The Sony a7R V, while undoubtedly an amazing camera for stills, is still something of a question mark when it comes to video.
The camera ups the ante for filmmaking with a headline that includes 8K recording with great dynamic range, S-Log3, and internal 10-bit codecs. However, is that 61MP sensor all it cracks up to be?
Some considerations to keep in mind are that the 61MP sensor is not stacked and will likely suffer from rolling shutter. Also, the camera needs to crop to achieve some recording modes.
It has a body designed for stills but some outstanding specs, let’s see what ProAV TV has to say.
Seriously, the a7R V is an outstanding hybrid camera. They made a ton of upgrades in this model:
- Upgraded EVF
- Brand-new 4-axis multi-angle screen
- Faster processor
- AI processing engine for autofocus
- 10-bit video
- Improved menu
The 61MP sensor is a different beast than the one found in the FX3, FX30, a7S III, a1, and even the a7 IV. Those are all great for video.
In that list, only the a1 and a7 IV might be classified as good professional hybrid cameras since they are equally good for stills and video. Is the a7R V different and viable as a hybrid option?
This system will produce incredibly detailed photos and the back-illuminated design should deliver excellent dynamic range with good control over noise at higher ISOs. The only sensor that might be better is the stacked one found in the a1.
One of the best improvements here is the ability to shoot in a variety of lossless and compressed raw options. You can even choose small, medium, and large raw sizes that should make it more practical even when you don’t need those huge files.
Video has gotten a major overhaul with the a7R V. They have brought its capabilities up to match the other current models in the lineup. Previously the a7R IV was limited to 8-bit internal recording, now it has the full suite of XAVC S formats and internal 10-bit.
You even get 8K recording here. For 4K you are able to reach 60p and Full HD can hit 120p. This isn’t quite as speedy as many other offerings, but it is impressive to get it in such a high-resolution body. There are some 1.2x crops for 8K recording and 4K at 60p.
Sony has completely revamped the autofocus system with the addition of a dedicated AI processing unit that relies on some machine learning algorithms.
Subject detection now has a ton of options, including people, animals/birds, insects, cars, trains, and airplanes. This works in both stills and video.
For people tracking they have added body tracking in addition to face which should allow the camera to stay locked onto a subject even if they turn around during a shot.
The a7R V feels and handles similarly to many other a7 series cameras. The new menu system finally makes its way in here.
The buttons have mostly stayed the same even though the dials up top have been tweaked a bit.
Media has been brought up to speed with two dual CFexpress Type A/SD card slots. And, there is a full-size HDMI port that supports raw output.
Monitoring is much better with the new 9.4m-dot EVF of the a1 and a7S III.
The rear screen receives the biggest upgrade and is now a 4-axis design that allows for tilting as well as full multi-angle adjustment. The screen is also a higher 2.1m-dot resolution.
These are some quick tests that aren’t fully representative of image quality—they are looking very good though. In the various recording modes there are varying levels of cropping.
When shooting in 4K at 60p and 8K there is a 1.2x crop. Shooting in 4K at 24/30p or any Full HD settings will use the full sensor width.
Detail is great on all of them. Obviously, the total detail goes down with resolution but it still looks as good as it can given the limitation.
Rolling shutter is very prominent on the 8K footage. 4K has less but it is still very noticeable. Some people might need to be careful with this camera.
As for color profiles, the a7R V is matching up very well with other cameras like the FX3. The FX3 might still have the edge. However, the higher resolution is helping retain a lot more detail.
Where the a7R V does get beat out is in underexposure, which makes sense since the lower-megapixel FX3 is known for outstanding low-light performance.
If you are mostly shooting video then you should definitely still look at the a7S III or FX3 (or even a1 if you have the money). The a7R V is really for people who need to deliver top-notch stills and have a strong need for video.
The a7 IV might be a better option if you lean more towards video, but if you need good stills performance the a7R V is going to deliver.
What do you think about the Sony a7R V?
[source: ProAv TV]
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