Sony a7r IV vs the Sony a7rII — my opinions

The Sony a7r IV has been announced, and it looks like a really awesome camera. Unfortunately, I cannot afford one for a long time but I want to buy one and ideally keep the Sony a7rII as a backup camera. If I could get one before I fly to Canada next year, that would be awesome.

I’m doing a bit of a Sony a7r IV vs Sony a7rII comparison for myself because that’s what I’m interested in; I figure I’d share my findings with you :).

Sony a7r IV:

  • 61 Megapixels
  • Shoots 10 FPS
  • 15 Stops of Dynamic Range
    Improved low light performance
  • The sensor is ever so slightly smaller at 35.7×23.8mm vs 35.9 x 24.0mm in the Sony a7rII
  • Eye-autofocus, video and stills and lots of focus improvements
  • Viewfinder; UXGA (1600 x 1200px) OLED; 5 760 000 dots, approx. 0.78 x magnification
  • LCD; 7.5cm (3.0-type) type TFT; 1,440,000 dots; touch screen
  • Playmemories Camera Apps™ – No
  • Weight; Approx. 665g / 1lb 7.5oz (with battery and media)
  • Dimensions (W X H X D); approx. 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm. Approx. 128.9 x 96.4 x 67.3mm (from grip to monitor)
  • Better sealing
  • Dual Card Slots

Sony a7rII:

  • 42.4 Megapixels
  • Shoots 5 FPS
  • Type Tilt type 2.95″ (3.0-type) TFT drive, approx. 1,228,800 dots
  • Viewfinder; XGA (1024 x 768px) OLED; 2 359 296 dots, approx. 0.78 x magnification
  • LCD; 3.0″ type TFT LCD; 1,228,800 dots
  • Playmemories Camera Apps™ – Yes
  • Weight; 582g (Body Only) / 625g (With battery and media)
  • Dimensions (W X H X D); approx. 126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3 mm
  • Single Card Slots

Design improvements

I’m going to start with the main things that affect me in real world use. I appreciate the improved viewfinder, sealing against moisture, etc. Together, these make up a pretty massive upgrade for me. The frames per second, I genuinely might make use of when I photograph bears next year. It’s never been of importance to me so far but then again, I haven’t done much photography involving moving subjects.

I’ve been backing up my photographs using my phone, but I appreciate the dual card slots.

The little button on top of the exposure compensation dial scared the crap out of me. I thought, oh no, now I cannot move it without contorting my hand in some weird way, to press this button down. It’s actually a toggle switch, so you press it and it’s locked, press it again and it’s unlocked or vice versa. If you don’t like it, just leave it unlocked.

The grip looks more comfortable but I’m not 100% sure how it will be. I have huge hands. I’ll wait and see…

The sensor looks to be better in every regard. There is one caveat with this, but I will talk about that in the complaint section of this article. From what I can make out so far, from specifications and whatnot, you’re not getting extra megapixels at the cost of low light performance or something like that. I find more megapixels helps for fancy edits, plus noise is actually reduced when you down-sample, due to the signal to noise ratio.

The menu is labelled a bit better than the Sony a7rII. I’ve memorised the menu with my Sony a7rII, but for those who haven’t… Good luck. More on that in the complaint section…

I’m going to congratulate Sony for not including a pop-up flash or something. I know it’s expected, but there are people who craze for this feature. In my opinion, remember, if you see a little bulb, there also has to be a capacitor to power it.

I might genuinely make use of the video features this time around. I’m pretty clueless with video, but it being able to record great videos in automatic mode makes me happy, haha.

Complaints with the Sony a7r IV

I’m starting to wonder about my own personality, because after watching all of the Sony a7r IV related videos on YouTube, I thought of a few gripes with the camera. But let’s be real here, it’s a £3,500 camera and if you’re not satisfied with it but you’re tied into Sony, you’re semi-stuffed (that goes for all brands).

I noticed in the videos people are asking about the dial on top on the camera. This I found, really, really weird. Do reviewers not use their cameras much then? It’s just the same dial as before but put on top of the frame. Personally I think it looks worse; however, maybe it’s allowed for superior sealing, easier replacement if it breaks or more space in the body. Who knows. At the moment, it’s more caution rather than a negative for me.

The bump in megapixels is nice; I’m always in favour of technical advancements. However, I would like to see an mRAW function and it is not in the menus. Alternatively, a LOSSLESS compressed raw. I know Sony has LOSSY compressed; but true lossless should not impact the data. If you don’t understand the code and whatnot, consider it like a rar file.

The top left side of the camera is unused but the top right is basically cramped. The PASM dial cannot be user defined to something else nor can the exposure compensation dial. Personally I would have liked to see the PASM and exposure compensation dial user customisable, and an OLED on the top left of the frame. You might even be able to remove one of the dials but have the same functionality, with an OLED. Failing that, do what the Sony a9 does and have a dial on the top left.

Lastly, the menu-interface… I know some devout Sony fans will argue (I’ve seen it on dpreview, lol) I’ve never used a Sony camera (I’ve had the Sony a7rII two days before it officially hit the shops, I believe), I’m just not used to it or whatnot… but damn it’s bad. To switch picture profiles, enable APS-C mode for video, etc. etc. requires unnecessary button pushes. They still haven’t separated a lot of the stills functions from video! And if you’re like me and you want to dabble in video but you don’t want to keep changing settings around, it’s a nuisance.

The labelling on my Sony a7rII reminds me of going into a shop, and the aisle that says “milk” has eggs. You’ll get used to it. You’ll remember it even, but it truly doesn’t make any sense.

I would have liked to have seen a much improved user-interface and a touch screen to flick through the menu better. I believe they can still implement it. I’d probably code it for free if they let me.

Conclusion

I can put up with the menu problems, the cramped top might not be a problem in real world use and storage is getting cheaper. I will feel a bit more assured climbing mountains with a more sealed camera, and I find the improvements important to me. I truly think that it looks like an amazing camera but I think Sony got a little lazy too! It’s great though and it looks like it’s almost perfect for me :).

Canadian Trip, Models, Photography & Jason Lanier Controversy

Hey,

I recently wrote an article about the Jason Lanier controversy, and for those unfamiliar, he’s been accused of various nefarious deeds. I put a lot of time into researching and now I’m kind of left questioning my own morals.

I don’t really want to run a website with drama or negativity. Those who’ve met me in real life know I’m the last person you’d consider a social justice warrior, and whenever someone bothers me e.g. they try to mug me, I usually just say something like “that’s not happening buddy”, or I ignore them altogether, and I don’t get too aggressive, lol. Sun Tzu said something to the effect of, if you don’t know your enemy or you don’t fully know yourself, then you should be uncertain. If you know your enemy and you know yourself, then you have nothing to fear. That’s kind of how I feel about bullies / people mugging me / etc. They might come across as threatening but a lot are fairly insecure in one way or another.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to try help and I genuinely felt that Jason Lanier was the innocent guy when I first heard about everything ~ I don’t feel that way now, obviously.

That said, it’s mentally exhausting to take on the worlds problems. I want my website to offer the odd bit of information for people, in the future. And eventually I think I’d like to travel blog more with it — that was its original intention but my US Visa was denied and I kind of lost my way, I guess.

The theme itself kind of sucks. I’ve been patching it here and there but it’s kind of like putting duck tape on an axe wound — if anyone knows of any good themes, let me know! In some ways, I can see why people to towards sites like square space because they do make things simple. They’re extremely expensive though.

Last year I also have some regrets, such as not buying a keyboard and writing a kind of travel diary. I should have taken more photographs too. That said, it was a bit of a learning experience for me and now I am really excited for next year! I’d go this year, but to be blunt, I cannot afford it.

And on the topic of money… I’m thinking of selling my Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens. It is an incredible lens, so it’s not that I have anything against it. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens I own covers the focal length and aperture. It’s not as nice feeling, the sunstars aren’t as good and its flaring control isn’t as good but I have to be realistic, I think that money could be better spent on a 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens or even a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM lens. That way, I’d be able to photograph lots of wildlife.

Lastly, also somewhat related to the Jason Lanier controversy is shooting models. I guess it’s made me think that there are a lot of questionable characters taking photographs of people. I think I’d like to try it more, and I have some friends in Canada who said they’d let me photograph them :). So I’m kind of undecided if I’ll get an 85mm, 135mm, 70-200mm or the 100-400mm. I’ll see how funding goes, I guess. I still have a year to decide, so there’s no rush.

So basically this is a post about nothing really, haha. Just some thoughts running through my head.

 

 

Dell XPS 15″ OLED and 100% Adobe RGB, 144hz monitors

Dell now let’s you order their Dell XPS 15″ Laptop with an OLED screen. I’m not buying one (they’re too expensive for me), but it’s nice to finally see OLED’s make their way into devices bigger than a phone.

If anyone knows of a 24 inch 100% adobe RGB 144hz monitor, please leave a comment :). I haven’t seen any so far, but I would love one of those one day. I guess it’s just a matter of time now.

I’m not sure how Dell is addressing screen burn in but it would be kind of bad if the taskbar was stuck into the screen so to speak, haha.

Raspberry Pi 4 & flirc case

Hey,

I guess I’ve been living under a rock or something because I’ve only just noticed the Raspberry Pi 4 is available to order.

I own a Raspberry Pi 3b and it’s been quite useful to have. The Raspberry Pi 4  has faster networking facilities, a faster processor, USB 3 and it’s available in a 4G ram version! It looks pretty cool, plus you can get flirc cases for it now :).

I don’t know if anyone knows whether there will be a Raspberry pi 4 zero version of it? But that would be cool. You could make pretty fast file hubs / portable backup solutions with it.