Update on A7R IV thoughts - PSA!

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MinAZ Veteran Member • Posts: 4,802
Update on A7R IV thoughts - PSA!

I feel that it is important for me to say this, and it quite saddens me to do so. As you probably know, I wrote a pretty favorable mini-review on the A7R IV, but that was before editing about 5 folders of images. Before I dive into it, here is the setup:

Over three days, I shot over 5000 photos, the vast majority with the A7R IV but with the A7 III and A7R III on hand as backup. This was under a wide variety of situations:

- outdoors flat light

- outdoors harsh midday sun

- indoors continuous light studio

- indoors mixed light studio

- night

- sunset, sunrise

And with the following lenses:

-135mm GM

- 24-70mm GM

- 35mm f1.4

- 24mm GM

In all cases and at all ISOs, shutter speeds, stopped down or wide open, I have to report that the Sony A7R IV autofocus slightly missed. Not so much that it was obvious until I opened the files to edit. Once I went in to 100% crop, it was obvious. I'm not talking about it missing occasionally, I'm saying it missed more often than it hit. The pictures look sharp at screen resolution but if you go in, it missed. Now I can understand that the AF might miss occasionally or if you are shooting at razor thin DOF at f1.4, but I am saying it missed at f/5.6 in bright light, it missed over all the days in all the situations. By contrast, the A7III and A7RIII using the same lenses and same setting did NOT miss. This concurs with the report from Tony Northrup regarding AF issues in his A7RIV. Now it is possible that I had a bad copy, but this is pretty darn close to the release date to be having such issues IMO. Also, perhaps it was a setting or technique issue, but I'm at a loss to what it could be. If it were a single shoot in a single instance, that would be more likely. Under the wide variety of conditions and especially considering that the A7RIII did not have the same issues. One potential factor is motion blur, but again, this issue persisted with a tripod and with fast shutter, and also more obviously, there are parts of the image in focus (just not the eyes).

I wonder if the shipped copies of the A7RIV will have the same problems. I sincerely hope not - as it is I can only say the camera is not ready for prime time.

Also, it does seem there is some issue with the RAW and JPEGs coming out of the camera. There is a muddiness to the images that look like noise although honestly it's really hard to tell when the camera is missing focus in the first place and also admittedly the processing engine with LR is in beta. Had I had the fully implemented RAW converter and a tack sharp image, I'd be able to judge better.

Sony a7 III Sony a7R Sony a7R III
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