Industry News

Industry News: Sony officially announces the A7 IV and new flashes

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San Diego, CA – October 21, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced three new additions to its imaging line-up: the Alpha 7 IV interchangeable-lens camera (model ILCE-7M4) with a newly developed 33-megapixel (approx.,effective) full-frame image sensor, as well as two new flashes – the HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM.

The Alpha 7 IV takes “basic” to the next level for full-frame cameras with excellent image quality and performance, redefining the lofty standards set by the acclaimed Alpha 7 III. The new model features many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies, including the latest BIONZ XR™ processing engine and advanced AF (autofocus) capabilities from the flagship Alpha 1 combined with streamlined operability and enhanced reliability for photos and movies, making it the perfect all-around camera for today’s imaging enthusiasts and professionals. The Alpha 7 IV also boasts a 33MP (approx., effective) image resolution, rich movie expression and various features to support the growing demand for remote communication, bringing new meaning to what a “basic” camera can accomplish.

Preorder the Sony A7 IV (Preorders begin at Noon).

“Since its introduction over three years ago, the Alpha 7 III has made tremendous impact in our industry, completely redefining the expectations for what can be accomplished with a ‘basic’, or entry-level full-frame camera,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “Now, it’s time to break through all existing boundaries again. The Alpha 7 IV brings together the best of Sony imaging technologies in both photo and video to deliver a high-end experience to a wider range of customers. This gives today’s creators a new level of freedom to capture, create and share in ways that they’ve never been able to before, no matter the situation in which they find themselves.”

Alpha 7 IV: Innovation Never Ends

The new Alpha 7 IV is an exceptional hybrid camera packed with outstanding still image quality and evolved video technology with advanced autofocus, enhanced operability and improved workflow capability. The model was developed with the environment in mind by using Sony’s original recycled plastic SORPLAS™ for the camera body and packaging with recyclable[i] materials and less plastic.

Outstanding Image Quality

Thanks to a newly developed 33MP (approx., effective) full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor, superior image quality and Wide ISO sensitivity range expandable to ISO 50 – 204,800 is achieved. The high resolution enables the Alpha 7 IV to express smooth gradation, fine details and textures of the subject while reducing noise, and its 15-stop dynamic range allows a wide expressive range while Creative Look settings can help create original looks effortlessly for both stills and video.

Next-Level AF performance

The latest BIONZ XR™ processing engine is the same that is used in Sony’s flagship Alpha 1, delivering high-speed AF, uninterrupted continuous shooting up to 10fps[ii] with AF/AE tracking and a large buffer for a prolonged shooting experience. The Alpha 7 IV tracks subjects with tenacious 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. Additionally, for the first time, Real-time Eye AF can now track birds’ and animals’ eye for both still images and movies, in addition to humans. The Alpha 7 IV also has face and eye detection accuracy for humans that is improved by approximately 30% compared to the Alpha 7 III.

Evolved Movie Technology

The Alpha 7 IV inherits technology taken from real-world movie production, including the S-Cinetone™ picture profile adopted from Sony’s highly regarded Cinema Line cameras. This delivers a rich, cinematic look that has become popularized by a broad range of cinematographers and filmmakers who are shooting on Sony. High quality movie is achieved with 4K 60p recording in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling is available in full-frame mode. The new camera also features 10-bit depth 4:2:2 color sampling to enable natural gradation, XAVC S-I™ intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows and XAVC HS™ H.265 long-GOP for doubled compression efficiency.

To meet the growing need for precise autofocus performance when shooting videos, unique AF features are achieved when using the Alpha 7 IV with a Sony E-mount lens, including AF Assist[iii] that supports focus transitions when using AF, and Focus Map that visualizes depth of field. For the first time in the Alpha series, the new camera features Breathing Compensation[iv] to combat focus breathing and maintain a consistent angle of view throughout focus changes and can be switched on or off.

Advanced Operability as a Genuine Hybrid Model

The Alpha 7 IV is a hybrid still and video camera with outstanding operability and reliability that easily allows the user to switch from photo to video and back at their convenience. New to Sony’s lineup of Alpha cameras is a dual-layer mode dial, with a lower layer for selecting Still/Movie/S&Q and a 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 stabilization for a 5.5-step[v] shutter speed advantage, an improved grip for greater comfort, and a CFexpress Type A compatible media slot to support media with faster writing and clearance. Additionally, the 3.68 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder, benefiting users with an upgraded live-view image quality that minimizes false color and increases resolution.

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’[vi] image stabilization further stabilizes movie shooting. They can also benefit from the 3-inch (3.0-type) 1.03 million-dot (approx.) side-opening vari-angle touch-panel rear LCD monitor, top-panel REC button and high-capacity Z-series battery.

The Alpha 7 IV body is built with magnesium alloy to achieve a robustness while minimizing its weight. In addition, the redesigned structure and lens lock button contribute to enhanced dust and moisture resistance[vii].

Enhanced Workflow Capabilities

By offering a variety of connectivity options, the Alpha 7 IV enables on-the-spot streaming and sharing of high-quality content to meet the growing need for remote communication in real-time without sacrificing excellent image and sound quality. The connection between the camera and Imaging EdgeMobile™ application[viii] is simplified via Bluetooth, and fast data transfer is possible by 5GHz/2.4.GHz Wi-Fi.

The camera also has a new feature called “Shot Mark” to enable easy access to the marked scenes in a video clip, within camera and on Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare applications.[ix]

Moreover, the camera has a range of new features to support live streaming and remote communication without needing dedicated software. UVC (USB Video Class) and UAC (USB Audio Class) turn the Alpha 7 IV into a high-performance live streaming camera when connected to a computer or smartphone[x]. High image quality such as 4K 15p and 1080 FHD 60p deliver realistic video for remote sharing and the Alpha 7 IV’s digital audio interface can be paired with a range of mics and accessories to deliver high quality sound.

Finally, Sony plans to offer a new cloud service next year, “AI Video Editing Studio”, for automated editing with AI technology. To allow creators to focus on more creative tasks, “AI Video Editing Studio” automatically performs initial editing in the cloud, using AI technology. Sony will continue to strive to offer a wide variety of imaging experiences and services through the active integration and advancement of cameras, cloud and AI.

Designed with the Environment in Mind

In line with Sony’s environmental efforts based on the “Road to Zero” initiative, environment was an important factor in the development of the Alpha 7 IV’s design, production and packaging. The camera uses recycled plastic, SORPLAS™, which does not depend on non-renewable resources and is produced at the sites by using renewable energy such as solar power generation. The product packaging also adopts recyclable plastic-reduced materials.

Preorder the Sony A7 IV (Preorders begin at Noon).

HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM: Powerful Flashes to Evolve Alpha Lighting System

The HVL-F60RM2 with GN 60 and 20-200mm[xi] coverage and HVL-F46RM with GN 46 and 24-105mmxi are powerful wireless flashes to offer precise control, enhanced high-speed and intuitive operability. They are designed to meet the needs of both professional and advanced content creators when shooting with a Sony Alpha camera, including the Alpha 7 IV, to offer the ultimate Alpha Lighting System by the detailed communication between cameras and external flash.

Both flashes have upgraded continuous shooting flash performance, up to 200 consecutive flashes at 10 frames per second[xii] for the HVL-F60RM2 and 60 times for the HVL-F46RM. The optimized flash algorithm ensures both flashes are overheat-resistant, and a set of four Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) batteries can power up to 240 flashes with a 1.7 second recycle time for the HVL-F60RM2 and up to 320 flashes with a 2.0 second recycle time for the HVL-F46RM[xiii].

When used in combination with an Alpha camera, they allow users to experience the unique communication and system benefits of the Alpha Lighting System that sets a new standard for mirrorless camera lighting systems. For example, with the Alpha 7 IV, P-TTL flash control metering for every frame in Mid, and Hi continuous mode has become possible in addition to Lo continuous mode. The flash release time lag is also shortened to capture momentary facial expressions and movements of the subject.

With the Alpha 1, the HVL-F60RM2 achieves a phenomenal up to 20fps of continuous shooting[xiv] and approximately 20 flashes per second can be produced for more than 10 seconds with the external flash battery adapter FA-EBA1 (sold separately). When the Alpha 1 is used with Sony’s flashes, including HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM, users can sync up to 1/400 second shutter speed to expand expressive capabilities when shooting in full-frame mode. In addition, with the silent electronic shutter of the camera, silent flash shooting is possible when absolute silence is required.

Other system benefits of HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM with an Alpha camera include:

  • Flash parameters controlled directly from the menu of a compatible camera[xv]
  • Flash control linked to camera face detectionxv
  • Automatic correction of white balance based on the color temperature information from the flash

Both flashes also feature improved robustness and operability. The Multi Interface shoe with Sony’s unique metal shoe foot with rugged side frame significantly increases strength and reliability. Shoe sealing helps the flashes to be more dust and moisture resistant[xvi]. The HVL-F60RM2’s original rotating head mechanism, “Quick Shift Bounce,” that enables flexible positioning and optimum lighting control has also been improved to prevent unintended change in the bounce angle.

They support wireless radio communication and can control up to 15 flashes and/or receiver units in 5 groups via wireless radio communication for enhanced lighting control versatility.

Visual Story is now Supported on Android

“Visual Story” is a mobile application for professional event photographers and video creators to enable immediate and automatic delivery of photos and movies[xvii] to their clients after an event through gallery creation, utilize AI (artificial intelligence) assistance for easy image selection, upload assets online and more. While the Visual Story app is already available to iOS users, Android user can now also take advantage of the benefits Visual Story provides to professional photographers and videographers.

When using the Alpha 7 IV, “Shot Mark” is also supported by Visual Story on iOS Version 2.1.

  • Visual Story on iOS is available to download for free HERE
  • Visual Story on Android is available to download for free HERE

Pricing and Availability

Preorder the Sony A7 IV (Preorders begin at Noon).

The new Alpha 7 IV will be available in December 2021 for approximately $2,500.00 USD and $3,200.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America. The PCK-LG2 Screen Protect Glass Sheet accessory for the Alpha 7 IV will be available at the same time.

A kit version with Sony’s FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens will also be available for approximately $2,700.00 USD and $3,400.00 CAD.

The new HVL-F46RM will be available in November 2021 for approximately $400.00 USD and $550.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

The new HVL-F60RM2 will be available in November 2021 for approximately $550.00 USD and $750.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new Alpha 7 IV 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 α – Alpha brand.

Traveler

EOS R6
Oct 6, 2019
121
153
This is the first Sony camera that I’d be able to use. And it seems even better than the R6 for that price. They brought even the cloud service that I love on Canon, got rid of the stupid exposure compensation dial etc. I know the R6 can shoot 12/20fps and has higher resolution LCD but on the other hand its 30 MPix, has faster card, better customization etc. I think Canon would need to do at least an FW update to the R6 to catch up with the customization…
 

UpstateNYPhotog

EOS M50
Jun 3, 2021
48
41
Slow sensor readout kind of kills it for me, 4x slower than the R6.
Seeing as I probably wouldn't shoot electronic shutter much and don't care about video, that doesn't matter to me. I wish Canon had a 30 MP camera for that price. I don't need the 45 MP of the R5. The R6, while a nice camera seems like a step backwards, but I will probably give in and buy an R6 anyway for the stabilization and focusing as finally make the plunge to step up from 5D IV's.
 

AJ

EOS RP
Sep 11, 2010
760
177
I wonder if a price drop for the a7 III is coming? Probably not. But one can wish, anyways.
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
477
530
UK
Seeing as I probably wouldn't shoot electronic shutter much and don't care about video, that doesn't matter to me. I wish Canon had a 30 MP camera for that price. I don't need the 45 MP of the R5. The R6, while a nice camera seems like a step backwards, but I will probably give in and buy an R6 anyway for the stabilization and focusing as finally make the plunge to step up from 5D IV's.
Canon have the R, which has an excellent 30MP sensor and is a lot cheaper. It can’t match the Sony in terms of burst speed or dynamic range, and it doesn’t have IBIS or twin card slots, but it’s a great camera to use. Canon have said that they won’t bring out a MKii version. Instead, I think they’ll bring out a pro-grade APS-C body with 30MP+ in RF within a few months.
 

tbgtomcom

Canon R5 & R6
Aug 24, 2021
23
37
Curious why a Canon site would report on Sony cameras. Is there not a Sony rumors site that already does this?
 
Hard choice... R6 or IV?!
:(...
I suppose, but really only for those who aren't invested in either mirrorless system or those like me who are invested in both. Currently since I have the A7III, A7RIV, and Canon R5 my upgrade path is R6 or A7IV as the A7III is missing a few things I would like it to have.
Most likely I will end up with the A7IV as the higher resolution sensor is something that I like and the electronic shutter is basically useless on either one for action shots. Need to go up to the stacked sensor before I would end up using the electronic shutter at the high frame rate and the R3 and A1 are out of my price range at the moment.
The video features on either are good enough on either for what I do but I currently do more video on Sony so this would be a good upgrade for the camera I use as a backup for stills and more often for video.
 

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jul 20, 2010
9,312
2,079
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
Curious why a Canon site would report on Sony cameras. Is there not a Sony rumors site that already does this?
I'm curious as to why anyone would take the time to write such a thing. You didn't need to read the press release, you didn't need to watch the video, you didn't need to enter the forum discussion. Yet here you are.
 

landon

EOS 90D
Jul 26, 2020
173
232
Strange release.
Sony photo shooters prefer the tilt screen. Hybrid shooters want 4k60 uncrop.
The sensor seems to be old, perhaps just slightly better than Canon's R. They just cram in the 4k60 crop mode, put it in the flippy body and hope it'll pass the smell test.