We’re currently at a press event with the new Sony a7r IV, working with the camera and putting it through its paces. Sony has told us that the image quality is final. With a 61MP full-frame sensor at heart, we’re amazed at what it’s capable of doing. While other journalists were hanging out, we took it into the streets of NYC with a model, the Profoto B10, and a few lenses to find out what it’s capable of doing. With a claim of 15 stops of dynamic range and a lot more autofocus points, you’re not going to believe what we’re finding to be the most significant fault.
Editor’s Note: On press trips, companies usually set shoots for us, and hotels, food, and transportation are totally gratis. We work to be as transparent as we can on these press trips. This shoot was arranged and paid for by us (not Sony) so that we could do our own independent testing that wouldn’t necessarily make their products be shown in the best light and also to do things we believe photographers may do with the camera. A big thanks to Model Chelsie Brugger for the last minute shoot!
The Sony a7r IV: Autofocus Performance in Low Light
Believe it or not, one of the biggest problems I encountered with the Sony a7r IV with Sony’s G Master lenses is autofocus in low light. We took off the AF assist lamp and the Profoto B10’s modeling lamp and found that the hit rate for Eye detection AF and face detection wasn’t as high as we were expecting. Perhaps that’s the most significant differentiation between this and the Sony a9. With the Sony a9, you’re bound to get a higher hit rate, but with the new Sony a7r IV, that hit rate is going to go down.
The camera’s RAW files aren’t supported in Capture One Pro yet, and we’ve got too much self-respect to try out Lightroom with Sony RAW files, so we’re posting JPEG samples. Some of these are at ISO 6400 and even though there are blown out areas and someone is bound to complain about it, I can show you a million other images on Reddit with more upvotes with blown-out areas than you’re ever going to get.
We published our first impressions already, and this report is a bit more extended and on our own terms with a shoot Sony didn’t set up. But we’re going to offer a more detailed report soon. We’re also going to be working on our review soon.