A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

Started Dec 4, 2022 | Discussions
Jaw3000 New Member • Posts: 14
A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?
1

I’m looking to move from Canon to Sony, and am considering the A7 IV and the A7R IV, and am having trouble deciding between the two now that they are similarly priced. I’m mostly a travel/street/architecture photographer, with landscape and animals thrown in. More general purpose. I hardly ever do sports, portrait or studio work. I’ve seen sample images, and I’m absolutely in love with the resolution, sharpness, and detail of the R. The ability to crop to 30MP is also great. My concern is over AF reliability, low light, handholding, and noise on the RIV. I know the AF on the A7IV is better, has quite a bit more phase focus points, and rated for -4 (over -3). I’ve seen samples where the AF produces more soft focus and AF misses on the R. I do shoot a lot indoors, in low-light, and at night, so this concerns me. It’s hard to quantify how much better the AF is on the A7IV, or whether this would be a problem on the R? The A7IV has a larger ISO range too, although I can’t imagine using most of that in practice. Likewise, noise seems worse on the R at lower ISO levels (and it the camera has lower maximum ISO levels). How bad is the R and the AF for soft photos, lowlight, indoor, and night photography in actual practice? Also, I assume the larger sensor is more likely to show flaws, such shake from handholding? Is the R a bad street/city and general purpose camera, or is it made more for bright landscape conditions on tripods?

I’m really unconcerned about video, as I’m mainly concerned with photography. The new stabilization and 10-bit video features on the A7IV are nice to have. The new menus, lossless RAW, HEIC, CFExpressA, Bird Tracking, and swivel screen would be nice to have. However, the 60MP of the R seems to help future proof the photos being taken, and the EVF and LCD resolutions are better. Obviously the new RV eliminates most of the disadvantages of the RIV. Also, coming from Canon where I have tilt/swivel screens for over ten+ years, why does there seem to be dislike for the new tilt-swivel mechanism on the new Sony’s? I find them great on my Canon. Also, can you really not cover the display (face inwards) on the tilt-screen RIV to protect it? That seems like a bad design, and is a big selling point too of the swivel.

For photography first, which is the better camera in 2022, and is the RIV a good general purpose/street camera, or does it struggle with handholding, AF, and low-light enough to warrant going with the A7IV?

Sony a7 Sony a7 IV Sony a7R Sony a7R IVA
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ARB1
ARB1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,876
Re: A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

We seem to be looking for a similar camera since I've had some of the same questions and shoot much as you do.  I'm coming from an a7RII and have also been looking at the a7IV and the  A7rV or a7rIV.  I really like the LCD on the RV but I thought it flipped inward, but perhaps I'm mistaken.

I'll follow this thread and look forward to the responses you receive from those who will have better insight than I do.

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Allen
___________
The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure. - Tibetan Proverb

 ARB1's gear list:ARB1's gear list
Sony a7R V Sony FE 28mm F2 Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG GN Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G +1 more
OP Jaw3000 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

The newer cameras - the A7IV and RV - have the swivel/tilt screen that will fold inwards and cover the LCD (like the Canons). The older models (A7R IV) have the tilt-only screen where the LCD is always exposed on the back.

I've seen some fantastic photos off of the A7R IV/V sensor, and the V fixes some of the AF shortcomings in the IV, although at the moment I'm more in the price range of the RIV or IV. I'm really curious to hear about real world usage of the RIV as a street camera, and under low-light and indoor conditions. Specifically, how bad is the AF falloff, noise, and ISO?

OP Jaw3000 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

I’ve seen statements like “Getting sharp 60mp images is much more difficult than getting sharp 24/30mp images” and “technique is more important” thrown around regarding the R - I’m curious about this, especially as a handheld street camera and in real-world usage. If you have a fast enough shutter, then I don’t really understand why the 60mp sensor should be any real difference? Other than if the IV/V sensor has issues with being slow (I’m not talking bursts). If you have to always shoot fast shutter to avoid sharpness issues, then you have to raise the ISO in less than perfect light (especially in low light), which is already has a lower range and is noisier on the R. Obviously, being able to pixel-peep farther at 60mp could expose inconsistencies and softness that might not be as visible at 24/30mp, but that doesn’t mean they are not present. Is this an issue with the R IV/V? What am I missing? I'm trying to determine if these are real issues with the R IV?

JayJee Regular Member • Posts: 338
Re: A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

Jaw3000 wrote:

I’ve seen statements like “Getting sharp 60mp images is much more difficult than getting sharp 24/30mp images” and “technique is more important” thrown around regarding the R - I’m curious about this, especially as a handheld street camera and in real-world usage. If you have a fast enough shutter, then I don’t really understand why the 60mp sensor should be any real difference? Other than if the IV/V sensor has issues with being slow (I’m not talking bursts). If you have to always shoot fast shutter to avoid sharpness issues, then you have to raise the ISO in less than perfect light (especially in low light), which is already has a lower range and is noisier on the R. Obviously, being able to pixel-peep farther at 60mp could expose inconsistencies and softness that might not be as visible at 24/30mp, but that doesn’t mean they are not present. Is this an issue with the R IV/V? What am I missing? I'm trying to determine if these are real issues with the R IV?

Owner of all three cameras here. The A7IV is a better all-rounder than the A7RIV, and newer, but that 60MP crop is amazing.

I also just received my A7RV and have posted a bit about it. This one may be interesting to you: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66674907

 JayJee's gear list:JayJee's gear list
Sony a7R IVA Sony a7R V Canon EOS R6 Mark II Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II Sony a6600 +35 more
AshleyMC Senior Member • Posts: 2,952
Re: A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

general purpose / low light / street photography

a7 III (or a7 IV if you want the latest model)

a7C

i think either of the two above will do

Lan Veteran Member • Posts: 4,777
Re: A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

Jaw3000 wrote:

I’ve seen statements like “Getting sharp 60mp images is much more difficult than getting sharp 24/30mp images” and “technique is more important” thrown around regarding the R - I’m curious about this, especially as a handheld street camera and in real-world usage. If you have a fast enough shutter, then I don’t really understand why the 60mp sensor should be any real difference? Other than if the IV/V sensor has issues with being slow (I’m not talking bursts). If you have to always shoot fast shutter to avoid sharpness issues, then you have to raise the ISO in less than perfect light (especially in low light), which is already has a lower range and is noisier on the R. Obviously, being able to pixel-peep farther at 60mp could expose inconsistencies and softness that might not be as visible at 24/30mp, but that doesn’t mean they are not present. Is this an issue with the R IV/V? What am I missing? I'm trying to determine if these are real issues with the R IV?

A number of users of the A7RIV reported soft images, but most of them were applying the same techniques (and shutter speeds) that they'd been using with far lower MP cameras. AF settings also appeared to play a part in the issue. Most were shaken on close examination.

I didn't have any issues going from A7R2 to A7R4.

I think the AF on the A7R4 is excellent; but my A7R2 is the only frame of reference I have, and AF on the A7R2 was sub-par.

I wouldn't hesitate to use the A7R4 for street and general purpose photography. I believe the A7IV's AF is better, but I haven't used it (or any of the more recent cameras), so I don't have any comparison to offer with those.

Between Halong Bay and Hanoi; Vietnam. Taken from a slow moving vehicle.

Between Halong Bay and Hanoi. Taken from a fast moving vehicle.

Between Halong Bay and Hanoi. Taken from a fast moving vehicle.

Hope you like the pics!

ARB1
ARB1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,876
Re: A7RIV vs A7IV suitability for general purpose, lowlight, and street photography?

Jaw3000 wrote:

The newer cameras - the A7IV and RV - have the swivel/tilt screen that will fold inwards and cover the LCD (like the Canons). The older models (A7R IV) have the tilt-only screen where the LCD is always exposed on the back.

I almost never use my LCD unless shooting stealth street or shooting very low or from above so being able to tuck away the screen is a nice feature for me, and that RV LCD is pretty darn slick.  The RV may finally drive me to upgrade from my R2, it seems like a camera that could cure my GAS for some time to come.

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Allen
___________
The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure. - Tibetan Proverb

 ARB1's gear list:ARB1's gear list
Sony a7R V Sony FE 28mm F2 Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG GN Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G +1 more
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