The Sony Alpha 7R IV breaks the 50MP barrier, but how else does it improve on the sensational Alpha 7R III? Michael Topham investigates
Sony Alpha 7R IV Review: Pixel Shift Multi Shooting
Just like the A7R III, the A7R IV features a Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode. In this mode the camera uses the image stabilisation system to precisely shift the sensor in 1 or 0.5-pixel increments between consecutive exposures. Uncompressed Raw and silent mode are automatically selected in Pixel Shift Multi shooting and after the raw files are written to the card, these can then be merged together on a computer running Sony’s Imaging Edge software to create one super high resolution composite image.
Whereas the A7R III previously allowed you to merge four frames of the same scene together, the A7R IV now allows you to capture up to 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 963.2-million-pixels worth of data. The final output is a colossal 240.8MP (19,008 x 12,672 pixel) image.
The caveat of Pixel Shift Multi shooting is the split second delay between exposures. Against the stopwatch, it took 7.8secs to capture 16 separate pixel-shift images with a fast 1/500sec shutter speed. While this isn’t an issue for static, motionless subjects such as architecture or studio still life setups, it can result in nasty artefacts appearing when shooting landscapes, seascapes or general scenes where shrubbery, trees and water has a tendency to move. It’s a similar story for other manufacturers pixel-shift modes – they’re good in certain scenarios, but are worth avoiding if there is any sign of movement in the scene or unless you’re prepared to carry out extensive and time consuming post-processing work combining single-shot and multi-shot images together before masking away the unwanted artefacts.