The megapixel race is still on and this time Sony is leading the pack with its new full-frame mirrorless offering. The company has just released its fourth iteration of the A7R camera and the specs look impressive. The new Sony A7R IV features a super high-resolution 61 MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, 4K video shooting (full sensor 6K to 4K resampling), Real-time Eye AF for video, built-in AF converter for audio, refined ergonomics and improved weather sealing. All this will come at an MSRP of $3,500, with the availability date of September, 2019.
Sony A7R IV Feature Summary
Here is a summary of the Sony A7R IV:
- 61 MPP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
- 240 MP Pixel Shift with 16 images at 1/2 pixel distance
- 10 fps shooting speed with AF and tracking
- 500K shutter life
- Dual UHS-II card slots
- 68 images buffer burst
- 15-Stop dynamic range
- 5 axis IBIS
- 567 phase detection AF, 74% coverage. 325 phase detection AF in APS-C crop mode, 95% coverage.
- Real time Eye AF for Still / Movie / Human / Animal
- Real-time tracking
- 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED viewfinder
- Upgraded connectivity and operability
- 4K Movie recording, S-Log2/3, HDR
- Upgraded dust and moisture resistance
- Wireless tethering
- New vertical grip
- USB Type C 3.2
- Available: September 2019
- Price: $3,500 USD / $4,500 CA
Below is the official press release from Sony:
Sony Introduces 61 Megapixel α7R IV
Unprecedented Highest Resolution and Widest Dynamic Range for α – Alpha System, Combined with High-speed Performance and a Lightweight, Compact Body
- World’s first(1) 35mm full-frame 61.0 MP(2) back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with latest-generation BIONZ X™ image processor
- 15-stop(3) dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth, natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights
- High-speed continuous shooting at up to 10 fps(4) with full AF / AE tracking for approximately seven seconds(5) in full-frame mode with an increased buffer memory, and approximately three times as long in APS-C mode
- 567 focal-plane phase-detection AF points covering 74% of image area and 425 contrast AF points
- Debut of Real-time Eye AF for movie recording(6) and advanced Real-time Tracking(7) plus Real-time Eye AF for still image recording
- Features an APS-C crop mode delivering stunning high resolution images of 26.2MP(2)
- 5.76 million dot UXGA (Ultra-XGA) OLED Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder with outstanding detail, brightness and contrast
- Upgraded connectivity and operability including high-speed Wi-Fi support, wireless PC remote connectivity(8), FTP wireless transfer, faster data transfer via USB and more
- Professional 4K movie recording functionality including full pixel readout with no pixel binning in Super 35mm mode(9), S-Log3, HDR workflow support
- Multi Interface Shoe™ with digital audio interface delivers the high-quality sound recording with Sony’s new microphone and XLR microphone adaptor
- Additional enhancements to the body design include an improved grip and button layout for improved control with compact, lightweight body
NEW YORK — July 16, 2019 — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the latest addition to its acclaimed Alpha 7R series full-frame mirrorless camera line-up: the extremely versatile, powerful Alpha 7R IV (model ILCE-7RM4).
Sony’s highest resolution full-frame camera ever, the new Alpha 7R IV delivers stunning image quality with high resolution and wide dynamic range while maintaining outstanding focusing performance, high-speed continuous shooting and much, much more.
“We are continuing to drive innovation, break boundaries and redefine the expectations of digital camera performance,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Product and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The new Alpha 7R IV combines medium format-level image quality with high-speed shooting, extremely fast focusing and an extensive list of upgrades to design, connectivity and usability. This will allow professional photographers, videographers and all other types of creators to capture content in ways that were simply not possible before.”
A New Level of Image Quality
The new Alpha 7R IV features a newly developed 35mm full-frame, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 61.0 MP(2), the world’s first(1) of its kind. The new sensor’s back-illuminated structure and effective noise reduction techniques combine to deliver extremely low-noise and high-sensitivity performance, ensuring the absolute maximum image quality. The camera also boasts an impressive 15-stop(3) dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights, and utilizes algorithms from many of the latest Alpha cameras to maintain outstanding color reproduction.
This new full-frame model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis, optical in-body image stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a shutter speed advantage of 5.5-steps(10). Additionally, the shutter unit assembly has been carefully redesigned to reduce even the slightest movement that may cause blur.
The Alpha 7R IV also includes Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder ever, a 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED Tru-finder EVF. About 1.6x the resolution of the EVF in the Alpha 7R III, this new viewfinder provides an extremely accurate, true-to-life depiction of the scene being framed. The display quality can be set to ‘Standard’ or ‘High’ mode, and to either 60 fps or 120 fps refresh rate to best match the subject and shooting conditions.
Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting(11) mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in one pixel or half-pixel increments to capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 963.2 million pixels of data, which are then composited into a 240.8 million pixel (19008 x 12672 pixels) image using Sony’s “Imaging Edge™” desktop application(12). Ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life subject, this enhanced mode produces photographs with a level of detail and color accuracy that is simply stunning.
Shooting and Focusing Speed
The innovative new Alpha 7R IV full-frame mirrorless camera can shoot full resolution images at up to 10 fps(4) with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to approximately seven seconds(5) in full-frame, full-resolution mode (JPEG / RAW), and approx. three times as long in APS-C crop mode delivering 26.2MP(2) images. These high-speed options ensure that fast moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail.
The upgraded focusing system of the Alpha 7R IV is comprised of 567 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 74 percent of the image area. There are also 425 contrast AF points that add extra precision and reliability for low light and other situations that are best served by contrast AF. The higher AF sensor density and refined tracking algorithms of the new camera produce a notable improvement in tracking performance, allowing complex subject motion and sudden subject movements to be reliably tracked with greater precision than ever.
The Alpha 7R IV also supports Real-time Eye AF, which employs artificial intelligence to detect and process eye location data in real-time, locking and maintaining focus on the subject’s eye with extreme precision. This is available for both animal and human subjects, with either animal or human Eye AF mode selectable depending on the shooting situation. Real-time Tracking(7) is available as well, which utilizes a newly developed subject recognition algorithm to ensure the ultimate subject tracking and persistence of the focusing system. There is also an anti-flicker shooting mode(13), which automatically detects the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting in a shooting environment to minimize any impact on the final image.
Enhanced Connectivity for Professional Workflow
Sony’s new Alpha 7R IV full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of advanced connectivity features designed to enhance professional workflow. The new model includes wireless LAN functionality to support the conventional 2.4 GHz band, as well as a high-speed 5 GHz(14) band for faster, more stable data transfer. Wireless PC remote connectivity (wireless tethering shooting)(8) is also available on the new Alpha 7R IV, a first for Sony cameras. Requested by many working professionals, this allows for much more freedom in studio and location shoots, letting the photographer move around freely and without restriction.
In addition to high-speed Wi-Fi® and wireless PC connectivity(8), the new full-frame camera is equipped with a SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.2 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ connector that supports extremely fast wired data transmission, with almost doubled data transfer speed achieved in combination with Sony’s Imaging Edge software (compared to the Alpha 7R III). It also supports FTP data transfer with background transfer capability, allowing photographers to send images to a specified FTP remote server while they are still shooting or reviewing images.
To support an efficient, high-speed, connected professional workflow, Sony has announced version 2.0 of its “Imaging Edge” desktop applications (‘Remote’/’Viewer’/’Edit’)(13). The ’Remote’ application allows users to control cameras and monitor live shooting on their PC screen; the ‘Viewer‘ application is used to quickly preview, rate and select photos from large libraries; and the ’Edit‘ application can develop RAW data into high-quality photos for delivery.
To maximize convenience in image transfer, when utilizing the latest version of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile™ application(15), the camera can now transfer images to a connected smartphone even if the camera’s power is set to OFF(16).
High-resolution 4K and Professional Filmmaking Features
In addition to its impressive still image capabilities, the new Alpha 7R IV performs exceptionally well as a serious filmmaking tool, offering 4K (3840×2160 pixels) video recording across the full width of the image sensor, and full pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm mode(9). This ensures high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 are also available to maximize color grading flexibility, with S-Log 3 offering a total of 14-stops of dynamic range. Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)(17) is also available on the Alpha 7R IV to support an Instant HDR workflow.
For video autofocus, the versatile new full-frame camera utilizes a refined Fast Hybrid AF system that achieves faster, smoother, more stable autofocus during video shooting – even if an object temporarily moves in front of the intended subject. The camera also includes Touch Tracking functionality during movie shooting, allowing the user to simply touch the screen on their intended subject for instant acquisition.
The new Alpha 7R IV debuts Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting, a first in any of Sony’s cameras. When activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content itself as opposed to what is in focus or not. The aforementioned Touch Tracking functionality will also automatically initiate Eye AF when a human subject is selected.
Another notable video feature is the addition of a digital audio interface to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe), allowing a direct, digital connection from the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit for clear, low-noise and high-quality audio recording. Interval shooting for creating time-lapse videos is available, as well as full HD recording at up to 120 fps, Slow and Quick Motion(18) functions and much more.
Enhanced Build, Design and Customizability
The new Alpha 7R IV has several upgrades to its design and usability, with many adjustments being implemented directly from the voice of Sony’s professional community.
To maximize durability, the new Alpha 7R IV features upgraded dust and moisture resistance(19), with additional sealing provided at all body seams, battery compartment cover and media slots. The camera is built with an extremely lightweight and durable magnesium alloy and also has an upgraded six screw, extra-firm lens mount.
Additional enhancements to the body design include an improved grip for greater comfort and a more sure hold within the hand; an increase in the diameter and feedback for the ‘AF-ON’ button; a new multi-selector joystick design for improvised control; an exposure compensation dial lock button; and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial. A strong request from many professional users, the new camera also includes two UHS-II compatible media slots, allowing for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds.
For added convenience, camera setting registration is expanded. Now, almost all camera settings can be saved to, and read from, an inserted memory card. Up to 10 combinations can be saved to any individual card and loaded into any camera body of the same model.
Despite its increased pixel count compared to the Alpha 7R III, the battery life has been improved with a CIPA measurement of up to 670 still images per change using LCD monitor, or 530 images with EVF. For even more uninterrupted operating time, the new optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip holds two NP-FZ100 batteries, and the optional Multi Battery Adaptor (NPA-MQZ1K) can hold up to four Z batteries. The body can also be powered via the USB connector(20).
Sony has also released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new Alpha 7R IV camera, including:
VG-C4EM Vertical Grip – Provides same operation, handling and design as the Alpha 7R IV camera, including upgraded dust and moisture resistance(20); doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body
ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone(21) – Eight high-performance mic capsules and advanced digital signal processing provide three selectable directivity patterns in one compact microphone of approximately 99.3mm (4 inches) in length with Super-directional pick up; when connected to the Alpha 7R IV via its Multi Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible quality is achieved without noise or degradation
XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit(22) – Two XLR/TRS combo connectors and one 3.5mm stereo mini jack for microphone and line input, with extensive control that helps facilitate the post processing workflow; connected to the Alpha 7R IV via the Multi Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible audio quality is achieved without noise or degradation; supplied extension cable for Audio provides extra flexibility for camera attachment with rig, cage or bracket
SF-M series TOUGH – Ultra-Tough UHS-II SD card with ultra-fast speed up to 277MB/s (read) is ideal for shooting under severe circumstances, and streamlines the post-shooting workflow; supplied with file recovery software (supports both mac OS and Windows)
MRW-S3 – Fast USB for PC hub with UHS-II SD/microSD reader, supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 100W USB Power Delivery (USB PD), contributes to efficient workflow by ultra-fast, stable backup to PC or SSD
Pricing and Availability
The new Alpha 7R IV Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship in September 2019 for approximately $3,500 US and $4,500 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
The new VG-C4EM Vertical Grip will ship in September 2019 for approximately $400 US and $530 CA.
The new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone will ship in September 2019 for approximately $350 US and $470 CA.
The new XLR-K3M XLR Adapter Kit will ship in October 2019 for approximately $600 US and $800 CA.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new camera and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony’s α – Alpha.
For detailed product information, please visit α7R IV
- As of July 2019, based on Sony survey of digital cameras with a full-frame image sensor
- Approximately, effective
- Still images. Sony test conditions
- Up to 10 fps in continuous “Hi+” mode, and up to 8 fps in continuous “Hi” mode Maximum fps will depend on camera settings
- In JPEG (Extra fine / Fine) or compressed RAW mode
- This function does not track animal eyes
- “Tracking” in the menu. This function does not track animal eyes
- Image Edge desktop application Ver. 2.0 or later is required
- Super 35mm 4K recording results in a slightly narrower angle of view
- CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off
- The Imaging Edge (Remote/Viewer/Edit) desktop application Ver. 2.0 or later is required for compositing. Image compositing may not be successful if camera or subject movement causes blur. Some restrictions apply to flash and other device
- ‘Remote’/’Viewer’/’Edit’ version.2.0 will be released in August 2019
- Only 100 Hz and 120 Hz flicker is detected. Continuous shooting speed may decrease. Flicker-free shooting is not available during silent shooting, BULB exposure, or movie recording.
- Models sold in some countries/regions support IEEE 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) wireless LAN only. 5 GHz communication may be restricted in some countries and regions
- Imaging Edge Mobile version.7.2 will be released in July 2019
- Imaging Edge Mobile Ver. 7.2 or later is required. “Cnct. during power off” setting in camera must be turned ON and the camera and smartphone must be paired using Bluetooth® technology via the Imaging Edge Mobile application
- Connect this product to an HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a USB cable when displaying HDR (HLG) movies
- Sound not recorded. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC card required
- Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof
- A battery must be installed in the body when power is being supplied via the USB connector
- Refer to the Sony support page for details and camera compatibility information https://www.sony.net/dics/b1m/
- Refer to the Sony support page for details and camera compatibility information https://www.sony.net/dics/k3m/
I hope AF improves significantly. No information about readout speed but I assume that AF will be better than A7r iii but nowhere near A9 and EVF is still going to have some blackout time unlike A9.
I am actually kind of excited about this. I sold my D500 when D850 came out as I can crop to DX size and
still get similar resolution. 61MP will give a bit more room for cropping which is still sometimes neccessary for wildlife/bird photography. If its animal eye AF is functional and usable, it would be interesting although price of 600/4 make me hesitate quite a bit but 100-400 should be a lot of fun.
Even though the AF system on the new A7R4 is a significant improvement over the A7R3 (which was no slouch!), I don’t think the A7R4 is going to replace the A9 for capture of action. The new software basically brings the A7R4 up to the level of the A6400, not to the level of the A9. And a new A9 successor is supposedly coming out in September and I imagine that the AF capability of that camera will be even more spectacular than it already is (which is amazing.)
I have never needed the 20 fps capability of the A9, but I have found the lack of blackout in the viewfinder during capture to be invaluable for BIF and other rapid motion activities. Eye AF on all Sony cameras is truly exceptional, as is the real time tracking function recently introduced. Once you have experienced these capabilities, you won’t want to go back to a less capable camera.
Animal eye AF is still a work in progress. It only works on larger animals (best on cats and dogs), It isn’t quite as sticky as human eye AF, so the animal can’t be moving around too fast. And, perhaps most limiting of all, it is necessary to manually switch from human eye AF to animal eye AF. The software isn’t intelligent enough to do this automatically (yet). If the camera is in human eye AF mode, it won’t recognize my dog’s eyes. If it is in animal eye AF mode, it won’t recognize human eyes. And there is nothing in the viewfinder to remind you which mode you are in, so I have had a couple of times where eye AF wasn’t working when I wanted to take photos of my wife and I couldn’t figure out why, only to realize that I had left things in animal eye AF from the last use. Doh! But no big deal. Still nice to have this feature to play around with. I’m sure it will get more sophisticated as AI algorithms in the camera improve.
The new 600mm f4 looks to be an astounding lens, but its price tag is equally astounding. The new 200-600 zoom is supposed to be quite exceptional if the light is good and the price tag is very reasonable (around $2K). The improved AF system on the A7R4 should translate into very solid AF performance on this lens, even at apertures in the f/9-11 range. The 61mp resolution should allow aggressive cropping. Combine the ability to crop aggressively with use of a 1.4x TC and you end up with a fairly incredible reach (up to 1800mm) with high IQ at a very reasonable price. And the A7R4 can grab 10fps, which I have found to be all that I need (YMMV). Pretty astounding. So even though 61mp may seem like overkill, it has real world value.
The specs of this camera sound really great and the tech loving child within me would like to have it ;-) But to be honest, this camera (like the Z7) would not improve my images. I’m still the limiting factor in my photography ;-)
A good point for many of us. Modern cameras are all superb!
Interesting reading comments about the Sony A7R4 here. Lots of dismissal of the Sony UI and “color science” as if this somehow justifies a rejection of the Sony line of cameras in favor of Nikon or Canon.
I converted from Canon to Sony around two years ago. Had a 5DMk4 and tons of high end Canon glass. Liked Canon but felt that mirrorless was the way of the future and that Sony was leading the way in mirrorless.
My experience with Sony has been almost entirely positive and I have zero regrets. I have an A9, an A7R3, an A6500 and an RX1R2. The lens selection for the FE mount is outstanding at present. There are a few gaps that remain to be filled (some long glass, TS lenses) but quality across the board is truly exceptional. And FE mount manual focus lenses from Zeiss and Voigtlander are a joy to use and create truly unique and beautiful images.
I know the menu system on the Sony is not perfect, but from my perspective it isn’t a big deal. You get used to it very quickly and I don’t find it to be more than minimally relevant at present. I wouldn’t buy or not buy a camera system based on how user friendly the menu system of any particular camera might be.
Complaints about “Sony colors” are kind of silly IMHO. SOOC images from all my Sony cameras look good and anyone shooting RAW can dial in any color profile desired in Lightroom with minimal effort.
I have little interest in 61mp images and agree that this is overkill for most, but I imagine that for some landscape photographers this will be well received. And it comes with no penalty in DR, which actually increased slightly compared to the A7R3.
And I have to say that the thing I like most about the A7R3 with its 42mp files is the ability to crop aggressively in post and still retain a high quality, high resolution file. Anyone who has worked with higher mp files will undoubtedly agree. One of the advantages of starting out at 61mp is that an APS-C crop file (which you can invoke with the push of a button) is still 26mp. This more or less renders the use of APS-C cameras to gain “reach” obsolete. It also allows one, if so desired, to carry a set of primes (say 24, 50, 135) and have high quality coverage from 24mm to 200mm with limited lens changing. This could potentially allow a photographer to cast aside the usual zoom lenses in this range and go full prime with little downside.
We live in interesting times for photography. Given the rapidly contracting market, we are very lucky to still have a number of companies cranking out amazing tools for us to use and enjoy. Competition is good. We all benefit.
“… to crop aggressively in post and still retain a high quality, high resolution file. Anyone who has worked with higher mp files will undoubtedly agree. …”
May I throw in a “but”? Like in “but only if the image is sharp enough”. And to me, mirrorless cameras with high MP sensors just make more sense as sharpness is more reliable ro gain. It has a reason that these days I use the Z 7 more often than the D850.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with Sony. My excuse for not having tried a Sony: When a new model comes out, it’s hard to rent one at the right time as the few samples are always occupied by other renters. And when it’s easier to rent one, the next model is already in the making or announced. That’s on eof the downsides of fast update cycles :)
I think the practical upgrade for a still photographer is the improved Eye AF, that is very important for a portrait photographer or someone with younger children who won`t stay still for portraits.
Be happy for these cameras even if you are not a Sony fan as consumers win when you have a lively market and manufacturers are always at the drawing board trying to improve their products. And as Nasim pointed out, these cameras will also drive manufacturers to produce even better glass than the great stuff already out there to keep pace with greater resolution. These are great times for photography gear IMO.
“Consumers win”, RQuick, what exactly? Actually, consumers loose, as the update circles are getting shorter, the cameras and lenses more expensive than ever before (although they are as well better than before – within their class and within their brand).
Sony comes out with a cool speclist – and leaves all requests to a better UI undone, no losless compressed RAW but 240 MP files – how big are these? Need to be saved to less reliable SD cards although Sony manufacturers the more rugged XQD cards. Yeah, consumers have a lot of choices – but is there one camera which doesn’t lack something big?
UI for Sony, better sensor for Canon, more lenses for Nikon, longer tele for Fuji… and yet nobody of us have to stop snapping pictures, because what we have does the job as well. And what happens in the firmware department lately? Fujifilm stops supporting older bodies as soon as the newer ones are out, even if they still could fix some quirks. Nikon also has gaps in their firmware which could be fixed easily – it got a lot quieter recently.
Regarding the 240Mp file. I believe it is only a 240Mp file after you download 16 full res 61Mp files to your computer and process them. You can really fill up a card fast at more than 1GB per image set.
To me, the 240 MP pixelshift is nothing than a circus act. Compared to a 150 MP out of a Phase One back, it might look rather poor, no matter how much poetry YT-reviewers will wax about.
We get rather close to “gigapixel panoramas”, just without really getting there. And I simply can’t imagine a reallife case, when a Sony’s 240 MP file will be better than the 61 MP already is and still hold up to the 150 MP single shot of a real MF back. Time and movement of elements will be a limiting factor.
“In studio it might be useful” – when nothing moves. But which kind of structures do fit in a single studio and need 240 MP to show all details? And which kind of output really needs 240 MP input? I’m only asking the questions, maybe Sony has some convincing answers.
Interesting that Kai Wong seems to be the only tester allowed to use the MkIV on his own; other Youtubers seem to have been told to read a specs list, and are yet to be able to give any hands-on demonstrations. I guess they know he’s never going to swallow the full corporate biscuit and become an in-house marketing tool like the US based ‘reviewers’.
PL should get Kai on the team as he’s an actual photographer.
Plus, you gotta love Kai’s videos, in general. He’s fun and funny. Yet he delivers a lot of serious, useful information – in his own unique and entertaining style. His video on the a7R Mk4 is no exception. Highly recommended.
Kudos to Sony. The a7R M4 is an extraordinary set of specs. I’m impressed.
Just for context, I have been a Nikon F mount shooter for about a decade. But, I have not “gone mirrorless” yet, and I’d be a fool not to fully and objectively consider Sony when I do switch from F to a mount that is native to mirrorless.
And, once you get to these very high resolution sensors, it seems like native lens image quality should be a paramount deciding factor. I’m still taken aback sometimes during post at how much difference the lens can make in final output quality. Lens IQ is more important to me than the exact set of focal ranges available. I’m not very familiar with Sony glass. I’d have to take a lot of test shots as part of evaluating their line – when the time comes.
PS. I have tried out the FZ adaptor. I just don’t like adaptors – even the very good ones. They are OK for occasional use, but it’s not how I want to be shooting most of the time.
Do you think it will lower the prices of the a7rii and the a7riii?
Well A7R2 is already very low but A7R3 will definitely go down. R3 was on summer sale/ discount for $2500 – when it has ended they announced this was the new discounted price this week.
There is a seller at FredMiranda.com reselling 5 brand new USA warrantied A7R3’s for less than $2K right now.
Isn’t the so-called MF sensor not also coming from Sony? No matter what, Sony wins hands down – other manufacturers have to be happy to get their sensors and maybe some other parts, have to be happy that there’s something they can copy from and probably improve it.
So, a remark on Fuji rumors made me laugh: “Signs of Confidence or Nervousness?” These Fuji fanboys really live in customized reality. Must be great there :)
Sony already has more lenses than Nikon brings to market within the next 2 years. Instead of bringing out a Z 9, 8, 5 and 3 or whatever number’s in the rumors, how about get the glass ready? So far I can’t see a single Nikkor which has kind of outstanding specs for real use.
Canon has the more interesting lenses, but in terms of sensors they really suck. Would I like to get one of this edgy bodies with the rather weird menu structures? With all this great specs? Would I get pictures I can’t get today with some effort? I don’t know, maybe I should try to find out while Nikon is hibernating.
Sony really dictates the pace for their big customers – but we small customers are basically not forced to buy every new hot stuff. And one thing I always felt with Sony cameras: the next one will be sooo much “better” and sooooo unchanged in terms of bad ergonomics as the newest one. Nikon did the Sony way with their “1” line: 2 improvements at the price of one or two lost goodies. Cool features, but I’ll pass again.
Joachim, Sony’s sensor division is separate from Sony Imaging business, but yes, it does provide sensors to most camera manufacturers, including Nikon.
In regards to Fuji rumors, as well as SAR and pretty much all other rumor sites, I personally can’t stand them. Anything new from another brand immediately sparks posts that try to defend their cameras. The level of fanboyism and trolling gets ridiculous by both their admins, as well as the community / followers. Rumors bring a lot of traffic to websites for this reason – the more negativity and trolling, the more views. Despite rumor posts bringing a lot of traffic, I decided that I no longer want them on PL. Even if we don’t get a lot of traffic, we have a dedicated group of amazing readers who appreciate what we do. That’s enough for us.
In regards to Nikon lenses, I agree with you that we need more native lens choices, but I completely disagree on their quality. The only somewhat weaker lens we have gotten so far is the 14-30mm f/4 and my sample is excellent, so I can’t really complain. I would shoot with the 14-30mm f/4 anytime over the 16-35mm f/4G VR or even the 14-24mm that is too heavy and doesn’t mount filters. What Nikon needs ASAP are the following lenses:
– Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S
– Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S
– Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S
– Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S
– Nikon Z 105mm f/1.4 S
– Nikon Z 135mm f/2 S
– Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S
– Nikon Z 70-200mm f/4 S
– Nikon Z 200-500mm S
I cannot wait for the 20mm f/1.8 S, 85mm f/1.8 S and 70-200mm f/4 S lenses to arrive sooner than later!
I wasn’t referring to their quality and I could have been clearer about that. I was referring on the fact, there’s nothing really new so see. Something like Tamron’s 35-150, like Canon’s shorty 70-200, like a 28-70/2. Nikon’s list of FL is as dull and predictable as a menu of McDonald’s, simply nothing exciting.
And the fact, that Z 7’s focusstacking has this kind of grayscale mapping but only when an S lens is attached, But not a single macro lens around on that roadmap!
Surely it is right for Nikon to give priority to the more popular and useful (albeit ‘dull’) native lenses, before delivering more esoteric (and perhaps ‘more exciting’) lenses. This is almost certainly the correct strategy commercially.
Sure, it will be good for them to release native macro lenses in due course but I have found that both the 60mm and 105mm F-mount macro lenses perform very well using the FTZ adapter.
The Micro Nikkors perform well (like most other lenses from Nikon or Sigma do with the FTZ adapter), but the grayscale view in focusstacking is greyed out. And given the IQ improvements, it would be nice to have an excellent native macro.
And it’s not about “esoteric” lenses (I’m not aware Nikon has some made of moon-crystal in their portfolio), but instead two 24-70s, why not one 24-105…120/4 and one 24-70/2.8? A 35 is nice, but without an 85 or 105 incomplete, if I prefer primes. And the pace is by far too slow.
Exactly. It’s not a coincidence that all major mirrorless brand: Sony, Canon, Panasonic launched 24-105mm f/4 lens. All of them with excellent quality. They are not all stupid. That’s the lens that their target customers want the most. Nikon, on the other hand launched with a 24-70mm f/4 then another one f/2.8. I love Nikon but in this case they’re either arrogant or stupid or both.
Joachim, there is a good technical reason why Nikon decided to go with the 24-70mm f/4 S instead of a 24-105mm or a 24-120mm design. First of all, the collapsing design of the lens limits its optical potential and diminishes the possibility of having a wider focal range. Nikon wanted to go with a small and lightweight lens for the Z-series bodies, which I personally prefer over Canon’s decision to go with large and heavy lenses. Yes, the new Canon RF 24-105mm is excellent, but it is damn heavy for a small and compact mirrorless body. For me, the 24-70mm f/4 S is an ideal travel lens and I am personally not planning to purchase the f/2.8 version (although it is the best 24-70mm on the market). Lastly, Nikon’s previous design of the 24-120mm shows that it is really hard to make such a lens without compromises. The old 24-120mm was great from 24-70mm, but sucked at longer focal lengths, especially at 120mm. So instead of having a lens that shines at short focal lengths and is quite terrible on the long end, I would rather have a well-performing 24-70mm, which the 24-70mm f/4 S surely is.
I agree with you regarding a real telephoto lens like 85mm or 105mm – it should have happened sooner. The lens release cycle is also very slow. If Nikon wants to capture more market share, it really needs to push more lenses.
The Canon 24-105/4 weighs 700 grams – only 200 more than Nikon’s (too) short 24-70/4. I gladly carry these as at the moment I’m used to Sigma’s 24-105/4 (885 grams). Would save me 200 grams, get 50% more tele reach.
You’re not confusing the 24-105 with Canon’s 28-70/2, are you?
As light and compact the Nikon appears, with hood attached it still needs space in my bag. Uncollapsed and the hood in place it’s 150 mm long, Ø 102 mm. Therefore it consumes the same space as the Sigma, when both are ready to use (hood attached, uncollapsed). Ok, no FTZ attached to the Sigma.
The so-called ‘dull’ lenses also happen to be some of the most useful and popular lenses, so I am confident that is right (from a commercial perspective) for Nikon to prioritize these over more esoteric and ‘exciting’ lenses (of which they will doubtless sell far fewer).
Sure, it would be good to have native macro lenses, but I have found that the existing F-mount 60mm and 105mm macro lenses work extremely well with the FTZ adapter.
A 24-70/4 is neither popular nor specifically useful – the f/2.8 is a standard, and a 24-105/4, too. The 24-70/4 is nothing but a cheap to produce and expensive to buy (separately) lens. Economically it would have made more sense to be ready with a real set of lenses, not with a slow standard zoom and two much too similar fixed focal lengths.
The promise of a manual focus 58/0.95 was a rather special joke (talking about esoteric lenses reminds me to ask you if you confused “exotic” and “esoteric”?) which will not sell in huge numbers. But consumes a lot of R&D capacities which lack for “more poular” lenses.
The bodiers were surprisingly well thought. The lens choice must have been done in a delirium.
Well that reminds me to ask you Nasim, could you comment or produce a short summary of the F-mount lens performance on the Z bodies please. I had assumed that everything worked fine, and some sites said the AF was great, but others indicate that AF of adapted AF-S lenses is slower and tracking not so good. I understand that dynamic tracking can’t be as good as a D500, since the Zs themselves aren’t as good, but are the F-mount lenses at least as good as the Z-mount lenses, or are they seriously affected with the FTZ adaptor? I would specifically appreciate your comments on the AF-S 70-200/4, 80-400 VRii, and 300/2.8 if you or Spencer have them to hand. No one seems to have produced such an analysis yet, as far as a I can tell.
Come on guys!
Real critics address the positive qualities as well as the negative qualities. The A7Riv really is an improved product. The pixel shift feature may give medium format cameras real competition. Better grip; better weather/dust sealing; better battery life; 15 stops of dynamic range. The 26Mp crop mode and real-time animal eye-AF should be great for wildlife photographers. The biggest gripes appear that it has too many megapixels and the menu is hard to learn! Are those really show-stoppers!? As for out-of-camera JPEG colors–some people like them and some don’t. But if you shoot RAW and post-process your images, what difference does the out-of-camera JPEG colors make?
I’m not rooting for any one camera company over another. I have or do own Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm gear. Olympus cameras have features I really would like to have. Canon has mirrorless lenses that I would like to have. No camera has everything I want. I don’t know yet if I’ll buy the A7Riv–I first need to look at the camera and to see thorough reviews by people I respect. But if I don’t buy it, it won’t be because it has too many megapixels or a different menu structure.
Jack, I agree. We are very spoiled and we expect camera manufacturers to keep on releasing ground-breaking changes with every camera release. Many of us don’t realize that big changes call for big experiments, end user trial runs, changes in supply chain and much more – all this is very hard to do in a short 1-2 year upgrade cycle. Plus, let’s not forget about all the risks related to existing product line (i.e. cannibalization and short shelf life), which hits it hard with every new release.
I am personally not a big fan of the short product release cycles many camera manufacturers (including Sony) are pushing on us, since all we often see are incremental changes. But I also recognize that it is too late at this point and this is something we have to live with.
In regards to the A7R IV, Sony has done a lot of things right and things I expected to see. 61 MP is a bit of an overkill for me personally, but that’s another slap on 50 MP medium format cameras out there. Couple that with 240 MP Pixel Shift, and it is even more appealing to stay with FF than to pursue MF for those who are purely seeking more resolution. I hope Fuji takes a good lesson from this and delivers Pixel Shift as a firmware update on the GFX 100. It is challenging, especially when it comes to software support, but with enough companies doing it, we should start seeing more native support from Adobe, Phase One and other software out there. 15 stops of dynamic range sounds exciting and I am looking forward to how the A7R IV does in the real world. The full blown Eye AF implementation + Eye AF in video is also pretty cool – best in class at the moment. It is also good to see that Sony fixed the weather sealing issues on the A7R IV, which was a big negative of the A7R III. Overall, nice incremental changes that should make it very appealing for first and second-generation A7R owners out there.
For me personally, an overhaul of the menu system and ergonomics would be nice, but it probably won’t happen until the A7 IV is released. I would also love to see lossless compressed RAW from Sony – this becomes even more important with more pixels and I am surprised to see Sony wait so long to deliver.
I agree with all of your observations, especially about lossless compressed RAW.
Nasim & Jack, nice to see there are cooler heads among us.