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Pro Photo Rental

Introducing the A7R IV - Now Available to Rent
By Zac Henderson

When I first started my career I worked at a small high end camera store. Occasionally we would go to a photo trade show to exhibit, speak with camera manufacturers, and just generally see what was new. On one specific occasion I was approached by a Sony rep that asked if we carried Sony cameras. After I said no the rep asked if he could know why. I responded by saying that Sony didn’t have the reputation we required for the lines of camera systems that we carried. It was admittedly a bit of a blunt response, but it was nonetheless true. The rep was visibly distraught and frustrated by this answer, and the display was likely an apt surrogate for the company as a whole.

For years Sony fought to be included in the conversation of the photo industry. They felt they were one of the major players but were being passed over because the brand didn’t have the history of brands like Canon or Nikon. Still, they demanded to be considered one of the big boys. Fast forward to 2019. Things have changed a bit. Sony now arguably sits comfortably at the top of the burgeoning mirrorless camera movement and consistently produces un-ignorable cameras with gaudy specs and commands a now massive and rabid user base. It would seem that Sony has finally gotten what it was after. The massive company’s meteoric rise in popularity can be attributed to many factors, not least of which is the A7 line of cameras. Enter the A7R IV, a juggernaut in the mirrorless world.

The A7R IV is a statement camera body boasting a gargantuan 61 megapixels of resolution via its full frame 35mm Exmor R back illuminated CMOS sensor which is alone worth writing home about. Sony states this sensor’s back illumination improves sensitivity but produces low noise despite its high resolution. This is nice since the A7R IV’s native ISO range is from 100 to 32,000 and expandable from ISO 50 to 102,400.

61 megapixels is great, but it takes a lot of work to make sure that resolution is being used to its full potential, as illustrated in our blog post Mo Pixels Mo Problems. Fortunately Sony has built in some dare I say necessary features into the A7R IV in order to mitigate camera shake and produce the best image quality possible. This includes in-body 5-axis image stabilization which Sony states is reliable for 5.5 stops worth of shutter speed which is no small task. Also included is the ability to use the camera’s electronic shutter for silent shooting which eliminates any shutter vibration. Sony also claims the A7R IV’s redesigned shutter mechanism reduces camera shake.

As if 61 megapixels weren’t already enough, the A7R IV also features a Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode which now supports 16 half or full pixel shifted images together for a whopping 240.8 megapixel image. The A7R IV’s 5.76 million dot Tru-Finder is promised to deliver a very pleasing viewing experience with a “High” option for a more highly detailed preview. This could be useful for manually focusing on distant landscapes. For those that wish to shoot wildlife, the A7R IV offers a 10 fps burst which is highly impressive, considering the 61 megapixel resolution.

Another feature to pay attention to now that we’re into ultra high resolution territory is autofocus accuracy. Fortunately Sony spared no expense. Not only is the A7R IV able to track human eye and face movement via AI-based Real-time Tracking, Real-time Eye AF is also available for animals. That’s right. You can track animal eye movements. Plus the A7R IV features Sony’s 4D autofocus which predicts where your selected target will be in time for even better accuracy.

Regarding the video side of things, the A7R IV is, as expected, no slouch with 4k HDR capability using S-Log 3 and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) for what Sony says allows for an instant HDR workflow. The autofocus chops continue over into video with adjustable AF tracking and Real-time Eye AF.

The A7R IV is yet another sign that the megapixel war is still underway and that Sony won’t be playing catchup. In fact, the opposite is true with Sony making the major advances in mirrorless technology while other manufacturers are caught looking around wondering what just happened. Thanks to its high resolution, quick response time, accurate AF, beautiful EVF, and 4k video features, the A7R IV is nearing a league of its own. Long gone are the days of Sony’s irrelevance in the pro camera market. These days they’re running the show. Rent the A7R IV and see what the hubub is about. 

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