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.
Is the Sony A7 IV a good camera? The A7 IV has a Camera Elo of 3153. 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.
|Sony A7 IV|
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses|
|32.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 51 200 (50 - 204 800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 1037k dots|
|10 shutter flaps per second|
|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.
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.
|1.||Sony A7 IV||131 mm||96 mm||80 mm||659 g||580||Y||Oct 2021||2,499||amazon.com|
|2.||Canon R6||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||680 g||360||Y||Jul 2020||2,499||amazon.com|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||420||Y||Oct 2020||2,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Sony A1||129 mm||97 mm||81 mm||737 g||530||Y||Jan 2021||6,499||amazon.com|
|5.||Sony A7S III||127 mm||97 mm||81 mm||699 g||600||Y||Jul 2020||3,499||amazon.com|
|6.||Sony A7C||124 mm||71 mm||60 mm||509 g||740||Y||Sep 2020||1,799||amazon.com|
|7.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499||amazon.com|
|8.||Sony A7R IV||129 mm||96 mm||78 mm||665 g||670||Y||Jul 2019||3,499||amazon.com|
|9.||Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||amazon.com|
|10.||Sony A7R III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony A7S II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||627 g||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999||ebay.com|
|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.
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.
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.
|1.||Sony A7 IV||Full Frame||32.7||7008||4672||4K/60p||25.4||14.7||3379||97|
|2.||Canon R6||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4k/60p||24.2||14.3||3394||90|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/60p||26.3||14.7||2841||100|
|4.||Sony A1||Full Frame||49.8||8640||5760||8k/30p||25.9||14.5||3163||98|
|5.||Sony A7S III||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/120p||23.7||13.9||2520||86|
|6.||Sony A7C||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3407||95|
|7.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|8.||Sony A7R IV||Full Frame||60.2||9504||6336||4K/30p||26.0||14.8||3344||99|
|9.||Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|10.||Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100|
|11.||Sony A7S II||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85|
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.
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.
|1.||Sony A7 IV||3686||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|2.||Canon R6||3690||n||3.0 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|4.||Sony A1||9437||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|5.||Sony A7S III||9440||n||3.0 / 1440||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||Sony A7C||2360||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|7.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0/s||n||Y|
|8.||Sony A7R IV||5760||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|9.||Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|10.||Sony A7R III||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Sony A7S II||2400||n||3.0 / 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.
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.
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.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony A7 IV||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Canon R6||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Sony A1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Sony A7S III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Sony A7C||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Sony A7R IV||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony A7 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony A7R III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony A7S II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
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]).
|1.||Sony A7 IV||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2021||2,499||amazon.com|
|2.||Canon R6||5/5||+ +||4/5||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2020||2,499||amazon.com|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||2,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Sony A1||5/5||o||4.5/5||93/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2021||6,499||amazon.com|
|5.||Sony A7S III||..||+ +||5/5||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2020||3,499||amazon.com|
|6.||Sony A7C||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||86/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2020||1,799||amazon.com|
|7.||Sony A9 II||..||..||5/5||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499||amazon.com|
|8.||Sony A7R IV||5/5||+||4.5/5||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2019||3,499||amazon.com|
|9.||Sony A7 III||..||+ +||4.5/5||89/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999||amazon.com|
|10.||Sony A7R III||..||+ +||4/5||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony A7S II||5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999||ebay.com|
|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 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?
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.
Where can I find the best deals for the A7 IV?
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.
- Canon 1D C vs Sony A7 IV
- Canon 600D vs Sony A7 IV
- Canon SL1 vs Sony A7 IV
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony A7 IV
- Nikon D810 vs Sony A7 IV
- Olympus E-M10 vs Sony A7 IV
- Olympus TG-6 vs Sony A7 IV
- Panasonic G85 vs Sony A7 IV
- Panasonic GF2 vs Sony A7 IV
- Panasonic GX800 vs Sony A7 IV
- Panasonic GX850 vs Sony A7 IV
- Pentax K-3 III vs Sony A7 IV
|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 Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||858 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.1 mm|
|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|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||97|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||25.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||3379|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|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|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CFexA or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II|
|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|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||NP-FZ100 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||580 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
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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