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Sony a7R IV Underwater Camera Review by Backscatter: “hands-down best stills image quality”


Backscatter tested the underwater performance of the Sony A7rIV and concluded:

The Sony a7R IV is a massive leap forward in image quality. With 61MP of resolution, it will produce big prints with tons of sharp detail like no other camera before it. Cropping a vertical from a horizontal is not a problem and will still yield more resolution than most other cameras at full frame. The color of the still images look great right out of the camera, and the dynamic range is among the best of any camera. With both image quality and resolution, you can have your cake and eat it too.

10 frames per second continuous shooting with this much resolution is crazy good performance. 10 FPS used to be reserved for sports cameras with much lower resolution, but now this camera can push those boundaries and shoot fast action. This being said, it is a little clunky to shoot fast and review, requiring extra taps of the playback and shutter buttons to switch back and forth from shooting to image review, but this is something common to all mirrorless cameras. In this area a SLR is still king.

The Real-time Tracking AF is a major leap forward in autofocus for Sony. It can now compete with the likes of the Nikon D850 for that top autofocus performance slot. In our testing however the macro autofocus capabilities of the Nikon D850 still outperform the Sony a7R IV, but you can get closer with the Sony a7R IV than ever before to the Nikon macro performance if a Canon macro lens with an adapter is used.

We wish Sony would develop a proper fisheye lens and a better performing macro lens, but thankfully there is a good solution with using an adapter for some Canon glass, even if it adds a little bulk and isn’t as streamlined as native glass.

For video shooters, whether this camera fits their needs will depend on the type of shooting they do. It’s disappointing to not see any 4K/60p from Sony yet. Canon and Panasonic both have full-frame cameras now that are shooting over 4K resolution at 60p. That coupled with the rather shallow limitations of the custom white balance, make this camera a choice for more casual video shooters whose real main interest is photo.

If you’re looking for the hands-down best stills image quality and biggest resolution, there is no other place to look than the Sony a7R IV.

Sony A7rIV links:
Sony A7rIV in USA/CA at BHphoto, Adorama, FocusCamera, Amazon, BuyDig, Henrys.
Sony A7rIV in EU at Calumet DE, ParkUK, WexUK, Calumet NL.
Sony A7rIV in Asia at Sony Japan. Sony Australia.

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