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SONY A7IV Long-Term Review: Real-World Insights


The Sony a7IV, the successor to the much-acclaimed Sony a7III, a camera that has been a significant part of my photographic journey. Having been a long-time user of the a7III, a camera that truly turned my attention towards the Sony system, it has been a year since I made the transition to the Sony a7IV. With this milestone, I believe it's the right time to share my thoughts and experiences in this real-world review.


As a photographer and videographer with a penchant for versatility, the need for a camera that excels in both photography and video is paramount to me. This was what initially drew me to the a7III. While it remains a commendable camera even today, there were aspects I wished could be improved upon. Now, with the Sony a7IV, many of these wishes have been granted, significantly enhancing the overall shooting experience.




However, it's essential to note that no camera is without its quirks, and the a7IV is no exception. In this article, I'll provide an honest user review based on over a year of using this camera, often in demanding and rugged conditions. Rather than delving into technical specifications, which are readily available through various sources, my aim is to offer insights from someone who has traversed the highs and lows with this camera.


If you're reading this, I assume you're seeking the perspective of a fellow photographer who has relied on this camera for diverse shooting scenarios. Rest assured, I'll share my candid opinions, both positive and constructive, to help you make an informed decision about the Sony a7IV.


What truly piqued my interest when I first learned about the Sony a7IV were its video capabilities. Sure, the added megapixels were a welcomed bonus, but in my view, the photo quality on the a7III was already quite impressive. On the flip side, the upgrade to 10-bit video and 4K slow motion made a substantial impact on my workflow. Consequently, the acquisition of this new camera demanded a corresponding investment in a more robust editing laptop. Currently, I'm using the MacBook Pro M1, and you can look forward to another review of this computer in the near future.


Lisbon's Tram Captured with Sony A7IV 24-70 mm @50 mm F/8 1/200 ISO100

Madeira's Mountains Captured with Sony A7IV & Sony 70-200 mm @135 mm F/7 1/320 ISO 100

Madeira Carnival, Captured with Sony A7IV 70-200 mm @135 mm F/4 1/400 ISO100

Upon receiving the camera, I immediately noticed the improvements in its design compared to previous models. It gives a sense of sturdiness and solidity, making it notably more comfortable to hold with one hand. I appreciate the relocation of the record button to the top, and the fact that both video and photo features now offer three preset modes. I quickly adapted to the convenience of the flip-out screen, and I can now hardly imagine life without it.


One of the most significant improvements in photography for me was the introduction of the new autofocus tracking function. By locking your focus point, you can effortlessly recompose your shot and capture multiple images without the need to focus each time you're taking a photo. This feature proves especially invaluable when photographing time-sensitive events, such as weddings, where every second counts. Thanks to this function, blurred photos have become a rarity in my work. Overall, the Sony a7IV delivers exceptional photo quality, and for those not planning to print images on billboards, it offers a cost-effective alternative to the A7RIV with its higher megapixels.


Big Arch at Wadi Rum Desert, Captured with Sony A7IV 24-70 mm @50 mm F/8 1/400 ISO100

Hallstatt Town, Captured with Sony A7IV 24-70 mm @24 mm F/8 1/50 ISO100

Madeira Night Sky, Captured with Sony A7IV 14-24 mm @14 mm F/7 1/30 ISO 100

The previously mentioned 4K 60 fps slow-motion capability allows for creative experimentation with speed ramps on high-quality RAW s-log 2 or s-log3 clips. However, there's one aspect that causes me some frustration each time I use it. Switching to 4K 60 fps automatically crops the image to APS-C, a quirk I hope Sony addresses in future versions. A 4K 4x slow-motion would undoubtedly be also a welcome addition for Sony camera users.


Over the past year and a half, I've rigorously tested this camera in various conditions, from freezing temperatures to sandstorms, and it has consistently delivered fantastic results with high-quality images boasting incredible detail. Notably, its low-light capabilities are praiseworthy, as the results achieved when shooting at night never cease to amaze me during the editing process. The Sony a7IV stands out as a superb all-around camera that caters to the needs of any photographer.


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