The 2019 A7R IV ushered in impressive resolution, super responsive autofocus and a sturdier, chunkier body. So where do you go with a camera that is already at the pinnicle of it’s class? Well, the A7R V has been upgraded in several core areas to help it overcome challenging situations. and to keep it competitive against the other camera brands.
The newly developed AI processing unit better tracks fleeting subjects like vehicles and even tiny insects. The reimagined back screen tilts, twists and flips for greater angle flexibility. And the redesigned sensor stabilisation unit counters 8 stops of camera shake. But how do all the new specs and features stack up in the field?
For this month-long review, I put the A7R V through its paces across Victoria. To withstand the gusty sand dunes of Wilsons Promontory. To capture curious wallabies on Phillip Island. And to test the handheld stabilisation amongst the Otways forest.
Overall, the A7R V body is a subtle evolution over the previous generation. However, there are a few minor differences—and one major one. The position of the buttons and dials remain largely unchanged. While the video record button has now moved to the top plate.
The A7R V has had a few connectivity upgrades too. It now sports a full-sized (not micro) HDMI port, while USB-C transfer speeds have doubled to 10Gbps. Plus, Wi-Fi now supports 2×2 MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) to improve wireless tethering.
The major body change comes in the form of the new fully articulating 4-axis back screen. It now tilts, twists and flips out to the side for greater viewability when shooting high, low or vlogging in front of the camera. I found this screen versatility particularly helpful as I crouched down low to photograph wallabies through the grass.
The EVF isn’t overlooked either. The 9.44 million-dot OLED viewfinder offers 0.90x viewfinder magnification — that’s up from 5.76 million-dot and 0.78x magnification on the A7R IV.
For the menu system, Sony has rearranged options as vertical tabs with sub-categories and sub-menus. It’s not perfect, but it is a solid useability improvement to jump around setting areas on the fly.
On a final note on the body, let’s look back to the original A7R that launched in 2013. The first A7R heralded a new era of full-frame resolution and portability. The body was just 48mm deep and weighed only 465 grams. Four generations later, the A7R V has been bulked up to 82mm and 723 grams. That makes the A7R V thicker than the Canon 5D Mark IV—a full-frame DSLR that was 76mm deep. (While even the A7R IV was a more modest 665 grams.)
That incremental bulk each generation has ushered in many worthwhile perks. Such as the more comfortable grip, sturdier weather sealing, improved connectivity—and the redesigned back screen. Worthwhile tradeoffs? I’d say so. But today’s pro mirrorless bodies aren’t the svelte units they once were.
The new AI processing unit powers improved subject recognition accuracy and expanded subject recognition options. While the number of phase detection points has shot up from 567 to 693.
In addition to humans, animals and birds, the A7R V now recognises insects, cars, trains and aeroplanes. Plus, heads and bodies are now recognised in addition to eyes for the human, animal, and bird settings.
To test the improved animal FOCUS, I hiked out to Cape Woolamai on Victoria’s Phillip Island.
It was early evening as curious wallabies darted around the track and skitted off into the brush. Looking through the EVF, a green box locked on over the wallaby’s face, helping to track the creatures through shrubs and grasses.
The 61MP resolution—introduced in the previous generation—worked a charm too. I only had a 70-200mm lens and couldn’t get closer than about 20m away. But thanks to the reliable focusing, I could still crop in and retain sharp detail at a printable resolution.
Another helpful feature is the new FOCUS bracket drive mode. If you need to FOCUS on near and far subjects—and a narrow aperture won’t work—the a7R V will automatically shoot a series of images as it shifts FOCUS points through the frame. Focusing bracketing has already been available on Nikon and Canon bodies. So it’s a welcome addition on this landscape-focused Sony.
The A7R V retains the same 61MP sensor as its predecessor. While the improved Bionz XR processor enables complex AI algorithms to improve FOCUS, exposure and white balance. Despite the extra processing power, burst speeds remain largely unchanged from the previous generation.
By far, the most noticeable jump in image quality will come through the updated image stabilisation unit. The new body provides 8 steps of stabilisation to detect and correct camera shake.
The stabilisation worked a treat as I took handheld shots amongst the tree canopies on the Otway Fly walk. There were plenty of people vibrating the elevated walkway and there wasn’t time or space to set up my tripod.
Instead, I bumped up my ISO to 400, used shutter speeds of around 1/40 seconds and regularly captured crisp shots handheld at 200mm. To see how far I could push the stabilisation, I tried one 188mm scene at 1/13 seconds where I got a mix of useable and blurry frames.
If you need to do exposure or FOCUS blends, a tripod is still your best bet for perfectly aligned frames. But the new stabilisation is brilliant for handheld shots on the go.
And if those 61MP RAW files are a bit too much to handle?
The A7R V can now shoot Medium or Small RAW files too. These are 26MP and 15MP downsampled versions of the full frame—which have more detail than images shot with 26MP or 15MP sensors.
Powered by the Bionz XR processor, the A7R V can (at 1.24x crop) shoot 8K video at 24p and 4K video at 60p. (The A7R IV was limited to 4K video at 30p—despite sharing the same 9504×6336 sensor.)
The A7R V now supports 10-bit 4:2:2 video—a welcome improvement on the A7R IV’s 8-bit 4:2:0. While Active SteadyShot offers electronic stabilisation by cropping in to use a changing region of the sensor.
On the hardware side, there’s a new dedicated dial beneath the main mode dial making it easy to switch between stills and video. On the front of the camera the new visible light and IR sensor helps with auto white balance performance.
So what should we make of the next generation in the A7R line? On the surface, you can take identical photos on the A7R IV and the A7R V. If you tend to shoot still studio scenes or take steady landscape shots on a tripod, save yourself the money and choose the A7R IV. But the key word here is can. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will.
Sony A7R V vs Sony A7 IV Camera Test
Because the A7R V does a much better job of tackling more challenging scenarios, if you’re on the move and need to overcome environmental uncertainties—like heavy winds, fleeting subjects, low-light and slow shutters—the A7R V will handle those tougher situations for you.
At 5,899 AUD, the Sony A7R V is a pricey piece of gear. It will take care of (almost) everything for you—so you can FOCUS on capturing the decisive moment with ease. And sometimes, having that confidence behind you is worth every single cent.
Handling 1/2 A solid camera body all around. The newly redesigned flip-out screen is sturdy and versatile.
Features: From FOCUS bracketing to ultra-high resolution pixel shift multi shooting, features are aplenty.
Autofocus: The A7R V sports improved and expanded subject recognition. And more phase detection points.
Image Quality: 1/2 High dynamic range and a still-impressive 61MP. Only docking half a star as it remains largely unchanged over the previous gen.
Value for Money: At 5899 AUD, this is a pricey piece of gear. But it packs plenty of practical features too.
The A7R V has been upgraded in several core areas to help it overcome challenging situations. If you’re coming from an A7R III or earlier, you’ll find the A7R V a (very) solid upgrade.
Sony A7R V vs A7 IV – The 10 Main Differences
Over a year ago, Sony introduced the Sony Alpha a7 IV, a 33MP impressive camera marketed to pros and enthusiasts. Fast forward a year, and now photographers and cinematographers have a newly implemented 61MP Sony a7R V camera to consider.
In this Sony a7 IV vs Sony a7R V comparison preview, we dive deep into the main differences you’ll find when comparing these two bodies. By the end of this guide, you should clearly understand which camera is right for you based on the type of photos or videos you capture. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
Ethics statement: the following is based on official specs for the A7R V, and our personal experience with the A7 IV. We were not asked to write anything about this product, nor were we provided any compensation of any kind. Within the article, there are affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking one of these links, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!
While the sensor size is identical on the two cameras (35mm format, or full frame), the a7R V features a jaw dropping 61MP sensor, almost double the resolution found in the a7 IV (33MP).
Both sensors are built around a back-side illuminated structure. The R model lacks the low pass filter to maximise sharpness, whereas we believe the A7 IV has a weak AA filter after making side by side tests with other cameras.
Where the A7 IV gains something is with the ISO sensitivity: the 33MP camera has a range of 100 to 51,200 (normal), which can extend to ISO 50 and ISO 204,800.
The A7R V is not far off: ISO 100-32,000, or ISO 50-102,400 with the extended values.
The image processor is often overlooked, but it plays a much more important role that we like to believe. This is certainly the case with the Sony a7R V, where Sony pushes the concept further.
For starters, it’s refreshing to see a camera brand bringing new technology into the market in the form of an AI processing unit on the a7R V. This fancy bit of technology talks between the 61MP sensor and BIONZ XR processing engine and enhances features through algorithms, resulting in the highest possible image quality and improved auto white balance accuracy (combined with a visible/IR sensor on the front of the camera).
When looking at the Sony a7 IV, the only similarity is with the BIONZ XR processing engine. Apart from that, there’s a big divide as the a7R V includes other stand-out features the AI processing unit dominates over the Sony a7 IV, including the advanced subject autofocus recognition that we will describe in the next chapter.
The Sony a7 IV has always been an impressive camera when utilising autofocus on various subjects. Driven by 759 Phase-Detection Focal Plane Autofocus points, the camera locks FOCUS precisely without hunting. When comparing it against the newer model, which includes 693 Phase-Detection points, you might think the a7 IV outperforms. However, this isn’t the case.
Even though there are fewer Phase-Detection autofocus points, the AI processing unit on the a7R V accounts for much more.
If you photograph people or wildlife, you should be comfortable using the subject recognition target modes on Sony Alpha cameras. The Sony a7 IV will allow you to track Humans, Animals and Birds well, as shown on this website with various tests and reviews; however, there is a drastic improvement regarding the same setting on the Sony a7R V. The AI processing unit assists the FOCUS system through intelligent algorithms to predict body poses and cleverly track the eye, head and body.
To put this into perspective, Sony’s a7R V AI tech improves the FOCUS tracking of Humans by 60% and Animals / Birds by 40% compared to the a7 IV.
This same algorithm can also track other subjects as well. For instance, using the head and body tracking combination, insects, are easily identifiable. In addition to insects, the A7R V will track Cars, Trains and Aeroplanes.
Sony has also introduced additional settings to control the behaviour of the subject detection mode. You can combine animals and birds into one setting, which is handy for wildlife photographers.
Face, Head, Eyes, Body (with pose estimation)
Macro photographers will be pleased to know they can now bracket up to 299 images, sequentially shifting your point while capturing, using the a7R V. The images cannot be composited in camera, but on your computer via the Sony Imaging Edge software.
Finally, the low light rating is the same for both cameras: EV.4.0 at an equivalent ISO 100 and F2 aperture.
You’ll find a vast stabilisation improvement on the Sony a7R V. Now, with a better 5-axis in-body optical image stabilisation system, photographers gain 8-steps of compensation. Compared to the a7 IV’s 5.5-steps, this is hopefully the major leap Sony users have been waiting (Sony’s stabilisation has been the weakest part of the system so far).
The newer system works via a high-performance gyro sensor which can utilise the AI processing unit’s algorithm to detect and compensate for the blur on a single pixel level!
If you plan on using the a7R V for video, you’ll find slight stabilisation enhancements on the new model.
The Active mode is available on both cameras (unless if you are shooting 8K with the R model), but the A7R V has a newly released stabilisation algorithm that works with select OSS lenses to gain better stabilised footage. These lenses include 24-105mm F4, 70-200mm GM, 100-400mm GM, and 200-600mm G, although to unlock this feature, you will need to update the lens software.
We must not forget that the 5-axis sensor shift inside the a7R V can be used for another function: the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, that can output the same 61MP files with enhanced colour resolution (4 frames) or an impressive 240MP output (combining 16 frames).
Sony A7R V vs Sony A7 IV. Image Quality Testing
The major improvement is that small movements can be corrected when the files are processed with the latest version of Sony’s Imaging Edge software (you cannot do this in camera unfortunately). This will also be available for the Sony A1 files.
Differences and Similarities In Movie Output
The two Sony models are similar in recording video using the processing engine when put side by side. However, there are drastic differences when it comes to resolution.
The main difference is in the a7R V, which is capable of recording 8K at 24p or 25p (with a 1.24x crop). This impressive quality can be maintained internally within the camera at 10-bit 4:2:0 for half an hour. To achieve this long duration, Sony’s solution has been to include the same heat disspitation structure found in the A7S III and A7 IV.
In comparison, the highest output the Sony a7 IV provides is the matched spec of the a7R V at 4K 60p. However, the a7 IV can record this with the Super35 mode only (aka 1.5x APS-C crop), whereas the a7R V does a bit better with a 1.24x crop again.
Speaking of the Super35 mode, the higher resolution of the Sony a7R V sensor allows the camera to record 4K up to 30p with 6.2K oversampling without pixel binning.
If you want to work in full frame mode (meaning without sensor crop), it is the a7 IV that offers an advantage: it can record 4K up to 30p by oversampling from a 7K region, whereas the a7R V does the same 4K/30p with the line-skipping method, which means you won’t get the same sharp results, and possibly some aliasing / moiré to deal with.
Internally, both cameras can record S-Log3 and S-Cinetone, and they use the same codecs including 10-bit 4:2:2 and ALL-Intra compression, but the a7R V also adopts a more high-end workflow with 16Bit RAW Output via the HDMI port.
There is a lot take in here, so hopefully the table below will help you recap all the important specs.
10-bit 4:2:210-bit 4:2:08-bit 4:2:0
10-bit 4:2:210-bit 4:2:08-bit 4:2:0
Oversampling(4K 30p and 60p)
Native pixels (8K)Oversampling(4K 60p)Oversampling(4K 30p Super35)Line Skipping(4K 30p full frame)
Some similarities of both cameras are the inclusion of AF Assist, Focus Map, Breathing Compensation and a Flexible Exposure Mode. These helpful modes make it easy for cinematographers and assistants to gain FOCUS with visual aids, and control the exposure.
Another inclusion is the Anti-flicker mode. It’s good to see manufacturers like Sony move this feature to additional models. With Anti-flickering shooting and the Variable Shutter, active creatives can manually adjust the shutter speed in small increments to reduce or remove the banding from LEDs, screens and displays.
LCD and EVF Improvements
The Sony a7 IV features a 1.04M dot 3″ LCD, whereas the newer camera showcases a more detailed 2.1M dot 3.2″ LCD screen.
Regarding the screen movement, the Sony a7R V’s LCD has a multi-angle slide-to-open functionality. When operating, the same tiltable option is still found on the Sony a7 IV, but with limits to a vari-angle monitor. The 4-axis multi-angle LCD found on the a7R V allows users greater flexibility when composing.
Sharing the same viewfinder as the a1, the Sony a7R V has a in-built 9.44 million-dot QXGA Electronic View Finder. With this 0.64-type EVF, users obtain a 0.90x magnification with a maximum of 240fps and a 25mm eye-point. In comparison, the Sony a7 IV features a smaller 3.68 million-dot EVF with a lower magnfication and slower refresh rate.
Max. Frame Rate
In terms of operation, on the surface, most of the functionality is the same between the two cameras. The design is the same, the dimensions are praxctically the same and all the physical controls (buttons, dials, joystick) are equal. They both offer dust and moisture resistance.
- a7R V: 131.3 x 96.9 x 82.4 mm, 723g
- a7 IV: 131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8 mm, 658g
The only thing to note is the new Main section on the Sony a7R V menu, which is basically a shooting setting list that can be accessed quickly. This addition (coming from the FX3/FX30 cinema line) minimises the menu experience to a matter of seconds, allowing users to find a setting intuitively through larger touchscreen buttons.
While on the subject of operation, it’s worth mentioning a stand-out feature on the Sony a7R V – the new anti-dust system that starts 70,000 cycles per second to effectively remove dust and particles from the imaging sensor.
Storage and Buffer
Adding to the prowess of the new Sony a7R V are two additional CFexpress memory card slots (the a7 IV has one). This type of memory, along with the 2x UHS-II SD slots found on both cameras, can handle most of the video recording formats, but they give a significant advantage when it comes to buffer.
Both models can shoot at 10fps. Thanks to the lower resolution of the sensor, the A7 IV will need a moment only when reaching 1,000 compressed RAW or JPGs.
On the other hand, the a7R V can store 1,000 JPEGs or 583 Compressed RAW files before needing a break.
Note that if you shoot with Lossless Compressed RAW, the speed drops on both cameras.
Connectivity and Workflow
There’s a new way to connect to devices! This is a great addition for many photographers working out in the field, on location or off the beaten track.
The Sony a7R V can transfer at double the speed of the Sony a7 IV through the 2×2 MIMO (often referred to as 2T2R). The way 2×2 MIMO works is by transferring data via two dedicated antennas, which establish up to two streams of data with the receiving device, hence why it is twice as fast.
Other type of connections are the same on the two cameras and include:
- USB-C with 10Gbps of speed
- Wired LAN via (USB C adapter)
- USB Tethering with compatible Xperia smartphones
- Plug-and-play webcam mode (no extra plugins required)
- 5GHz Wi-Fi and 2.4GHz Bluetooth
The a7R V was launched with the retail price of 3900, £4000 or €4500 (body only).
The a7 IV is less expensive and can be found for 2500, £2400 or €2800 for the body only once again.
Other Sony A7R V ComparisonsA7R IV vs A7R V
There are many smaller differences between these two cameras, but you’ll find these won’t impact your shooting experience as much as the major differences outlined here. Both the Sony a7 IV and Sony a7R V are great, but they should be treated as unique tools for different jobs.
The Sony a7 IV is well-versed as a good contender as your next camera if you’re looking for something that can give you a bit of everything at a more affordable price. You get great image quality, plenty of settings for video and an excellent autofocus system that can deliver in a variety of genres, from portrait and weddings, to sports and wildlife.
On the flip side, if resolution is your main priority, don’t look past the Sony a7R V. Along with the improvements in autofocus (that will certainly please portrait and wildlife shooters), wedding, commercial, and landscape photographers will all fall in love with the impressive specification lineup that Sony will no doubt pour into future models.
And speaking of future models, we’re all curious here to see if the new tech will make its way in the A1 and A9 series. The combination of next gen AI processing and ultimate speed and performance should be one not to miss!
Check price of the Sony A7R V onBH Photo
Check price of the Sony A7 IV onAmazon | Amazon UK | BH Photo | eBay
About the authorLeigh Diprose is a business owner and full-time writer in the imaging industry. His knowledge of photography, cameras, lenses, lighting, audio, film, printing, cinematography, and accessories has amassed over a 20-year career. Published work and contributions can be seen across the internet, including notable brands including, PetaPixel, Fujifilm, ShotKit, Adorama, Canon, Arcatech, Videvo, SmallRig, ATLI, Light Stalking, Lucky Camera Straps, and many imaging manufacturers and leading retailers in over 14 countries.
Sony a7r V — Am I Upgrading?
If you have been following my site for a while, you know I am a Sony photographer. I own numerous Sony cameras, including the a7 IV, A1, and a7R IV. In addition, I have a large collection of Sony lenses that I count on to deliver the images that I want.
I’ll be sharing in an upcoming article why I consider the Sony a1 the finest digital camera I have owned. It’s really an amazing camera and has allowed me to take some amazing images. But today, I will let you know what I think of the newly released Sony a7R V.
Much of my work over the last few years has focused on landscapes from around the world. The a7R III and now the a7R IV have been my go-to cameras for this kind of work.
Recently, Sony announced the successor to the a7R IV and as a result, it kind of put me in a pickle. I am one of the first to run out and buy the newest camera and other technologies. Most of the time, I don’t even think twice about it — I just call Phil at Roberts Camera and tell him to put me on the list.
I don’t know if it is because I am becoming older or wiser, but for the first time in a long time, I didn’t pick the phone up and make that call when the a7R V was announced. It’s not because the a7R V isn’t attractive with some of its new features. It’s because those new features weren’t compelling enough to me for the kind of photography I do.
Before I go on, I have to say that I am noticing that camera companies don’t seem to be talking to photographers these days as much as they are talking to videographers. While I do a little bit of video work, I leave most of that to Michael Durr, PhotoPXL’s video producer. I am a still photographer or just a photographer. It seems to me that camera companies have forgotten that. Just about all specs highlight video capabilities as the big thing. These kinds of cameras, in my opinion, are about taking pictures. If I want to shoot video, I’ll buy a video camera (and Sony makes quite a few nice video cameras).
I don’t care about video specs. I know for a fact that many of the photographers that attend my workshops don’t care about these specs either. All of us care about photography specs and whether the camera can work well for the kind of photography that we do.
I’ll say that the new Sony a7R V is impressive with its AI FOCUS tracking and predictive focusing, but that really doesn’t matter for the kind of photography I do, or many of the photographers I know. That doesn’t mean it might not be a good choice for you, though. It is that I am doing just fine with the Sony a7R IV that I presently have.
For nearly half the photos I take, I use a tripod to photograph landscapes. I have time to select and move the AF point to where I want to FOCUS and then wait for the right light before making my exposure. Nothing is moving except the leaves in a gentle breeze, clouds moving across the sky, or a crashing surf.
For the most part, I am not tracking a subject. And, if I let the Sony a7R IV track the subject, I shoot just fine and nearly 100% reliably. When I take the camera off the tripod, I usually set the camera to manual and select the shutter speed that will work well for what I’m shooting as well as the f-stop. I put the ISO to auto and take my pictures.
Between the great capability of the a7R IV for high ISO performance, as well as its excellent image stabilization, I manage to take some excellent images. I can’t think of one instance where I needed faster Auto-Focus than the camera has today or where even predictive subject tracking would play a role in my photography. The human and animal AF for the camera works great. Do I really need a car, train, or airplane detection?
I have been bouncing around in a Zodiac shooting walruses, polar bears, and birds, as well as glaciers and icebergs using the system I shared above and the AF, hits the spot where I place the AF point. Using continuous AF tracking, I manage to hold the FOCUS and get my shots.
All the new features of the a7R V sound incredible and I am sure depending on the photography you do, it could be a step up from the a7R V but not by much. The a7R IV is already such a good camera that you need to make a really good argument to convince me to upgrade. Feel free to put your Комментарии и мнения владельцев in the forum if you have a compelling argument.
Now, if Sony would have announced all the specs of the a7R V and changed the sensor from 61mp to say 90mp or more, then I would have been in line right away. Not that I need more megapixels, as I am making great 30×40 and larger prints from the a7R IV files. Most of my prints are usually no larger than 17×22. But, who wouldn’t want a few more megapixels?
I think we have reached a point in technologies across the board where making an upgrade to a new product each time one is announced, is no longer as appealing as it was five years ago. For example, Apple just released a new series of iPads. I am working on the previous version of iPads and they’re already really fast and handle just about anything I can throw at them. Many of my computers are the same way. The differences in performance aren’t that great for me to purchase a new device when new models come out.
Actually, there is a point where it’s hard to even see performance differences. And, I am not sure we will really see or need many of the things that upgraded cameras or machines can deliver when what we are using today is already pretty damn good.
There isn’t one camera maker out there that isn’t making great cameras these days. It doesn’t matter whether I shoot with a Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Leica, or any other camera. They are all really good and do a pretty good job of delivering excellent performance and specs. We may never even use many of these specs. Also, I have never had anyone who has purchased any of my images ask me what I shot it with. Enjoy the camera you have and just take pictures. Not one new feature from the spec list will make you a better photographer. Only you can do that.
The bottom line is, does the camera you have today work for you, and does it deliver the kind of images you want? For me, the a7R IV and the a1 deliver great files and allow me to make great prints. I am blown away by the way each of them performs and am quite happy when I see the images loaded on my computer.
The next challenge for me is to decide if I should upgrade the Fuji cameras that I have. I use the Fuji APS-C cameras for a lot of my work. Presently, I have an X-H1 and an X-T4. These two cameras have performed quite well and I love them. From what I can tell, I may be more likely to upgrade these two cameras to an X-H2 and X-T5, than I am to upgrade to the a7R V. Fuji seems to have tailored these cameras to photographers. I’ll let you know in the near future which direction I take.
Yes, I suffer badly from GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). I have done a lot to curb that addiction and I really think for me and my photography, I am making the right choice to stick with what I presently have. Maybe the Sony a7R VI will be more appealing to my needs.
I will say this though. If you are shooting with any Sony camera other than the a7R IV, then an upgrade to the a7R V would be something you should consider. For its price of US3498, the value is there and frankly, the price is pretty reasonable. You could go to UsedPhotoPro and trade in a few old cameras and then turn around and have the credit applied to a new camera at Roberts and walk away with a pretty good deal.
The Final Word
Sony, Canon, and Nikon are producing some great cameras and you will have to decide — no matter what brand you work with — to upgrade sooner or later. In my case, this time around I have chosen to upgrade later. I think I have chosen wisely, which is quite an accomplishment since I have seemed to curb my impulse to purchase at the drop of every new camera announcement.
Maybe I am getting smarter in my old age, or maybe it is that camera companies aren’t delivering as compelling a reason for me as a photographer to make the jump to the next model.
I have no remorse about this decision and maybe I’ll just have to go out and buy a new lens, just so I can say I bought something. Maybe it is time for you to consider purchasing a new printer and start to make some prints of the files you have worked so hard to produce.
Thanks, Sony, for making such good cameras that I can sit this round of upgrades out. I anxiously await the a7R VI. I can only imagine what that camera will be like. Let the rumors begin.
If you are interested in reading a review and watching a video, I highly recommend my friend, Gordon Laing — check out his website. Also, check out my friends Chris and Jordon on DPReview TV. They are always informative and entertaining.
I hope to get a review unit in the near future and compare image quality with prints.
Kevin Raber November 2022
Photography is my passion and has been for5 0 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.
The Complete Setup Guide for the Sony a7R V
With the launch of the new a7R V, Sony is once again pushing the boundaries of camera technology even further than before. With a dedicated separate processor inside the a7R V that was built specifically to increase AF tracking capabilities through AI learning, subject identification and predicting movement, this camera has a lot of people talking. However, no matter if you are a current Sony user or someone just now joining the Sony family, it can be daunting to pick up a new camera with a new menu system and new technology. That is where this guide comes in! I have combed through the new menus on the a7R V and hand-picked the most important settings and features to highlight in this setup guide to help make your life easier. As I walk you through the various different changes I have made to my Sony a7R V’s settings, it is important to note that I am a wildlife, landscape, and travel photographer (Image Gallery) that has specific needs that may or may not line up with your own shooting style. While this article focuses on the general settings and accessories for the a7R V, be sure to check out my “Fully Customizing the Sony a7R V” piece that walks you through how I customize the various different buttons, dials and menus on the camera to fit my needs. You can also download my settings file over there to completely setup your a7R V just like mine.
I have written similar free setup guides for many Sony cameras in the past (A1, a7R IV, A7R III) and I plan on continuing to do so as new gear is released.
Setup Guide for Sony a7R V
For this guide, I have decided to put the cover the various settings and changes I recommend in order as you naturally move through each of the camera’s menus, making it very easy for you to follow along. If you have any questions, please do let me know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section at the bottom of this guide.
Adjust the Date/Time/Area
When you first turn on the Sony a7R V you will be asked to set the date and time. Make sure you take the time to correctly set both of these settings along with making sure you have the right area selected for where you are located. Why? Because if you shoot with more than one camera body at a time, you will want the timestamps for your images and videos to line up, otherwise keeping them organized after the fact will be a mess!
Set the Correct Photo Format/Settings
Back in the day you used to only have to choose between shooting a RAW file or a JPEG, but now with many mirrorless cameras, including the a7R V, you have more options not only under those two file formats but also a third option as well (HEIF).
Found under the red “Shooting” menu tab under (1) Image Quality/Rec, you will find a few settings worth looking at. First is the JPEF/HEIF Switch option to choose between JPEG or HEIF file formats. HEIF stands for High-Efficiency Image Format and it is basically like a JPEG, but uses less data while retaining more image data. It isn’t as widely accepted on the internet just yet, but it is nice that it is an option.
Additionally, you will want to adjust the “Image Quality Settings” for the camera, where you can choose to shoot in RAW or RAWJPEG, choose your RAW file Type (Uncompressed, Large RAW, Medium RAW, Small RAW or Compressed, adjust your JPEG Quality (Extra Fine, Fine, Standard or Light) and adjust the JPEG Image Size (60mp, 26mp or 15mp). Personally, I only shoot in RAW the majority of the time in the “Compressed” mode. The only time I might switch to “Uncompressed” is when I am shooting a scene with extreme contrasts, such as the aurora in a dark night sky.
Set the Correct Video File Format
While the a7R V might not have all of the same video options as the Sony a1 or a7S III, it is still a very capable video camera when used out in the field. But of course, before you do any of that, you will want to make sure you have the correct video settings dialed in on the camera. In the red “Shooting” menu tab under “Image Quality/Rec” you will find Video File Format.
Under Video File Format you have 6 options
- XAVC HS 8K (8K High-Efficiency Compression)
- XAVC HS 4K (4K High-Efficiency Compression)
- XAVC S 4K (4k Standard Compression)
- XAVC S HD (HD Stand Compression)
- XAVC S-I 4K (4k Intra Compression – Easier to Edit)
- XAVC S-I HD (HD Intra Compression – Easier to Edit)
Set the Correct Movie Settings
In addition to shooting in the right video format, you will want to choose the right Movie Settings as well to adjust for the right Frame Rate (FPS) and Record Settings (Bit Rate, Color Sampling, Bit Depth). Both of these settings are found under (1)Image Quality/Rec in the red “Shooting” menu tab. Here you will find a variety of settings depending on which Video Format you have selected (8k vs 4k vs HD). Your frame rate can vary between 24p (4k or 8k), 30p (HD Only), 60p (4k) or 120p (HD only). Under “Record Settings”, you can choose the correct bit depth, color sampling and bit rate. For me, shooting in 4:2:2 10bit when possible gives me the most video data to work with when editing and color grading videos.
Turn Off Long Exposure Noise Reduction
One of the first things I like to do with all of my cameras is turn off Long Exposure Noise Reduction because it forces the camera to take a second image right after your initial photo to look for sensor noise. This of course doubles it takes to take any given image. Personally, I do all of my noise reduction myself in post-processing, but if you aren’t noise-savvy and just starting out, maybe leave this setting on to start with.
This setting can be found in the red “Shooting” menu tab under (1) Image Quality at the bottom of that menu – “Long Exposure NR”.
Turn Off High ISO Noise Reduction
In addition to Long Exposure Noise Reduction, I like to also turn off High ISO Noise Reduction for the same reasons. If you are a beginner, just as before, you might want to leave this setting on, but there are much better ways to deal with noise with your images through software such as Topaz DeNoise.
This setting can be found in the red “Shooting” menu tab under (1) Image Quality. At the bottom of the menu, keep hitting the down button past “Long Exposure NR” and you will find “High ISO NR” on the next page of that same menu.
Select Your Color Space
It is also important to make sure you select the correct Color Space for any image you take with this camera. This is less important if you are shooting in RAW (as it can be changed while processing your images), but it is still best to choose the larger of the two color space options you have with the Sony a7R V, which in this case means choosing AdobeRGB over sRGB.
This setting can be found in the red “Shooting” menu tab under (1) Image Quality. At the bottom of the menu, keep hitting the down button past “Long Exposure NR” and you will find “Color Space”.
Choose How Images Videos Are Written To Your Memory Cards
Another important setting to make some changes to is the “Rec. Media Settings” option. Here you can specify exactly how you want your images and videos recorded to your two cards. Want your RAW images sent to one card and any videos that are recorded sent to the other? No problem! Want to mirror both cards for easy backup? No Problem! Additionally, make sure you adjust the “Auto Switch Media” setting as well. For me, I have both still images and videos sent to Card Slot 1, but if that card gets full, I have the “Auto Switch Media” setting set to “On”, which lets my a7R V automatically start writing to Card 2 if Card 1 fills up. This way I am much less likely to miss a shot because of a lack of space on my CF Express or SD cards while out in the field.
This setting is found in the red “Shooting” menu tab under (2) Media. There you can find “Rec. Media Settings”.
Adjust Your File Folder Settings
By default, the a7R V will name images “DSC” and put them all into the default DCIM\100MSDCF folder on your memory card. If this works for you, that’s great, but you can also customize the filenames of your images, create new custom-named folders for your images, and force the unique file number to reset instead of continuing the sequential numbering of your images.
These setting is found in the red “Shooting” menu tab under (3) File. There you can find “File/Folder Settings”, Select REC Folder and Create New Folder menu items.
Add Your Copyright to Your RAW JPEG Images
In order to protect your images, it is always good to make sure your copyright information is embedded in any RAW or JPEG images taken with your Sony a7R V. There you can find “Set Photographer”, “Set Copyright” and “Disp. Copyright Info”
This setting is found in the red “Shooting” menu tab under (3) File under “Copyright Info”.
Write The Cameras Serial Number To All Images Taken With the A7R V
In order to protect your images, it is always good to make sure your copyright information is embedded in any RAW or JPEG images taken with your Sony a7R V. There you can find “Set Photographer”, “Set Copyright” and “Disp. Copyright Info”
This setting is found in the red “Shooting” menu tab under (3) File under “Write Serial Number”.
Take Advantage of Custom Camera Modes Found on the a7R V
One of my favorite things to do with any of my Sony cameras is to fully customize and set up the Custom Camera Modes (the 1, 2 3 options) on the Camera Mode Dial on top of the camera. Here you can fully set up your camera for up to three vastly different shooting situations, such as settings and camera features for a landscape, wildlife, and then video, for example. This allows you to virtually have three vastly different camera configurations (customizations, settings…everything) that you can switch between on the fly.
So how do you do this? First, select the main camera mode you want to start with, such as “Manual,” “Shutter Priority,” or Video Mode. Then you can dial in your camera settings as you see fit. You can, of course, adjust ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperature but also just about any setting found inside the camera (AF settings, Drive Mode, Rec. Media Settings)….basically anything I have shown you how to change in this Setup Guide. Once you have everything dialed in, go to the red “Shooting” menu tab and select the (4) Shooting Mode menu. There you will find “Camera Set. Memory”. Inside that setting, you will find 1, 2, 3, M1, M2, M3 at the top of the screen. Simply move left or right to find the right mode (in this case 1,2 or 3) and simply hit the center button on the rear wheel to save your current settings to the camera mode you have selected. M1, M2, and M3 do the same thing, but those settings are saved to the current memory card inside the camera instead of on the camera itself. When you are ready to use those settings, just rotate the top dial to 1,2 or 3 and start shooting!