I’ve been using the A7iv for the last couple years. It’s an incredible camera for anyone shooting landscapes, portraits, events, wildlife, sports, or anything else, but is it worth it and should you get it?
For most people looking for a full frame camera in the $1500-2500 range, the A7iv is definitely worth it because of the autofocus, low light performance, ergonomics, lens variety, and ease of use.
But there are cons, and in this article, I’ll talk about my experience using it for the past 2 years.
What it’s like after 2 years of use
After using the Sony a7IV for the last two years, I can say that it’s probably the best camera I’ve ever used. Previously, I was a Nikon user right before I switched to this A7Rii.
I eventually sold the A7rii and upgraded to A7iii. A year later I bought the A7riii and sold it for the A7c.
I currently use both the A7c and A7riv. I use the A7c mostly for photography and astrophotography or when I need a light travel camera body. I use the A7IV for landscape photography, portraits, and filmmaking.
After two years of use, this camera is everything it was when I purchased it. And I really prefer the ergonomics over the A7c. It’s just more comfortable in the hand, it’s lightweight, and I love the stabilization.
Does 10 bit really matter?
I’ve struggled to see the need for 10 bit over 8 bit. 10 bit matters if you need the maximal dynamic range. 10 bit also provides more accurate colors which can greatly benefit a professional colorist.
For most hobbyists or content creators, 10 bit is not necessary, but it can be helpful for anyone who plans to improve their color grading.
As a content creator, I can’t say that 10 bit makes much of a difference. I don’t do a deep dive into color grading, but I do appreciate the dynamic range when adjusting shadows, highlights, or increasing the overal brightness of an image. There is a slight benefit with 10 bit, but it doesn’t drastically improve my work, and that’s why I don’t recommend it for most people.
Stabilization will be better on the next generation A7V
The stabilization on the A7iv is great, but it’s about to get a lot better with the next A7V. For video, the stabilization only crops to 1.2x and it’s almost gimbal like. I haven’t had any issues using it for vlogging, but it’s not a gimbal.
The Sony A7RV has the next generation of stabilization for Sony Cameras and it’s ideal for both photo and video because it’s mechanical stabilization. It’s significantly better than the A7iv, but it’s not necessary and it’s about $1500 more than the A7iv, and that’s why I don’t think it’s really worth it.
In recent years, Sony has really improved ergonomics, with the exception of the A7c, but I would still say that Canon and Nikon still lead the way.
While the A7 and A7ii series have the worst ergonomics, that was greatly improved with the A7iii series. With the A7iv series, ergonomics is almost perfected, but I still feel a slight gap that I don’t notice with Nikon.
Before I used Sony I shot with Nikon, and Nikon has the best-engineered grip, buttons, and mount. With Nikon, everything clicks and feels great, and I’m hopeful that Sony will continue in this path.
I have found that Sony’s lenses are much more balanced and work great with any of the A7iv series. They feel balanced unless using a large lens on a smaller body like the a6100 series or A7c.
I actually prefer the look of the older A7ii cameras with their minimal design, but the trade-off for better ergonomics is appreciated.
Is the new menu system worth it?
One reason I purchased the A7IV was because of the improved menu system, but it’s really not that great. It does not have a touch screen, and you can swipe to view images, but it’s not the kind of experience you’ll get from an iPhone.
I have finally disabled the touch screen altogether because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally touched the screen and lost focus. If you touch the back of the screen it will automatically focus on the focus area you selected, and you have to disable to tap to focus “x” to turn off subject tracking.
I’ve just made this error too many times to keep the touchscreen enabled.
The improved menu system is great and everything is better organized, but some of the menu items are still difficulty to understand. You can toggle an info icon, but it doesn’t always clarify the menu function in lamen terms.
I welcome the new menu systems, but I’m still used to the previous menu system, and I can do almost everything with custom buttons, so the new menu isn’t a huge advantage for me.
If I was to sell the A7iv right now I wouldn’t upgrade to the latest and greatest. Instead, I would get an older A7iii. The A7iii is still a fantastic camera for the value, and that’s the reason I still use my A7c. The A7c has the same sensor and it just has a great form factor.
If you need the best camera alternative, you might also consider the Canon R6. It has better stabilization much like the A7V and it’s pretty comparable to the specs of the A7iv.
The A7iv is still a great camera and if I was rating it across all my previous cameras I would give it 5 stars. For me, the only thing it’s missing is computational photography for improved HDR, a flip screen like the A7RV, and better stabilization. These are minor gripes because all-in-all the A7iv is incredible.
Stablization can be fixed with a gimbal, a better screen can be fixed with a monitor, and computational photography isn’t really an issue with the dynamic range.
The perfect camera doesn’t exist, and it won’t ever exist, so for now I’m keeping my A7iv.