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Sony A7R V: Should You Buy? Features, Performance & Verdict

Sony cameras, akin to Coen brothers films, vary from good to great, with the A7R V firmly in the ‘great’ category, boasting the highest resolution among full-frame mirrorless cameras. Despite its excellence, it lacks the burst rates of the A9 II for sports and wildlife photography and falls short of the A7S III in video quality. While versatile, it excels only in certain areas.

Pros:

  • Superb autofocus
  • Impressive ISO performance
  • Versatile 4-axis touchscreen

Cons:

  • High cost
  • Demands top-notch lenses
  • Limited to 4K video at 60fps
SONY A7R V: QUICK REVIEW

SONY A7R V: QUICK REVIEW

Since the debut of the A7R in 2013, Sony has been updating its high-resolution full-frame mirrorless cameras, with the latest being the A7R V. With evolving technology and new competitors like Canon EOS R5 and Nikon Z 7II, the A7R V faces tough competition.

Despite not excelling in every aspect, the A7R V remains impressive with its 61MP sensor, Bionz XR processor, and up to eight stops of in-body image stabilization. It also offers enhanced burst shooting and AI-driven subject recognition for better autofocus. Video capabilities include 8K at 24fps and 4K at 60fps.

SONY A7R V SPECIFICATIONS

FeatureDetails
Sensor61MP BSI full-frame CMOS
ProcessorBionz XR (with AI processing unit)
Autofocus693-point phase-detection
AF Subject RecognitionHuman, animal, bird, insects, car, train, automobile
EVF9.44-million dot Quad XGA
In-body stabilizationUp to eight stops
Continuous shooting10fps
Continuous shooting buffer184 raw (compressed)
Video8K/24p, 4K/60p, 10-bit 4:2:2

Image quality for both photos and videos is excellent, but due to the high resolution, it’s advisable to use Sony’s top-tier lenses from the G and GM ranges. While this might not be an issue for those investing in a high-end camera like the A7R V, it’s something to consider if upgrading from a lower-resolution A7 model with cheaper lenses.

SONY A7R V: RELEASE DETAILS AND PRICE

The A7R V hit the market in December 2022, carrying a price tag of approximately $3,900 / £4,000 / AU$5,900. Surprisingly, it’s not much higher than its predecessor, the A7R IV, despite the general increase in camera prices over recent years.

However, its cost is edging closer to medium-format alternatives like the Fujifilm GFX 100S, which retails at around $6,000 / £4,800 / AU$9,300 for the body alone. While the A7R V excels for fast-action shooting and videography, landscape, portrait, and studio photographers might find the larger sensor and higher resolution of the GFX 100S appealing.

SONY A7R V: DESIGN

SONY A7R V: DESIGN

The A7R V retains a familiar design with notable upgrades, making it easy for existing Sony users to adapt and newcomers to navigate.

On the back, a new 4-axis 3.2-inch touchscreen offers versatile articulation, ideal for both photography and videography. The electronic viewfinder matches the A7S III in resolution and magnification.

Up top, the exposure compensation dial is now unmarked, allowing for customizable functions. Two card slots support SD and CFexpress Type A cards, with CFexpress offering faster speeds.

Improvements in shooting speed and buffer size result in a continuous shooting speed of 10fps, with up to 583 compressed raw images in Hi+ mode.

During testing, a 128GB Kingston Canvas React Plus SD card allowed for respectable shooting performance, though not reaching the claimed buffer capacity.

While shooting 8K video, the camera may heat up, particularly in warmer climates. Opening the battery door can help with heat dissipation, albeit with risks.

SONY A7R V: FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE

SONY A7R V: FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE

The A7R V builds upon its predecessor, offering significant improvements and new features for both existing users and those considering a switch to Sony.

One notable improvement is the ability for the shutter to close when the camera is turned off, addressing concerns about sensor dust accumulation, although the effectiveness remains to be seen.

Image stabilization sees a substantial upgrade, providing up to eight stops of compensation for sharp handheld shots, even at slow shutter speeds.

Video shooting benefits from Active Mode image stabilization, particularly when paired with lenses featuring optical stabilization.

Pixel Shift Multi Shooting, which merges 16 frames into a high-resolution image, has been refined, although the process still requires post-processing with Sony’s software.

The A7R V boasts 693 AF points with Real-time Recognition AF, offering advanced subject detection options, though manual adjustment may be needed.

The inclusion of My Menu and Bulb Timer Settings enhances usability, addressing concerns about Sony’s complex menu systems and providing flexibility for long-exposure photography.

SONY A7R V: IMAGE AND VIDEO QUALITY

FeatureDetails
Sensor61MP Exmor R with 15 stops dynamic range
ISO HandlingImpressive performance within the ISO 100-32,000 range
Video QualitySharp 8K video at 24fps, 4K up to 60fps, and FHD up to 120fps in NTSC or 100fps in PAL, with 4:2:2 10-bit color depth

Image quality heavily relies on lens quality, with Sony G lenses yielding the best results. The high-resolution sensor demands top-notch optics to reach its potential.

With superior lenses, both stills and video benefit from the 61MP sensor and Bionz XR processing engine, boasting a dynamic range of 15 stops and versatile capture options.

Impressive ISO performance up to ISO 32,000, with expanded options up to ISO 102,400, provides usable results up to ISO 25,600, but beyond that, noise becomes noticeable.

Video quality is top-notch, supporting various resolutions and frame rates, with rich color profiles for hybrid shooters. While the A7R V is capable, the A7S III excels as a dedicated video camera.

Sony A7R V: Should You Buy? Features, Performance & Verdict

Should I buy the Sony A7R V?

CriteriaConsideration
Landscape, portrait, or studio photographyExcellent image quality with a 61MP sensor, ideal for detailed subjects like landscapes and portraits.
Subject detectionAdvanced autofocus with subject recognition, enhancing accuracy beyond eye detection.
UpgradeSignificant improvements over previous models, making it a worthy upgrade for A7R III and A7R IV users.

Don’t buy it if

CriteriaConsideration
OpticsRequires high-quality lenses to fully utilize the 61MP sensor; cheaper options may compromise results.
Slow-motion 4K videoLimited to 60fps in 4K; consider the A7S III for higher frame rates and superior video performance.
ResolutionIf 61MP is unnecessary, the A7 IV offers a lower resolution with cost savings.

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