Sony Australia has announced the November-availability of the Alpha A7R V, a 61-megapixel mirrorless full-frame camera with advanced AI processing that’s capable of shooting 8K video.
Sony has once-again delivered a high-end camera with a mouth-watering spec sheet, and an RRP set at $6199.
A big talking point in the press release, and across the first impression reviews, is the AI processing unit. While most cameras now have AI-enabled features, Sony appears to have an entire AI processing unit dedicated to image recognition autofocus. Which, of course, comes with deep learning. AI is a deep learner. So humans, eyes, faces, animals, insects, vehicles, moving subjects are all recognised and tracked.
At this stage it’s difficult to tell whether this ‘AI processing unit’ is a leap forward, or just a fancy way of highlighting features that are available in the current crop of new mirrorless cameras.
Here is Sony Australia’s press release:
Sony Electronics’ New Alpha 7R V Camera Delivers a New High-Resolution Imaging Experience with AI-Based Autofocus
New Artificial Intelligence (AI) Processing Unit Combined with 61 MP High Resolution Image Sensor
and BIONZ XR™ Processing Engine Combine to Deliver Best-Ever Image Quality for an Alpha Body
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – 27 October 2022 – Sony today announced the Alpha 7R V (model ILCE-7RM5) as the newest R series camera in its acclaimed line up of Alpha mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The Alpha 7R V combines Sony’s highest resolution image sensor with a new AI processing unit dedicated to AI-based image recognition – a first in any Alpha camera – as well as the powerful BIONZ XR™ image processing engine – a first in the “R” full-frame lineup. The combination of the high-resolution sensor and these processors enables new breakthroughs in subject recognition and capture for both still photography and video.
The new Alpha 7R V offers 61.0MP still images plus the most effective 8-step 1 image stabilisation system ever offered in any of Sony’s Alpha cameras, as well as refined 8K 2 movie output, a new 4-axis multi-angle monitor, high-speed communication functions, high- level operability and smooth workflow integration. Sony’s newest camera is ideal for professionals who need a first-class high-resolution imaging tool.
Improved AF Based on Newly Developed AI Processing Unit
The Alpha 7R V features Real-time Recognition AF, which is next-generation AF with advanced accuracy and broader subject recognition thanks to a new AI 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 3 . Real-time Recognition AF, using AI subject recognition, has been developed to include several subject types, including animals, vehicles and insects 4 . The Alpha 7R V also includes continuous shooting at up to 10 fps 5 with AF/AE tracking.
In addition to the advanced AI technology, the Alpha 7R V includes improvement to many beloved features from other cameras in Sony’s Alpha series that are now included for the first time in Sony’s 7R series:
● Tenacious Real-time Tracking 6
● Faster and more precise wide-area, high-density AF system
● Silent, vibration-free shooting 7 at up to 7 fps 8
● Continuously shoot up to 583 compressed RAW images at high speed 9
The Alpha 7R V also includes focus features that support high resolution including full-time DMF 10 (direct manual focus), and focus bracketing 11 , a highly requested capability that allows for focus stacked images.
Extraordinary Resolution Known to Sony’s Alpha 7R Series
The Alpha 7R V was designed to deliver overwhelming detail thanks to the latest BIONZ XR™ image processing engine and a 35mm full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with approximately 61.0 million effective megapixels. The latest BIONZ XR image processing engine ensures that the resolution potential of the camera’s sensor is fully utilised to deliver the highest resolution at low sensitivity in the Alpha series thus far. This enables sensitivity settings from ISO 100 to ISO 32000 12 for both stills and movies and wide dynamic range with 15 stops 13 for stills.
The Alpha 7R V’s entire image stabilisation system has been updated with a high-precision image stabilisation unit, advanced gyro sensors, and optimised image stabilisation algorithms for stills and video. In addition to the 8-step compensation effect for stills, the new stabilisation algorithm provides precise detection and control right down to the single-pixel level, taking full advantage of the sensor’s 61.0-megapixel resolution potential to bring out the finest subject details.
Sony’s newest camera also offers upgraded Pixel Shift Multi Shooting, which takes advantage of the precision in-body image stabilisation system control, capturing multiple pixel-shifted images that are later composited using a computer to achieve overwhelming resolution in a single image. Using the latest version of Imaging Edge Desktop™ Ver.3.5 computer application, small pixel-level movements, such as a shift in the subject’s position or leaves on a tree, are automatically detected and corrected so that perfect compositing can be achieved 14 . 16-image composites with approximately 240.8 million pixels (19,008 x 12,672 pixels) 15 can be produced from data that is equivalent to approximately 963.2 million pixels. The Alpha 7R V also supports precise and versatile external flash control foradditional creative flexibility. Additionally, when in challenging lighting conditions the Alpha 7R V effectively suppresses flickering from artificial lights 16 for stills and video.
Additional features that offer flexibility for still photography includes:
● Addition of Lossless RAW image compression and selectable RAW image sizes and
● 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.
Cinematic Video Capabilities
In addition to incredible still photography capabilities, the Alpha 7R V offers advanced video capabilities. Sony’s newest camera delivers 8K 1 24/25p video, 4K video oversampled from 6.2K without binning 17 , a high-efficiency MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 codec, intra recording, 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, and more for high image quality and flexible editing. It also includes evolved subject recognition for unprecedented real-time tracking reliability, breathing compensation and the ability to use camera metadata for post-processing and advanced in-body image stabilisation. In addition to in-body Active mode 18 image stabilisation for smoother on-the-go recording, the Alpha 7R V is compatible with select lenses 19 that include built-in image stabilisation for even more stable framing and smooth footage.
Operability and Reliability
The Alpha 7R V pairs outstanding reliability for professional needs in both stills and videos with a compact, lightweight form factor. The Alpha 7R V includes a new 4-axis multi-angle LCD monitor 20 that combines the utility of a conventional tilting monitor with side-opening vari-angle flexibility, and an electronic viewfinder with 9.44 million dots. The Alpha 7R V also includes two CFexpress Type A/SDXC compatible media slots and a brand-new menu system with touch control and a wide range of customisable functions.
The Alpha 7R V also allows professionals to optimise their workflow with updated connectivity for improved support. Data can be transferred at high speed over Wi-Fi (802.11ac) 2×2 MIMO 21 or a wired SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps connection via a USB-C® port. In addition to allowing efficient remote shooting as well as still and movie file transfers, new USB streaming features support UVC/UAC, allowing direct streaming from the camera even in 4K (QFHD) resolution with audio as well.
Based on feedback from professionals, the Alpha 7R V includes improved heat dissipation for extended recording times 22 , an upgraded dust and moisture resistant design 23 , a durable magnesium alloy chassis, and other refinements for maximum reliability in challenging working environments.
The Alpha 7R V is also compatible with the new PCK-LG3 Screen Protect Glass Sheet, which maintains touch sensitivity while protecting the LCD monitor against stains and fingerprints.
Designed for Professionals with Sustainability in Mind
Measures have been taken to reduce the environmental footprint of this product at every
stage of its life cycle: from product development through supply chain, production, and
packaging. Sony aims to inspire through the most efficient use of energy and resources.
Recyclable plastic including SORPLAS™ 24 were used for this camera body partially. In
addition, manufacturing takes place at a facility using renewable energy.
Sony is working towards the use of plastic free 25 packaging materials that provide ample
protection against shock and impact. Plant-based non-woven fabrics are used for product
bags 26 . All of these considerations help to minimise environmental impact.
The Alpha 7R V will be available in Australia from November 2022 SRP: $6,199.00
The PCK-LG3 Screen Protect Glass Sheet will be available in Australia from December 2022, SRP: $59.00
1 CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. FE 50mm F1.2 GM. Long exposure NR off.
2 Slow & Quick Motion is not available when recording XAVC HS 8K movies. [APS-C/S35 Shooting] is fixed at [Off]. Angle of view is approx. 1.2x.
3 Camera may not accurately recognise all specified subjects in all conditions. Subject types other than the type specified may be erroneously recognised in some cases.
4 Camera may not accurately recognise all specified subjects in all conditions. Available subject settings are: Human, Animal/Bird, Animal, Bird, Insect, Car/Train, and Airplane. Subject types other than the type specified may be erroneously recognised in some cases.
5 Up to 8 fps with AF/AE tracking when shooting with live view. Maximum continuous shooting speed will depend on camera settings.
6 [Tracking] in the menu. Based on advanced artificial intelligence, including machine learning.
7 Some image distortion may occur when shooting fast-moving subjects or when panning or otherwise moving the camera rapidly.
8 Up to 7 fps in continuous “Hi+” mode. Maximum continuous shooting speed will depend on camera settings.
9 Sony CEA-G160T CFexpress Type A memory card used. Continuous Hi+ mode. Actual number of images may vary according to shooting conditions.
10 Not applicable to the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS and E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE lenses or any A-mount lens. Full-time DMF is not available when shooting continuously in AF-C or AF-A mode (not including Lo), or when using the SEL70200GM lens in AF-C mode.
11 A-mount lenses not supported.
12 Expandable to ISO 50-80 and 40000-102400 for stills.
13 Sony test conditions. Still images
14 As of the October 2022 product announcement. Applicable models: Alpha 1 and Alpha 7R V
15 Image size after compositing is approx. 60.2 million (9 504×6 336) pixels for 4-image shots, and approx. 240.8 million pixels (19 008 x 12 672) for 16-image shots.
16 Only 100 Hz and 120 Hz flicker is detected. Continuous shooting speed may decrease. Phase-detection AF coverage is reduced. Flicker-free shooting is not available during silent shooting, BULB exposure, or movie recording.
17 When shooting Super 35mm at 30p or 24/25p.
18 Slight image crop in Active Mode. Active mode not available when recording XAVC HS 8K or using a frame rate of at 120 (100) fps.
19 See Sony’s support web page for information on compatible lenses: https://www.sony.net/dics/7rm5-s/ A software update may be required for some lenses. Compensation effectiveness may vary according to the lens used.
20 Monitor movement may be limited when cables are connected to the camera’s connectors.
21 Wi-Fi® communication is enabled on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. 5 GHz communication may be restricted in some countries and regions.
22 Sony internal tests with [Auto Power OFF Temp.] set to [High].
23 Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.
24 Depending on the time of production, SORPLAS™ may not be used for some parts
25 Not including materials used in coatings and adhesives.
26 Not including materials used in coatings and adhesives. Natural non-woven fabric may not be available during some production periods.