Sony A7 IV Sensor test - DXOMARK (2023)

The Sony A7 IV is the fourth-generation, full-frame mirrorless A7 “general-purpose” model that sits in-between the high-resolution A7 “R” and video-centric A7 “S” variants. As a result, the Sony A7 IV is arguably the most balanced of the two and leverages the most of the hybrid mirrorless design to offer a wide range of stills and video capabilities.

With its predecessor, the A7 III and many rivals, fielding the hugely popular 24 MP Sony sensor, the A7 IV is the first camera to leave that behind and adopt a completely new sensor — a 33 MP BSI-CMOS device. Sony has paired it with the high-end BIONZ XR processor, enabling a native sensitivity range of ISO100-51,200 and a maximum continuous shooting rate of up to 10 fps (12-bit lossey) and up to 6 fps (14 bit lossless).

AF has also been upgraded in line with other “IV” Gen models, including improved subject tracking in both stills and video.

In addition, the Sony A7 IV has full-width oversampled 4K (3840 x2160) 10-bit video recording up to 30p, and up to 60p in a Super-35 (roughly APS-C) crop.

The Sony A7 IV features a 3.68M-pixel OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) built-in, along with a 3-inch, 1.03M-dot vari-angle LCD touchscreen and in-body stabilization with up to 5.5 stop compensation. Further advances include the new touch-sensitive menu interface and improvements to the body’s ergonomics. There are also lossless compressed Raw and HEIF (10-bit) file options, plus dual SD card slots with slot 1 also compatible with CFexpress Type A cards.

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Connectivity options include full-size HDMI, Bluetooth LE and USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) with charging.The Sony A7 IV is available now for $2800/€2800.

Key specifications

  • 33 MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200, with expansion to ISO 50-204,400
  • 3.68 M-pixel OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • 10 fps (12-bit lossey), up to 6 fps (14 bit lossless)
  • 4K/30p 10-bit full-width video
  • In-body stabilization up to 5.5 stops compensation
  • Twin card slots (CFe A/SD UHS-II, SD UHS-II)
  • Bluetooth LE, USB-C 3.2, HDMI connectivity

Overall performance

Click on the score chart above to open the Sony A7 IV product page.

The Sony A7 IV sensor achieved a high score of 97 in our benchmarking, which puts it in joint 7th position in our rankings for all sensor sizes, including medium format.That places the Sony A7 IV sensor performance alongside the older high-res full-frame sensors in the Nikon D810 and Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II compact, and just behind the Sony A1 and Sony A7R IV at 98 and 99 points, respectively.

At base ISO, the Sony A7 IV has solid results for color depth and dynamic range, peaking at 25.4 bits and 14.7 EV respectively. The Sony A7 IV also faired well in our low-light ISO (Sports) category, which takes minimum SNR, DR, and Color Depth values into account, where it achieved a high computed sensitivity of ISO 3379.

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In-depth comparisons

As a camera aimed at amateurs and enthusiasts, we’ve compared the Sony A7 IV with the 20 MP Canon EOS R6. That camera doesn’t have a BSI-type CMOS sensor, but it’s claimed to be based on the sensor in the top-of-the-range Canon EOS-1DX Mark III.

While the 24 MP Nikon Z 6 II and Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and S5 are also competing in the same space as the Sony A7 IV and Canon EOS R6, we’ve opted instead to take a detailed look at the Sony A7 III to see how the new sensor and processing differ. It was just $2000 upon introduction back in February 2018.

Portrait (color depth)

Across the ISO sensitivity range color depth in the Sony A7 IV isn’t so different from the camera it replaces. Sony uses a base of ISO 100 but the ISO 50 extended option is essentially the same and both measure ISO 68 on the A7 IV. In our tests, there’s a slight improvement at those settings of 25.4 bits in the A7 IV vs. 24.1 for the A7 III (measured at ISO 74) through to ISO 400, where color depth has dropped in the new sensor to 24 bits. That’s around +0.7 bits better than the outgoing model. After that, the values and downward trajectory of the two sensors are similar. However, there’s a very slight reversal in performance, with the older sensor having around +0.2-0.3 bits advantage up to ISO 6400 (manufacturer settings).

Comparing the Sony A7 IV against the Canon EOS R6 reveals that the former has better color depth at just about every sensitivity setting. Values of 1.3-1.0 bits difference were measured against the Canon sensor over the ISO 50/100 to ISO 400 range.

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Landscape (dynamic range)

Small improvements can also be seen in dynamic range at low ISOs from ISO50/100 to ISO200. For example, there’s a negligible +0.1 EV improvement at the ISO50/100 settings over the A7 III. However, it is interesting to see the implementation of the second read-out mode at ISO 400, instead of ISO 800 in the A7 III. Although this results in DR of just over 14 stops at ISO 400, equating to around +1.2 EV uplift over the A7 III, this has little bearing overall. The older sensor’s second gain a step later at ISO 800 results in a smaller uplift of +0.3-0.2EV that persists throughout the higher ISOs to ISO 25,600. After that their responses are similar until further noise reduction is applied at their very highest sensitivities.

The Canon EOS R6 sensor on the other hand has slightly lower maximum DR, albeit still a respectable 14.2 stops at base. After that, it has a very gentle decline in DR of about -0.6 EV per ISO step to ISO 800, increasing to around -1.0 EV per step after that. While there’s possibly a second gain, or perhaps smoothing applied, resulting in a bump in DR at ISO 400 and beating the A7 III, the EOS R6 only matches the Sony A7 IV at higher ISOs.

Sports (low-light ISO)

In this category, which gives an indication of noise levels and image quality, with higher ISO values showing better low-light performance, the Sony A7 IV sensor shows a very similar response to that of the Sony A7 III (ISO 3379 vs. ISO 3722), a difference of just -0.14 EV. Contrast that with the Canon EOS R6 sensor, calculated at ISO 3394, which is effectively identical to the Sony A7 IV.

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As the 24 MP BSI-CMOS full-frame sensor equips the out-going Sony A7 III, and the majority of Sony’s rivals at this level, the new 33 MP BSI-type CMOS in the Sony A7 IV will also probably appear in forthcoming competitor’s models, so the results are doubly interesting.

While the new sensor doesn’t perform a lot differently from the outgoing device, there has been a useful increase in the overall pixel count of 37.5% (albeit a 16.8% increase in linear pixel count on the long-edge). This may appear somewhat incremental, but when combined with the various improvements in stills and video features, the new Sony A7 IV is an incredibly well-rounded hybrid and a highly attractive option forall sortsof genres.

In this review, we have mentioned the Sony A7 IV’s most relevant rivals from other brands. As usual, you can compare it with these and with other models and create your own comparisons and in-depth analyses using our interactive image sensor ranking tool.

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What is the best ISO level for Sony A7IV? ›

The A7IV has a dual-gain for photos at ISO 400. So ISO 400 has more DR and should have slightly better noise than ISO 320 and ISO 250. ISO 250 is very close...just slightly below ISO 400. Really the only ISO to avoid is ISO 320.

Is Sony A7IV 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.

What is the ISO value of Sony A7 IV? ›

The Sony a7R IV has an ISO range from 50 through 102400. Of that, the native ISO range is from 100 through 32000. At either end are extended ISO ranges where software takes over beyond the native capabilities of the sensor. These extended ISO ranges are from ISO 50 to ISO 80 and from ISO 40000 to ISO 102400.

What kind of sensor does the Sony A7IV have? ›

With its predecessor, the A7 III and many rivals, fielding the hugely popular 24 MP Sony sensor, the A7 IV is the first camera to leave that behind and adopt a completely new sensor — a 33 MP BSI-CMOS device.

What's the highest ISO you should use? ›

100 or 200 is the best ISO for a sunny day or bright setting with lots of light. 400 ISO for cloudy days or indoor shots. 800 ISO for indoors without an external light. 1600+ ISO for low light situations.

What ISO setting gives the best image quality? ›

Whenever image quality is of the utmost importance, always shoot with an ISO 100 setting. Now remember in low light situations, this will mean your camera will also shoot much slower than if you used a faster ISO 800 for example. Therefore you will need a tripod if using ISO 100 in low light.

What is the max bitrate for Sony A7IV? ›

Its max bit rate is 600 megabits per second (Mbps) in all-intra mode, which is why one of the dual media bays features CFexpress Type A compatibility. This camera also features a fully articulating flip-out touchscreen, the same autofocus system as the a1 and five-axis SteadyShot image stabilization.

Do pro 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 10 bit? ›

The Sony A7IV has some big shoes to fill after the SUPER popular A7III, but with 10-bit video, a new 33MP sensor, better autofocus, a new menu, a flip screen, and more, it's certainly stepping up to the challenge.

What is A7IV native ISO? ›

The base ISOs for Sony A7 IV

S-Log3 - 800, 3200. S-Cinetone - 125, 500.

Is Sony A7 IV worth the upgrade? ›

It's a definitive upgrade from previous versions, which makes reading reviews like this a bit dangerous – when the new version actually offers a lot, it makes you want to buy new gear! I find the Sony Alpha a7IV to be a very capable camera for the price point as it inherits many features from the $6,500 Sony A1.

Which Sony sensor is best? ›

With its impressive native resolution of 50.3 and 4-in-1 pixel binning technology, the Sony IMX 989 offers superior image quality and light sensitivity compared to other smartphone camera sensors.

Is Sony A7 IV best? ›

More and more social photographers need to shoot video as well as stills, which makes the Sony A7 IV one of the best professional cameras and perhaps one of the best cameras for filmmaking. The highest-resolution cameras are great for stills, but more limited for video capture.

Does A7 IV have bird eye tracking? ›

Bird Eye AF Test Summary

During the shooting, Sony A7 IV triggers the Bird Eye AF around 80% of the time when shooting the resting birds. The tallied results are close to my shooting experience.

What happens if your ISO is too high? ›

At higher ISO settings in photography, you'll also decrease your dynamic range, which can result in a loss of detail in the highlights. If you're seeing pure white areas without being able to recover any of those details, a high ISO setting could be to blame.

Is 3200 ISO too high? ›

Take a look at the photos at full resolution on your computer. If ISO 6400 has too much noise for your taste but ISO 3200 looks good, then ISO 3200 is your camera's maximum acceptable ISO value.

How much ISO is enough? ›

The "normal" range of camera ISO is about 200 to 1600. With today's digital cameras you can sometimes go as low as 50 or as high as over three million, depending upon the camera model. The number chosen has two important qualities associated with it. First, it sets the amount of light needed for a good exposure.

Does lower ISO mean sharper images? ›

Lower Your ISO

The higher your ISO speed, the more digital noise you'll get in your photo. This causes sharp details to appear fuzzy, affecting the overall sharpness of the image.

Does high ISO cause blurry photos? ›

Don't Raise Your ISO Too High

But you shouldn't forget that this will also mean more noise in your image. What is this? Due to too much noise, your subject will begin to look soft on close inspection. For example, even a still portrait of someone taken at 6400 ISO will cause them to have a blurred face.

What is the rule of thumb for ISO setting? ›

The Sunny 16 rule states that, on sunny days, at an aperture of f/16, your shutter speed is the inverse of your ISO value. For instance, if you set your camera at an aperture of f/16 and ISO 100, your shutter speed should be 1/100 s. This is one of the easiest photography rules to remember.

What is the shutter speed limit on Sony a7iv? ›

The Sony A7 IV's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's also a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.

What is the fastest shutter speed for Sony a7iv? ›

1/8000 - 30 sec

What is the aspect ratio of Sony a7iv sensor? ›

The aspect ratio is 16:9.

How many bit depth is Sony A7 IV? ›

The a7 IV gains the ability to capture 10-bit compressed images, rather than just the 8-bit JPEGs historically offered.

Is the A7IV good for astrophotography? ›

Seems like the A7IV is a very good performer for night sky and astrophotography. Here is some tracked Milky Way, 30 frames each 2 minutes, stacked to a total of one hour.

Which Sony camera is best for fine art photography? ›

What is the best camera for fine art photography? Almost any camera works well with fine art photography. Some of the best fine art cameras are the Canon 5D Mark IV, Sony A7 III, and Nikon D750.

Which is the No 1 camera in the world? ›

The Canon brand is the current leader in the camera space, though Canon is most known for its high-quality DSLRs and DSLR lens lineup.

Is Sony better than Nikon for image quality? ›

Sony is better at most things: autofocus, low light performance, native lens range, 3rd party lens support, dual card slots, exposure compensation dial, video, customisation, and battery life. Nikon is better at some things: grip and handling, menu layout, monitor resolution, and touch screen.

Do professional photographers use P mode? ›

Program Mode (P)

One thing you must know about Program mode is that it's used even by professionals and press photographers.

Which is better Sony A7IV or A7R IV? ›

Viewfinder and screen

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.

How old is the Sony A7IV? ›

Sony α7 IV
ReleasedOctober 21, 2021
Intro price$2,499 USD body, $2,699 USD kit (28-70mm Zoom Lens)
Lens mountSony E-mount
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Is the A7IV better than the A7R IV? ›

The A7RIV has almost 50% more MP than your camera, so you will see a significant difference. As far as the sensor goes your current camera beats the A7IV. There is a lot of talk of how much faster the frame rate of the A7IV is because of it's better buffer/processor.

Does Sony A7 IV have dual ISO? ›

"Dual Gain" ISO

As with the Sony A1 and A7S III, the Sony A7 IV uses an algorithm to emulate "dual gain" functionality in the camera. This means that there are essentially two base ISOs. One at 100 and one at 3200.

What frame rate is the Sony A7IV viewfinder? ›

The a7 IV uses a 0.78x magnification viewfinder with a 3.68-million-dot OLED panel. It's in line with competitors—the Canon EOS R6 and Nikon Z 6 II have similar displays. The viewfinder refreshes at a smooth 60fps in its Standard mode, but offers a Hi readout, 120fps mode that is more suitable for action photography.

What is the dual ISO on A7IV? ›

But what sets the A7IV apart is its dual ISO capabilities. This means you can shoot in low-light conditions without worrying about grain or noise ruining your shots.

Is Sony A9 better than A7IV? ›

The A9 has faster readout and 60 Afcps, but the A7IV has a much newer processor with better subject detection and faster calculations.

Is there a big difference between A7III and A7IV? ›

The key difference between both cameras is the amount of megapixels they shoot. The A7 III has 24MP, and the A7 IV has 33MP.

Is A7IV better than A7III? ›

The A7 III features 693 phase and 425 contrast detection points. The phase area covers approximately 93% of the sensor surface. The A7 IV increases the AF coverage slightly (94%) with a total of 759 phase detection points. This is the same amount used by the A7S III and the flagship A1.

Why Sony sensor is better than Samsung? ›

While Samsung has been chasing megapixels, releasing 108MP and 200MP sensors, Sony has been increasing the size of its camera sensors, offering a higher native pixel size for improved low-light image and video quality.

Which is the best camera sensor in the world? ›

Samsung ISOCELL Bright HP2 200MP image sensor.

Who makes the best image sensors? ›

Camera sensor rankings
ModelMpixOverall Score
Pentax 645Z51.4101 2
Leica M1160.3100 3
Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R47.3100 4
Nikon D85045.7100 5
23 more rows

What is the best ISO range for Sony A7iv? ›

The a7IV has a native ISO range from 100-51,200, with an expanded range of ISO 50-204,800 available.

Is the Sony A7iv an entry level camera? ›

The new sensor is a step up from the A7 III (which had a 24-megapixel sensor), as well as what you'll find in rivals like the Canon R6, Nikon Z6II, and Panasonic S1. At the same time, the A7 IV is still very much the entry-level camera in Sony's lineup.

Is Sony A7iv 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.

Who is the A7 IV for? ›

Sony a7 IV: Beyond Basic

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 the Sony a7r IV good for wildlife photography? ›

A7RIV Camera Highlights:

An innovative autofocus system with subject tracking and animal AF fast enough to track birds and wildlife. Pair it with one of over 50 native lenses (no adapter needed) including a spectacular new lightest on the market 600mm f4, 400mm 2.8, 200-600mm, or 100-400mm.

What camera do bird watchers use? ›

The best cameras for bird photography in 2023
Best Canon premiumCanon EOS R3SEE IT
Best NikonNikon Z9SEE IT
Best SonySony a7 IVSEE IT
Feb 6, 2023

What is the best ISO performance Sony? ›

Sony hit it out of the park with the a1. This full-frame mirrorless camera is a technological powerhouse and is easily the best-performing camera in the Sony lineup when it comes to high ISOs. The reason for the improved low light performance is the stacked 50-megapixel sensor.

What is the best ISO for Sony camera? ›

It's always best to shoot in the native ISO range (in this case, the camera's ISO range is 100-51200) as opposed to the “expanded” range (50-204800) in order to retain the best quality (due to sensor hardware limitations).

How to set ISO on Sony a7 IV? ›

To change the ISO, select Exposure/Color → Exposure → ISO sensitivity from the menu and change the setting. You can also register ISO sensitivity to the Custom Key or Fn menu.

What is the sharpest ISO? ›

How to Determine the Best ISO Settings
  • ISO 100-200: Best for bright daylight. ...
  • ISO 200-400: Slightly less ambient light, such as indoors during the daytime or outdoors in the shade.
  • ISO 400-800: Indoors, with a flash.
  • ISO 800-1600: Low light indoors or at night when you can't use a flash.
Aug 2, 2021

Is the lowest ISO always best? ›

When you use low ISO values such as 300 and lower, generally the result is a higher quality photo. Bright conditions — like shooting outdoors on a sunny day — benefit from lower values. Landscape photography, for example, is very well-suited to low ISO values. They keep photos from looking overly-exposed or washed out.

What ISO is most versatile? ›

Lomography Color Negative 400 is the most versatile color film. The 400 ISO makes it flexible in changing light conditions. You get great image quality. And the grain is only visible when underexposed.

What is the native ISO for Sony? ›

Of that, the native ISO range of the sensor is 100 to 51200. That's the range that's considered optimal for the sensor hardware.

What is the best ISO for HDR? ›

For best HDR image results, stick with ISO 100 on a Canon or ISO 160 on a Nikon. If you need to boost up the ISO, you can go up to ISO 200 or ISO 400 (Nikon equivalence would be ISO 320 or ISO 640).

What is the best ISO for aperture? ›

Best camera settings in photography
  • Aperture: f/1.8-f/5.6 in low light or for a narrower depth of field, and f/8-f/16 for a wider DoF.
  • Shutter Speed: From 30 seconds to 1/4000th of a second depending on the scene.
  • ISO: 100-3200 in entry-level cameras, and 100-6400 in more advanced cameras.

Does A7IV have dual ISO? ›

"Dual Gain" ISO

As with the Sony A1 and A7S III, the Sony A7 IV uses an algorithm to emulate "dual gain" functionality in the camera. This means that there are essentially two base ISOs. One at 100 and one at 3200.

What is the shutter speed of the Sony a7iv? ›

Sony a7 IV
MSRP$2499, €2,800, £2,400 (body only)
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
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What is the minimum shutter speed for ISO? ›

Want to minimize the possibility of camera shake—then set the minimum shutter speed to 1/250 sec. The Auto ISO feature tells the camera to change the exposure based on the changing light. As the light in the scene dims, the shutter speed will drop to let in more light, to ensure a correct exposure.

What is the minimum shutter speed for aperture priority? ›

Aperture priority mode also restricts you to shutter speeds of 30 seconds (on most cameras) or shorter. If you want to use your camera's bulb or time mode, you will need to be in Manual.


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