Sony introduces the alpha 7R V as the first "AI-driven" mirrorless camera of its line
The Sony Alpha 7R V (or α7R V) has, should its leaks be believed, spent a long time in the run-up to its launch in 2022. Now, however, it is finally official, and is now being touted as "the perfect example of our relentless drive to develop industry-leading imaging technology”, as per Sony Electronics' Vice President of Imaging Solutions Yang Cheng.
This is because it is the first ever alpha-series mirrorless camera in which Sony's signature Eye AF for animals and humans is informed by a dedicated AI chip. This foray into the co-processor trend pairs with the latest BIONZ XR 'main' image processor in the 7R V, and helps control its top-end 35mm full-frame 61.0MP CMOS sensor.
Sony asserts that the combination empowered the latest Alpha R to shoot video at up to 8K in as few as 24 frames per second (fps, or 4K/60fps) in convincing, accurate color and "overwhelming detail", thanks to features such as Pixel Shift Multi Shooting.
The OEM's new "AI-driven" specs are also rated to confer Real-time Recognition AF and Tenacious Real-time Tracking on the 7R V, which may allow it to lock optimal focus on a human subject even if they twirl or spin around in front of its lens by keeping machine-learning-informed track of where their eyes are supposed to be.
Sony indicates that it might be capable of predicting human pose and movement changes to the extent that it might be able to keep tracking even if the subject's head is occluded.
The 7R V also upgrades to lossless RAW image compression, as well as the ability to change RAW output in terms of size; continuous shooting brought down to 10 frames per second (fps) with AF or auto-exposure (AE) tracking on and "silent, vibration-free shooting at up to 7 fps".
On that note, the 7R V's "durable magnesium alloy chassis" is packed with "beloved" Sony features such as 5-axis IBIS, XAVC S-I/HS support and S/Q mode, which even has a place in the camera's top-mounted physical controls in this generation. On that note, this latest alpha-series machine also has a new "4-axis" gesture-responsive touchscreen that combines the advantages of the newer flip-out hinge style with the old-school flip-up type.
The 7R IV's successor is also, of course a USB type-C camera, with support for up to 10Gb/s data-transfer speeds, or Wi-Fi 5 with 2×2 MIMO as an alternative. However, all this does not come cheap in late 2022: the Sony Alpha 7R V can be pre-ordered at US$3,899.99 from Sony right now.