After months of speculation, details of the new Sony α7 IV camera have finally been released, along with two new flashguns for the Alpha Lighting System.
Angled view of the new Sony α7 IV camera fitted with the FE 20mm f/1.8 G lens. (Source: Sony.)
Equipped with a new 33-megapixel Exmor R SI-CMOS sensor and the latest BIONZ XR processing engine (introduced in the flagship Alpha 1), the α7 IV claims to be able to record an impressive 15-stop dynamic range and provides the features and performance professionals require from a hybrid still and movie camera. The new processor enables next-level AF performance to enable uninterrupted continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE tracking and a large buffer to ensure smooth shooting. Real-Time Tracking and 759 phase-detection AF points in a high-density focal plane phase-detection AF system that covers approximately 94% of the image area. In addition, the Real-time Eye AF can now track birds and animals’ eye for both still images and movies, in addition to humans. The detection accuracy for human face and eyes is also approximately 30% better than in the Alpha 7 III. Other AF features include AF Assist, which supports focus transitions when using AF and Focus Map for visualising depth of field. A new selectable Breathing Compensation function enables users to overcome focus breathing and maintain a consistent angle of view as focus changes.
Video capabilities are also increased as the α7 IV inherits technology from Sony’s Cinema Line cameras. The new camera can record 4K 60p recording in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode. XAVC S-I intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows with XAVC HS for doubled compression efficiency, while10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling is available for natural gradation. Videographers can record 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video continuously for more than an hour thanks to the camera’s heat-dissipating structure. Optical ‘Active Mode’ image stabilisation assists with smooth video shooting.
Front, back and top views of the α7 IV camera body. (Source: Sony.)
New to Sony’s line-up of Alpha cameras is a dual layer mode dial with the lower layer for selecting Still/Movie/S&Q and the top layer for Auto/P/A/S/M and MR (Memory Recall), enabling users to quickly select and switch between the dedicated settings. It also has 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation for 5.5 stops of shake compensation. The α7 IV body is built with robust magnesium alloy is weather-resistant and has a redesigned structure and lens lock button to exclude dust and moisture. The hand grip has been improved for greater comfort and a CFexpress Type A compatible media slot is provided to support media with faster writing and clearance. The 3.68 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder, allowing users to benefit from the upgraded live-view image quality that minimises false colour and increases resolution. The
3.inch, side-opening vari-angle touch-panel LCD monitor has a resolution of 1.03 million-dots (approx.). The top-panel sports a dedicated REC button for direct movie recording. The camera also uses a high-capacity NP-FZ100 battery, which is CIPA rated for approximately 520 shots/charge.
The α7 IV’s body measures 131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8 mm and weighs 658 grams with battery and memory cards installed. The α7 IV is available to pre-order at the local RRP of AU$4299 from Sony’s online store. Click here for more information.
The new HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM flashguns. (Source: Sony.)
Announced with the α7 IV camera are two powerful flashguns, the HVL-F60RM2 with GN 60 and a 20-200mm coverage range and the HVL-F46RM with GN 46 and a 24-105mm range. Both have been designed to meet the needs of professional and advanced enthusiast photographers and both are part of Sony’s Alpha Lighting System. Both flashes have upgraded continuous shooting flash performance; with the HVL-F60RM2 capable of up to 200 consecutive flashes at 10 frames per second and the HVL- F46RM supporting up to 320 flashes with a 2.0 second recycle time. Both flashes’ parameters can be controlled directly from the menu of a compatible camera, allowing flash control to be linked to camera face detection. Both provide automatic white balance correction based on the colour temperature information from the flash. Both flashes also feature improved robustness and operability and support wireless radio communication with the ability to control up to 15 flashes and/or receiver units in five groups via wireless radio communication for enhanced lighting control versatility.
Full details of the new flashguns can be found here.