Sony a7RIV – The Best Camera for Wildlife Photography?
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Sony a7RIV – The Best Camera for Wildlife Photography?

January 5, 2020

all right so a7RIV I’m with Colby
Brown a Sony Artisan who actually got to use it for what how long about 12 days in
Alaska 12 days in Alaska we’re looking at some photos here now tell me what was
your first takeaway using the camera we were first impressions well I think the
biggest thing that I learned early on was that the camera is kind of a bit of
both a evolutionary you know kind of jump and revolutionary in certain
aspects once you dive into the details you know little things like the hand
grips the new economics really make the camera feel better in the hand buttons
are more tactile larger especially for myself who has big hands it kind of
makes a big difference which is a common complaint quite large oh yeah oh those
are massive common complaint for a mirrorless cameras right they’re too
small to me the biggest thing was more so when you started combining the
increase of 18 megapixels to 61 megapixels you get IBIS is it’s been
designed specifically for these high resolution sensors autofocus you know
coming from coming aspects of it from the a9 and you know you just have this
this high amount of detail that you just couldn’t get in a camera before
especially for a full-frame what alone mirrorless so I should mention that you
are particularly at landscape wildlife travel photographer correct yeah I shoot
a wide variety of things but it’s pretty much everything outside of a studio I
work in remote places around the world and I prefer to be outdoors the
interesting thing for me about this camera is that yes you’re getting 15
stops of dynamic range which is great my landscape photographers which we had
close to that with the a7RIII but because you can now use this camera with
wildlife and other things with the improved autofocus and the 60 megapixels
you now have or I have increased dynamic range to use in those situations whereas
like the a9 or the a7III always offered slightly less dynamic range than
the a7RIII so it’s again combining best of both worlds where I’m getting the
benefits of dynamic range in situations with camera bodies I previously didn’t
get because of the limitations of previous generations so I think one of
the things that stood out to me that I wrote down was like all this is perfect
for wildlife is the image quality but also matched with the speed
you know again with the a7RIII when I’d use it for a wild life in the past I
would mostly focus on animals that weren’t moving so fast just because it
was a little bit inconsistent once you had fast moving subjects and I usually
reach for my a9 or a7III if I needed a backup or didn’t have my a9 in close
proximity but with this camera it’s kind of changed the game a bit so I’m able to
photograph bald eagles at full speed flying towards me and getting every
single frame in focus as it’s coming at me which is the most challenging aspect
of any wildlife you know situation really any situation where you get a
fast-moving subject coming directly at you and this camera can do that with 60
megapixels which is a bit ridiculous the other thing that they mentioned too was
now you know how I have IAF we’re not just humans but animals so I’m wondering
what animals were you using your I am so IAF for animals you know typically sony
says that you know cats and dogs are what it’s mainly for right now that
being said I went out and I was spending most of my time out there photographing
Alaska coastal brown bears as well as birds like bald eagles both mature and
juvenile and my experiences the Bears actually did very well I’d say probably
about 85% of the time it was able to find the eyes and track and stay with it
every once in a while you’d still get a little bit of a glitch because the AI is
kind of improving their birds are a little bit of a different situation the
bird’s faces there’s so much you know diversity and so I think that’s just
gonna take time as the AI improves across the board with all the different
new models that have AI for wildlife they must have a zoologist on staff
making sure that there’s honors of families across all animal kingdom’s I
took bioenhancement let’s talk a little bit about the
resolution here 61 megapixels help you is that important you for sharpness or
is that more important for cropping do you crop a lot or no it’s it depends on
what I’m photographing but I think for myself and especially for wildlife
oftentimes we can’t control how close we are to animals at least if we’re taking
safety into account you know our lenses can only take us so far and so having
the ability to have a 61 megapixel full-frame image if I can fill the frame
is awesome but times than not you know it’s like this
situation where I’m photographing you know these bears playing I’m quite a far
away cuz I don’t want to get between the mother and the two little ones don’t
want to be between that and I definitely don’t want to be between the mom who was
not too far away and so being able to crop in is a pretty big deal and so with
the a7R for what I did is I customized one of the buttons on the back of the
camera to essentially jump me into aps-c mode it’s gonna ask you about that yeah
yeah and so I can quickly do that on the fly and the result is a 26 megapixel
image and so well what would happen in this particular part of Brooks Falls is
that there’s all these seagulls around the seagulls are kind of a scavenger is
taking the leftovers of the fit of your nurse they’re everywhere and so what was
interesting is there was actually the telltale sign when the bald eagles were
coming in so what happened is the bears are fish in doing their thing all of a
sudden I’d look up and all the seagulls would be like we’re out of here and then
I look around I would say okay where is the bald eagle coming in because you
knew that it was coming in steal one of the fish that was missing and so that
was a signal in this shot essentially I saw all the seagulls take off I look
over to my right and coming up the river was the bald eagle and so I had all the
settings that were already kind of dialed in you know this image was shot
at ISO 1250 I was at almost you know 600 millimeters which is the 200 is 600 shot
at f6.3 and 1/2000 of a second and essentially turned it it
locked on right away and then continued to track it as it was flying at me at
full speed it’s gonna change the way that I photograph it’s gonna change the
way that I approached certain types of genres and it’s gonna open up a lot more
doors whereas previously as I said I had to bring a mixture of cameras to kind of
photograph different types of things it seems to have taken the best elements of
the a7R series improved upon them based on feedback from people like myself and
you know customers out there that have been looking for certain you know
iterations to improve on and then hold the best parts of the a9 and kind of
created this this mixture and made the camera much more versatile than it ever
was before awesome alright Colby Brown my pleasure my man
thanks man thanks for having me enjoy the a7RIV I can’t wait to get my hands
on it This is Jake with B&H just keep shooting

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I love Sony cameras. I'm in love with their models. But fund to own one which I always pray that one day I get s Sony camera as a birthday gift. Thanks

  2. There is no such bird called a seagull. There are many species of Gulls but none are called Sea. Three large gulls are commonly found in Alaska. These are the glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), glaucous gull (L. hyperboreus), and herring gull (L. argentatus), in order of decreasing abundance.

  3. How can I unsee this video .. all my small issues with my a7riii have now been addressed in this camera if I am to believe what I am hearing( ergonomics+autofocus for birds).. this is why I have been avoiding watching a7r4 videos lol..still I might see if they release an a9ii

  4. The only thing about sony that makes me worried for this kind of use is how fragile and unsealed seems compared to canon and nikon. I used to be a canon user, but now with the a7III I feel like I can't take the camera around as much as I did with canon.

  5. I have an R3. I want this but seriously… these R models NEED to have Small, Medium and Large RAW files. I agree storage is cheap and all but I need to fit the files on the computer hard drive while I'm working on them.

  6. Hmmm…I don’t think so. For Wildlife not just the number of MP counts. More important is the Autofocus performance, especially tracking. The Autofocus performance of the Sony A7R3 is at least a bummer, really terrible, especially for fast moving objects. Let’s see how the Autofocus performance of the Sony A7R4 is. Benchmark for me is (of course) the Sony A9. The best of the best in this regard.

  7. Shame on Sony for dumping the A-mount cameras and lenses, the Minolta legacy. What an unforgivable betrayal.. Will probably have to go Canon or Nikon now….. I wouldn't take an E-mount for any price, even if Sony offered me a dozen a7RIV for free

  8. In choosing Electronic or Mechanical shutter. does it offer Automatic, so that it switches to Mechanical if you mount a flash, like the A9?

  9. One of the things that annoys me the most with a7r 3 is the noise level even at base ISO 100. I really hope Sony will stop pushing for more pixels into their sensor and start focusing on fine tuning it.

  10. APS mode me boll*x. You can crop A7r4 APS in LR. Real APS is when lens projects all light on a whole sensor, not part light on part sensor. Stop playing marketing!

  11. I cannot sign that. I had the Sony A7R4 for two days testing with an option to keep it. But no, I returned it. Because for my Wildlife work I cannot accept this level of blackouts at 10 fps. You hardly can follow birds in flight with such a lousy performance. Its not all about megapixel, you know. This camera has an issue with blackouts. Its even worse compared to the Sony A6400.

  12. What would individuals choices be from #1 , 2 , 3 and 4 for wildlife with Sonys current alpha lineup ???

    I’m currently using a7iii but was thinking of the a7riv ?

    Replies guys 👌🏻

  13. Couple of questions:- a) can this camera do continuous autofocus at f11 (Sony 100-400mm Plus 2X TC)? b) is there banding issues with high shutter speed for birds in flight using the electronic shutter? c) what is the keeper rates for birds in flight for small fast flying birds like swifts, swallows and kingfishers?

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