First Impressions: Sony a7R IV (The 61MP Full Frame Beast)

The Sony a7R IV packs a brand new sensor that resolves a whopping 61 Megapixels.

Sony announced the brand new Sony a7R IV today in New York City and we got to spend some quick hands-on time with it during the press launch event. Slated to be released in September, the A7RIV features a new 61MP sensor, the largest currently available in a Full Frame Interchangeable Lens Camera, and Sony claims to have improved the weather sealing as well. They’re targeting it very much to the professional market, evident in the $3,500 price tag. Beyond this, the new Sony a7R IV has 567 autofocus points that cover 99.7% of the image area vertically and 74% horizontally.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Sony A7RIV taken from our announcement coverage.

  • 61MP Full Frame sensor
  • 240MP pixel shift option
  • 15 stops of dynamic range
  • 5.76 MP viewfinder
  • 4K video
  • 26MP APS-C capture mode
  • 5 axis optical in-body stabilization
  • 10fps shooting with full AF and AE tracking
  • 567 phase AF points
  • Touch tracking for movies
  • 6K movie mode
  • PC Sync port

 

Ergonomics

The Sony A7RIV looks almost identical to its predecessors. Unless you’re looking closely at the new model badging you might mistake it for one of the older models. The most pronounced change is the handgrip that feels more robust in hand, addressing a common complaint about the A7 series of camera bodies.

The back of the Sony A7RIV remains largely unchanged from earlier models in the A7R series. The layout of the buttons is identical to the A7RIII with an improved joystick and more natural thumb rest being the most notable changes.

Both card slots now support UHS-II speeds and are secured in a more robust cover that adds to the larger size of the handgrip. The new handgrip now feels very similar to the ones found on the Nikon Z6 and Z7.

Moving to the other side of the A7RIV, you see all of the ports, including the microphone jack, headphones jack, micro HDMI port, USB-C port, Micro USB port, as well as a Flash sync terminal. The Flash sync terminal is now behind its own cover instead of sharing a cover with the microphone jack like in the A7RIII.

The flip up rear screen has been reinforced as well and feels sturdier.

Unfortunately it still only flips up and doesn’t flip to the side. Maybe we’ll finally see that change in the next product refresh.

Build Quality

While the Sony A7RIV looks very similar to its predecessor, the most significant change Sony’s made to the camera body is in the beefed up hand grip. We were immediately reminded of the grips from the Nikon Z6 and Z7 when holding the A7RIV. It also features improved weather sealing over earlier models. Overall, the A7RIV felt solidly built, but we will need to spend more time with the camera in the wild to see how it holds up in real world situations.

 

Autofocus

While we only got to spend a short time shooting with the Sony a7R IV during the press launch event, the autofocus system on the Sony A7RIV felt on par with the Sony A9 running the latest firmware. Focus acquisition was extremely quick and accurate, but so far we’ve only been able to shoot with the camera in an enclosed area. We will be testing the A7RIV’s autofocus performance more extensively once we get a review unit.

 

Image Samples

While the Sony A7RIV sample units that were made available to us during the press launch event are final production models, camera profiles for the A7RIV are not yet available for Capture One or Adobe Lightroom, so all sample images seen within this First Impressions article are straight out of camera JPEGs. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images seen within this First Impressions article have been retouched so that you may judge the quality of the images produced by this camera for yourself.

 

First Impressions

We look forward to evaluating the final production version of the Sony A7RIV comprehensively once review units are available. Please stay tuned for our upcoming full review. So far, we’re amazed. It’s pretty much a high resolution Sony a9.