Sony Alpha A7R IV review

Sony's first foray into medium format territory

Sony Alpha A7R IV
(Image: © Future)

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Much like with the company's RX100 series, the overall excellence of the Sony A7R IV is in large part down to the fact that it follows a string of successful predecessors. These models have given the company the opportunity to tweak things and learn from user feedback along the way, to ultimately craft a camera that's built around a solid core of specs, with a multitude of well-considered secondary features and controls on top.

The sensor grabs the most attention here, and the fact that it delivers this level of detail – and is augmented by the impressive Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode – means it trounces both its immediate rivals and medium format competitors, although you do need to take care to get the best results. While this may not be anyone's first choice for video, video quality itself is as strong as we expect, even if rolling shutter is an issue. 

Face and eye detection work every well, and the stronger focusing system as a whole shows that Sony is concentrating its efforts where it matters – although it's well worth your while taking some time to understand what's possible, and tweaking your shooting style accordingly, to get the best out of it.

Build quality is excellent and the level of physical control is great, while handling has been improved by way of a nicer grip; the inclusion of a top plate command dial makes the mode dial a little harder to access than before, though. It's also a shame that in-camera raw processing continues to be absent, and very dense menus continue to be present; and while we were also surprised to see slight inconsistencies with auto white balance and focusing, these are things that may well be ironed out through firmware updates.

In short, while the A7R IV isn't quite without flaws, Sony has done plenty to make this camera one of the best mirrorless cameras around, and that remains the case years after its release. While its price is high, it's not all unreasonable, although the premium over the A7R III is considerable right now, so you really have to need the extra pixels to make it worth your while. Still, when you consider the cost of some rivals, you're getting a fair chunk of camera in exchange for your cash here.