Sony A7R V overview: Superior pictures, improved video, unbeatable autofocus

Sony’s full-frame A7R IV was among the finest mirrorless cameras I’ve ever reviewed, so there was a variety of strain on its successor. The corporate’s reply is the 61-megapixel A7R V, designed to ship the utmost quantity of element for portrait and panorama images.

Although it makes use of the identical sensor because the A7R IV, the brand new mannequin has been improved in practically each different means. The processors have been up to date to the identical ones discovered on the 50-megapixel A1, permitting for quicker autofocus and AI monitoring and higher video specs. Sony has additionally improved the stabilization, the rear show, EVF and extra – all for a similar $3,900 price as its chief rival, the Canon EOS R5.


  • Excellent AI autofocus
  • Superior photograph high quality
  • Highly effective in-body stabilization
  • A lot improved video as much as 8K
  • Intelligent rear show


  • Important rolling shutter
  • Full-frame 4K video might be sharper

Sony’s superior know-how has at all times been its superpower, however rival fashions from Canon, Panasonic and others have began to catch up. To search out out if the A7R V is value shopping for over different cameras, and even the final mannequin, I took it out for some detailed testing. Spoiler alert – it’s one spectacular digicam.

Physique and dealing with

Sony made some adjustments to the design of its full-frame mirrorless cameras beginning with the A7S III, and the A7R V continues in that vein. On prime of a barely larger grip, it has a lot of enhancements over the A7R IV, corresponding to a brand new devoted selector for video, photographs and the gradual movement (S&Q) mode.

By taking that operate off the mode dial, it’s comparatively simple to change between photographs and video, then change modes in every. It’s additionally potential to share some, all or not one of the settings like shutter velocity and ISO between photograph and video modes utilizing the customization menu. Sony additionally moved the file button from the again to a greater place on prime.

Gallery: Sony A7R V digicam overview | 20 Pictures

As with different Sony cameras, it’s intuitive and straightforward to make use of. Some individuals might discover it uncomfortable to carry all day, although, significantly these with bigger arms. That’s as a result of the grip has some laborious edges and a fabric that’s much less comfortable than Canon’s R5, for instance.

A giant new innovation on the A7R V is the rear show. Relatively than a easy tilt-only display like earlier than, Sony has give you a complete new system. It not solely flips out, but in addition tilts – not simply upwards like Panasonic’s comparable system on the GH6, but in addition down and out as nicely.

On prime of being higher for vlogging and selfies, it additionally enables you to transfer the display away from any microphone or monitor cables. It’s additionally higher for photograph shooters. Some individuals choose a tilting show (for taking pictures at excessive and low angles), so the A7R V has one of the best of each worlds.

The A7R IV already had an excellent 5.76-million dot EVF, however Sony made it even higher. Decision on the OLED panel is as much as 9.44 million dots, although it drops if you focus or improve the refresh price to the utmost 120Hz. Nonetheless, it’s now near matching what you’d see in an optical viewfinder.

Sony A7R V camera review

Steve Dent/Engadget

Just like the A1 and A7S III, it has a pair of dual-format card slots. Each accepts both UHS-II SD or quicker, however far costlier CFexpress Type A playing cards. The latter are required for 8K video and allow you to shoot photograph bursts longer earlier than the buffer fills.

For the reason that A7R V is now a significantly better video digicam, Sony has seen match to swap out the tiny and fragile micro HDMI jack for a full-sized one. Although nonetheless lower than professional requirements, it affords a comparatively safe connection and permits for extra strong cables, as micro HDMI fashions are vulnerable to breaking.

It has the identical battery because the A1 and delivers precisely the identical variety of most photographs on a cost, 530. That’s beneath lab circumstances, although, and I bought about double that in the actual world. The USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port is PD suitable, so you possibly can cost the battery and energy the digicam on the identical time. It additionally comes with microphone and headphone ports as you’d count on, plus a wired LAN port and the power to do zoom calls or livestream over USB-C through the UBC webcam commonplace.


Sony A7R V mirrorless full-frame camera review

Steve Dent/Engadget

The A7R V has roughly the identical burst speeds as its predecessor, 10fps in each mechanical and digital modes, taking pictures C-RAW and JPEG photographs. That drops to 7 fps when taking pictures uncompressed RAW information. Whereas not tremendous fast in comparison with Sony’s A1 or the Canon EOS R5 (each have stacked sensors), it’s not unhealthy in any respect for a 61-megapixel digicam. You possibly can shoot about 104 C-RAW + JPEG information earlier than the buffer fills, although that takes lower than two seconds.

Sony is understood for its sensible autofocus, and the A7R V could also be its finest digicam on this space up to now. WIth 693 part detect focus factors (up from 567 on the A7R IV) the common (non topic monitoring) AF is uncannily correct in all 5 space modes, delivering a big majority of sharp frames even with fast-paced topics.

Issues get even higher if you kick within the AI. On prime of the superb face, head and eye monitoring, Sony has launched a brand new physique monitoring mode. It really works very similar to 3D movement monitoring software program used for animation, predicting the place of your head and eyes based mostly in your skeletal construction. If it fails to trace the topic’s face, it may well additionally change to their physique and nonetheless seize sharp photographs.

On prime of people, it may well additionally observe individuals, birds, animals, bugs, vehicles, trains and airplanes. Nevertheless, you need to choose these manually – it could be good to have an auto mode that lets the AI select the topic like Canon’s EOS R6 II. It additionally has a touch-to-track mode that locks onto topics extra precisely than rival fashions.

Sony A7R V mirrorless full-frame camera review

Steve Dent/Engadget

In most of those monitoring modes, the digicam did a superb job at specializing in the topic’s eyes. Failing that, it precisely tracked the pinnacle or physique and nonetheless delivered sharp photographs. The outcomes have been significantly spectacular contemplating the excessive decision that exhibits focus flaws in minute element.

It generally didn’t lock onto birds’ and different animals’ eyes, although that’s one thing Sony may doubtlessly enhance with firmware updates. By and enormous, although, it nailed focus practically each time, beating rivals by a stable margin.

The A7R V additionally has a brand new in-body stabilization system, boosting it from 6 to eight stops with supported lenses, the identical as what Canon’s EOS R5 affords. It was excellent for images, letting me take sharp photographs right down to 1 / 4 of a second. Meaning you possibly can shoot handheld and seize the streak of a automobile’s lights, as an example, whereas freezing the background. That being mentioned. it falls a bit quick for video as you’ll see quickly.

Picture high quality

Gallery: Sony A7R V overview picture gallery | 45 Pictures

Because it has the identical 61-megapixel sensor, the A7R V delivers close to equivalent picture high quality to the A7R IV. That’s not a foul factor, because the latter can produce stellar pictures. With the very excessive decision and the shortage of an anti-aliasing filter, solely Hasselblad and Fuji’s 100-megapixel medium format cameras supply better element. If that’s not sufficient, you should use Sony’s Pixel Shift Multi-Shot and quadruple it to 240.8 megapixels.

With no low-pass filter, watch out for antialiasing or moire that may crop up in detailed or repeating components of a picture. The excessive decision implies that the element needs to be very fantastic, nonetheless.

JPEGs are able to share proper out of the digicam, with properly tuned ranges of sharpening and noise discount. Colours are extra correct however maybe much less flattering to pores and skin tones than Canon’s newest fashions. The system is especially nicely tuned to sunny, blue-sky scenes, so the A7R V is a superb choice for panorama taking pictures.

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