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

Sony’s full-frame A7R IV was among the best mirrorless cameras I’ve ever reviewed, so there was quite a lot 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 almost each different manner. 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.


  • Very good 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 could possibly be sharper

Sony’s superior expertise has all the time 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 digital camera.

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 numerous enhancements over the A7R IV, resembling a brand new devoted selector for video, images and the gradual movement (S&Q) mode.

By taking that perform off the mode dial, it’s comparatively simple to change between images 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 digital camera assessment | 20 Pictures

As with different Sony cameras, it’s intuitive and simple to make use of. Some folks could discover it uncomfortable to carry all day, although, notably these with bigger fingers. That’s as a result of the grip has some laborious edges and a cloth that’s much less comfortable than Canon’s R5, for instance.

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

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 folks choose a tilting show (for capturing at excessive and low angles), so the A7R V has the perfect 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 enhance the refresh fee 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. Every one accepts both UHS-II SD or quicker, however far dearer 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 digital camera, Sony has seen match to swap out the tiny and fragile micro HDMI jack for a full-sized one. Although nonetheless less than professional requirements, it provides a comparatively safe connection and permits for extra sturdy 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 pictures 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’ll be able to cost the battery and energy the digital camera on the similar time. It additionally comes with microphone and headphone ports as you’d anticipate, plus a wired LAN port and the power to do zoom calls or livestream over USB-C through the UBC webcam customary.


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, capturing C-RAW and JPEG images. That drops to 7 fps when capturing 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 digital camera. You may 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 digital camera on this space thus far. 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 like 3D movement monitoring software program used for animation, predicting the place of your head and eyes primarily based in your skeletal construction. If it fails to trace the topic’s face, it will possibly additionally change to their physique and nonetheless seize sharp pictures.

On prime of people, it will possibly additionally monitor folks, birds, animals, bugs, vehicles, trains and airplanes. Nonetheless, 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 digital camera did an excellent job at specializing in the topic’s eyes. Failing that, it precisely tracked the pinnacle or physique and nonetheless delivered sharp images. The outcomes had been notably 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 might doubtlessly enhance with firmware updates. By and huge, although, it nailed focus almost 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 provides. It was excellent for images, letting me take sharp pictures all the way down to 1 / 4 of a second. Which means you’ll be able to shoot handheld and seize the streak of a automotive’s lights, as an example, whereas freezing the background. That being stated. it falls a bit brief for video as you’ll see quickly.

Picture high quality

Gallery: Sony A7R V assessment picture gallery | 45 Pictures

Because it has the identical 61-megapixel sensor, the A7R V delivers close to similar picture high quality to the A7R IV. That’s not a nasty 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 larger 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 high-quality, nonetheless.

JPEGs are able to share proper out of the digital camera, 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 properly tuned to sunny, blue-sky scenes, so the A7R V is a good possibility for panorama capturing.

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