a7 IV Sony a7 IV Images and First Impressions

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Timothy Mayo

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With the a7 IV now being delivered in Europe I thought I'd create a thread where early owners can share their first photos and impressions.

My own a7 IV arrived today and fortunately the sun managed to shine long enough for me to grab a few shots of Frank. All shots are SOOC JPEGs taken with the 70-200 F2.8 GM II lens.

The animal eye tracking is a big improvement over the a7III which rarely locked onto the eyes when Frank was running. It now locks on from quite some distance already and tracks really well. That said, it still missed his eyes a few times, more so when the light dropped. The orange ball would also grab the focus sometimes. But I think dog shooters will be quite happy, although milage may vary depending on your dog!

I used a CFexpress Type A card and it cleared the buffer almost instantly, even after a burst of 10-20 shots. It's just a pity these cards are so expensive and only slot 1 supports them. If you aren't shooting a lot of continuous bursts then I'd definitely stick with the much cheaper UHS-II cards.

I think it's going to take me a while to get used to the new menus, but they seem to be pretty intuitive.

The buttons and grip are similar to my a7R IV, but a big improvement over the a7III body.

The flip out screen is useful and makes taking low vertical shots a lot easier. You can also rotate it to help protect the screen whilst it's in your bag.

So, just a quick first impressions really as I've only used it for about an hour so far. Hopefully if the weather plays nice I'll be able to test the eye af on some birds over the next few days.

Please ask if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them. I also created an a7 III vs a7 IV comparison over on the blog if you are interested in all the differences between these two cameras.

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Brownie

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Are the images crops or full size? If cropped, how much?

Can you give us a link to a RAW file for one?
 

DavidN

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Nice shots and nice dog. I’m jealous - just checked with my dealer and I’ve moved up from 71st to 32nd on the waiting list. They are awaiting their December allocation - hopefully, it’s at least 32.
looking forward to reading more as you use it a bit more + seeing some nice piccies, of course.
 
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TerryL

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Frank is beautiful! We have one too.
 

Reciprocum

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My very first impressions (as a previous 3y long M3 user/owner, and current A1 owner - M4 will be my 2nd/backup body).
1) M4 feels (I know it is not) lighter than the M3 due to its better/larger grip.
2) M4's EVF is halfway between the previous (obnoxious) M3 EVF and the excellent A1 EVF. (one of the main reasons for my M3->M4 upgrade)

3) A1's battery grip fits/works perfectly on the M4
21-11-30 15h57m33s #0001 M.jpg

4) M4 comes with the same mini power brick that M3 had, no external battery charger.
M4's brand new battery refused to be charged on A1's external battery charger, had to place it inside M4 and charge it with the power brick. Hope this is just a first charge incident as I need to be able to charge any of my 3 batteries in any of the available to me ways/methods (internal or external)
M4 power brick.JPG

5) M4's RAW files cannot currently be ingested/imported by CaptureOne latests version (v21) so will need to wait for release of v22 (due next week) to be able to post A1 vs M4 studio comparisons. But I can tell right now that the 33mpx SOOC M4 JPEGs look very good indeed.
 

Timothy Mayo

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Timothy Mayo

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Nice shots and nice dog. I’m jealous - just checked with my dealer and I’ve moved up from 71st to 32nd on the waiting list. They are awaiting their December allocation - hopefully, it’s at least 32.
looking forward to reading more as you use it a bit more + seeing some nice piccies, of course.
Thanks David. Hopefully it arrives before Christmas for you! Sometimes it's worth calling the smaller stores as well just to check what they have.
 
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Timothy Mayo

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M4's brand new battery refused to be charged on A1's external battery charger, had to place it inside M4 and charge it with the power brick. Hope this is just a first charge incident as I need to be able to charge any of my 3 batteries in any of the available to me ways/methods (internal or external)
Mine charged fine with an old charger but it did think about it for a couple of minutes before the green charging lights came on.
 

Brownie

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Thanks. I use Darktable. Will give one a shot tonight and report back.

I have to say, the colors in those jpegs are very pleasant.
 
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Reciprocum

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Tried to cheat my way into cloning my A1 customisations into the M4 by copying the A1 setting file from the A1 sub-folder to the M4 sub-folder (on the memory card where the setting are saved (via the [Setup - Save Settings] menu option).
The M4 does show both setting files but only accepts "Load"ing from the one it saved itself. I read-only edited both and the files have a header specifying wich model is their source/target.
So, no short-cuts, time to manually sync the beast's customisations...
Screenshot 2021-11-30 at 20.35.31.jpg
Screenshot 2021-11-30 at 20.36.04.jpg
 
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Jeff A

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Timothy, I'm pretty damned envious. B&H told me that mine won't ship until after January 8th. :cry:
 

Brownie

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Darktable won't open the files, they'll need to catch up like everyone else. However, much to my surprise Affinity Photo recognized the camera as the A7 IV and I was able to process the RAW files. Important to note that I just purchased Affinity a couple weeks ago, so if anyone has Affinity make sure to update before you try. They must be thinking ahead.

I was going to use Affinity for editing and keep using DT for processing, looks like I'll need a crash course in Affinity until DT adds the profile.
 
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Timothy Mayo

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The sun shone for just long enough this morning to try out the bird eye af. My first impression is that it works pretty well but it does need good light or you need to be reasonably close to your subject, especially for small birds. If it loses the eye it just jumps to the body. Although depth of field isn't too much of an issue at these distances anyway, even at f/6.3 with the 200-600 if the focus hits the body the eyes will be in focus with such small birds.

All shots are out of camera jpegs and have just been cropped to 3000px. Would really of liked a better shot of the woodpecker but he wasn't playing ball. Perhaps next time!

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Jeff A

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Very nice shots. It's pretty cool to see the bird in the last shot in focus and not the branch in front of him.
 

Timothy Mayo

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Very nice shots. It's pretty cool to see the bird in the last shot in focus and not the branch in front of him.
Thank you Jeff. The eye AF definitely helps when they are hidden behind branches like this, although it doesn't always nail it.
 

Timothy Mayo

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My M4 SOOC JPG contribution, dull day, no flash.
Lovely shots! Thanks for contributing Afonso! :) Looks like a wet week ahead for us, so a good chance to test its low light capabilities :)
 

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