Sony has put the AI into its Alpha mirrorless cameras with the launch of the new 61MP A7R V. The successor to the A7R IV from 2019, the new A7R V uses essentially the same full-frame sensor as that older model but adds several key new AI (artificial intelligence)-based features.
In particular, the new Alpha 7R V (model ILCE-7RM5), as the camera is formally known, has a new AI processing unit dedicated to AI-based image recognition, which is a first in Sony’s Alpha cameras. The new A7R V also adds Sony’s powerful Bionz XR image processor, which is new to the high resolution “R” full frame line.
“The combination of the high-resolution sensor and these processors enables new breakthroughs in subject recognition and capture for both still photography and video,” Sony said in a press announcement this morning.
The Sony A7R V also features a completely updated 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) system that offers eight steps of shake reduction to help the camera produce sharper images. They’ve given the A7R V 8K movie recording as well and a new, flip-out and fold-back, 4-axis, multi-angle LCD screen on back of the camera to help compose low down or over-the-head shots.
The new Sony A7R is slated to go on sale in December 2022 for $3,900 USD and $5,300 CAD.
This is a breaking news story, and we will add more details as we gather them. Meanwhile, check out more details on the new A7R V in Sony’s press release below.
Sony A7R V Key Features (Sony Press Release)
Improved AF Accuracy Based on Newly Developed AI Processing Unit
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. Real-time Recognition AF, using AI subject recognition, has been developed to include several subject types, including animals, vehicles and insects. The Alpha 7R V also includes continuous shooting at up to 10 fps 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
• 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
The Alpha 7R V also includes focus features that support high resolution including full-time DMF (direct manual focus), and focus bracketing, 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 effective megapixels. The latest BIONZ XR image processing engine ensures that the resolution potential of the camera’s sensor is fully utilized to deliver the highest resolution at low sensitivity in the Alpha series thus far. This enables sensitivity settings from ISO 100 to ISO 32000 for both stills and movies and wide dynamic range with 15 stops for stills.
The Alpha 7R V’s entire image stabilization system has been updated with a high-precision image stabilization unit, advanced gyro sensors, and optimized image stabilization algorithms for stills and video. In addition to up to the 8-step compensation effect for stills, the new stabilization 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 stabilization 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 for optimized compositing can be achieved. 16-image composites with approximately 240.8 million pixels (19,008 x 12,672 pixels) 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 for additional creative flexibility. Additionally, when in challenging lighting conditions the Alpha 7R V effectively suppresses flickering from artificial lights 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 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.
Cinematic Video Capabilities
In addition to incredible still photography capabilities, the Alpha 7R V offers advanced video capabilities. Sony’s newest camera delivers 8Ki 24/25p video, 4K video oversampled from 6.2K without binning, a high-efficiency MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 codec, all 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 stabilization. In addition to in-body Active mode image stabilization for smoother on-the-go recording, the Alpha 7R V is compatible with select lenses that include built-in image stabilization 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 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 customizable functions.
The Alpha 7R V also allows professionals to optimize their workflow with updated connectivity for improved support. Data can be transferred at high speed over Wi-Fi (802.11ac) 2×2 MIMO 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, an upgraded dust and moisture resistant design, 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.