). 

Sony’s highest resolution full-frame camera ever, the new Alpha 7R IV delivers strong image quality with high resolution and wide dynamic range while maintaining focusing performance, high-speed continuous shooting and more.

A new level of image quality

The new Alpha 7R IV features a newly developed 35mm full-frame, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 61.0 MP.

The new sensor’s back-illuminated structure and effective noise reduction techniques combine to deliver low-noise and high-sensitivity performance, ensuring the maximum image quality. The camera also boasts an impressive 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights, and utilises algorithms from many of the latest Alpha cameras to maintain colour reproduction. 

This new full-frame model is equipped with a 5-axis, optical in-body image stabilisation system that supports 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 may cause blur. 

The Alpha 7R IV also includes Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder ever, a 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED Tru-finder EVF.

About 1.6x the resolution of the EVF in the Alpha 7R III, this new viewfinder provides an accurate, true-to-life depiction of the scene being framed. 

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. 

Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images.

In this mode, the camera precisely 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 (19008 x 12672 pixels) image using Sony’s “Imaging Edge” desktop application.

Ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life subject, this enhanced mode produces photographs with a higher level of detail and colour accuracy.  

Shooting and focusing speed

The innovative new Alpha 7R IV full-frame mirrorless 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 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% 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 high precision. 

The Alpha 7R IV also 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 with precision.

This is available for both animal and human subjects, with either animal or human Eye AF mode selectable depending on the shooting situation. 

Real-time Tracking is available as well, which utilises a newly developed subject recognition algorithm to ensure the ultimate subject tracking and persistence of the focusing system. 

There is also an anti-flicker shooting mode, which automatically detects the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting in a shooting environment to minimise any impact on the final image. 

High-resolution 4K and professional filmmaking features

In addition to its still image capabilities, the new Alpha 7R IV is a serious filmmaking tool, offering 4K (3840x2160 pixels) 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 maximise colour grading flexibility, with S-Log 3 offering a total of 14-stops of dynamic range. 

Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is also available on the Alpha 7R IV to support an Instant HDR workflow.

 For video autofocus, the versatile new full-frame camera utilises a refined Fast Hybrid AF system that achieves faster, smoother, more stable autofocus during video shooting – even if an object temporarily moves in front of the intended subject.

The camera also includes Touch Tracking functionality during movie shooting, allowing the user to simply touch the screen on their intended subject for instant acquisition.

The new Alpha 7R IV debuts Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting, a first in any of Sony’s cameras.

Another notable video feature is the addition of a digital audio interface to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe), allowing a direct, digital connection from the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit for clear, low-noise and high-quality audio recording.

Interval shooting for creating time-lapse videos is available, as well as full HD recording at up to 120 fps, Slow and Quick Motion functions and much more.  

Enhanced build, design and customisability

The new Alpha 7R IV has several upgrades to its design and usability, with many adjustments being implemented directly from the voice of Sony’s professional community. 

To maximise durability, the new Alpha 7R IV features upgraded dust and moisture resistance, with additional sealing provided at all body seams, battery compartment cover and media slots. The camera is built with an extremely lightweight and durable magnesium alloy and also has an upgraded six screw, extra-firm lens mount.

Additional enhancements to the body design include an improved grip for greater comfort and a more sure hold within the hand; an increase in the diameter and feedback for the ‘AF-ON’ button; a new multi-selector joystick design for improvised control; an exposure compensation dial lock button; and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial.

As requested by many professional users, the new camera also includes two UHS-II compatible media slots, allowing for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds.