Nearly three years after launching A7 iii, sony has launched A7 iv in the Alpha series. The camera is a step up in all aspects from its predecessor, including the price tag. Sony Alpha 7 iv price in Pakistan is Rs. 440,000 (depends on dollar conversion).
With many new and old features added to sony A7 4, it weighs under 660 grams (without a lens) and can be called a compact hybrid camera.
Sony A7 iv uses the same battery as the A7 iii, but the advanced processor has reduced the battery life to 600 shots from over 700 in A7 iii. Charging can be done using a USB C connection.
A larger grip is very convenient in handling the added weight when using a larger lens for a lengthy time. Customizable standard front and back dials and the rotating dial on the back with joypad are familiar fixtures on the camera. There is a 4th dial on the top now, which is for exposure compensation, but it can be customized to do various functions as needed. The menu is touchscreen and is the same as the A7 S3 and A1. Overall the camera is a perfect specimen of Sony flagship models. For users who are upgrading from A7 3, the handling of A7 iv is a significant improvement.
The back panel LCD should have been of higher resolution but is about 1 million dots which is the same as the A7 iii, but 3.6 million dots on the EVF is an improvement and puts it in the competition with the similar category cameras. EVF has two modes; standard and high. When high is selected, and you use the camera to track and focus, the EVF mode gets back to standard automatically, but once focusing is done, it returns to High mode. Unfortunately, 120 fps refresh rate can only be used in the standard method, so it cannot be done at 120 fps in High mode when filming sports or any fast-paced scene.
A big step up is the 33MP. The tracking and autofocus have significantly been improved thanks to the incredible processing capability of BIONZ XR. Real-time tracking is as good as it should be; you merely focus on your target and then leave it to the camera to stay on it. When tested on birds, the Birds Eye AF was a bit off in keeping up with the unpredictable movement of the birds. However, it was good enough to keep them in focus.
Most of the previous video format upgrades and improvements made in A7 S3, A1, some of the expensive flagship cameras, are thankfully brought in Alpha 7 iv. The camera can take up to 43 MP images and create them in 4K at a maximum of 30 fps. When you to a higher 60 fps, there is the drawback of the crop, which is a bit disappointing. The absence of video recording in 4K at 120 fps is another road bump for videographers who wish to have extreme details in their recording. Still, there is the capability of super 35 recording in 4K. The shutter speed feels low at 4K 24p recording but gets slightly better at 4K 60p.
A7 offers the in-body stabilization system, but it is not as good as it could have been. A noticeable destabilization is felt in the recording while walking during the shoot. Still, a feature named gyro metadata can be applied using Sony’s catalyst software while editing the video, reducing a lot of destabilization.
A feature that was not in the previous cameras of the series is the breathing correction. The screen getting blurry when zooming out or in is a distraction removed by this new feature. However, there are limited 3rd party lenses on which breathing correction can be used.
It is another new feature introduced in A7 iv. It puts a colored filter on top of whatever is behind or in front of the focus plane. It lets you know the spots that are in focus or vice-versa. When turned on during the shoot, this overlaying is distracting, so it is advisable to turn the focus map only for the essential focus pose.
The in-camera streaming is an excellent feature of the Alpha 7 iv hybrid camera. A connection via USB C port makes it a webcam capable of steaming in 4K 15p or 1080 60p.
Sony has made significant technological strides in the past few years, but those have been limited to some niche-specific cameras. Sony Alpha 7 iv is a strong competitor when it comes to the offered features. However, the price tag could be a deal-breaker for some.