The New SonyA7RV is HERE!! I went to the Sony reveal event at Camera Exchange in Waterford Michigan. It was my first time visiting this camera shop and have to say I was impressed. A very friendly & knowledgeable staff. I will be back to this store in the future. They had a large selection of products. Including a quite a bit of Profoto flash accessories. Along with the elusive Tamron 35-150mm f2-2.8.
Posing with the new A7RV in the image above is the Sony rep Barrett McGivney. This great guy stayed past his posted time to help me out and inform me about the Sony ecosystem.
***This is my personal first feelings of the camera and spec’s, not a full blown review of the camera since I do not own it or have a copy for review. Hit me up #SONY !
As a bit of a background I “was” a Canon shooter. These photos were shot using the Sony reps cameras with his settings. I haven’t touched a Sony in a VERY long time. I just asked if I could put a memory card in & snap some shots for a review & to look at the raw files. I have also used a whole bunch of different cameras brands in the past from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic with many of them using stills & video.
What is the Sony A7RV camera body and who is it for? The Sony A7RV is a 61MP Full Frame camera with a new AI auto focus processor to better acquire focus more accurately to humans and also animals, cars, trains, insects,…. It falls in the middle of the Sony FF camera still photography line-up with the Alpha 1 being above it with 50MP with a faster stacked sensor ,which makes it preferred for sports and anything with action (to some degree). And the Sony A7iv 33MP camera below it, which is considered a hybrid camera. Meaning it is good at still photography and video. Content creators these days need both.
In my case the A7RV seems to be a very exciting camera on paper. I use to shoot events for corporations, conventions, downtown parks, real-estate, concerts, branding, sports, wildlife. I want to get into selling prints in the future,were large megapixal cameras are a necessity. But that’s exactly the opposite what event photographers want since they need to take a large amount of images. Many will never be an oversized print. The A7RV allows you to select a compressed raw medium and small sizes images. The medium raw file is a full sensor readout 26MP which will work fine for most event shooting. The new camera also allows you to put a 1.5x crop on the image. This can give you an added reach to your longer lens at the press of a button along with keeping all of your photos at the same file size.
One very interesting feature about the AI A/F is you can take a photo of a subjects (up to 7 I believe) and put who to prioritize in order of who to focus on. This is game changing type innovation for wedding photographers. I really wish I knew how they tracked the subject. Some times guests or special speakers a client want images of pops into the event and is instantly surrounded. You may get just a few moments to snap a photo.
- I wonder how the AI identifies individuals to know if I took a image off a promo photo for a event or on my phone/computer if it would identify them wearing different clothing, hair style, or aged a little bit. I can’t tell you how many times I had a list of VIP’s to seek out at events. Nothing goes how it’s planned & its one thing to possibly give you an advantage.
- Secondly I wonder if in AI A/F it would recognize a certain car. Say a specific race car. Cars are only visible seconds in some locations coming around corners. If you could select your clients vehicle to prioritize it over others you could keep more attention to your pan game.
- Third, birding is a MASSIVE industry in photography. And it’s NOT cheap with those big boy telephoto lens. IF the AI A/F subject prioritize the featured photo you took of say rare birds out of a book your few second random interaction might have greater chances of capturing that elusive creature.
Other new features are photo stacking. Sadly if still needs to be combines in a program but hopefully they will be able to do it in camera by update. Also new is a 16 image Pixel shift 240 MP photo. Now it uses one of the images as a base so movement doesn’t ruin the capture. Say from wind blowing the leaves in the tree’s or water.
It might not be on the same level of frames per second as the A1 (30 fps electronical shutter) but both have the same amount using the mechanical shutter. Many events these days use LCD lighting which limits electronic shutter usage. Todays we have a crazy amount of new technologies breaking the old standards & the speed of sensor readouts is one of them. Sony current lineup is slightly falling behind canon and fujifilms newest releases but I doubt Sony will not change that on their next bodies.
Other updates in the A7RV is 8 stop in-body image stabilization and the are rear articulating screen. As a photographer you will find yourself in some crazy positions trying to grab the shot. Any way to make that easier is a big plus in my book. The new Sony screen looks to be a photographers dream.
Above is the A7RV. Below is the Sony flagship camera A1 with a battery grip attached for reference. They are almost exactly the same size. But are designed for two different shooters in some areas.
Past Sony mirrorless cameras I really did understand their products direction much due to the small size. I get having a small body for some instances is freeing. I moved to a body & a 40mm f2.8 pancake lens for quick content creation for many non client events for MODE. You don’t see a wave of people diving away from your camera trying to capturing their soul with a photo like you do a 24-70 or 70-200. But almost all pro lens are HUGE heavy beasts. It just felt like they were trying to target Leica clients with the camera body and pro photographers with their lens. Two completely different customers. And they didn’t have the wildly expensive small len’s like Leica to keep the package small. The Sony rep Barrett had a small 40mm f2.5 that was interesting so, they might have some lens now to fit that style.
The new camera body felt much better than previous ones I have held. I still felt the grip depth was not as much as I liked with the canons. The lens mount is also WAY to close to the grip and NEEDS to be extended so peoples fingers are not cramped. I’m sure with some of those thicc lens it’s pretty tight. These are the type of things that wear your hands out over time with large lens. Especially when you have a 3-5 day event that’s 7am-midnight every day. That said they are making MAJOR improvements and it’s noticeable unlike Canon, Sony seem to actually listen to their customers.
One major improvement was the color tones of the A1, A7rV, & A7IV have significantly been tweaked. Just wish they would push it a bit farther. Some of the most coveted cameras for their colors use Sony sensors.
<— Final Thoughts & Will I buy the Camera??? I wish I had the $$$ to purchase the A7RV. It checks off all the main boxes I need for the crazy diverse images I find myself capturing. Except maybe sports, but when I shot sports I did it with less FPS than what this camera has. Plus you really hate life when you get back from event with 2000 images to sift through & 80% look like the same exact shot. I can’t imagine 40 fps burst.
Yes the A7RIV has the same sensor & almost the same stats as the new camera. But the improvements they have made in the body size, color theory, variable raw files, AI a/f & white balance, subject priority a/f, photo stacking, version 2 pixel shift, … took a studio camera with limited usability, to a hybrid photographers dream. Were I don’t think I could use a A7RIV for events. 61mp would brutalize hard drives along with slow my editing workflow down significantly. The newest Sony camera bodies have come a long way and the A7RV impressed me immensely. The video features are not perfect with a few things crippled but still useable. Mainly the crop factor on 4k.
Alas with limited funds & no sugar momma’s I will probably be forced to get the A7IV for my business.
Wink, Wink, SONY. I won’t say NO to being a brand ambassador 😉
Do you have a product you would like to be reviewed? Hit me up!
***I will not buy a Canon camera EVER again! And I urge all photographers NOT to purchase their products or from Adorama website. Neither stands by their products and will let your business die before making things right just to save themselves a buck. They have absolutely NO EXCUSE for their companies practices.