Last Updated on 02/01/2021 by Mark Beckenbach
The Sony a7 IV will need to be something special to pull away from the entry-level market competition.
Sony has made waves with their a7 series of cameras since 2013. Every subsequent upgrade has set a new standard for what entry-level Mirrorless cameras should be, and each new model has sent the competition scrambling to catch up. The Sony a7 III was perhaps the model that really shoved Sony into the limelight. Since then, the entry-level market has stagnated somewhat. All eyes are now turned toward Sony, and the hopefully soon to be announced Sony a7 IV. Sony will have to make a statement with this Camera now that Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic have solid options in this category. After the break, we’ll break down what we want to see from Sony’s entry-level Full Frame a7 IV.
A recent post over at Sony Alpha Rumors suggests that the Sony a7 IV launch is just around the corner. In all honesty, it would not surprise us to see the Sony a7 IV in the first half of 2021. Sony is now the manufacturer playing catch-up in the entry-level camera space, so they need to get this camera to market soon. I’m sure we all have our lists of needs and wants regarding this potential new model. Here’s our wish list for the Sony a7 IV.
Table of Contents
It’s Time to Retire the 24MP Sensor
Seriously, it’s time to move on from the current 24MP sensor. It has been used in so many cameras in this category that all of the offerings in this space produce identical looking images. There needs to be some separation between cameras to make them interesting again.
Speculation suggests that we could see a 30 Megapixel sensor in the Sony a7 IV. That would be fine, but we’d like to see more. You could argue that now a 36MP sensor should be standard for entry-level cameras. Sony’s higher-end cameras, the a7r IV and the new a1, use 60 and 50 Megapixel sensors, respectively. With this in mind, a 36 Megapixel camera in an entry-level offering is not too much to ask for. It would put the Sony a7 IV leaps and bounds ahead of the Panasonic S1 and S5 (both 24MP), Canon’s R6 (20MP), and Nikon’s z5 and z6 models (both 24.5MP). With a potential price of $2,499, 36 Megapixels should be the minimum for this camera.
The Sony a7 IV Needs a Better LCD and EVF
We’re not expecting the impressive 9.44 million dot EVF used in the new a1 and a7s III to be used in the a7 IV. Still, we want to see a better unit than the one used in the a7 III. The aging EVF found in the current a7 III needs to be retired. That EVF was okay back in 2018 (and only just okay). A 3.76 million dot EVF has been touted. However, we’d like to see a 5.76 million dot EVF with a 120hz refresh rate in the Sony a7 IV. The LCDs on Sony cameras have always left us wanting more as well. It’s time to start increasing the quality of these displays. Today’s cameras produce stunning images. Sony, it’s time to give us a screen that can show us that while we’re out in the field. While you’re at it, make it a fully articulating screen too.
Improved Storage Options, User Interface, Autofocus, and AI
It would be nice to future proof the new Sony a7 IV by including at least one CFexpress card slot. There’s no need for dual CFexpress/UHS II slots, but perhaps one CFexpress and one UHS II slot. Let’s face it. CFexpress is the future and it will become the dominant format. Having a camera that can support this format in the entry-level segment would be great. Dual UHS II slots would still be okay, but we’re hoping that Sony can find room for the former.
We’re sure the Sony a7 IV will feature the new touch-friendly menus found in the a1 and a7s III. Still, will put this here just in case anyone from Sony is thinking about sticking with the old user interface. Just, no, Sony! Just say no. Bring all of that touch glory to the a7 IV. If the new interface is used, that means the new, more powerful processor is included.
This means that Sony could increase AI capabilities. The focusing system in the a7 III was state of the art, but it has been left behind by the competition. Sony will have to bring its very best AF game to a7 IV. This means including both real-time human and animal eye AF features. We’d also like to see other features returned to the a7 IV like in-camera double exposure, live comp, and more. As for video specs, 4k 60 10 bit would be very welcomed for sure.
Make the Sony a7 IV a Complete Package
We would love to see better connectivity options. Wi-Fi ac should be the minimum here. Still, the first camera with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity would be nice. This would ensure fast file transfers between your camera and your phone, tablet, or PC. A high-speed USB 3.2 connection that allows for fast charging while the camera is in use would be great too. Go ahead and put a full-size HDMI connection on there too. These are much more sturdy than micro HDMI connections.
The Sony a7 III was just about the perfect entry-level Mirrorless camera back in 2018. It exceeded almost everyone’s expectations. Since then, the competition has upped the ante. With the improvements listed above, the Sony a7 IV would move back to the top of the pack, and the competition will be left playing catch-up once again. At a reported $2,499, the a7 IV will be the most expensive entry level a7 camera yet, so, let’s hope Sony wows us. What do you want to see in the Sony a7 IV? Lets us know in the comment section below.