Here’s Sony’s New Alpha 7R V with AI AF, and it’s Very Impressive

Sony Alpha 7R V

Now that Sony has announced its new Alpha edition camera, the A7R V, all the major speculation can end.

The powerful device comes with several major feature upgrades and changes despite an external appearance that’s very similar to that of its predecessor.

New AI Autofocus

For starters, the A7R V comes with a wholly new AI focus system that uses “deep learning” in real time to detect specific objects and calibrate its lightning-fast AF on them.

For example, it can apparently distinguish between human bodies, faces, birds, animals of numerous sizes and large moving man-made objects such as planes, trains and automobiles.

The AI AF in the A7R V is called “Real Time Recognition” and it may possibly be a game changer among the Sony brand’s competitors. It also happens to offer 693 focus points for a 79% sensor coverage.

Another major feature of the A7R V’s AF system is the ability, by users on the go, to specify to the system just what kinds of subjects it should focus on the most.

Sony has certainly invested heavily in developing the new AF mainly because it’s the heart of what the A7R V is all about.

The company has also claimed that the new AF is going to be included with a number of other Sony camera models released beyond this point. Specifically, the technology is, in Sony’s own words, “for R and beyond” series cameras.

Sensor Improvements

The sensor in the A7R V is the same as that of its predecessor, the A7R IV, meaning that it’s a 61MP backside-illuminated Exmor R CMOS variant. The main difference on top of this is that the A7R V’s sensor features Sony’s new BionZ XR processing engine.

Because of this new processor, the Sony A7R V should be able to deliver even better detail and color quality than its rather impressive predecessor could.

To help this along, there are several new image processing features working inside the camera. One of them is an also-new auto-exposure system that more precisely detects skin tones even in low light and generally offers superb low-light performance.

According to Sony, this new exposure system is 20% more accurate than its predecessor’s version.

Image credits: Sony

With its new processor, the Sony A7R V can deliver as many as 8 stops of compensation and is capable of shooting photos at 10fps in bursts.

This is the same as what the A7R IV is capable of but with a further boost from the BionZ XR processing engine and other qualities mentioned above.

The A7R V’s processor is a superb low-light performer too. It delivers a useful ISO range of 100 to 32,000.

This can be increased up to ISO 102,400 for still shooting, though we’d love to demonstrate this in action to see how well it holds up. Also worth mentioning is the Alpha 7R V’s 15-stop dynamic range capacity.

The camera can also handle its 10fps burst shooting speed well enough to deliver up to 583 compressed RAW image files and as many as 1000 JPEGs.

Other Major Upgrades and Features

Speaking of JPEG shooting, the Alpha 7R V can store images in both this format and in HEIF.

What’s more, the camera’s JPEG image shooting capacity can be adjusted between three size options of 61MP, 26MP and for the particularly conservative, 15MP.

The Sony Alpha 7R V’s body also includes “completely updated” 5-axis image stabilization and communicates with the camera’s own internal gyroscope to optimize lens and body interaction for tremor-free shooting.

Because Sony is one of the brands leading in the direction of CFexpress memory development, it should be no wonder that their A7R V comes with slots for dual CFexpress Type A cards at a time.

Other useful features include an EVF with a whopping 98.44 million-dot resolution, 802.11ac WiFi access, and also Bluetooth.

There is a USB-C port too for rapid file transfer and the not-so-typical ability to shoot constantly while the camera is being recharged.

Sony has also claimed that its new Alpha camera is built to be tough and offers strong dust and moisture resistance.

New Flip Screen

The Sony Alpha 7R V comes with a 4-axis multi-angle LCD screen too. This measures out at 3.2 inches and can tilt and flip too.

Users can move the LCD up or down with the usual tilt capacity but can then also flip it out and even turn it to face the front of the camera for self-recording.

One other major and very cool feature of the Sony A7R V is its pixel shift technology. This lets users of this powerful shooter take as many as 16 consecutive photos with tiny sensor shifts inside the camera. The result is over 200 megapixels of resolution in a single large super-image file.

Video Specs

Finally, Sony’s video recording specs are excellent too. The camera is designed to deliver much better performance than its older A7R IV cousin by shooting in resolutions of up to 8K 24/25p for as long as 30 minutes before getting too hot.

It can also record 50/60movies in 4K alone.

Other aspects of the Sony A7R V’s video recording chops include Super-35 shooting in 4K 30p/24p/25p and the ability to oversample in 6.2K for said Super-35 video.

There’s also an integrated still/movie/S&Q dial along the top of the camera for easy switching between video or photo settings.

Sony’s Alpha 7R V is also a solid performer for web streaming, making it a solid (if expensive) vlogging camera.

In its streamed recording settings, it can handle 4K at 15p, HD at 60p and 30p, and 720p at 30p.

As you might have guessed, the Sony Alpha 7R V isn’t cheap to buy. It retails for $3,900 and will be available for delivery as of mid-December, well in time for Christmas – learn more here >>

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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