A7IV gets a B- for wildlife

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Bman70 Regular Member • Posts: 170
A7IV gets a B- for wildlife
6

After thousands of wildlife and bird shots using my A7IV and 100-400GM, the overall grade I'd give it is B minus – not for serious professionals but a nice effort for hobbyists.

If you make money from wildlife photography or plan to, I would avoid it: The money you save over a more expensive model will easily be lost by the amount of one-chance amazing shots that are ruined for various reasons. The most common being out-of-focus shots where the green focus spot in the preview indicates that it was indeed focused on the eye or the animal, or the body of the animal. Despite this indicator showing it was in focus on the correct spot, many images – easily 50% – will be focused on something around the subject. Usually anything that has more brightness than the animal itself.

This seems to happen most with one-chance shots, where you need the camera to perform immediately and well. Sometimes, when the camera is in energy saving sleep mode, it refuses to focus at all upon waking up. The screen remains a blur until I can get it to break the trance and focus on anything at all, usually the ground. Then I point it back at the subject, which is typically gone by then.

Today I had a pair of animals fighting, an amazing and rare photographic opportunity and I was excited as I seemed to capture about half a dozen great shots. When I previewed them, however, the best ones were ruined with OOF. I ended up with two which weren't close to the best. In every case, the green square in the preview showed it had locked on correctly. The camera thinks the images are in focus on the subject. But it's pure mush, while the sunlit grass behind the subjects is in focus instead. I surmise the dark-furred animals in question were somehow passed up by the focusing system in favor of the brighter areas. Why the green focus spot still indicates correct subject focus I can't guess.

But when I looked at the non-focused mush, where I could see I had caught amazing poses, grass flying and claws out, mouths open and teeth bared, I realized that a professional could end up losing a career-making image to errors like this. And it's not worth it.

 Bman70's gear list:Bman70's gear list
Sony a7 Sony a6300 Sony a7 IV Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +5 more
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