Alpha 7R IV, the Secret to
Capturing High-resolution Landscapes
Capturing High-resolution Landscapes
By Daniel Tjongari
Since I started my professional landscape photography journey in 2014 with Sony, I've had nothing but admiration for the power that is packed into the Sony Alpha cameras series. The camera's ability to capture stunning details and sharpness challenges, excites, and inspires me to create better photos with every shot I take.
Photographing landscape has many challenges and as a professional landscape photographer, I need a camera that is able to take on this challenge. This includes being able to overcome various weather conditions, air temperature, and various factors that may impact lighting conditions.
In this review, I will share my experiences in recreating the beauty of Indonesia's landscape with the Sony Alpha 7R IV.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 16 mm | 1/40 sec | F16 | ISO 100
15-stop Dynamic Range
The Sony Alpha 7R IV's ability to process the recovery of the details from the shadow area is outstanding—making it easier for me in the editing process. I only need to do simple editing. The photo above was shot at sunrise. I turned the sun into a small star by using a small aperture and speed that is not too long. The results are very beautiful, without sacrificing detail in the shadowed area.
With the Alpha 7R IV, taking photos in low-light conditions feels effortless. Results are extremely satisfying with minimal noise, and the final product is more beautiful than reality.
As shown below, even though I took the shot with minimal light, the stunning night sky can be seen clearly. You can also see how little noise is produced at ISO 1,600. The detail and beauty of the photo is not disturbed even at a high ISO.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 16 mm | 30 sec | F4 | ISO 1600
61.0 Megapixel High Resolution
When I first used the Alpha 7R III with its 42-megapixel sensor, I already felt incredibly good about the images created. Now, with the Alpha 7R IV, Sony has amazed me again with the number of details that can be captured, even when zooming into the farthest point. The Alpha 7R IV is revolutionary in today's photography world.
The ability of 61 megapixels with low noise levels can be achieved thanks to Sony's latest BIONZ X processor combined with the LSI front-end where images are processed with 16-bits and then into 14-bit image files.
The high megapixel count makes the elements in my photos (shown below) clear and the results look very real. This camera has no compromise for anyone who studies nature photography professionally.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 16 mm | 1/15 sec | F8 | ISO 100
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 28 mm | 1/400 sec | F8 | ISO 100
5-axis Internal Body Image Stabilizer
The benefits of the In-body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) may not be obvious to some because landscapes are usually shot on tripods. But when capturing a lot of things in nature, not all of it can be done by just sitting on a tripod. We need to be very flexible in directing the lens, especially telephoto lenses.
When Sony promised IBIS with 5.5 stops, it wasn't just numbers on paper. On several occasions, I have taken pictures using a telephoto lens for moving objects where I have to be able to follow their movements at sunset. The results are very clean and free from the effects of shaking. Coupled with improvements in the newly designed shutter system, the vibrations from the shutter opening and closing become softer.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 100–400 mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS | 100 mm | 1/320 sec | F5.6 | ISO 100
Alpha 7R IV | FE 100–400 mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS | 100 mm | 1/200 sec | F8 | ISO 100
The type of battery used by Alpha 7R IV is the same as the Alpha 7R III—the NP-FZ100. Of course, there is no doubt that it performs well with the Alpha 7R III. But what about with the Alpha 7R IV which has a higher megapixel count and larger raw files? The power in this battery is just as great in the Alpha 7R IV. I photographed a fine art concept at Mount Bromo which certainly needed a battery capable of supporting my camera when it had to fire off consistently fast shooting rates of up to 10 frames per second repeatedly. The result was that the NP-FZ100 battery was able to survive until I got the shot, even in pretty cold temperatures too.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 24–70 mm F2.8 GM | 70 mm | 1/1000 sec | F8 | ISO 100
Weather Sealing and Durability
As I said before, a professional landscape photographer has to face many challenges including the weather. A camera that is used in nature must be able to withstand various weather conditions. The Alpha 7R IV is equipped with magnesium alloy in the frame to guarantee strength in the camera body, making it stronger and more stable.
Some time ago, I traveled to Bali to photograph the waterfalls. When I arrived at the location, the weather conditions changed dramatically—it became cloudy and started drizzling. It was impossible to make a return journey because we weren't able to hike back. I trusted the Alpha 7R IV and continued to shoot, and you can see the results below.
Plus, the camera's ability to support storage memory with UHS II and speed up to 300 mbps is very helpful in capturing every event in nature.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 16 mm | 2 sec | F16 | ISO 50
I previously traveled to a mountainous area in East Java. The location is filled with the sulfur from Mount Semeru and the temperature was 0 degrees Celsius. By bringing the Alpha 7R IV, I was able to capture the moving fog on the lake into a dramatic sting without the slightest disturbance to the camera until after the photoshoot.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 16 mm | 10 sec | F8 | ISO 100
For every professional photographer in the field of nature photography who is looking for a camera packed with the right features including battery endurance, weather resistance, and high-quality images, the Alpha 7R IV is the answer.
Sony's experience in making mirrorless cameras that are easy to carry and with uncompromising image results makes the Alpha 7R series camera even more perfect every time.
Maybe everyone is different in their needs and views, but some of the things that I do while using this camera, starting from the usual weather conditions to the most extreme, still allow me to produce photos that are very good quality.
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 16 mm | 0.8 sec | F11 | ISO 100
Alpha 7R IV | FE 16–35 mm F2.8 GM | 35 mm | 30 sec | F8 | ISO 200
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Sony Singapore.
Photography is an art of feeling. If the photo does not have a sense, it will lose its 'soul' and 'body.' This is because the part of us that can feel and dive into these photographs is our 'soul' and 'body.'