Road Test

Bouldering with the Sony A7R IV

Its uncompromised image quality is set to make Sony’s new A7R IV a reliable and essential piece of kit for every professional.

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The Sony A7R IV‌ is a wellrounded camera perfect for assignments. Its 61 megapixels, fast auto-focus, wide selection of lenses, and great high-ISO performance are what I usually need on a shoot. This week, I was tasked to photograph the sneak peek of a brand new bouldering gym in the heart of Makati. I had to photograph the interiors of the gym for commercials (print ads, brochures, and possible billboard use), social media, and for a new VR company which offers virtual reality tours. Shooting at 61 mega-pixels means I have nearly unlimited room for cropping and creative re-framing. As such, I was able to take wide photographs that can zoom in closely on climbing holds for the client’s VR providers.

The second half of the shoot involved tracking some of the athletes at the gym using the Sony A7R‌ IV‌. Bouldering is a fast-paced sport, with its athletes having to make unpredictable movements. Relying on its quick auto-focus, I‌ diverted my attention to framing my photographs instead of worrying about the sharpness of my images. One of our national team’s athletes happened to be at the gym, and I‌ asked him to perform some jumps for the shoot. The Sony A7R IV‌ had no problem tracking and keeping him in focus during the entire bouldering session.

A shoot like this, which normally took half a day, took me less than 3 hours because of the camera’s great high-ISO performance and resolution. There was also enough available light to use the camera at ISO 3200, which still delivered uncompromised image quality for the assignment.
 
I can see the Sony A7R IV becoming an essential piece of kit in the bags of professionals who need reliability, speed, and resolution for their assignments.