Hey there photographer/videographer. We have a very exciting product to talk about today, the all new Sony A7R V. I was genuinely impressed by this camera and I’m going to tell you why.
If you like this review and are looking to buy this camera, it would mean a lot to me if you’d click through any of the links in this article. They are affiliate links and it’ll allow me to create new content for free.
Now, if the only thing you’ve looked at so far is the resolution of this camera, them it just might seem like an incremental upgrade to the Sony A7R IV. However, there are some incredible new features that make this a mind-boggling upgrade to the A7R line of cameras.
Sony a7R V Hands-on Review
On the outside.
The camera looks much like the A7R IV in terms of form factor. However, the screen was given a major upgrade in functionality. For the first time ever on a Sony body, the screen is fully articulating. It can flip out and spin around like the A7 IV and the A7S3 screens, but it also can tilt up and down like the back screen on the Alpha I
This is a screen upgrade that we’ve anticipated for years on a Sony camera, and it will dramatically increase the ease of use with this camera. Especially, when doing difficult compositions and shooting in tight places.
Perhaps the most exciting part about this upgrade is that the additional axis of articulation means you no longer have to choose between using your ports or using the screen. You can pull the screen fully away from the body of the camera, and still rotate it to face any direction. The ports and port access doors are no longer blocking the screen or vice versa.
The screen itself is a 3.2-inch LCD with over 2 million dots of resolution. It displays a full DCI P3 color gamut, and also features touch control. The EVF has been upgraded to a 9.44 million dot quad XGA with a refresh rate of 120 frames per second. This is incredible if you’re a sports or wildlife action shooter.
This camera, much as its predecessors features dual card slots capable of holding either SD cards or CF express type-A cards.
The camera features a dedicated selector dial for stills, video and S&Q modes. As with all Sony cameras, nearly every dial and button is customizable. With the Sony A7R V, there are up to 169 custom functions assignable to 18 different custom keys and dials.
In addition, Sony added a new main Menu option. This allows you to put your most frequently accessed settings right on the front page. This will help streamline your shooting.
Moving to the inside of the camera
We find the same 61MP EXMO R back illuminated sensor as the A7R IV. However, there are some major upgrades to the rest of the internals that make this feel like a brand-new sensor. First of the camera has an entirely new 5-axis image stabilization system. This is coupled with internal gyroscopes that offer up to 8 stops of compensation (Image stabilization). This is significantly more than any other Sony camera. 3 Stops more than the flagship Alpha I and in-deed significantly more than any other full frame camera by any manufacturer. If you spent any time on the A7R IV, you know that the pixel density on these high-resolution sensors means that even subtle camera movements are considerably more noticeable in the final image. In my opinion, a massive upgrade like this to the IBIS is a huge win.
On the other side of this sensor, we find a brand-new BIONZ XR processor. This processor is capable of 8x more processing power than the processor found in the A7R IV. This additional processing power has massive implications on image quality, yielding two full stops better dynamic range and two full stops better ISO performance. I got to shoot in a wide variety of lighting conditions. I was absolutely blown away by how this camera handled both highly contrasting, high dynamic range scenes as well as a very impressive low-light performance.
This larger processor also comes with a greater image buffer, allowing up to 593 consecutive images to be shot in boast mode. Boost mode on this is 10 frames per second with the Mechanical Shutter, and 7 frames per second with Electronic Shutter.
In addition to the new BION XR Processor, the A7R V features an entirely new and separate AI processing unit dedicated entirely to artificial intelligence functions of the camera. This results in 20% more accuracy with Auto-Exposure (AE). It also offers 60% better real-time Auto-Focus Tracking on human eyes and subjects than ever before. Lastly, it results to 40% better Auto-Focus tracking on animals and birds.
It also comes with a much more significant library of detectable subjects than ever before. This new system can now detect heads and bodies, as well as eyes for animals – all animals. The new AI system is so advanced that it will actually track and calculate head and eye motion, even when the subject is facing away from the camera, or gets blocked by another subject. So, the AI processor is also capable of deep learning. It will begin to estimate the body position of your subject and anticipate future movements to keep the focus locked in tough situations. This is good news for Sports, action and dance photographers.
Even more, Sony has refined the eye-detect auto-focus to actually lock on the surface of the eye rather than simply focusing on the eye area.
Sony also rolled out a ton of new subject detection modes for this camera. These include; insect, airplane, car/train with options to select specific body parts or location for focusing.
For the first time in a Sony body the A7R V features internal Focus stacking options. This is with the ability to focus bracket up to 299 separate images. Even more, it features an internal BULB exposure option. BULB exposures used to require an external camera trigger. Conveniently, the new Sony A7R V has an internal function allowing single exposures up to 999 seconds in length.
On the video side, this isn’t quite as impressive of a hybrid camera as say, the Alpha I. This is to be expected as it is much more designed as a dedicated stills camera. That said, it is still capable of shooting 8K@24fps and 4K@60fps footage in 4.2.2 10-bit with full pixel readout. It also comes with a super 35 crop mode which shoots 4K@30fps footage. The 4K@30fps is actually over-sampled at 6.2K and then down-scaled to 4K. This makes for magnificent looking footage.
That 6.2K oversampling basically means that the 4K footage actually has 2.6x more information per frame than standard 4K footage. In addition, it features 14-stops of dynamic range in video and 16-bit raw output capabilities while using an external recording device like the Atmos Ninja.
This new AI system also brings with it anti-flicker and high frequency flicker-free shooting. This means that the camera will analyze the refresh cycle rate of lights in whatever room you’re shooting in and will automatically vary the shutter speed to minimize and eliminate exposure anomalies, color anomalies, and bending.
This variable shutter is also manually controllable down to 1/10 of a second. This is particularly useful for videos because you can manually set a 1/48 second shutter to get the 180-degree shutter angle for video. This was not possible in previous Sony cameras. However, you still can’t set a specific shutter angle.
The camera also features the same Magnesium alloy chasse and graphite heat dissipation structure that’s inside the Sony A7S III. This is great news as it means this camera can record well over 30 minutes, even in 8K settings.
Also of note, the camera features a new anti-dust system which oscillates the sensor at 70,000 cycles per second when the camera powers on. This is meant to shake dust off the sensor. It then automatically closes down the mechanical shutter when the camera is powered off to protect the sensor during lens changes.
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS | Sony FE 70-200 f/2.8 GM OSS I | Sony FE 70-200 f/2.8 GM OSS II
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