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Sony a7 III Versus the Sony a7R IV: How Do They Compare in the Real World?

Sony’s a7R IV arrived in September last year, offering incremental improvements over the a7R III, but possibly quite a big step up from the a7 III. In this video, photographer Julia Trotti did some tests to try and find out where you’ll feel the difference when shooting stills.

As if Sony’s naming system wasn’t confusing enough, next month could see the release of the long-awaited and much-delayed a7S III or the a7 IV — and in theory, possibly both. As it stands, the obvious comparison between what are probably Sony’s two most popular cameras is the a7R IV and the a7 III. The a7 III is still the mainstay of numerous professionals and enthusiasts alike, and many professionals are not feeling the urge to bump themselves from the 24 megapixels of the a7 III to the 61 megapixels of the a7R IV, despite the other improvements that the more expensive body offers.

Trotti’s tests are centered around general autofocus performance and image quality, but it’s worth noting that many of the differences between the cameras can be found elsewhere. The a7R IV features real-time autofocus tracking and offers Eye AF when shooting video. The a7R IV also includes a noticeably better EVF and LCD. Budget-conscious owners of the a7 III such as myself don’t mind the corners that Sony cut on the EVF, but we probably don’t want to look through the viewfinders of many cameras that have been released since it was launched in April 2018.

If you’ve shot on both cameras, what other factors differentiate them from one another? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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Nice comparison. The only thing preventing me to go full frame with sony is the exposed sensor, my crop sony camera gets so much specks on the sensor a problem that i never had with canon or nikon.

agreed, i got a7iii, a7riii, both are dust collector :(, sony recently released a firmware for a9ii that let you close the sutter while its off, similar to canon. hopefully it will release it for all a7's series

Hey vik. When I switched to Sony I was bracing myself for a lot of sensor dirt. However, despite regularly handling my camera with hands that are covered in chalk, and working in super dusty environments, it's not been a problem. That said, I'm hyper-aware of how much dust is in the air when I change lenses, and I use a blower brush in the middle of every single lens change. So yes, it's a problem, but you can mitigate it with a bit of effort. Just depends on whether you want to have that on your mind every time you shoot, I think..!

There are some blind test about colors handling of different manufacturers, hope you will pass them all.

Good comparison.😀