Sony A7R IV review. Sony mark 4

The 61 megapixel Sony A7R IV is remarkable as a technical achievement, but as a camera its handling is starting to grate

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Sony A7R IV’s design tweaks make it handle better than the A7R III before it (though it can still be tiresome), and the resolution puts it well ahead of all its full frame mirrorless rivals for megapixels. And yet… while Sony’s hybrid AF system just keeps on getting better and better, the 4K video stays capped at 30fps, and real-world sharpness gains are subtle.


  • World record resolution!
  • Better handling than the Mark III
  • Eye-tracking AF
  • 10fps shooting


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The Sony A7R IV should not be thought of solely in terms of resolution, but that 61MP sensor is bound to be what grabs all the headlines. It beats its full frame rivals by some margin and re-establishes Sony as a front-runner in a full-frame mirrorless camera market that’s suddenly become very busy.

The fact is, even though the Mark IV not without its foibles, the Sony A7R IV easily does enough to make it on to our list of the best full frame mirrorless cameras you can buy. It is also only beaten by medium format cameras in our chart of the highest resolution cameras you can buy.

But the Sony A7R IV is not just about resolution. It has a very rounded balance of overall image quality and versatility, combining its ultra-high-resolution with 10fps continuous shooting capability and a buffer that can sustain this speed for up to 7 seconds.

Sony’s epic hybrid AF technology takes another step forward too, with 567 phase detection AF points spread across 74% of the image area and 325 contrast AF points. It now offers Real-Time AF tracking in its movie mode too.

And just to drive home the resolution point once more, the Alpha A7R IV has a Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode than can combine 4 images for full-color data for each pixel (avoiding the usual demosaicing interpolation) or 16 images with sub-pixel movements to create 240-megapixel photographs.


Sony model number: ILCE-7RM4 Sensor: 61MP full frame Exmor R CMOS sensor Image processor: BIONZ X AF points: Hybrid AF, 567 phase detection, 325 contrast AF points ISO range: 100 to 32,000 (exp. 50-102,400) Max image size: 9,504 x 6,336 Metering modes: Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot, average, highlight Video: 4K UHD at 30p, 24p Viewfinder: EVF, 5.76m dots Memory card: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS II) LCD: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1.44m dots Max burst: 10fps Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC Size: 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm Weight: 655g (body only, with battery and SD card)

Key features

61 millions pixels is a ground-breaking resolution for full frame cameras, but it’s worth pointing out that this increase is spread across both the image width and height, so the Sony’s images are not THAT much larger than those of the Nikon Z 7, say, measuring 9,504 x 6,336 pixels (Sony) versus 8,256 x 5,504 pixels (Nikon). That’s an increase in image width and height of 15%.

What’s truly impressive is how Sony has managed to maintain a 10fps continuous shooting speed despite the massive increase in the data that’s being captured and processed. True, the buffer capacity is restricted to 68 raw files/JPEGS, but it’s also possible to shoot in an APS-C mode that captures 26 megapixel images and with 3x the buffer capacity (claimed).

Sony’s latest AF system brings 567 phase detection AF points covering 74% of the image area (or the entire area in APS-C mode) and both human and animal eye tracking.

Video performance gets a boost with the addition of Real-Time AF, but otherwise it does feel as if Sony is resting on its laurels somewhat. There’s still no 50/60p 4K video capability, nor 10-bit capture, and if you want the best ‘oversampled’ quality you need to use the cropped Super 35 mode. You can capture Full HD at up to 120fps and, arguably, the A7R IV is hardly a video specialist. Nevertheless, it does feel as if the video capabilities have not really advanced significantly.

Sony says its 5-axis in-body stabilisation system has been tuned for this new camera to offer up to 5.5EV compensation, and A7R IV’s Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode can merge 16-shots made with tiny pixel-shifts between each to produce 240MP images – if you have static subjects, sufficient storage capacity and the required Sony Imaging Edge 2.0 software.

The A7R Mark IV does bring wireless tethered shooting capability, though the large files and limited wireless data bandwidth means you’re still likely to be better off with an old-fashioned cable connection.

Build and handling

Sony’s A7 series was the first full-frame mirrorless camera design, and it’s still the smallest. That’s great in principle, but when you match up these bodies with Sony’s bigger, high-performance lenses (especially the premium G Masters like the 24-70mm f/2.8 used for most of our testing), the combination quickly starts to feel front-heavy.

This has been addressed in the A7R IV with a larger grip. It doesn’t sound much of a change but it makes a considerable difference. It’s immediately obvious when you pick up and handle these cameras side by side.

There’s a bigger AF-ON button too, and the EV compensation dial now has a lock to prevent accidental adjustments (easily done when your thumb is reaching for the rear control dial).

The EVF now has 5.76 million dots, which ought to make is super-clear, though it does have a ‘digital’ look – you can’t see the dots, of course, but object edges have a distinctly oversharpened look. It’s a reminder that EVFs are simply tiny digital screens that offer no more guarantee of accuracy than a computer monitor.

The 3-inch rear screen is starting to feel a little small on a camera of this class too, especially when shooting video, where you lose the top and bottom edges to the narrower 16:9 ratio.

What shows up the ageing A7 design more than anything else, though, is what rival camera makers have done. The Nikon Z 6/Z 7 is a slightly larger camera that handles rather better – and has lenses that feel as if they are designed to balance properly with the body. It also has top-mounted status panel, as does the Panasonic Lumix S1R, and even larger and heavier camera, but one that has the ‘heft’ you need when you’re shooting with big and heavy professional lenses.

The A7R also relies heavily on its customisable function buttons instead of buttons specifically for functions like white balance, AF mode/area, image size/quality and so on. It also has a tiresome menu system made up of 6 tabs and no fewer than 40 individual screens.

The A7R IV isn’t a camera you can just pick up and use. You have to learn how it’s set up, where to find the functions you need and how to ‘program’ it to work the way you like. If you like tinkering and personalising, you’ll probably love it. If you like your cameras to be logical and obvious, it’s a different story.

Lab tests

We tested the Sony A7R Mark IV against three key rivals, the Nikon Z 7, Panasonic Lumix S1R and Fujifilm GFX 50R. The Nikon and the Panasonic have fewer megapixels than the Sony but are still high-resolution cameras, while the GFX 50R is an interesting medium format camera designed for quality rather than speed, but a very similar price to the Sony A7R Mark IV.

We show this comparison chart for information purposes, but please note that only the Sony A7R Mark IV has been tested using our revised resolution test for high-resolution cameras. The other models top out at 4,000 line widths/picture height, the previous limits of our chart’s resolution.

This comparison does not show us what the Lumix S1R, Nikon Z 7 and GFX 50R might have achieved in excess of the previous 4,000 lw/ph figure, but it does show that the Sony is only a little way ahead of hat figure anyway. All of these cameras produce high levels of resolution, and it’s by no means proven that the Sony’s 61 million pixels give it a definite advantage.

Signal to noise ratio

The Fujifilm GFX 50R wins in this test by virtue of its larger sensor and hence larger photosites, and the Lumix S1R is close behind – Panasonic cameras do tend to be very good at noise control in our lab tests. The Sony A7R Mark IV and Nikon Z 7 are a little way behind.

Dynamic range

sony, review, mark

Sony claims 15 stops of dynamic range for this camera, but in our lab tests the A7R IV was slightly disappointing compared to its rivals. It’s possible that real world use, careful raw processing and a different raw converter to Sony’s own will yield different results, but the lab results were nevertheless lacklustre.

sony, review, mark


On paper, the Sony A7R Mark IV looks spectacular; in practice, the advantage of its 61MP resolution over 40-50 megapixel rivals is subtler than the numbers suggest.

You do have to be particularly careful with the shutter speeds and focusing to get the full benefit of the 61MP sensor, and although Sony claims a 5.5-stop shutter speed advantage from the 5-axis in-body stabilization, you’d be unwise to rely on it completely. We tried some handheld shots with the new Sony 35mm lens at slow shutter speeds between 1/8 and 1/2sec, which should be in its safety zone, and got a pretty poor success rate.

Despite disappointing lab results, the real world dynamic range is very good. Our outdoor shots under a tricky overcast sky came out really well, with subtle sky detail and no ‘blow-out’ or colour shifts. Sony says it’s tweaked the processing to produce subtler highlight gradations, so perhaps that’s the explanation.

The color rendition is especially good, and the A7R IV produces very natural-looking JPEGs. Most of our sample shots were taken using auto white balance, and none looked as if they needed any kind of color correction.

The Eye AF works almost uncannily well as long as your subject is not moving about too quickly. It did start to lose contact with very Rapid subject movements in continuous shooting/continuous AF mode, but only under pretty extreme provocation.

The A7R IV’s 10fps continuous shooting mode is amazing in a camera with this kind of resolution, but the size of its buffer shows it’s not really a sports specialist. It can capture a very creditable 68 compressed raw files in a burst, but only the same number of JPEGs, so this limits you to bursts of just under 7 seconds – and once the buffer is full, it takes some time to clear as the data is written to the memory card.


The A7R IV’s subtle design tweaks make it handle better than the A7R III before it, and with 61 million pixels it’s well ahead of all its full frame mirrorless rivals on paper. The real world definition advantage over rivals like the Nikon Z 7 and Panasonic Lumix S1R is pretty modest, though. And while Sony’s hybrid AF system just keeps on getting better and better, the 4K video stays capped at 30fps, which is a little disappointing and its design and handling have hardly moved on since the early days.

Sony‘s A7 series cameras have always scored highly and this one is indeed better than its predecessor in almost every way – so why doesn’t it score higher? It’s because the world has moved on and Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras no longer have this market to themselves. Nikon, Panasonic and Canon have shown there are different ways to design full frame cameras, certainly as far as handling and controls are concerned.

On paper, the A7R Mark IV is spectacular. In use, its shortcomings are becoming more obvious now that it has some serious competition, so it’s not a straightforward win for Sony any more.

sony, review, mark

Sony’s Xperia 1 IV is the World’s First Smartphone with True Optical Zoom

Sony has announced the Xperia 1 Mark IV, a smartphone packed with features that put the needs of video shooters first but doesn’t hold much back for everyone else. It’s also the first smartphone with a true optical zoom lens that can shoot between 85mm and 125mm.

The Xperia 1 IV is specifically tailored for content creators. Speaking to PetaPixel, Sony explains that most smartphones are designed to do everything ok, but few are made to do a subset of specific tasks extremely well. That latter smartphone is what Sony is trying to make, and the Xperia 1 IV is designed to perfectly fit a niche of photo and video content creators thanks to its impressive array of cameras, high-end camera features, and live streaming capability.

Three Cameras, Three Sensors, True Optical Zoom

Sony’s new smartphone has three rear-facing cameras, all of which feature 12-megapixels. The first is a 16mm ultra-wide that features an f/2.2 aperture and is in front of a 1/2.5-inch sensor. The second is a 24mm wide camera with an f/1.7 aperture and a 1/1.7-inch sensor that also has image stabilization in the form of Sony’s Optical SteadyShot. Below that camera is a 3D iToF sensor (time of flight). The last camera is a periscope-style camera that features an 85-125mm f/2.3-f/2.8 lens in front of a 1/3.5-inch sensor that also features Optical SteadyShot.

That zoom lens allows for any focal length between 85mm and 125mm and works just like a full-size zoom lens. Sony says it is the first of its kind and while it shows how the optics are arranged, the company is keeping the mechanism that moves the optics under wraps, which somewhat underscores the technological achievement.

In addition to all three cameras featuring the same 12-megapixel resolution, they all also share the same 120 frames per second (FPS) high-speed readout, which means all rear-facing cameras are capable of recording 4K at up to 120 FPS.

The three cameras are also equipped with Sony’s Real-time Eye Autofocus (AF) and Real-time tracking capabilities, technologies seen in recent Xperia smartphones that was originally developed for the company’s Alpha line of cameras. Sony says that it uses the 3D iToF sensor and artificial intelligence-based subject detection to allow for precise and accurate AF and tracking in low light. Finally, Sony says that the Zeiss optics have been calibrated specifically for the Xperia 1 IV and the T coating contributes to accurate rendering and contrast by reducing reflections for all rear camera lenses.

In addition to the rear cameras, the front-facing camera has also been improved. It too has a 12-megapixel resolution in front of a larger 1/2.9-inch sensor that has increased in size without impeding on the OLED display. Thanks to this sensor, the Xperia 1 IV can shoot 4K HDR video and 12-megapixel photos from the front-facing camera.

For Photography

Sony says the Xperia 1 IV combines that powerful optical telephoto zoom lens with both bokeh and advanced autofocus technology to deliver high-quality photos. IT can shoot up to 20 FPS while Real-Time Eye AF is active on any of the three rear cameras, a feature that works for both people and animals and even if they’re moving quickly through the frame.

The 12-megapixel resolution is low compared to many other smartphones on the market, but Sony says that the content created with this smartphone tends to stay on screens. The company says the need for more than 12-megapixels is not often needed outside of printing, which isn’t expected for subjects shot on this device. By keeping the resolution lower, the company was able to outfit all of the smartphone’s cameras with improved speed and accuracy performance.

Xperia 1 IV enables Real-Time Eye AF and 20fps burst with AE (auto exposure)/AF in HDR on all three rear lenses to capture portraits for both people and animals. Sony promises it can continue to perform even when photographing fast-moving subjects and in challenging shooting conditions. In addition, the Xperia 1 IV uses AI white balance to capture and correct colors under challenging lighting conditions, which it says will deliver true-to-life results.

For Video

Sony has put significant resources into making the Xperia 1 IV video content creator focused. The company claims the smartphone improves the quality of live streaming while also simplifying the process. The device enables Eye AF and Object Tracking when using Videography Pro while live streaming to YouTube and other social media platforms.

It also works with Sony’s bluetooth grip and Vlog monitor. For those who prefer to use a full-size camera, it can work in tandem with that use case as well. Users can stream high-quality video from a compatible Alpha camera while using Xperia 1 IV as an external monitor.

Improved OLED Display, Better Sound, Big Battery

That aforementioned OLED display is about 50% brighter than the previous generation Xperia 1 phone and is a true 4K display tht can refresh at up to 120Hz and display HDR 21:9 widescreen content. Sony says that the 120Hz display delivers exceptionally smooth graphics performance and the phone’s 240Hz high-speed touch scanning rate supports the needs of a growing mobile gaming market.

That display is backed by a set of redesigned full-stage stereo speakers that Sony says has been tuned in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment. The speakers have a new driver and enclosure design that puts out more power and improves the low-end. The company says that the speakers can also output its 360 Reality Autio sound, and hardware decoding optimizing quality when streaming music through services like Tidal.

The speakers are improved, but it’s not the only aspect of sound that has been bolstered. Sony also improved the recording capabilities of the device and claims that its Music Pro feature up-converts vocal sounds in a way that mimics a recording in a professional studio:

“The Cloud processing removes unwanted noise from the recorded sound using sound source separation technology. It then reproduces the frequency response of Sony’s high-performance condenser microphones while producing reverberation similar to that of a professional studio.”

If a recording is made that combines an acoustic guitar and vocals, the phone is Smart enough to be able to separate those sounds and mix them at any balance. Sound recording and editing is free of charge, while Cloud processing for high-quality sound is subject to a monthly fee in an amount that Sony did not disclose at the time of publication.

The phone features 12GB of RAM, 512GB of ROM, is powered by the Snapdragon 8 processor, and also comes with a microSD card slot to easily expand storage. It also features a 3.5mm headphone jack. Since it is a camera as much as it is a phone, it also has a dedicated shutter button.

The battery is a robust 5,000 mAh, but Sony stops short of saying how many hours users can expect to get out of a full charge. That said, the battery has a promised three years of life and a quick charge feature that can get up to 50% charge in 30 minutes. The phone also supports wireless charging.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony Xperia 1 IV will be available in the United States on September 1, 2022 for about 1,600. It will be sold unlocked across the country, but the purple colorway will only be available directly from Sony. Pre-orders begin today.

Ulanzi metal cage for Sony A7 III, A7 Mark IV and A7R III

Ordered now, delivered on Tuesday

11 in stock (can be backordered)

  • Free shipping in NL cheap worldwide shipping
  • Fast delivery
  • Expert advice via phone, email Whatsapp
  • Customer rating: 4.87 stars
  • At least 2 year warranty on all products
  • Unique design. This Ulanzi cage has been specially developed for the Sony A7 III, A7 Mark IV and A7R III camera
  • Protection. The cage is made of metal and offers protection for your camera.
  • Create stable images. Mount the cage on a tripod, gimbal or handle to shoot stable images with your camera.
  • Lots of space for accessories. Use the two cold shoe connections and the different 1/4″ and 3/8″ screw connections on all four sides to connect your favorite accessory.
  • Free connections. All buttons, connections and the battery compartment remain free once the camera is mounted in the cage.


Do you want to make stable images with your Sony A7 III (A7M3), A7 Mark IV (A7M4) or A7R III (A7R3) and connect many accessories? This Ulanzi Camera cage is a metal housing, specially developed for these three Sony models. Ideal for handheld or tripod-based shooting and for connecting many accessories. The cage protects your camera, but the buttons and connections of your Sony A7 camera remain free.

You attach the camera with the 1/4″ screw at the bottom of the cage. The Sony A7 models naturally fit perfectly in the cage. The inside of the cage contains anti-slip rubber. As a result, the camera can no longer move after confirmation.

Many connection options

With two cold shoe connections on the top, you have many options for mounting accessories such as lamps, flashes or microphones. Very useful for the Sony A7 models, which do not have an internal flash.

Do you want to use a tripod or handle? That’s no problem either, for that you use one of the many 1/4″ screw connections on the four sides. Ideal for both vertical and horizontal recording. The cage also has two 3/8″ screw connections, for mounting on a tripod or gimbal.

The bottom of the cage is also an Arca Swiss quick-release plate, so you can easily attach the rig to any Arca Swiss compatible tripod. There are two strap openings at the top to attach a wrist or neck strap.

The Ulanzi cage for Sony A7 III, A7 Mark IV and A7R III is made of sturdy metal and protects your camera against scratches and drop damage.

Free connections

All buttons, connectors, card slot and battery compartment remain free once the camera is mounted in the Ulanzi camera cage. You can therefore continue to use your camera as you are used to, but with the option of connecting additional accessories. The battery can also be replaced while your camera is in the cage.

Please note: the camera and accessories in the photos (light, microphone, gimbal, etc.) are for illustration purposes only and are not included.


Ulanzi is a brand targeting smartphone photographers and video makers. Ulanzi develops phone holders, lenses, tripods, covers, lights and other accessories for phones, gimbals and action cams.

Specifications Ulanzi cage for Sony A7 III, A7 Mark IV and A7R III

  • Suitable for Sony A7 III (A7m3), A7 Mark IV (A7M4) and A7R III (A7M3), accessories with cold shoe or universal 1/4″ and 3/8″ screw connection.
  • Material Metal, non-slip rubber
  • Colour black
  • Dimensions 16.9 x 11.9 x 6.9 cm
  • Weight 197 grams
  • Package contents Cage, Allen key
  • SKU Ulanzi 2896
  • Warranty 2 years
  • Brand Ulanzi

Questions about the camera cage?

Do you have any questions about this product? Please feel free to contact us.


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Sony mark 4

Alpha a7 IV Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

Are you a feature-demanding Sony shooter? Alpha a7 IV has a new processor, smooth eye-tracking AF, customizable dials, 15 stops of dynamic range, and more.

Your Questions, Answered.

I’ve spent quality time with the Sony A7 IV and can confidently say it’s one of the greatest hybrid video and photo cameras Sony has produced yet. I’ve recorded two YouTube videos that outline my initial thoughts and opinions — one where I briefly showcase case features and one where I answer all of your questions.

sony, review, mark

The Rolling Shutter

The camera does showcase a bit of a problem — the rolling shutter. Many Sony users know this slightly annoying feature and its striking similarity to the issues displayed on the Alpha7III. However, in more practical terms, the rolling shutter doesn’t pose a huge problem compared to Sony’s APS-C cameras in 4K. When vlogging, I didn’t notice terrible wobbliness as much as I thought I would, especially with the active in-camera stabilization. It’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s going to be a problem.

Weather Resistance

While it’s challenging to test weather resistance in a short amount of time, I did find myself in various situations while traveling in Hawaii. The weather is generally beautiful on the island, but the camera did get soaked during random bursts of rainy wind. The camera, thankfully, still performed beautifully and ensured my confidence in the quality build of Sony’s Alpha lineup.

Cropped Sensor and General Overheating

The camera’s crop in 4k 60FPS mode begs the question of whether or not it will overheat during extended use. I could run 4k 24FPS for over an hour and didn’t get an overheating symbol, even when shooting in a room with hot overhead lights. The camera performed beautifully without question in regular-use situations in Hawaii, even under warmer and humid conditions. One thing with Sony cameras that many people forget to do is set it to the “High temperature” mode, which ensures the camera will stay on during a warm sprint. However — It makes me wonder if they could have put the 4K 60FPS in full-frame rather than in crop. They’ve done an excellent job with the camera’s heat dissipation, considering the sensor’s similarity to the Sony A1, so I’m a bit bewildered. During my time in Hawaii, there were multiple times, like while inside the helicopter, where the cropped sensor in 4K 60FPS felt too tight and, therefore, pretty restrictive. Again, this is a problem you must decipher for yourself and your shooting habits.

Low Light and High ISO Performance

Once again, I’m comparing the likes between the three camera bodies as above. The FX3 is still the better photography camera of these three options, but the A7 IV holds up pretty well. I noticed the A7 IV had a lot less color shifting as I pushed toward a higher ISO, whereas the A7 III started to shift toward a magenta hue the higher I went with ISO. You’ll notice a lot of noise in the darker parts of the images when you start pushing close to the 51200 settings.

SD Card Mode Restrictions

The Sony A7 IV has two memory card slots. Slot One is CFexpress Type A and UHS-I and UHS-II (SDHC/SDXC) SD cards, and Slot Two uses only UHS-I and UHS-II (SDHC/SDXC) SD cards. The modes you can shoot in with the SD card versus the CFexpress Type A differ. You don’t need anything faster than a V90 SD Card with this particular camera. Even on my FX3, I only shot with V90 SD cards. If you’re trying in SQ, which automatically slows down your footage from 60fps to 24fps in XAVCS-I, you will need the CFexpress Type A card. I never shoot that way anyway, but it’s still important to note.

So… Is it Worth the Upgrade?

That’s a loaded question and is highly dependent on your shooting style. This camera offers several quality-of-life upgrades; new menu systems, flip screens, updated autofocus, and a ton of fantastic fresh features. On the video side, you have a 10-bit video (which is HUGE for video production) 4K 60FPS that looks wonderful in the crop.

For build quality? Yes. For video? Do it. For photography image quality? I don’t think an upgrade is necessary with this camera; better for filmmakers and vloggers wanting a worthwhile investment. The image quality between the A7 III and the A7 IV is far too similar and wouldn’t make much of a difference in that area, specifically.