Sony introduced this week its highest resolution Alpha “R” series camera to date in the A7R-V.

The Sony Alpha 7R V (model ILCE-7RM5) combines a Sony 61 megapixel image sensor with BIONZ XR Processing Engine and AI-based image recognition — the first in the company’s “R” full-size (35mm equivalent) image sensor lineup.

Sony said “the combination of the high-resolution sensor and these processors enables new breakthroughs in subject recognition and capture for both still photography and video.”

Retail pricing for the Alpha 7R V will be $3,900 for the body only when it hits authorized dealer shelves in December.

The Alpha 7R V has “the most effective 8-step image stabilization system ever offered in any of Sony’s Alpha cameras.” It is capable of capturing refined 8K video through a stablized 4-axis multi-angle LCD monitor.

For professional user convenience, the camera also has high-speed communication functions, high-level operability and smooth workflow integration.

“The newest addition to our Alpha 7R lineup is the perfect example of our relentless drive to develop industry-leading imaging technology,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics.

Other newly advanced features include a next-generation Real-time Recognition AF system, with advanced accuracy and broader subject recognition via the AI processing unit with deep learning.

This technology is said to use detailed information about human form and pose estimation to improve recognition accuracy beyond systems limited to just face and eye focus detection.

Sony said this Real-time Recognition AF was developed to include several subject types, including animals, vehicles and insects.

Other new features in the Alpha 7R V include continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE tracking.

In addition to the advanced AI technology, the Alpha 7R V includes the following advancements:

Tenacious Real-time Tracking
Faster and more precise wide-area, high-density AF system
Silent, vibration-free shooting at up to 7 fps
Continuous shooting of up to 583 compressed RAW images at high speed

The Alpha 7R V also includes focus features that support high resolution including full-time direct manual focus (DMF), and focus bracketing, a highly-requested capability enabling focus stacked images.

The BIONZ XR image processing engine is said to fully realize the resolution potential of the camera’s sensor to produce high resolution pictures with lowest sensitivity to date. The camera’s ISO range is 100-32000 for both stills and movies and wide dynamic range with 15 stops for stills, Sony said.

Sony said it has further updated the entire image stabilization system with high-precision gyro sensors, and optimized algorithms for stills and video.

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In addition to up to the 8-step compensation effect for stills, the new stabilization algorithm provides single pixel-level detection and control to bring out fine subject details.

Upgraded Pixel Shift Multi Shooting takes advantage the AR7-V’s in-body image stabilization system control to capture multiple pixel-shifted images that are later composited using a computer using a new Imaging Edge Desktop Ver.3.5 software.

With this, Sony said the small pixel-level movements, such as a shift in the subject’s position or leaves on a tree, are automatically detected and corrected for optimized compositing.

The camera can produce 16-image composites with approximately 240.8 million pixels (19,008 x 12,672 pixels) using data equivalent to approximately 963.2 million pixels.

The Alpha 7R V also supports advanced external flash control, and in challenging lighting conditions the Alpha 7R V will effectively suppresses flickering from artificial lights for stills and video.

Additional still shooting features:

Lossless RAW image compression and selectable RAW image sizes and quality
Expanded focus and exposure bracketing
Creative look settings for stills and videos in camera
High-quality HEIF images with high compression efficiency
Wide brightness range for large screen viewing.

For video work, the Alpha 7R V enables advanced functions including: 8K 24/25p video, 4K video oversampled from 6.2K without binning, a high-efficiency MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 codec, all intra recording, 10-bit 4:2:2 recording.

Subject recognition has been improved with greater real-time tracking reliability, breathing compensation and the ability to use camera metadata for post-processing and advanced in-body image stabilization, Sony said.

In addition to in-body Active Mode image stabilization for smoother on-the-go recording, the Alpha 7R V is compatible with select lenses that include built-in image stabilization for even more stable framing and smooth footage.

The Alpha 7R V 4-axis tilting multi-angle LCD monitor includes side-opening vari-angle flexibility, in addition to camera’s 9.44-million-dot electronic view-finder. The Alpha 7R V also includes two CFexpress Type A/SDXC compatible media slots and a a new menu system with touch control and a wide range of customizable functions.

The Alpha 7R V also allows professionals to optimize their workflow with updated connectivity for improved support. Data can be transferred at high speed over Wi-Fi (802.11ac) 2×2 MIMO or a wired SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps connection via a USB-C port.

New USB streaming features support UVC/UAC, allowing direct streaming from the camera in up to 4K (QFHD) resolution with audio.

The Alpha 7R V includes improved heat dissipation for extended recording times, an upgraded dust and moisture resistant design, and a rugged magnesium alloy chassis.

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By Greg Tarr

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