A Comprehensive Review of the Sony a7R IV

A Comprehensive Review of the Sony a7R IV

The Sony a7R IV brings the company's latest innovations and improvements to the popular line of high-resolution full frame cameras. Along with its new sensor come a bevy of new upgrades and refinements to existing features, making it an interesting choice for a lot of photographers. This comprehensive and thorough review takes a deep look at the camera to help you decide if it is right for you. 

Coming to you from Maarten Heilbron, this excellent review takes a look at the Sony a7R IV. The a7R IV features lots of upgrades over the a7R III, the most prominent being the new 61-megapixel sensor, an upgrade of almost 50% over its predecessor. Along with the new sensor comes a better EVF, more ergonomic grip, more powerful autofocus, better weather-sealing, and more. The capability to fire at 10 fps at 61 megapixels is certainly a boon for many photographers, particularly wildlife photographers, who retain vast cropping capabilities with enough speed to capture animals in action, all supplemented by the capable autofocus system. 

You can watch all three parts of the review below:

Are you thinking of purchasing the a7R IV? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

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18 Comments

El Dooderino's picture

It sure sounds interesting. I may dip my toes in the mirrorless waters next year. I'll probably start with something cheaper, maybe from Fuji. Still, I'd like to take this Sony out for some testing myself.

Jan Kruize's picture

In the 20th. sentence he said this is the best camera of 2019 and for the rest i’ts an instructional video. I skip.

Chip Kalback's picture

Just upgraded from the a7R III to the IV myself and have to say the difference is definitely noticeable. Everything just feels snappier, better, and more substantial in terms of build quality. The III was absolutely awesome but still felt a little subpar in terms of build and ruggedness. The IV feels like I’m holding my old 5D IV again, especially with the battery grip. After spending a decade shooting with Canon cameras I made the switch to Sony and can’t see myself going back. The menus are still cumbersome and the firmware update process is atrocious, but the IQ and features are impressive to say the least!

Brandon Mount's picture

I upgraded from a Lumix G9 and an A7ii, and yes, now with the mk4, I am a better photographer. It almost feels like cheating for action, for everything really. Batis 85 doesn’t hurt either. Lightly processed in LR from RAW.

Chip Kalback's picture

Definitely feels like cheating! The AF just locks on and sticks. I'm picking up the Batis 25mm today and can't wait to see how it performs!

I have an original A7. With the release of the A7RIV, there are some bargain buy A7RIII's about. Basically for only a very slight premium on the A7III. The newest camera is way out of my budget, but if I was to upgrade. Would you say the mk3 is the one to go for? One of my main reasons for the upgrade is the extra focusing power (as well as all the other benefits), but I find I my hit rate is lower than I feel it should be. With the Mk4 getting a big focus update, it's my final thing stopping me jumping in and buying the Mk3.

All the reviews of the Mk3 with the latest firmware kind of say the same as the "much upgraded" Mk4 focusing hardware.

Chip Kalback's picture

No doubt there are some bargains to be found on a7R III's right now! I just sold mine, in great condition with less than 8k shutter actuations, for $1875. That price seems to be the going rate currently, based on numerous eBay sales / Facebook Marketplace listings I followed for the same condition/shutter count before selling mine. If you're willing to pay a bit more, but from a notoriously trustworthy and legitimate source, check out keh.com -- I've purchased numerous cameras/lenses from them and have nothing but stellar things to say about their product quality rating system and customer service.

I made the switch from Canon to Sony in Feb of this year, and at the time I was researching switching, everything I was reading was saying that the a7R III was worth the upgrade from the II. I've never used the II so I don't have anything to compare it with, but I can only assume that the III vs the original is going to be a huuuge step forward for you. The focusing on the a7R IV is great, super snappy and intuitive, but so is the focusing on the III! The IV is just a bit better.

That being said, I would have no hesitation in saying that picking up a lightly used III for a good price is a great idea. During my time with my III I photographed numerous magazine features, some ad campaigns, a concert, some light video work, a couple of events, and some personal work, and the III worked really, really well across the board. My only suggestion is to go with Sony native lenses if you haven't already, instead of trying to Frankenstein together a Canon/Metabones/Sony style setup.

Feel free to reach out directly if you have more questions at http://chipkalback.com

Dave Morris's picture

This review is just an instruction from Sony. In reality the controls are still mushy and the colors are still bad, especially the skintones. And no one really bothered to unsqueeze those poor menu icons. It is still a "bad camera with some excellent specs", a bit of a mixed bag really.

Ryan Mense's picture

...I like the new mushy buttons. Colors look excellent for wildlife.

Eric Robinson's picture

How do you justify your comment regarding bad skin-tones, is it something you read and then are repeating or do you have actual first hand experience?

Eric Robinson's picture

Sony bad colour science? Who started this myth? And why does it keep being repeated?

I love the controls, and have NEVER had any issue with Sony colors. And if by chance someone does have color issues...learn how to make adjustments in your raw processing software of choice.

There haven't been real issues with Sony colors since arguably the A7r3, but especially since the A73 they've consistently ranked amongst the most color accurate. And I say that as someone who tried the cameras out for a while but made a different decision based on pricing and personal enjoyment.

Eric Robinson's picture

I shoot with both the A7R2 and A7R2. I always shoot in RAW and have never noticed a problem relating to colour. What is the nature of the colour problem that I have with my A7R2 so I can look out for it?

It's one of those things that you may not notice unless you have some other camera to compare it to back to back, and even then you might not consider it a problem. But I think the A7r2 tends to render skin tones greener and overall cooler. The A73 leans more toward the magenta, and warmer. It's all a matter of personal preference and mitigated in LR/PS, so not a big deal for most.

Sometimes it just comes down to what the auto WB is doing in a camera, so if you control the color temperature manually, it may not be as big of an issue then, either.

Eric Robinson's picture

Can’t say I’ve noticed that. What monitor are you using?

Keith Meinhold's picture

You are a graphic designer and photographer and you don't know how to adjust color to your personal taste? Monitor technology, calibration, ambient lighting, graphics card, color gamut/mode, output device all effect color, as a graphic designer you have had to run into this before.

Bill Williams's picture

I picked up the RIV before a trip to Jasper, and I can say over the RIII the refinements make a big difference. Better grip and feel with the new buttons and improved ergonomics. The 2 biggest things for me tho is the Red Coloured focus box and 2xUHSII slots instead of one. Speeds things up for me, and getting rid of the Gray focus box is very helpful!