Why I’m Going to Buy a Sony A7R4

Sony Alpha A7RIV Mirrorless Camera

I had and sold the A7R and A7R2, so why the A7R4?

About a minute after the announcement, I decided to buy the Sony A7R4. I sold my Sony A7R2 earlier this year and it didn’t take long for me to miss it. Why did I sell it? Because I didn’t think I needed it. I have a pretty decent pile of cameras and in the brand stack, Sony was my least invested system.

However…

As I said, it didn’t take long for me to miss it. I often carried my A7R2 with the superb Sony Zeiss 35mm F2.8 lens attached. The compact form factor of this body and lens combination made it easy to throw in a bag and take just about anywhere. And that’s what I did. I just threw it in a backpack or whatever bag I carried and went. Or, I slung it over a shoulder with a Peak Design strap. Since the A7R2 didn’t have the new, longer-life batteries, I often carried a spare battery or two as well.

I photographed my family, motorcycle racing, dogs, travel, my brother’s wedding, and just about anything that happened in front of that compact little kit. So, again, why sell it? Because I have two Nikon D850s and a full stable of Nikon lenses, 14-500mm, and I felt an urge to pare down my gear. Plus, I have a nice Leica setup that I really enjoy. So, a third system felt like overkill.

Sadly, none of those other cameras quite measure up to the overall portability and capability of the Sony A7R2 and Sony Zeiss 35mm combination. The gripped D850s and lenses are colossal by comparison. They’re magnificent and I love working with them, but not for roaming around and carrying “just in case” cameras. The Leica M10-P, 35mm film MP, and my Summilux and Summicron lenses are also stellar kit when I want to slow down a bit. However, the simplicity and versatility of the A7R2/35mm combo was just too great to have. I overcame my temptation to buy an A7R3 because I had a hunch that Sony, embroiled in the recent mirrorless arms race since Canon and Nikon released direct competitors to the A7 line, would release something new.

The A7R4 Was A Surprise

I did not expect the A7R4 so soon. The 61MP A7R4 surprised me, pleasantly. The improvements, from what I’ve read and seen in early reviewers are great. I’m pretty stoked about the locking exposure compensation dial. It was one of my quibbles with the previous bodies. I often bumped that dial and occasionally missed some shots–or at least had to rescue some in post processing. It’s a testament to the quality of the raw files that I was able to same some that had been underexposed three stops.

Sony Face and Eye Detection Auto Focus & Real Time Tracking Are Enough to Buy a Sony A7R4

Sony’s eye detection is a killer feature. Both Canon and Nikon introduced similar technology, but Sony is still the leader on this front. Shooting candids is a completely new experience when you have an extremely reliable eye focus capability that is fast and accurate. Photographing kids, friends, street photography, etc., all get much easier. The feature removes another delay in getting that shot. I’ve gotten some great family photos that were hail-mary-point-and-shoot-just-to-see-what-you-get efforts and they worked because of eye detection autofocus.

I’m curious to try out animal eye detection. Depending on its reliability, it should be great for photographing pets. Accurate eye detection combined with a very fast autofocus system is enough for me to buy an A7R4.

The enhanced grip, button feel, and other ergonomic features are also a great selling point.

I’ll post real world review of the system in use later in the year.

My Preferred Sony A7R4 Kit

When I buy the Sony A7R4, here’s what my Preferred Sony A7R4 kit will look like:

The lens that would be on the body 90% of the time would be the superb Sony Zeiss Sonnar 35mm F2.8.

Leica Announces M Monochrom “Your Mark” Limited Edition

Leica Monochrom M "Your Mark" set

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Leica Product Photo of Leica Monochrom M Typ 246 “Your Mark” Limited Edition Set

Leica announced the M Monochrom Typ 246 “Your Mark” Limited Edition set. Leica produced eighty of the sets exclusively for US distribution. If you want a “Your Mark” Monochrom M, you’ll need to buy it at a Leica store. The set includes a leather strap and a Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens.

Both the body and lens are finished in black paint. Additionally, the retro lens design lens features red and white script and round removable lens hood. The camera is covered in Horween leather, sourced through Horween Leather Company in Chicago.

Leica’s Monochrom M features a 24MP sensor that only captures luminance values and creates black and white images only.

Leica claims the black paint on the body and lens as well as the Horween leather body covering will “age beautifully over time.”

Leica Announces M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition

Leica M Monochrom Kyoto Edition

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Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition
Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition
Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition
Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition

Leica announced the Kyoto Edition of the Leica M Monochrom camera. Leica made ten of the camera sets to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Kyoto Leica store. The set includes a Leica APO Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens and a leather strap in matching green to the camera body’s grip.

The Leica M Monochrom features a 24MP black and white image sensor. The Summicron-M The 50mm f/2 Asph is Leica’s best (and most expensive) version of the Summicron 50mm lens.

Leica Announces APO-Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH for L-Mount

leica-apo-summicron-sl-35mm-f2

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Leica announced the a new wide angle lens for the L-mount, a shared mount between Leica, Sigma, and Panasonic. The lens has 13 elements in 11 groups with multi-coating. Additionally, the lens’s Dual Syncro Drive autofocus motor can traverse its entire focal range in 240 milliseconds. It joins the 75mm APO-Summicron-SL and the 90mm APO-Summicron-SL in Leica’s lineup. Read Leica’s press release here.

Leica Announces M10-P ‘ASC 100 Edition:’ The M For Cinematographers

Leica M10-P ASC Edition

Leica announced the latest limited edition of the M10-P rangefinder camera today. The Leica M10-P ‘ASC 100 Edition’ celebrates the 100th anniversary of the American Society of Cinematographers. It comes with a Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens, a VISOFLEX electronic viewfinder, and an M-PL Mount adapter.

Leica M10-P ASC Edition with 35mm SUmmicron-M ASPH

Additionally, the camera features “authentic Cine Looks” looks–shooting modes accessed through the camera’s menu. The looks include ASC Cine Classic, ASC Contemporary, as well as cinematic aspect ratios.

See Leica’s press release here.

Leica Announces Limited Edition M10-P “Safari” in Olive Green with Matching Leica Summicron-M 50 f/2

Leica Product Photo of M10-P and Summicron-M 50mm f/2 “Safari”

Leica officially announced the rumored “Safari” Edition of the Leica M10-P rangefinder camera. While the camera is a limited edition, the pricing is not as extraordinary as typical with other limited editions, at approximately $500 more than a standard black or chrome M10-P. You can read Leica’s press release here.