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Sony A7R V hands on Review

Sony A7R V review

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$3900 / € 4500
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Our Verdict

The Sony A7R V has been given a significant boost in comparison to the A7R IV. Yes, the pixel count is the same, but the processor and AI Processing Unit enables some nice improvements, with the Eye AF seeming much more sensitive and snappy. There’s also a -million-dot viewfinder and a 4-way tilting touchscreen that allows much more touch-control. And let’s not forget the 8K video capability (with a 1.2x crop) and the full-frame 4K from 6.2K. It’s a very tempting package for professional photographers and content creators.


  • High resolution
  • Wide range of subject detection modes
  • High resolution viewfinder and 4-axis screen


  • High price
  • 1.2x crop in 8K video mode

What is the Sony A7R V?

The Sony A7R V is the replacement to the Sony A7R IV. Like its predecessor, the Sony A7R V has a 61MP backside-illuminated (BSI) full-frame sensor, but there are lots of changes that have taken place to bring Sony’s highest-resolution mirrorless camera bang up to date.


  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless
  • Announced: 26th October 2022
  • Sensor: 61MP full-frame sensor
  • Processing engine: Bionz XR
  • Lens mount: Sony FE
  • Continuous Shooting: Up to 10fps burst shooting with full AF / AE Tracking: Hi+: 10 fps, Hi: 8 fps, Mid: 6 fps, Lo: 3 fps
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 693 phase detection points and subject detection
  • Subject detection: Human (Right/Left Eye Select), Animal (Right/Left Eye Select), Bird, Insect, Car, Train, Airplane
  • Buffer depth: JPEG Extra fine L: over 1000 frames, JPEG Fine L: over 1000 frames, JPEG Standard L: over 1000 frames, raw : 583 frames, RAW & JPEG: 184 frames, raw (Lossless Compressed): 547 frames, raw (Lossless Compressed) & JPEG: 159 frames, raw (Uncompressed): 135 frames, raw (Uncompressed) & JPEG: 88 frames
  • Video resolution: 8K at 24p (1.2x crop), 4K at up to 60p (1.2x crop) or 4K downsampled from 6.2K
  • Video formats and compression: XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264,XAVC HS: MPEG-H HEVC/H.265
  • Sensitivity range: Still images: ISO 100-32000, expandable to ISO 50-102,40, Movies: ISO 100-32000
  • Viewfinder: 1.6cm / 0.64-inch 9,437,184-dot OLED
  • Screen: 3.2-inch 2,095,104-dot 4-axis touchscreen
  • Storage: 2x CFexpress Type-A / SDXC
  • Battery: Rechargeable NP-FZ100 battery supplied
  • Battery life: Viewfinder: 440 shots, Screen: 530 shots
  • Dimensions: 131.3 x 96.9 x 82.4mm / 5 1/4 x 3 7/8 x 3 1/4 inches
  • Weight: 723g / 1lb 9.6oz
Sony A7R V review


While there’s little change with the 61MP BSI sensor in the Sony A7R V, the processing engine is the very latest incarnation of the Sony Bionz XR and it, plus the dedicated AI Processing unit, is behind some exciting updates that the A7R V makes on the A7R IV.

Most significantly, there’s a new autofocus (AF) system with 693 phase detection points that cover 79% of the sensor. This backed by the subject-recognition system which, according to Sony, delivers a 60% improvement in human eye recognition and a 40% improvement in animal recognition. The range of detectable (and selectable) subjects has been extended to include humans, animals, birds, insects, planes and trains. It’s also possible to set the A7R V to detect animals and birds or either by themselves.

Thanks to the AI-enhanced Real Time Tracking, the Sony A7R V can follow people via their pose or body shape. And the Eye AF can even predict where the eyes are behind sunglasses so the eye is in focus rather than the glasses.

When animals are selected for detection, the camera can be set to look for their eyes, their body and head or their body, head and eyes in hierarchal order.

This sophisticated AF system is backed by the ability to shoot at up to 10fps (in Hi+ drive mode) with full-AF but blackout or 8fps (in H drive mode) without blackout. Also, when the new compressed raw file format is selected, the A7R V can record up to 583 images in one continuous sequence.

Sony has uprated the A7R V’s in-body image stabilisation in comparison with the A7 IV and when paired with a fully-compatible lens there’s up to 8EV shutter speed compensation in stills and video mode.

The Sony A7R V also has an improved Multi Shot Pixel Shift system. As before this can be set to capture 16 images that are composted into one larger image using Sony’s Imaging Edge Desktop software. Paired with the latest version of the software (V3.5), any movement is detected and the frame removed to ensure greater sharpness throughout the final 240.9MP image.

Sony has extended the range of files sizes and formats that the A7R V can capture to include uncompressed raw, lossless compressed raw (in large, medium or small sizes), compressed raw and Jpeg, with Jpeg light joining the usual array of compressions (extra fine, fine and standard).

Sony A7R V video features

The headline figures for the Sony A7R V on the video front are that it can shoot 8K video at 24/25p with a 1.2x crop or 4K video at up to 60/50p also with a 1.2x crop and 4K video at up to 30p with no crop. There’s also the option to shoot 4K video downsampled from 6.2K with no pixel binning.

The MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 codec is on hand along with all intra recording and 10-bit 4:2:2 colour.

Sony’s updated subject recognition system and real-time tracking are also available in video mode and there’s breathing compensation feature that we saw introduced with the Sony A7 IV.

As I mentioned earlier, the IBIS works during video mode but there’s also a (digital) in-body Active mode for the image stabilisation.

Other features

The Sony A7R IV also features:

  • Focus bracketing in which it will shoot up to 299 images automatically, shooting the focus across a user-defined range, for post-capture combining.
  • Full-time DMF that switches the camera to manual focus whenever the lens’s focus ring is rotated in AF-C or AF-S autofocus mode.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and 2×2 MIMO support for fast and stable image transfer.
  • A graphite heat dissipation structure to move heat away from the sensor, image processor and AI processing unit. This construction has a sigma shape and is built into the image stabilisation unit.
  • Two CFexpress Type A slots that can be used with SDXC/SDHC UHS-II or UHS-I cards.
  • USB PD (Power Delivery) which means a USB charger or mobile battery that supports USB PD can be connected to the A7R V’s USB Type-C port to supply power or charge the battery.
Sony A7R V review

Build and handling

Comparing the new Sony A7R V with the A7R IV that it replaces reveals few differences, they appear to be the same size and have the same shape. However, there are few differences with the controls. The C1 button on the A7R IV, for example, is now the record button on the A7R V so it sits on the top-plate near the shutter release – hurrah! The C1 button on the A7R V now occupies the space where the A7R IV’s record button is. It think it’s a better arrangement as the record button seems more readily available.

The dials on the top of the camera are the same, however, the dial on the far right of the A7R V, which is the exposure compensation dial on the A7R Iv and has markings accordingly, is unmarked. It can be used to adjust the exposure compensation, but it’s customisable.

Also, instead of having the video mode on the main mode dial, there’s now a switch under the dial that lets you swap between stills, video and S&Q *slow and quick) mode. This seems another step in the right direction as it means the video exposure mode can be set via the mode dial rather than via the menu.

Sony has also changed from a tilting screen on the A7R IV to a 4-axis screen. That combined a tilting bracket with a vari-angle hinge. It means that the screen can be tilted so that it remains in line with the optic axis of the lens, or it can be flipped out to the side to help with framing vertical shots and even rotated to face forward. It seems like the best of both words.

The 3.2-inch screen is also a touchscreen and Sony has made much more use of the touch control than it does with the A7R IV. It means that you can navigate the menu and make selections with taps – or use the buttons and dials.

Further good news is that Sony has updated the menu system so it’s easier to find key features and, like the FX30 it features a new ‘Main Menu’ pages which has a tabulated layout similar to some camera’s quick or function menus. And don’t fear, the A7R. V still has a function menu that’s accessed by pressing the Fn button.

Above the rear screen there’s the 0.64-inch type 9,437,184-dot viewfinder which by default has a refresh rate of 60fps but can be boosted to 120fps. It gives a very natural and detailed view in 60fps mode.

Sony A7R V review


I was able to shoot with the Sony A7R V ahead of its announcement and although there’s lot more testing to be done, I’m impressed with its performance so far. The focusing is very fast and the subject detection worked very well when I was photographing some dancers. As the dancers spun around, the camera was quick to spot an eye and focus on it. When and eye wasn’t visible, or not enough of it was visible, it homed in on their head or body and got them sharp.

Sony claims that the A7R V delivers a new level of resolution at low sensitivity settings, and they are very good, but with the same pixel count, I’m not expecting any major changes in the level of detail in images in comparison to those from the A7R IV. However, the improvements made to the autofocus system, subject tracking and the enhanced stabilisation should mean that there are more ‘keepers’ in each sequence of images.

Interestingly, Sony hasn’t said anything about improved noise reduction algorithms, so we may not see an improvement in the amount of noise in images shot at mid-to-high ISO settings, but it’s something I plan to take a look at when I get a sample in for further testing.

So far, I’ve only been able to use the A7R V in a white room with large windows and the maximum sensitivity setting that I used was ISO 5000 (to enable a subject-freezing shutter speed). As yet, it’s not possible to process the raw files, but the Jpegs look good having only a hint of noise in the darker areas of the image.

Sony A7R V sample images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images from the Sony A7R V. Most of the images are straight from the camera and uncropped or edited, but a few have been cropped to improve the composition followed by some light editing.

Please respect our copyright.

Sony A7R V image gallery

Early verdict

My first impressions of the Sony A7R V are very good and it’s one of the most exciting cameras we have seen announced this year – actually I think it could be the most exciting camera so far. The extension to the collection of detectable subjects is very good news for a range of photographers and I’m looking forward to using it to photograph a range of animals, birds and insects.

Some observers might have been hoping for a higher resolution sensor, but really, 61MP is more than enough for most shooting situations. If you need more, perhaps you should be looking at a medium format camera. Others may wish for a faster continuous shooting rate than 10fps, but this is a 61MP camera, how much storage do you want to fill?

Sony’s 4-axis screen is great, enabling the simplicity of a tilting screen and the freedom of a vari-angle screen. Add in the enhanced touch-control and the A7R V becomes a much more flexible creative tool.


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