Sony Alpha 7R V: a Blockbuster Release

Sony Alpha 7R V

The Sony Alpha 7R V is a blockbuster release and I’m crossposting from our sister site Sony Mirrorless Pro. Shooting with the a7r since 2013, I was impressed and wowed by what this camera can do (preorder now from B&H).

Sony Alpha 7R V
Sony Alpha 7R V $3898 on preorder

I’ll say it another way: the R5 fits my in-the-moment shooting style. I have the most fun when immersed in technology and creativity. And, for this model, I did so at a super high rez. Like this photo from a bike path.

Sony Alpha 7R V: a Blockbuster Release
Motion blur with the AF locked onto the cyclists eyes.

The Alpha 1 (my personal camera) behaves the same, a bit slower on focus capture and with less resolution. I expect the best-in-class focusing performance from Sony’s flagship and the a9 II. Just not their highest-resolution model. That’s what the a7rv changes. The AI-based autofocus algorithm even includes Insect Detect.

A bee pollenating flowers on the High Line
A bee pollenating flowers on the High Line captured handheld with the AI-based Insect Detect.

On the High Line and the Street

Quickly running out of superlatives to describe the bionic-like experience, I encourage you to try it yourself. Like the attendees of Creative Space did. They lined up at 5 am, around the block, and tried out the a7r5 right after it launched. As soon as you can try it at a store, do so, and I expect you’ll come away as impressed as I was.

Sony Alpha 7R V
Handheld, at night, in an instant, no flash or tripod. It looks 3d via the EVF. Like a film still.

The bee photo above is one of the best a7rV examples. The street photo is too. A speedy AF (+ AI) and the 8-step stabilization made the frames possible.

The bee photo happened after I turned on Insect Detect. Bees were moving fast pollinating, in gusty conditions, and I was too close to see them in focus. After the green box lit up on the little bee, my finger released the shutter button. I didn’t observe the bee myself. The camera did.

A similar thing happened with the subject of the street photo. Stepping out of the restaurant, the scene presented itself. I turned on the camera and acquired the focus in an instant. When viewed through the 9.44 million dots EVF, the photo looks surrealist, like I captured the scene in 3D. Straight out of the camera with no presets, the still looks like I shot it on film. Sony doesn’t tout their color science, but you can shoot straight jpeg with the a9 II, Alpha One, and now the R5.

Sony Alpha 7R V
New 4-axis multi-angle LCD monitor.

A paparazzi-style photo taken at night would require a flash at least and probably a monopod. I had neither and was able to take it at a slow shutter speed and high ISO. The specs and tech are so extensive in this launch I suggest you watch the launch video instead of parsing them all. Below are the highlights.

Sony Alpha 7R V Tech Highlights

  • Tenacious Real-time Tracking
  • Faster and more precise wide-area, high-density AF system
  • Silent, vibration-free shooting at up to 7 fps
  • Continuously shoot up to 583 compressed RAW images at high speed
  • Lossless RAW image compression and selectable RAW image sizes and quality
  • Greatly expanded focus and exposure bracketing
  • Creative Look settings for stills and videos in camera
  • High-quality HEIF images with high compression efficiency
  • Wide brightness range for large screen viewing.

Sony’s blockbuster camera release will ship in December for $3900. Based on what I heard at the Creative Space, preorder now if you expect to get one this year.

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