It has been two years since I made the switch to using only Sony cameras for my photography. And the reason was purely mathematical. Sony cameras offer more megapixels, better image quality, higher ISO performance and other boundary-pushing tech advancements. For an advertising photographer such as myself, the move was truly a no brainer.
Till today, the same two Alpha 7R III cameras display tremendous resilience and are serving me well.
Alpha 7R IV | 70mm | 1/200 sec | f/2.8 | ISO 400
Introducing Alpha 7R IV
When the Alpha 7R IV was launched (without warning, may I add), I knew I had to get my hands on it. I was sold just gleaning the camera’s spec sheet alone. For starters, small yet impactful improvements such as a deeper grip, squishier buttons and a revised joystick have placed the Alpha 7R IV at the head of the R series. Don’t take my word for it though. You have to feel the cameras for yourself!
The Clearest Photos with 61-megapixel CMOS Sensor
Alpha 7R IV’s headliner is undoubtedly its whopping 61-megapixel CMOS sensor. It is the highest resolution-touting full-frame camera that churns out files that are 9,504 by 6,336 pixels large.
This feature is extremely advantageous in the commercial field. For instance, the hefty megapixels give you peace of mind if photos taken are cropped or blown up for larger mediums such as an outdoor banner. You can be sure the visual used is still at its clearest.
Real-Time Eye AF and Dynamic Range
While the aforementioned scenario can be solved by shooting in medium format, the Alpha 7R IV is more versatile in executing various commercial styles. A great example points to editorial spreads, where dynamic movements are involved.
When I need to capture fast movements of moving subjects, I put the Alpha 7R IV to 10 frames per second with Real time Eye-AF tracking. This achieves photos you would never imagine getting in a controlled studio or outdoor setting. Such creative photography styles are achieved much easier with α7R IV.
Capturing movements is also attainable with the camera’s sweeping range without clipping highlights or shadows. With 15 stops of dynamic range, the camera ensures oversights such as underexposure hardly happen, giving me great shots with minimal post processing needed.
Versatile to Suit All Genres
While I specialise in sports fashion photography, I was pushed beyond my limits at a recent shoot.
I was challenged to achieve a beauty shot with makeup powder. My concept was dramatic. I wanted to create a dynamic framing of my model being pelted with powder that caused colourful explosions.
With two art department assistants constantly throwing powder at my model’s hair, I left the camera in wide autofocus area, where it automatically picked up and continuously tracked the subject’s eye thanks to Real-time Eye AF. With the camera focusing while shooting, I left it to do the work and as a result had more time connecting with the subject.
Amazing Details even in Crop Mode
In the first round, I got some great shots with 90% of my images crisp in focus. Even after a 400% crop, the eyes were still amazingly detailed, retaining precise colours of her eye shadow and the full texture of her lashes. I daresay no other camera in the current market would have achieved this result.
The next round of shots, I added more life into the photos and instructed my model to move around as powder was thrown her way. With powder movements potentially blocking the model’s eyes coupled with her fast movements, I knew I had limited time to capture such a challenging shot. However, Sony’s Real-time Eye AF was able to maintain focus on my model’s eyes at a blistering pace despite the distractions of the powder. The result? The same crystal clear quality in 90% of the shots!
Alpha 7R IV | 135mm | f/11 | 1/200 sec | ISO 400
Alpha 7R IV | 135mm | f/11 | 1/200 sec | ISO 400 (approx. 4.6x crop)
The Alpha 7R IV truly pushed my boundaries of artistic photography. Coupled with technical precision, I wrapped the photo shoot in less than two hours, making it a clear success.
The shoot alone was a testament to the prowess of Sony’s Alpha 7R IV. Fully relying on the camera’s capabilities, I focused on connecting and coaxing out the best abilities of my model during the entire time, while still achieving photos I’m super satisfied with.
Alpha 7R IV in a nutshell
1. The battery life is awesome. I often find myself using one battery over two separate shoot days. I also like the fact that the camera can tap power via USB from your laptop, so that camera battery life stays on even longer.
2. It works well with professional third party imaging software, strobe lights as well as their respective remotes.
3. The 567 Phase-detect AF points let you frame your subjects incredibly close to the edge of frames that allow for stunning compositions.
4. The ISO performance exceeds my expectations, so much so that I shoot on ISO 800 or 1600 to get more power off my lights to blend with ambient lighting. This allows me to not only use lighter lights, but also more versatility in controlling the lighting. While possible on other systems, the Alpha 7R IV’s image quality wins hands down within that ISO range.
I have nothing but praises for the Alpha 7R IV. As expected Sony, you’re truly ahead of the pack.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Sony Singapore.