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Sony Alpha 7 IV Launches with Major Updates & Tech from the Sony Alpha 1

Josh Lewis - 2 months ago

The all-new Sony Alpha 7 IV Full Frame Mirrorless Camera lands with the promise to redefine the standard of Full-Frame cameras. Marrying an outstanding 33MP image quality, 4K 60p video recording, refined handling and fast sharing abilities gives us much to be excited about. The question is, could this be the perfect hybrid camera?

With high-end, real-time autofocus in both photo and video modes, the new Sony Alpha 7 IV gives the power of Sony’s most solid technology into the hands of creators and pro image-makers everywhere. It’s available as a body-only or as a bundle with the Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 all-rounder kit lens.

Sony Alpha 7 IV front

Sony Alpha 7 IV Key Features

  • Bundle option includes Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens
  • 33MP Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • Real-time tracking autofocus and EyeAF [animal, human and bird]
  • Shoot at up to 10 fps
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • 4K 60p video with 4:2:2 10 bit and S-LOG 3
  • Real time video AF
  • Live-streaming
  • Full-frame camera
  • 3″ vari-angle/articulating touch screen monitor
  • FZ100 Battery for compatibility across the Sony range
Sony Alpha 7 IV back

The new member of the Sony Alpha family has certainly borrowed a lot of the most desirable features from the Sony Alpha 1. Notably, the autofocus system, which Sony says tracks and stays in focus way better with eye focus and shifts to hold onto its subject more reliably than the previous model.

The Alpha 7 IV arrives as Sonys entry-level mirrorless camera in the range, but that said, the Alpha 7 III has proved itself to be a very capable camera for both still and video. Certainly i ou experience with the camera, that is, and many will attest the same. The new model features many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies, including the latest BIONZ XR processing engine and advanced autofocus capabilities, borrowed directly from the Alpha 1.

Updated Autofocus

The latest BIONZ XR processing engine that you’ll find in the Alpha 7 IV is the very same one that resides in the Alpha 1, which offers uninterrupted continuous shooting up to 10fps with AF/AE tracking and a large buffer for prolonged shooting, too. The new camera tracks subjects with Real-time Tracking and 759 phase-detection AF points in a high-density focal-plane phase-detection AF system that covers approximately 94% of the image area. Additionally, Real-time Eye AF can now track birds’ and animals’ eyes for both still images and video, as well as human beings! The Alpha 7 IV also has face and eye detection accuracy for humans that we’re told has been advanced by around 30% when compared to the Alpha 7 III.

5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation

The new Sony A7 IV boasts 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation for a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage. It also has an improved grip for greater comfort, and the 3.68 million-dot OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder, which is great news for users as it provides an upgraded live-view image quality that minimises false colour and increases resolution. 

The Alpha 7 IV body is built with tough-yet-light magnesium alloy and the redesigned structure and lens lock button contribute to improved dust and moisture resistance.

Sony Alpha 7 IV terminals

Quick Video to Stills Dial

The Alpha 7 IV has made it super simple to switch from photo to video modes and back while maintaining the settings for both functions with a new dual-layer mode dial. There’s a lower layer for selecting Still/Movie/S&Q and a top layer for Auto/P/A/S/M and MR [Memory Recall], enabling users to quickly select and switch between the dedicated settings.

Video Specs

The Alpha 7 IV has a full-size HDMI in and USB-C delivering 10Gbps speed. The USB-C can afford direct connectivity to 1000Base-T Ethernet networks for fast wired FTP data transfers and there’s also a new CFexpress Type A media slot. It can shoot 4K 60p in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode. It boasts 10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling, XAVC S-I™ intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows, and XAVC HS™ H.265 Long-GOP for doubled compression efficiency. 

A new feature called Focus Map visualises depth of field. Also added is a Breathing Compensation feature that maintains a consistent angle of view throughout focus changes and can be switched on or off, although this feature only works with select Sony lenses.

Video can be recorded at 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video continuously for more than an hour due to the camera’s heat-dissipating structure. Optical ‘Active Mode’ image stabilisation further stabilises video shooting.

Streaming

The new camera has a range of new features that promise to deliver smooth live streaming and remote communication experience without the need for dedicated software. UVC [USB Video Class] and UAC [USB Audio Class] convert the Alpha 7 IV into a high-performance live streaming camera when connected to a computer or smartphone with high image quality such as 4K 15p and 1080 FHD 60p.

Sony Alpha 7 IV Livestream

Streaming Specifications

  • Video Data Format: MJPEG, YUV4209
  • Video Resolution: 3840 x 2160 [15p / 12.5p] / 1920 x 1080 [60p / 50p / 30p / 25p] / 1280 x 720 [30p / 25p]
  • Audio Data Format: LPCM 2 ch (16 bit 48 kHz)
  • Simultaneous Internal Recording: Yes

Watch Sony’s launch video for the Alpha 7 IV below:


Pricing and Availability

The new Sony ALPHA 7 IV will be available from December 2021 for around £2,400 [body only] and £2,600 for the bundle/lens kit [SEL2870].

For more info, head to Sony’s dedicated page.

About the author

Read Sony Alpha 7 IV Launches with Major Updates & Tech from the Sony Alpha 1

Josh Lewis

Josh has been working as a filmmaker for a number of years, now, managing to convert his passion into a profession in 2015. Used to working as a solo shooter, Josh has become accustomed to working with ‘run & gun’ set ups and has become an expert in filmmaking equipment through his experience of working on hundreds of projects in varying capacities. This experience, coupled with Josh’s curious mind and ability to deliver casual-yet-knowledgeable opinion, makes him the perfect for his role within PhotoBite.