Sony introduced Thursday its long-awaited Sony Alpha 7 IV full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, as the next generation followup to the popular A7 MK III.

The Sony a7 IV (model ILCE7M4) offers up to 4K/60p video recording with 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 chroma subsampling and full pixel readout in all recording formats and provides 7K oversampling 10-bit full-frame 4K/30p 4:2:2 with no pixel binning. The camera will also capture 60p from an APS-C crop of the 4.6K resolution area of the sensor.

The Sony a7 IV will be available in December through authorized Sony imaging dealers at a $2,499.99 suggested retail price, for the body only. Starting in November, Sony will also introduce two advanced new flashes – the HVL-F60RM2 ($549.99) and HVL-F46RM ($399.99), both optimized for use with Sony Alpha cameras.

Sony will also make available a kit version with Sony’s FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens at a $2,699.99.

The Sony a7 IV camera is powered by a 33 megapixel full-frame Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor, and an 8x more powerful next generation BIONZ XR image processing engine.

The camera’s advanced auto focus system includes AF algorithms from the Sony a1 sports camera and includes real-time eye-AF tracking for humans and animals (including birds) for photo and movie capture.

Image clarity is further supported with a 5-axis in-body image stabilization system and Active Mode for handheld movie recording.

High dynamic range is supported via S-Cinetone, S-Log3, and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and the camera includes 10 creative look presets in-camera. Video can be recorded in a choice of H.265 or H.264 Long GOP, or H.264 All-I compression codecs. The 10-bit options help deliver much more flexible Log footage. Full HLG HDR footage can be recorded for direct playback on HLG-supporting 4K and 8K/HDR TVs.

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The new a7 IV body design offers larger grips and buttons than previous models, while the OLED electronic viewfinder steps up to 3.69M dot Quad-VGA resolution, which is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder. This provides upgraded live-view image quality that minimizes false color and increases resolution. The camera also features a full-articulating touchscreen monitor.

The a7 IV newly adds lossless RAW compression to enable more efficient shooting at full-resolution. Burst shooting is available at up to a maximum 10 fps using lossy compression mode.

Other features in the camera include a video mode that crops and scales images to remove “focus breathing” effects from certain Sony lenses, while a “Focus Map” provides a guide for focus and depth-of-field shooting video.

The camera also supports UVC/UAC live streaming up to 4K 15p/1080 60p w/ internal recording.

For low-light or natural light shots, the camera will capture images with low noise at an ISO range up to 204800 and 15+stop dynamic range.

Meanwhile, the newly announced HVL-F60RM2 electronic flash with GN 60 and 20-200mm coverage and the HVL-F46RM with GN 46 and 24-105mm coverage are said to provide precise control, enhanced high-speed and intuitive operability.

They are suitable for both advanced enthusiast and professional photo work when shooting with a Sony Alpha camera, including the new Alpha 7 IV.

Both flashes have upgraded continuous shooting flash performance, up to 200 consecutive flashes at 10 frames per second for the HVL-F60RM2 and 60 times for the HVL-F46RM. An optimized flash algorithm ensures both flashes will not overheat, and a set of four Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) batteries can power up to 240 flashes with a 1.7 second recycle time for the HVL-F60RM2 and up to 320 flashes with a 2.0 second recycle time for the HVL-F46RM.

When used with a Sony Alpha mirrorless ILC camera like the A7 IV, the Alpha Lighting System’s P-TTL flash control meters every frame in Mid, and Hi continuous mode in addition to Lo continuous mode. The flash release time lag is also shortened to capture momentary facial expressions and movements of the subject.

With the Alpha 1, the HVL-F60RM2 achieves up to 20fps of continuous shooting and approximately 20 flashes per second can be produced for more than 10 seconds with the optional external flash battery adapter, FA-EBA1. The flashes used with the Alpha 1 will sync up to 1/400 second shutter speed shooting in full-frame mode. In addition, with the silent electronic shutter of the camera, silent flash shooting is possible when absolute silence is required.

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By Greg Tarr

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