First look: Sony Alpha 7 IV

The Sony Alpha 7 IV (S$3,599, body only) is the fourth generation of Japanese tech giant’s highly successful Alpha 7 full-frame mirrorless camera series. As you might expect, Sony has added plenty of improvements to the Alpha 7 IV (henceforth known as a7IV).

The Sony Alpha 7 IV waiting to be tested. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

These include a new 33-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS full-fame image sensor, 3.69-million-dot OLED viewfinder, up to 10 frames per second shooting with autofocusing (AF)/ auto exposure (AE) tracking, increased memory buffer for more than 800 uncompressed RAW+JPEG frames and dual SD card slots of CFexpress Type A/UHS-II and UHS-II.

We are invited for a brief hands-on with the Sony a7IV, in which three shooting scenarios are set up for the media to test out the camera. For this hands-on, I chose to use the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens with the a7IV.

It might look the same as its predecessor, a7III. But it has plenty of improvements. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

But first, let’s talk about the a7IV body. On first look, it seems to be no different from its predecessor, a7III. But there are some changes. When I hold the camera, the grip feels deeper and thus allows for a better grasp of the camera. The mini-joystick at the rear of the camera has a nicer texture that makes controlling it better.

The exposure compensation dial at the right shoulder of a7III is gone too. Instead on a7IV, an unmarked lockable dial replaces it at the same location.

The exposure compensation dial is replaced by an unmarked lockable dial in Alpha 7 IV. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

And finally, the a7IV gets a fully-rotatable rear touchscreen display. So, for content creators who need to vlog or shoot selfies, this will be a heaven-send.

The Sony Alpha 7 IV now has a rear rotatable touchscreen display for vlogging or shooting selfies. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The first scenario is two models with a brightly-lit psychedelically colourful background. This is no doubt to show the colour reproduction of the a7IV. Plus, it can showcase the camera’s Eye-AF when capturing the models.

This scenario is just too easy for the a7IV. The camera’s AF is quick to get the subject in sharp focus. The Eye-AF does a great job in tracking the eye and enabling to stay sharp.

The Eye AF did a great job in ensuring the eyes of these models are sharp. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The second scenario is a dark setting with a bartender performing tricks. Of course, it is to show the low light performance of the camera. Here, there will 70-200mm lens available to shoot, which I gleefully obliged.

It might not look like it. But this setting is actually really dark and the Alpha 7 IV did a fabulous job in keeping the bartender in sharp focus as he went about doing his tricks. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Again, even in these low light conditions, the camera is able to quickly track and keep the bartender in focus. This is something a lot of cameras in the same category are not able to do well.

Finally, Sony left the best scenario for last. It is two “lightsaber” aficionados performing a simple duel for our cameras.

At one point, the lights were totally turned off allowing the media to capture some “light painting”. And the results are spectacular. Check out this photo I shot with the exposure as long as 10 seconds.

This is a 10-second exposure whereby one swings the lightsaber around his colleague who is standing still. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Unfortunately, I have to return the camera and wait for my review unit to come. Hopefully, it will be soon as I can’t wait to put it through its paces. But even at this early moment, this camera is looking to be the alpha of the pack.

The Sony Alpha 7 IV will be available sometime this month at Sony Store Online.

Trevor Tan

Started out with dreams to become a street photographer, Trevor Tan somehow became a tech journalist with over 16 years of consumer tech experience. Maybe he plays too much video games and buys too many new gadgets.
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