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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-Chris-Burkard-New-Cam-Main.be110857376e1c1dc5afaa178864837f.JPG
Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Chris Burkard Puts The New Alpha 7 IV To The Test

Sony Artisan Chris Burkard had the chance to test out the new Sony Alpha 7 IV in advance of its launch. We connected with him to see what he was able to capture and to hear his thoughts on the new camera's performance.

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

In advance of its introduction, Sony Artisan Chris Burkard had the rare opportunity to take the new Sony Alpha 7 IV to Mallorca in the Mediterranean. If there’s one thing we know about Burkard, it’s that when he tests a camera, he REALLY tests a camera. “I'm never just going to take the camera and walk out to some viewpoint on the side of a road. I really want to put it through the paces. So we were hanging off ropes in Mallorca, which is a beautiful island off the coast of Spain.” We caught up with him to learn more about how the new Sony Alpha 7 IV performed for him in high-intensity shooting situations. See some of the images he captured below and why he says the new camera hits a sweet spot for photo and video shooters. Pre-order for the new Sony Alpha 7 IV will be available HERE.

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

See why Sony Artisan Chris Burkard says Sony’s newest Alpha camera hits a sweet spot for photo and video shooters.

One of the first things Burkard noticed while testing the Sony Alpha 7 IV was its autofocus performance. “I guess the best indicator of if the autofocus is good is if you don’t notice it at all,” he explains. “This camera felt similar to the Alpha 9 in that it just locked on focus no matter how low the light got and seemed to hold it. Not only does it work, it's not so much that it focuses fast, it's that it focuses smoothly, and that's a big part of it. In video, you can't have something that's jumping back and forth. You need it to be focusing smoothly so it tends to grab onto the subject, lock onto the subject, and as you move, it's racking focus with you.”

When hanging from a rope over the ocean, you don’t have time to be messing with buttons to find focus and composition. Burkard heavily relied on the Alpha 7 IV’s improved face and eye detection accuracy for humans. “When you're shooting on a cliff and you're hanging by a rope, you're really trying to focus on what opportunities are presenting themselves. I can't sit there and use one button to focus and then use another button to push me away from the wall or compose my subject. So I really relied upon that feature of the ability to use human tracking, which I really loved. In many ways, it allowed me to focus on composition and allowed me to focus on the art that I was trying to create. So that was really stunning and that was actually something that I was really, really impressed by.”

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

As a professional who’s out in the field shooting, Burkard is typically relying on superior quality or 8K video footage. When he’s shooting something that is based on quality, like a large format print for a client, he reaches for the Alpha 7R IV. When he’s shooting massive video files or action, he picks up the Alpha 1 or Alpha 7S III in low light. Now, with the option of the Alpha 7 IV, he sees many scenarios in which it provides an advantage.

Burkard explains, Burkard explains, “This camera really hits a sweet spot between the Alpha 7S III and the Alpha 1 for me. The Alpha 7 IV has its place as an amazing everyday shooter that performs really well in low light and holds up to the rigors of challenging conditions without breaking the budget. I know that I could trust that camera as a backup to my Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III cameras. And in some situations, not just a backup but a better alternative like if I needed lower light, greater portability or a better burst mode. It's also at that price point where I know I feel comfortable going a little harder with the camera. I feel comfortable hanging off a cliff and letting sea spray hit it. I feel comfortable putting it in a camera trap or in a water housing where I know the camera's going to get beat up.”

He continues, “One of the beautiful things about the Alpha 7 IV is that it's a seamless transition. When I picked it up, I was kind of expecting it to feel a little different than the Alpha 1 or feel a little different than the Alpha 7R IV, but it felt seamless. It felt like I was picking up one of those bodies, and honestly, I wouldn't have even known. I think that in many ways, there's even improvements into how the buttons and the functionality works.”

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Photo by Chris Burkard. Sony Alpha 7 IV

Much of Burkard’s work takes place in high-energy, high-intensity scenarios, and that makes the seamless transition to using the Alpha 7 IV all the more important. When working in adverse shooting situations, it’s of utmost importance that he has a camera that’s reliable and easy to operate, and he found that in the Sony Alpha 7 IV. “The last thing that I want is a camera that feels finicky, a camera that feels non-intuitive, and a camera where the functionality, I question. This thing needs to feel immediately like I know where every button is, like I can use it as an extension of my body. It felt like a seamless shooting experience. The Alpha 7 IV, for what it offers and what it brings to the table, I think is probably the most budget-friendly professional camera on the market that appeals to everybody.”

Overall, Burkard reiterates that the Sony Alpha 7 IV hits the sweet spot for hybrid shooters. “When I was arranging the images and editing the photographs from the Alpha 7 IV, the quality was there. It's an amazing camera. If you had to go on a trip and you had to bring one camera, and you're going to shoot low light and you’re going to shoot video and high quality images...the Alpha 7 IV hits this sweet spot. I’m blown away this camera can create and perform in the way that it does for the price point. People really don’t know just how powerful of a tool they are getting.”

Pre-order for the new Sony Alpha 7 IV will be available HERE.

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