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Sony launches A7rIV and Says it Rivals Medium Format Image Quality – Signs of Confidence or Nervousness?


Sony launched the Sony A7rIV. You can read the facts and see the live stream again here.

It has a 61 MP full frame sensor, that offers 26 MP in APS-C crop mode. Anyone knows an APS-C Fuji camera with 26 MP out there? It’s all the same sensor wafer, just cut in differnt sizes for X-T3 (26 MP), A7rIV (61 MP) and GFX100 (102 MP).

The Sony A7rIV is a very fine camera, and I know at least one guy, who won’t be able to resist the temptation of buying it.

But one thing really grabbed my attention during the official presentation: the regular reference to medium format image quality.

The first reference comes from a Japanese Sony manager, who says:

The Sony A7rIV is a full frame camera that delivers medium format level image quality.

Then a US Sony manager walks on stage, shows results from the A7rIV 240 megapixel pixel shift, and says:

Medium format in a full frame camera! This is the kind of goal, we want to achieve.

And finally he says:

This new 61 megapixel full frame sensor provides this camera with image quality rivaling medium format

IIRC, this is the first time that Sony mentions medium format image quality in a presentation of one of their new cameras, and moreover they mention it multiple times.

Is this maybe a sign that they slowly start feeling the pressure coming from the Fujifilm GFX system and they are getting a bit nervous?

It comes to mind, how a Fujifilm manager recently said, that 70% of Fujifilm GFX shooters are coming from full frame.

Or maybe it is simply a sign of confidence in their product?

In any case, Sony’s multiple reference to “medium format IQ” shows that full frame has now a new benchmark to measure with: medium format.

Sure, if it comes to megapixel, the battle will always go to medium format, since Full Frame and APS-C will hit their resolving power limit earlier than medium format.

But it’s not all about megapixel.

Every system has its strengths, as we explained here, and the GFX system has the advantage of being the system, that could take the biggest advantage out of the global shutter.

Fujifilm’s strategy is clear: attack the full frame market from both sides, APS-C and MF. If that will work out, time will tell.

What are your thoughts on the Sony A7rIV?

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