The Alpha 7R V may share the same 61 Megapixel sensor as the R IV and as such the same pure resolving power, but this remains uncontested by rivals and the R V now couples it with a raft of upgrades.
The R V inherits the industry-leading viewfinder of the Alpha 1 and 7S III along with the dual-format card slots, white balance sensor, full-size HDMI, USB 3.2, refined control layout and broader touch control of recent models, and it can now record 8k video too, albeit cropped and only available at 24 or 25p.
In the brand-new-to-Sony camp are a screen with a cunning mechanism that can both vertically tilt and flip-out, Pixel Shift composites which successfully address portions in motion, and the long-awaited (by me anyway) inclusions of a Bulb Timer for easy long exposures and Focus Bracketing for macro work.
But the major new feature is the AI autofocus system. This genuinely improves recognition and tracking of a wide variety of subjects over the earlier R IV, although in my own tests it wasn’t much different to the best of its rivals. Indeed action and wildlife shooters will still feel held back by modest burst speeds and sensor readout, making stacked models like the Alpha 1 more desirable overall for action. I feel the new AI system won’t come into its own until it’s deployed on a future Alpha 1 or 9.
The older R IV A is also looking like a bargain right now, essentially matching the detail of the V and saving you a grand. But by becoming more practical for long exposures, macro photography and pixel-shift composites, the R V definitely broadens its appeal, while also giving you the flexibility of a tilt and flip screen, the joy of the most detailed viewfinder around, the bonus of 8k video and Sony’s most cunning AF system to date. I can definitely recommend it, but whether it’s worth the extra thousand? Only you can say.Check prices on the Sony A7R V at B&H, Adorama, WEX UK or Calumet.de. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book, an official Cameralabs T-shirt or mug, or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!