Sony Alpha 7 IV with HVL-F60RM2 & HVL-F60RM Flash Launched

Sony has expanded its Alpha 7 series lineup with the launch of the new Alpha 7 IV, along with a pair of professional flashes, called the HVL-F60RM & HVL-F60RM2.

Sony Alpha Series, Camera Flashes, Cameras

Tue Oct 26, 2021 - 05:08

Sony Alpha 7 IV, HVL-F60RM2 & HVL-F60RM Announced

New Alpha Camera & Flash Set

Sony is known for reliable camera systems that steadily get better with each iteration. The company sells a variety of models in each user segment, from basic entry-level DLSRs to professional cinema camera rigs. Some are designed exclusively for still images, while others thrive in their video capturing capabilities. Then there are models like the Alpha 7, which straddles both, in the rapidly developing ‘hybrid’ market.


This is the model that we are focusing on today. As Sony has just announced the Mark IV model (ILCE-7M4) in the Alpha 7 series lineup. This new model gets serious upgrades to both its hardware and software capabilities. And is Sony’s way of taking the ‘basic’ entry-level full-frame camera to the next level.

Hardware Upgrades

The Alpha 7 is an interchangeable-lens camera. In this iteration, it gets a new 33MP, full-frame Exmor-R sensor. It is a back-illuminated CMOS sensor that has a wide ISO range of 50-204800. This enables the sensor to capture fine details and textures, without adding any unwanted noise. You also get 15 stops of dynamic range to explore, in both photography and videography applications.

Another major addition to the hardware is the BIONZ XR processing engine, which has been ported from the flagship Alpha 1 model. It delivers superior AF capabilities, with real-time eye tracking for not just humans, but birds and animals as well. This is made possible by the presence of 759 individual phase-detection AF points, which cover over 94% of the image area. With this kind of high-speed tracking, you can shoot continuously at 10fps with solid AF/AE tracking, while leaving a large buffer for a smoother shooting experience. This makes it a must-have tool for people who want to dabble in wildlife photography but have been intimidated so far by the thought of building up a custom camera rig. Now, you can just point and click, and let the camera worry about tracking the subject for you.

These features are supported by a strong 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization system. This is a vital feature for any proper DSLR. As it helps compensate for natural movements that are impossible to avoid without the use of a tripod or gimbal. Thankfully, this stabilization system in itself is strong enough to give you a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage while shooting footage. You can view the difference through a new OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder, which offers better colour reproduction and resolution.

All these upgrades are housed in a new body that uses magnesium alloy for better strength-to-weight capability. And featuring completely recycled plastics all over, as part of Sony’s ‘Road to Zero’ commitment to the environment. This alone should make you feel good about upgrading to this new system. Like a nice environmental-friendly cherry on top of all other massive upgrades.

Software Upgrades

Software updates are a nice way of implementing new features to existing camera models, in order to keep them relevant. In this update, the Alpha 7 IV gets some of Sony’s real-world movie production technologies that have made their cinema cameras so popular. This technology is known as S-Cinetone. It delivers high-quality movie footage at 4K60p, shot in a Super 35mm mode. You also have the option of going up to 7K oversampling, even though it will drop the footage down to 4K30p. Which is not that big a compromise since all this is still done in full-frame mode.

You also get 10-bit depth, and 4:2:2 colour sampling to give the footage a more natural tone. There are even certain AF assist modes that can be unlocked with Sony E-mount lenses. That enables you to do focus transitions or even create an entire focus map that visualizes the depth of field. These features not only help you capture the most realistic footage possible but also compensate for human error while filming. A nifty trick for doing this is Sony’s special ‘Breathing Compensation’ feature. That uses the new AF system to correct focus issues caused by normal breathing. This is a great way of maintaining a consistent angle of view through any and all focus changes.

All of these pre and post-processing blends seamlessly with the captured footage, and can be delivered in an advanced XAVC S-I and XAVC HS intra-frame encoding. The former is more efficient in terms of managing editing workflows, while the latter is great for doubled compression efficiency.

Genuine Hybrid Capabilities

All these improvements combine to create a system that is truly hybrid in its approach to shooting images and film. In fact, Sony is so confident of its prowess in both segments that they have included dedicated modes for both sides. This can be seen in the mode dial itself, which now features a dual layer. The lower layer presents simple switches for Still/Movie/S&Q and other modes. And the top one features basic Auto/P/A/S/M and MR settings. You can set dedicated presets for both, or pick on the fly depending on whether you’re shooting images or video.

There is also the option of delving into live streaming and remote communications without using any dedicated software. The presence of UVC and UAC USB connectivity further enhances this use case, as professional streamers can now export high-fidelity 4K15p or 1080FHD60p footage for hours on end, without the camera getting overheated. All the transfers are done at high speed, thanks to advanced Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (5 GHz/2.4 GHz) connectivity. Which is a must for pairing the camera with not only your computing device but also other lighting and audio accessories. All in all, this is a great upgrade to an already competent camera system, which only makes it that much more special.

New Flashes for the Alpha Lighting System

Sony has also launched two new flashes as part of this upgrade cycle. Namely, the HVL-F60RM2, and the HVL-F46RM. They are wireless flashes that can be synced with the Alpha camera to deliver all types of custom lighting solutions to professional photographers.

The HVL-F60RM2 comes with GN60 and 20-200mm coverage, while the HVL-F46RM has GN46 and 24-105mm coverage. These are both optimized for continuous shooting and can flash up to 200 times at 10fps for the M2, and 60 times for the regular M. This high level of performance is supported by custom nickel hydride batteries that are made to be overheat-resistant.

While this is an amazing performance in itself, you can even double up these flash numbers, if you increase the recycle time a bit. This is possible because the flashes are built to interact deeply with the camera system itself. You get advanced features like flash control metering, and shortened release time lag, along with continuous shooting modes, and a silent shutter. All of this can be controlled through the camera menu itself, as it integrates all flash parameters for easy access. This is the benefit of staying within the Alpha Lighting System, which has been designed from the ground up to integrate all types of accessories under a single umbrella.

Sadly, this also makes these accessories more expensive. As Sony puts a lot more effort into ensuring they match the standards of their other products. In both build quality and reliability. This can be easily seen in the tiny details on the flashes. Such as the unique multi-interface metal shoe, which is both rugged and easily usable, and features a special sealing to make it dust and moisture-resistant.

You can learn more about both the camera and the flashes in our detailed reviews. This is still some ways away, as these products won’t be available to the public until the very end of the year. So, think of them as early New Year presents that you can look forward to.


Related Articles

Sony MEA Releases Telephoto Prime Lens G Master FE 300mm F2.8 GM OSS

Sony Middle East and Africa is happy to announce the launch of the G Master FE 300mm F2.8 GM OSS, the lightest 300 mm telephoto prime lens in the world. It is an E-mount, 35 mm full-frame α (Alpha) lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8. This lens provides both the fast, accurate ...

Read More about Sony MEA Releases Telephoto Prime Lens G Master FE 300mm F2.8 GM OSS

Sony New Alpha 7C Series Cameras Released

The Alpha 7C II and Alpha 7CR, two new additions to the Alpha 7C family of small, full-frame interchangeable lens cameras, were just released by Sony Middle East and Africa. The Alpha 7C II features the newest still image and video functions and performance in a small and light d...

Read More about Sony New Alpha 7C Series Cameras Released

Sony ZV-1 II Vlogging Camera Launched In MEA Region

The ZV-1 II, an entirely new second-generation camera to the ZV-1 in the vlog camera ZV series that combines widely desired and well-liked market-leading capabilities, was just unveiled by Sony Middle East and Africa. The wider perspective of the ZV-1 II enables vloggers to tell ...

Read More about Sony ZV-1 II Vlogging Camera Launched In MEA Region

Sony Camera ZV-E1 Launched

The new ZV-E1 from Sony, an interchangeable-lens camera with a high-performance 35mm full-frame image sensor for the best content creation experience, was just launched by Sony. With the new E-mount front-line technology, cinematic imagery with rich gradation performance, low noi...

Read More about Sony Camera ZV-E1 Launched

DJI Mini 2 SE Launched

DJI has made a name for itself by making high-quality drones for both personal and commercial use, with various models available at a variety of price ranges and use cases. Yet, one of the most popular offerings remains the entry-level DJI Mini series of UAVs, which offer decent ...

Read More about DJI Mini 2 SE Launched

Canon EOS R8 Launched

With the introduction of the 24-megapixel EOS R8, Canon has taken aim at Sony and its other competitors. It was introduced alongside the R50 APS-C variant and is aimed at budget-conscious photographers and videographers. It has several outstanding capabilities, including uncroppe...

Read More about Canon EOS R8 Launched

Sony SRG Series Cameras Launched

Pan-tilt-zoom options are growing in number at Sony Electronics. PTZ cameras, two of which are 4K models with integrated AI analytics, A40 and SRG-A40, were launched by Sony. Without using a computer, the SRG-A40 and SRG-A12 cameras track and naturally frame presenters without fa...

Read More about Sony SRG Series Cameras Launched

Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G Lens Launched

With the release of the FE 20-70mm F4 G (model SEL2070G), Sony is reinventing the conventional zoom category of lenses. This lens offers an incredibly wide 20-70 mm zoom range in a wonderfully compact, lightweight full-frame lens with a constant F4 aperture throughout the zoom ra...

Read More about Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G Lens Launched

Wyze Cam OG Launched

Two new models of the Wyze smart home camera have been launched. The Wyze Cam OG comes with either a floodlight or a telephoto lens. The standard model of the Wyze Cam OG comes with a floodlight, while the variant with a 3x telephoto lens omits the external light. Let us have a f...

Read More about Wyze Cam OG Launched

Samsung Isocell HP2 Camera Sensor Launched

The Samsung ISOCELL HP2 is a brand-new 200-megapixel camera sensor whose specifications exactly match those of the Galaxy S23 Ultra. They include pixels with a size of 1/1.3 inch and 0.6 micrometres. It was announced just a few weeks before the unveiling of the hugely anticipated...

Read More about Samsung Isocell HP2 Camera Sensor Launched

Leave a Comment

By clicking the submit button below, I hereby agree to and accept the following Terms and Conditions