Sony Alpha 7R IV test: a first look
Sony ILCE-7RM4 Feature Overview
Sony Alpha 7R IV became the first serial full-frame camera to break through the psychological barrier of 50 megapixels. The camera took this height with a margin: the resolution of the new matrix is 61 megapixels! And this at a rate of up to 10 frames / s. However, first things first.
ILCE-7RM4 came to the editorial office of Prophotos for several days, so we are ready to present you with a small express review where we will pay attention to some differences from the previous model, as well as image quality.
But first, let’s get acquainted with the main features of the new items. Let’s start with the matrix. It is made using CMOS technology with backlight, as in the previous model. Recall that this technology allows you to create large photosensitive elements, and hide the entire pixel wiring in a separate layer of the chip. Therefore, you should not try to calculate the density and area of pixels, compare them with other cameras equipped with “ordinary” matrices. Such a comparison will not be correct. We can only evaluate the final image quality – we will talk about this below.
The BIONZ X processor and the LSI preprocessor are paired with the matrix. The architecture with the LSI preprocessor was used in the previous model, it allowed working with 16-bit signals, providing both high speed, high image quality, wide dynamic range. In the new dynamic range is declared at the level of 15 exposure levels! In the test, we upload RAW files so that you can independently work with them in the converter and evaluate the potential of the camera. There is something to see here.
The 5-axis optical stabilizer based on the matrix shift has not gone anywhere. But in this model, it was improved to work with a high-resolution matrix. It is claimed that he is able to work out shutter speeds 5.5 steps longer than critical. Additionally, the shutter damping assembly was redesigned to reduce micro-lubricants. Subjectively, the picture from the camera is really perceived very sharp at 100% magnification.
The stabilizer in Sony ILCE-7RM4 performs another important function – it provides the Pixel Shift shooting mode, which allows you to get a higher resolution. The mode works the same as in Sony ILCE-7RM3, but the final frame is made up not of 4, but of 16 shots. The function, of course, will be useful in subject, reproduction and catalog shooting.
Speed capabilities are what surprise the Sony ILCE-7RM4. The developers were able to realize shooting speeds of up to 10 frames / s on a 61-megapixel sensor! Such high speed is achieved with autofocus lock for compressed RAW. With tracking autofocus, 8 frames / s will be available, and for uncompressed RAW, the maximum speed will be 7 frames / s. Nevertheless, these indicators for such a resolution remain extremely high.
Very pleased with the amount of buffer. According to the results of our measurements, it holds up to 68 compressed RAWs at maximum speed. Not bad for 61 megapixels. Perhaps the use of fast memory cards UHS-II played a role. By the way, in the Sony Alpha 7R IV, both slots support UHS-II, and in the previous model only one slot could boast of this.
Autofocus has incorporated all the most modern developments of the company. It also supports real-time tracking, and autofocus on the eyes of people, and autofocus on the eyes of animals. However, the feature of this particular model was the support for focusing on the eyes of people in the video mode. Recall that previous cameras did not know how.
The camera works with 567 points of phase and 425 points of contrast autofocus. They do not cover the entire area of the frame, but a significant part of it, leaving only the areas to the right and left at the edges empty.
Autofocus speed is enough to work with fast reportage stories. Subjectively, it seemed that the camera is in no way inferior to the Sony A9 in terms of focusing. For example, she managed to focus on a motorcyclist suddenly appearing from a springboard.
An important innovation was the use of a viewfinder with a resolution of 5.76 million pixels (UXGA OLED). In previous models, we saw a maximum of 3.69 million points. The differences will be noticeable if you activate the high quality display in the menu. The maximum refresh rate will be 120 frames / s, and small textures will be transmitted perfectly smoothly. In fairness, we note that individual pixels were not visible in the lower-resolution viewfinders, but still in the new viewfinder, the picture looks even smoother and more vibrant. The display of service information remained the same – the developers did not redraw the infographics to the increased resolution of the viewfinder, but it’s a pity …
The camera screen remained unchanged. It is touch, inclined, with a diagonal of 3 inches and a resolution of 1.44 million pixels. Of course, we would like to see a higher resolution screen.
The touch interface still does not work in the menu, but is used only to set the focus point and release the shutter. For example, the password for Wi-Fi networks must be entered using the navipad.