Sony Unveils the a7 IV: Another Affordable Beast?

Sony has just unveiled the hotly-anticipated a7 IV, the successor to the hugely popular a7 III, bringing some significant upgrades.

The a7 III had a huge impact on the market when it was introduced in 2018, offering a lot of versatility at a very aggressive price. Expectations for the a7 IV have been high and Sony has been under pressure to ensure that it didn’t disappoint with the updated version.

The a7 IV increases the resolution of the full frame, backside-illuminated sensor from 24 megapixels to 33, the viewfinder jumps from 2.3 million dots to 3.69 million, and the rear LCD is touchscreen and fully articulating. The camera contains the BIONZ XR also found in the a7S III and a1. Sony claims that the camera will offer more than 15 stops of dynamic range and in-body stabilization is now claimed to be 5.5 stops. The burst rate remains at 10 frames per second, for both the mechanical and electronic shutter.

Autofocus is brought in line with other recent Sony releases, offering real-time object tracking and human and animal eye autofocus for both stills and video. It is reliable down to EV-4.

The a7 IV borrows heavily from the design of the a7S III, using a very similar body with a video record button that is positioned in front of the Exposure Compensation dial, a full-size HDMI port, and the same menu system.

Video performance sees some notable upgrades. New to the a7 IV is focus mapping which uses color overlays to help you pre-visualize the depth of field. Another new arrival is Focus Breathing Compensation which when paired with Sony lenses helps to ensure smooth focus transitions.

The a7 IV shoots 4K30 with no crop, oversampled from 7K. It captures both S-Cinetone and S-Log3 for up to 15 stops of dynamic range, and samples color internally in 10-bit 4:2:2. 4K60 is available when filming in Super 35, and the use of a graphite material in the camera’s in-body stabilization system means that it is possible to record at the highest resolutions for more than an hour without overheating.

One interesting change is that the Exposure Compensation dial is now programmable and there’s a separate ring on the mode dial that allows you to switch between stills, video, and S&Q. The card slots have also been tweaked: one takes UHS-II SDXC/SDHC only, while the other accepts both SD and CFExpress Type A. The latter gives a buffer of up to 828 uncompressed raw files.

The a7 IV will be available to pre-order shortly on B&H Photo for $2,498 and shipping is scheduled to begin in December.

Will you be upgrading? Is this the right price given that the a7 III was slightly cheaper when released three years ago? Let us know in the comments below.

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