Sony's New Alpha 7R V Is Its First AI-Powered Camera

Three years after Sony introduced the Alpha 7R IV, the company has launched a successor to its popular resolution-focused full-frame mirrorless camera. The new model — the Sony Alpha 7R V — is touted as a significant upgrade over its predecessor and boasts several firsts to its name. The major highlight of the product is Sony's newly developed AI Processing Unit, which makes the Alpha 7R V the first Sony camera to get AI-based image recognition capability.

In addition to AI capabilities, the overall image quality on the Alpha 7R V will likely see a significant jump with the camera using a newer image processing engine. For those unaware, the Alpha 7R IV — introduced in 2019 — used Sony's older BIONZ X image processor, which has since been superseded by the faster and more capable BIONX XR. Sony claims that the improved image processor, combined with the capabilities of the new AI processor, makes the Alpha 7R V a formidable tool for professionals on the lookout for a no-compromise high-resolution camera.

Sony is using the Alpha 7 release to fix all of the major issues this resolution-focused lineup was infamous for. The new camera gets a 4-axis multi-angle LCD monitor, as opposed to the older monitor that could only be adjusted in up or down directions. In addition, the EVF (electronic viewfinder) has the best resolution among Sony Alpha series cameras at 9.44 million dots. Sony has also changed the menu system and added touch controls as well as several customizable buttons. Interestingly, despite these major changes to various features of the camera, Sony has equipped the Alpha 7R V with the same 61MP Exmor-R sensor used on the outgoing model.

The best autofocus ever on a Sony camera?

The Alpha lineup was already known for offering excellent autofocus capabilities, with even the Alpha 7R IV featuring real-time Eye AF. This feature helped the camera detect eye and face data in real-time, letting the camera lock on to the subject's eye with precision. In addition to this software wizardry, the Alpha 7R V also gets a better image stabilization unit and advanced gyro sensors that further aid in easier image capture. Furthermore, thanks to the new AI features of the Alpha 7R V, the camera has gotten better at subject detection. Sony says the new camera can identify several subject types ranging from various animals, objects, and vehicles to insects.

The Alpha 7R has also managed to include improved versions of features borrowed from other Alpha-series cameras — some of which make it to the Alpha R series for the first time. Among these vastly improved features is improved real-time tracking, the ability to take silent, vibration-free shots at up to 7fps, and the ability to shoot up to 583 RAW images at high speed.

While not positioned as a video-focused camera, the Alpha 7R V nevertheless gets excellent video capabilities. The camera can capture 8K videos in 24/25p resolution and also gets the capability to generate 4K videos oversampled from 6.2k resolution without pixel binning. The camera also supports the HEVC/H.265 codec and adds features like real-time tracking, breathing compensation, and advanced body image stabilization. Shipments for the Alpha 7R V start in December 2022, and the camera has been priced at $3,900. The model will be available for purchase from all Sony authorized dealers across North America.