Like the a7R IV, the a7R V ostensibly caters to professional landscape and commercial photographers requiring class-leading resolution; thanks to a whopping 61-megapixel sensor equipped with impressive high-ISO capabilities and outstanding dynamic range, photographers can capture detailed landscape and product shots, which can then be heavily cropped and turned into impeccable prints, magazine spreads, and even billboards.
But while the original a7R models sacrificed speed in favor of resolution, the R-series’ autofocus capabilities have improved steadily over the last decade, and the latest a7R iteration represents yet another major leap forward.
Specifically, the a7R V boasts autofocus technology that is, I suspect, the best we’ve ever seen in a consumer camera – which is especially astounding, given the R-series’ resolution-focused design. As Sony explains, “The Alpha 7R V features next-generation AF Real-Time Recognition AF, with advanced accuracy and broader subject recognition thanks to a new AI (artificial intelligence) processing unit with deep learning. The state-of-the-art AI processing uses detailed information about human form and pose estimation to dramatically improve recognition accuracy beyond systems which only detect face and eye and make full use of its potential.”
It’s not that Sony’s AF systems haven’t previously relied on AI technology. (They have.) But – at least as Sony tells it – the a7R V’s AI-based autofocus moves the camera’s tracking a step beyond all previous AF systems, thanks to a deeper analysis of subjects and more comprehensive object recognition. Assuming the AF system is as effective as it sounds, portrait, event, and even sports photographers will want to take advantage of the a7R V’s unique capabilities when tracking fast-moving subjects across a room, a dance floor, or a football field.
In addition to its superior tracking capabilities, the a7R V’s AF system can identify a wider variety of subjects than ever before, including insects, birds, animals, trains, cars, and planes. The camera should impress wildlife photographers – who will appreciate the boosted ability to follow animals as they race, fight, and forage – and especially macro photographers, who frequently struggle to maintain focus on insects when working at high magnifications.
In fact, what’s remarkable is just how well-rounded the a7R V actually is. There’s the high-megapixel sensor and next-gen autofocus, but there’s also a slew of other features: 10 frames-per-second continuous shooting, a unique “multi-angle” screen that flips upward and outward for maximum flexibility, a 9.44M-dot electronic viewfinder for a lifelike shooting experience, outstanding 8-stop in-body image stabilization for sharp images in low light, and 8K/24p recording for high-resolution videos, all packed into a compact, durable body.
At the end of the day, the a7R V is a resolution-first camera, which is why it’ll likely be the top full-frame option for landscape and other fine-art photographers as we move into 2023. But its other capabilities – the AF tracking, the ergonomics, and the video recording – are equally worthy of note and will ensure the a7R V also becomes a go-to option for generalist professionals and serious hobbyists.
So if you’re a landscape, commercial, or even portrait photographer in need of a new camera, check out the Sony a7R V. It’ll begin shipping in early December, but you can currently preorder it for $3900.
Now over to you:
What do you think of the new a7R V? Are you impressed? Disappointed? Will you buy it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!