By Rod Lawton
They sound and look very similar but in our Sony A7 IV vs A7R IV vs A7R IVA guide we'll explain how to tell them apart
- 1. Sensor
- 2. Video
- 3. Autofocus
- 4. Continuous shooting
- 5. Viewfinder and screen
- 6. Memory cards
- 7. Size
- 8. Price
Sony’s model naming can get pretty confusing. Yet despite the one-letter difference in their model designation, the Sony A7 IV and Sony A7R IV are two very different cameras.
Actually, we say the Sony A7R IV, but in fact this has been replaced by the Sony A7R IVA. There are very few differences, but perhaps the most important is a new rear screen. The Sony A7R IVA has effectively replaced the older version and this is the model we quote in this comparison.
Both are amongst the best Sony cameras and indeed the best full frame mirrorless cameras you can buy. They share the same sensor size and the same lens mount, and the best Sony lenses can be used on both.
Note too that the A7R IVA has been joined/replaced by the Sony A7R V. This new model shares the same 61MP resolution, but has much faster and more powerful processing for AI autofocus subject recognition and tracking, and vastly improved buffer capacity in continuous shooting mode.
The A7R IVA remains on sale, however, (in the US at least) and at a much lower price. It’s more expensive than the Sony A7 IV, but not by as much as you might expect, and these two cameras offer an intriguing choice between speed and video capabilities and what is still the highest resolution yet in a full-frame camera.
Sony A7 IV vs A7R IVA in 2023
Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.
• Sony A7 IV: Full frame Exmor R CMOS, 33MP
• Sony A7R IVA: Full frame Exmor R CMOS, 61MP
Both cameras have full frame Exmor CMOS sensors, but they have a massive difference in pixel counts. The Sony A7 IV is no slouch, with a 33MP sensor which puts it well clear of most rivals in its class, which generally have 24MP sensors. So as a stills camera, the A7 IV’s resolution already puts it ahead of the pack. But the A7R IVA goes much further, and was the first Sony to pack the company’s 61MP sensor for almost twice the resolution of the A7 IV.
This doesn’t seem to hurt its low-light capabilities excessively, either. The A7 IV offers a native ISO range of 100-51,200, expandable to ISO 50-204,800, but the A7R IVA isn’t so far behind, with a native range of ISO 100-32,000, expandable to ISO 50-102,400.
Where the extra resolution of the A7R IVA does hold it back, though, is in video, which is the next section.
• Sony A7 IV: Full-width 4K 30p oversampled, 4K 60p Super35
• Sony A7R IVA: Super35 4K 30p oversampled
The problem with the 61MP resolution of the A7R IVA is that there’s just too much data to capture full-width 4K video with oversampling. It can capture full width 4K, but not using all the pixels. If you want the best quality, you really need to drop to Super35 (APS-C crop) mode which has 6K oversampling.
The Sony A7R IV is a much more powerful camera for video. Not only can it capture full-width 4K 30p video oversampled from 7K capture, it can also offer 4K 60p, albeit in Super35 mode. On top of that, you get 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, Long GOP or All-I compression, Sony’s breathing compensation system, a focus map display and Active IS with gyro data stored with the footage.
• Sony A7 IV: 759/575-point hybrid AF
• Sony A7R IVA: 567/425-point hybrid AF
The newer Sony A7 IV does offer more phase detect and contrast AF points than the A7R IVA, though, you may not notice much difference in practice. Both cameras feature Sony’s highly-developed Real Time tracking AF, but the A7 IV represents the next evolution of the system, using AI to detect and track human and animal eyes, and now birds too, with improved tracking performance.
4. Continuous shooting
• Sony A7 IV: 10fps, up to 800-1000 raw+JPEG
• Sony A7R IVA: 10fps, up to 68 compressed raw
On paper at least, these two cameras look very evenly matched for continuous shooting, both offering a burst speed of 10fps – which is especially impressive for the high-resolution A7R IVA.
However, a closer examination of the specs reveals a huge difference in buffer capacity – the number of frames these cameras can capture before they start to slow down. The A7R IVA has a buffer capacity of just 68 compressed raw files, which isn’t bad for a camera of this type, but the A7 IV can keep shooting for an incredible 800-1000 raw files, though you will need to use a more expensive high-speed CFexpress Type A memory card to achieve these figures.
5. Viewfinder and screen
• Sony A7 IV: 3.68m dot EVF, 1.03m dot vari-angle rear screen
• Sony A7R IVA: 5.76m dot EVF, 2.4m dot tilting screen
The viewing systems on these cameras have definite pros and cons. The A7R IVA wins for EVF resolution with 5.76 million dots, versus the 3.68 million dots of the A7 IV’s viewfinder.
Round the back, it’s the Sony A7 IV that has the advantage, with a vari-angle pivot versus the less manoeuvrable tilting screen on the A7R IVA. This does extend the A7 IV’s advantages for video shooters but, having said that, many stills photographers might prefer the A7R IVA’s tilting screen and, with 2.4 million dots, it has more than twice the resolution of the rather mean 1.03 million dots of the A7 IV’s screen.
6. Memory cards
• Sony A7 IV: 1x SD UHS-II, 1x UHS-II/CFexpress Type A
• Sony A7R IVA: 2x SD UHS-II
Both cameras have dual memory card slots, both of which are SD UHS-II compatible. However, one of the slots on the A7 IV also takes the newer CFexpress Type A cards. It’s a shame it’s not both, but it still gives the A7 IV a major speed advantage and accounts for its hugely increased buffer capacity, for example.
It’s worth noting, however, that CFexpress Type A cards are expensive, and not as fast as the more common and larger CFexpress Type B format, which Sony has yet to use. If you do get the A7 IV, you might find yourself sticking to SD cards purely for cost.
7. Size and weight
• Sony A7 IV: 131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8mm, 658g
• Sony A7R IVA: 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm, 665g
The Sony A7 IV and A7R IV/A are so close in size and weight that they can be hard to tell apart. The body of the A7 IV is very slightly wider and the A7R IV/A is marginally heavier, but you’re unlikely to notice. The A7 IV does have some differences in the controls and interface that improve its usability for video.
• Sony A7 IV: $2500/£2400 body only
• Sony A7R IVA: $3200/£3000 body only
The Sony A7R IV/A is more expensive than the A7 IV as you might expect from its high-resolution sensor. The price difference is not that great, however, and should not be given too much weight when comparing these two cameras. It’s more important that you get the one that’s best suited to the work you do. Furthermore, both models can often be found in Sony's own seasonal sales - so do keep an eye out for hot discounts!
Sony A7 IV vs A7R IV/A: conclusions
It might appear that the Sony A7R IV/A is higher up the range thanks to its resolution and its higher price, but it’s not quite that simple. These cameras are optimized for different kinds of work and neither is necessarily better than the other.
The Sony A7R IV/A and its glorious 61MP sensor are a dream for stills photographers, and while it does make a serviceable video camera too, the A7R IV/A is best at being a stills camera.
The Sony A7 IV is more of a do-it-all hybrid camera. It’s much better for video work than the A7R IV/A, not least because it can capture full-width oversampled 4K video. On top of that, its 33MP sensor still packs more than enough resolution for most photographers’ needs.
If you want a powerful, fast and capable do-it-all stills/video camera, the Sony A7 IV is a pretty clear winner, and it’s cheaper too. But if maximum image quality is your top priority, it has to be the Sony A7R IV/A – but with stocks dwindling as the A7R V takes over, you’d better get it while you can.
Other Sony comparison guides
- Sony A7R V vs Sony A7 IV
- Sony A7 IV vs A7 III
- Sony A7R III vs A7 III
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Already have an account ? Sign in here
Camera deals, prizes and latest news
Get the best camera deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable photography news and more!
Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography.He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com
- Photojournalist uses Midjourney to create intense new photo series - is it cheating?
- Sony full-frame shooters get a new ultra-wide lens, with a very attractive price
- Eufy's new solar-powered AI security cam only needs 3 hours of sun a day
- Learn how to capture the perfect wildlife shot in FREE webinar with industry pro
Is Sony A7IV better than A7R IV? ›
A7 IV is better in every aspect except amount of pixels - new body design, articulated LCD, new menu system, better video spec, double faster processing time, better AF-C tracking...What is Sony A7RIV best for? ›
This lens is also perfect if you like shooting during sunrise or sunset, as well as astrophotography. This lens allows you to cover the ranges the general all-purpose lens like the Sony 24-70mm F2. 8 GM II lens can't capture which makes it a perfect secondary lens to go with your all-around lens.What's the difference between the a7r4 and the a7r4a? ›
The original A7R IV has been discontinued and quietly replaced by the A7R IVA. The changes are very subtle, with the most noticeable difference being the higher resolution of the LCD screen (2.36M vs 1.44M dots on the original model).Is Sony A7 IV worth the upgrade? ›
Yes, Sony a7IV is a full-frame mirrorless professional camera. Although it's expensive, it's totally worth the price.Is the A7 IV a professional camera? ›
The Sony a7 IV is a full-frame, mirrorless camera
Almost all professional and semi-professional photographers use full-frame cameras as they produce higher-resolution photos with more detail (and more flexibility for editing) since the larger sensor lets in more light.
Overall, Sony's A7 IV delivers perhaps the best images of any of its cameras, with a great balance between detail, high ISO performance and color accuracy. As a semi-pro hybrid camera, the A7 IV is aimed at enthusiasts but could easily serve as a second body for professional shooters who use Sony gear.What is the best all round lens for the Sony a7R IV? ›
6. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 II GM | Best All Around Zoom Lens for Sony a7R IV. The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II is likely one of the most popular lenses to pair with the impressive specs of the Sony A7R IV.Is Sony a7R IV good in low light? ›
The A7R IV also does very well in low light, making it a great option for astrophotography. You can use shots straight out of the camera at speeds of up to ISO 6400 (you'll start to see noise beyond that, though).What is the best lens for Sony a7R IV? ›
- Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN | C. ...
- Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master OSS. ...
- Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS. ...
- Samyang AF 24-70mm F2. ...
- Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN | C. ...
- Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM. ...
- Samyang AF 135mm F1. ...
- Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G.
While the sensor size is identical on the two cameras (35mm format, or full frame), the a7R V features a jaw dropping 61MP sensor, almost double the resolution found in the a7 IV (33MP). Both sensors are built around a back-side illuminated structure.
Does Sony A7R IV have image stabilization? ›
Image stabilization is super welcome
The a7R IV has 5.5 stops of image stabilization via Steady Shot. Regardless of what lens you put on the camera, be it Sony adapted or third-party, you will benefit from the 5-axis stabilization offered in this camera.
The Sony Alpha 7R IV has a maximum video recording time of 13 hours for all formats. That limit is dependent upon multiple factors like camera settings, media storage size, camera power, and internal camera temperature. See details and notes below for more information.What is the highest frame rate of a7iv? ›
|Sony a7 IV||Sony a7 III|
|Maximum frame rate||10 fps (lossy Raw)||10 fps|
|Flash Sync speed||1/250 sec||1/250 sec|
|Viewfinder res / mag||3.69M dots /0.78x||2.36M dots / 0.78x|
|Rear screen||1.04M fully-articulated touchscreen||0.92M-dot tilting touchscreen|
An all-arounder that pushes beyond basic, the Sony a7 IV does double duty with strong stills and video performance. An advanced hybrid mirrorless camera, the a7 IV has the resolution and AF performance that appeals to photographers along with robust 4K 60p video recording for filmmakers and content creators.Is Sony A7 IV weather sealed? ›
The Sony a7 IV is a great camera for sports and wildlife photography. It's sturdy and weather-sealed, and it features two SD card slots, with an integrated CFexpress Type A slot, so you can have a backup ready for more intensive shoots.Is Sony A7 IV good for landscape photography? ›
Large sensor in Sony A7 IV ensures a good low light image quality compared to smaller sensors, and it also provides higher pixel quality compared to smaller sensors. Sony A7 IV's 33.0MP sensor is perfect for landscape photography. It will capture a lot of fine details and let you print them larger.Do professional photographers use Sony? ›
Nikon is the most popular camera brand used by professional photographers. 31% of professionals use Nikon, closely followed by Canon (28%) and Sony (20%).Is Sony A7 IV good for portraits? ›
Sony A7 IV's 33.0MP sensor will provide larger room for cropping, and you will be able print your portrait shots larger with more fine detail. During a portrait shoot, using a viewfinder allows the photographer to stabilize the camera and reduce the camera shake since it is closer to the body.What camera are professionals using? ›
Some of the most popular camera models of the cameras used by professional photographers are the Sony a7III, Canon R6, Nikon D750, Nikon Z6II, and Canon EOS R3. Other popular cameras are the Nikon Z9 and Canon EOS R5.Why are Sony cameras better? ›
Highly effective autofocus systems. The best Sony mirrorless cameras have incredibly sophisticated autofocus systems with excellent tracking capabilities. Relatively portable. Sony cameras, and especially their APS-C lineup, are generally a little more compact than alternatives from other brands.
Which image quality is better a7III or a7iv? ›
In terms of specs, the A7 III has a 2.36m-Dot resolution EVF and the A7 IV has a 3.68m-Dot resolution EVF with 120fps refresh rate. This is a huge improvement in my mind. Both of the cameras have a 3-inch LCD screen. The A7 III has a 922k-dot resolution screen and the A7 IV has 1.03m-dots.What is the Canon equivalent to Sony A7R? ›
The Canon EOS R5 and the Sony Alpha A7R IV are both highly capable professional-grade cameras that offer a range of advanced features and impressive image quality. The A7R IV has a higher resolution sensor, while the R5 has a higher maximum frame rate and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.What is the frame rate of Sony A7R IV? ›
10 fps shooting
The a7R IV can shoot at 10 frames per second: a rate that was the preserve of specialist, low-res sports cameras until comparatively recently.
Another important feature about Sony A7R IV's sensor is the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter.When was Sony A7R IVA released? ›
|Intro price||MSRP $3,499 (USD) £2,239.00 (GBP) 2019|
|Lens mount||Sony E-mount|
Unsurprisingly, the Sony a7R IV also has the RAW+JPG option available. Here's a rundown of how to work with it in the camera and in your workflow.Is the Sony A7R IV good for wedding photography? ›
Best upgrade (Sony): Sony A7R IV
Why it made the cut: With a whopping 61-megapixel sensor, the A7R IV is ideal for the wedding photographer making massive prints. Specs: Sensor size: Full-frame. Lens mount: Sony E.
On the other hand, Sony A7R has a 36.0MP Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features Bionz X processor. Sony A7R's sensor provides 12MP more than Sony A7's sensor, which gives a significant advantage in real life.What does the R stand for in Sony a7R? ›
The a7R V was the perfect camera to receive Sony's revamped AI-based autofocus, as the previous a7R IV was notably slow to focus compared to its siblings across the company's lineup. The “R” in this camera line stands for “resolution,” and the large sensor in the a7R IV took a lot of processing power.What is the difference between A7 and a7R series? ›
The main difference between these two cameras is the sensor. The A7 has 24.3 megapixels and a low pass filter, whereas the A7R has 36.4MP and no AA filter. The ISO specifications are the same for both products.
What is the successor to the Sony A7R IV? ›
The Sony a7R V is the newest camera in Sony's high-resolution lineup. The successor of the Sony a7R mark IV, this camera aims to deliver the same high resolution with an onslaught of upgrades.Which image quality is better a7iii or A7IV? ›
In terms of specs, the A7 III has a 2.36m-Dot resolution EVF and the A7 IV has a 3.68m-Dot resolution EVF with 120fps refresh rate. This is a huge improvement in my mind. Both of the cameras have a 3-inch LCD screen. The A7 III has a 922k-dot resolution screen and the A7 IV has 1.03m-dots.What is the difference between A7 and A7R series? ›
The main difference between these two cameras is the sensor. The A7 has 24.3 megapixels and a low pass filter, whereas the A7R has 36.4MP and no AA filter. The ISO specifications are the same for both products.Is Sony A7R IV good in low light? ›
The A7R IV also does very well in low light, making it a great option for astrophotography. You can use shots straight out of the camera at speeds of up to ISO 6400 (you'll start to see noise beyond that, though).