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Sony A7 IV Comparison Review

The Sony Alpha A7 IV is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in October 2021 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 32.7 megapixel.

camera

Is the Sony A7 IV a good camera? The A7 IV has a Camera Elo of 3222. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The A7 IV ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A7 IV also ranks among the top 10 percent.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7 IV
Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses
32.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/60p Video
ISO 100 - 51 200 (50 - 204 800)
Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Swivel touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
580 shots per battery charge
131 x 96 x 80 mm, 659 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony A7 IV vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony A7 IV vs credit card front
A7 IV versus credit card top view
A7 IV and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A7 IV alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A7 IV 131 mm 96 mm 80 mm 659 g 580 Y Oct 2021 2,499 i
2.
 
Canon R6 138 mm 98 mm 88 mm 680 g 360 Y Jul 2020 2,499 i
3.
 
Sony A1 129 mm 97 mm 81 mm 737 g 530 Y Jan 2021 6,499 i
4.
 
Sony A7S III 127 mm 97 mm 81 mm 699 g 600 Y Jul 2020 3,499 i
5.
 
Sony A7C 124 mm 71 mm 60 mm 509 g 740 Y Sep 2020 1,799 i
6.
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
7.
 
Sony A7R IV 129 mm 96 mm 78 mm 665 g 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 i
8.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
9.
 
Sony A7R III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199i
10.
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
11.
 
Sony A7S II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 627 g 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony A7 IV was launched in the US market at a price of $2,499. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sony A7 IV:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Sony A7 IV features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony A7 IV among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Sony A7 IV sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Sony A7 IV Full Frame 32.7 7008 46724K/60p25.414.5305296
2.
 
Canon R6 Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484k/60p24.214.3339490
3.
 
Sony A1 Full Frame 49.8 8640 57608k/30p25.914.5316398
4.
 
Sony A7S III Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/120p23.713.9252086
5.
 
Sony A7C Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7340795
6.
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
7.
 
Sony A7R IV Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p26.014.8334499
8.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
9.
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
10.
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
11.
 
Sony A7S II Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The A7 IV indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A7 IV can use is 4K/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A7 IV has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3686k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.78x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7 IV and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Sony A7 IV3686 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
2.
 
Canon R63690 n3.0 / 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0/s n Y
3.
 
Sony A19437 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
4.
 
Sony A7S III9440 n3.0 / 1440 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
5.
 
Sony A7C2360 n3.0 / 922 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0/s n Y
6.
 
Sony A9 II3686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0/s n Y
7.
 
Sony A7R IV5760 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
8.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
9.
 
Sony A7R III3686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
10.
 
Sony A93686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0/s n Y
11.
 
Sony A7S II2400 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0/s n Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Sony Alpha A7 IV is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the A7 IV

One feature that differentiates the A7 IV from many older cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7 IV reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A7 IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony A7 IVYstereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
2.
 
Canon R6Ymono / monoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
3.
 
Sony A1Ystereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
4.
 
Sony A7S IIIYstereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
5.
 
Sony A7CYstereo / monoYYmicro3.2YYY
6.
 
Sony A9 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
7.
 
Sony A7R IVYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
8.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
9.
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
10.
 
Sony A9Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YYY
11.
 
Sony A7S IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-

It is notable that the A7 IV has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A7 IV handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A7 IV5/5+ +4.5/5...... Oct 2021 2,499 i
2.
 
Canon R65/5+ +4/590/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2020 2,499 i
3.
 
Sony A15/5o4.5/593/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2021 6,499 i
4.
 
Sony A7S III..+ +5/591/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2020 3,499 i
5.
 
Sony A7C3.5/5..3.5/586/1004/54/5 Sep 2020 1,799 i
6.
 
Sony A9 II....5/590/1005/55/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
7.
 
Sony A7R IV5/5+4.5/591/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2019 3,499 i
8.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +4.5/589/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
9.
 
Sony A7R III..+ +4/590/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199i
10.
 
Sony A95/5+ +4.8/589/1005/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
11.
 
Sony A7S II5/5+....4.5/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Sony A7 IV:
Check Amazon price

Sony A7 IV FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A7 IV.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the A7 IV?

The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the A7 IV with the BIONZ XR image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the A7 IV?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the A7 IV is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha A7 IV?

Sony mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the A7 IV. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the A7 IV over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony A7 IV?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony A7 IV?

The A7 IV offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Sony A7 IV feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The A7 IV's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Sony A7 IV support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards, which provide for data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s, in both of its card slots.

Which battery does the A7 IV use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-FZ100 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the A7 IV?

Yes, Sony offers the VG-C4EM as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony A7 IV
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2021
    Launch Price USD 2 499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 858 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 32.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7 008 x 4 672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.12 μm
    Pixel Density 3.82 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51 200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 204 800 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ XR
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3686k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    V-logging Friendliness Front-flip possible
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CFexpress or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots
    UHS card support Dual UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.2
    HDMI Port full HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FZ100 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)580 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 131 x 96 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.8 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 659 g (23.2 oz)

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