Sony a7 IV gets big updates and features from the alpha 1

The Sony a7 IV update took a lot of the features from the a1. A big one is the autofocus system. Sony states it tracks and stays in focus much better with eye focus and shifts to hold onto the subject better than the previous model.

The Alpha 7 IV is Sonys entry-level mirrorless camera. I found the Alpha 7 III a very capable camera for both still and video.  The new model features many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies, including the latest BIONZ XR processing engine and advanced autofocus capabilities from Alpha 1.
The Alpha 7 IV has a 33MP (approx., effective) image resolution. Another feature people will like is the articulating screen.

02 Alpha 7 IV lcds

Updated Autofocus

The latest BIONZ XR processing engine is the same as in Alpha 1, with uninterrupted continuous shooting up to 10fps with AF/AE tracking and a large buffer for prolonged shooting.
The Alpha 7 IV tracks subjects with Real-time Tracking and 759 phase-detection AF points in a high-density focal-plane phase-detection AF system covering approximately 94% of the image area. Additionally, Real-time Eye AF can now track birds’ and animals’ eye for both still images and movies, as well as humans. The Alpha 7 IV also has face and eye detection accuracy for humans that is improved by approximately 30% compared to the Alpha 7 III.

Video Features

05 Alpha 7 IV terminal

The camera now has a full-size HDMI and USB-C with 10Gbps speed. The USB-C can provide direct connectivity to 1000Base-T Ethernet networks for fast wired FTP data transfers. Also new, a CFexprees Type A media slot.

The Alpha 7 IV can shoot 4K 60p in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode. The new camera also features 10-bit depth 4:2:2 color sampling, XAVC S-I™ intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows, and XAVC HS™ H.265 Long-GOP for doubled compression efficiency. 

A new feature called Focus Map visualizes depth of field. Also added is a Breathing Compensation feature that maintains a consistent angle of view throughout focus changes and can be switched on or off. This feature only works with select Sony lenses.

Video Specifications

  • Video Formats – XAVC S, XAVC HS
  • Video Compression – XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, XAVC HS: MPEG-H HEVC/H.265
  • Picture Profile – Yes (Off / PP1-PP11) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, S-Cinetone, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG, HLG1-3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
  • Movie Functions – Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, PAL/NTSC Selector, Proxy Recording (1280 x 720 (Approx. 6 Mbps), 1920 x 1080 (Approx. 9 Mbps), 1920 x 1080 (Approx. 16 Mbps)), TC/UB, Auto Slow Shutter, Gamma Disp. Assist
  • MOVIE RECORDING SYSTEM (XAVC HS 4K) – 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (150 Mbps / 75 Mbps / 45 Mbps)5 6, 24p (100 Mbps / 50 Mbps / 30 Mbps)6, 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (150 Mbps / 75 Mbps / 45 Mbps)5, 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (200 Mbps / 100 Mbps)56, 24p (100 Mbps / 50 Mbps)6, 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (200 Mbps / 100 Mbps)5
  • MOVIE RECORDING SYSTEM (XAVC S-I 4K) – 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (600 Mbps)56, 30p (300 Mbps)6, 24p (240 Mbps)3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (600 Mbps)56, 30p (300 Mbps)6, 24p (240 Mbps)6, 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (500 Mbps)5, 25p (250 Mbps) 6, 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (500 Mbps)5, 25p (250 Mbps)
  • MOVIE RECORDING SYSTEM (XAVC S-I HD) – 1920 x 1080 (4:2:2, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (222 Mbps)6, 30p (111 Mbps)6, 24p (89 Mbps)6, 1920 x 1080 (4:2:2, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (185 Mbps), 25p (93 Mbps)
  • COLOUR SPACE – Rec. ITU-R BT.2100 standard compatible (BT.2020 gamut)4
  • SLOW & QUICK MOTION (SHOOTING FRAME RATE) – NTSC mode: 1 fps, 2 fps, 4 fps, 8 fps, 15 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps, 120 fps8,7, PAL mode: 1 fps, 2fps, 3fps, 6fps, 12fps, 25fps, 50fps, 100fps8,7

Quick Video to Stills Dial

The Alpha 7 IV can easily switch from photo to video and back quickly while maintaining the settings for both functions with a new dual-layer mode dial, with a lower layer for selecting Still/Movie/S&Q and a top layer for Auto/P/A/S/M and MR (Memory Recall), enabling users to choose and switch between the dedicated settings quickly. The video and stills settings are separate in the menu for a less cluttered experience when navigating the menu.

5-axis optical in-body image stabilization

The A7 IV has 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage, an improved grip for greater comfort, and a CFexpress Type A compatible media slot to support media with faster writing and clearance. Additionally, the 3.68 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the Alpha 7 III viewfinder resolution, benefiting users with an upgraded live-view image quality that minimizes false color and increases resolution. 

Video can be recorded at 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video continuously for more than an hour, thanks to the camera’s heat-dissipating structure. Optical ‘Active Mode’ image stabilization further stabilizes movie shooting. They can also benefit from the 3-inch (3.0-type) 1.03 million-dot (approx.) side-opening vari-angle touch-panel rear LCD monitor, top-panel REC button, and high-capacity Z-series battery.    

The Alpha 7 IV body is built with magnesium alloy to achieve robustness while minimizing its weight. In addition, the redesigned structure and lens lock button contribute to enhanced dust and moisture resistance. The grip is also a touch bigger.

Advanced Streaming Features

Alpha 7 IV LiveStreaming Cafe 2 2106264237

The camera has a range of new features to support live streaming and remote communication without needing dedicated software. UVC (USB Video Class) and UAC (USB Audio Class) turn the Alpha 7 IV into a high-performance live streaming camera when connected to a computer or smartphone. High image quality such as 4K 15p and 1080 FHD 60p.

Streaming Specifications

  • Video Resolution – 3840 x 2160 (15p / 12.5p) / 1920 x 1080 (60p / 50p / 30p / 25p) / 1280 x 720 (30p / 25p)
  • AUDIO DATA FORMAT – LPCM 2 ch (16 bit 48 kHz)

Pricing and Availability

The new Alpha 7 IV will be available in December 2021 for approximately $2,500.00 USD and $3,200.00 CAD. A kit version with Sony’s FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens will also be available for approximately $2,700.00 USD and $3,400.00 CAD.

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