Using The Sony A7RIV For Bird Photography

Taking The Sony A7RIV For A Spin At The Celery Bog

Lately I have been seeing all kinds of posts about how good the new cameras are on the new iPhone. I was sitting at home more excited for the Sony A7RIV to finally arrive at my house. Late Wednesday it did, and I couldn’t wait to use it. Of course the net morning it was on my 600mm lens as I made my way out to the Celery Bog. It was just one test, but I really was not in love with what the camera did for me. I seem to be fighting it much more than with my Sony A9. On my next trip out to the bog I need to take both cameras just to see what the issue is.

Taking Advantage Of The Big Sensor In Super 35mm Mode

One thing about this camera is that the files are huge. When I found myself in a situation where I was going to crop a lot and I knew that I would I switched to Super 35mm mode. Doing that takes the file size down by cropping in 1.5x in camera. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you know that you are going to crop why not do it? The 60mp file becomes a 26mp file which is still better than my Sony A9. Here you can see the difference between the two modes out in the field. You can also see some of the focusing issues that I was running into while using the camera.

Early Pros And Cons Of The Sony A7RIV

It is probably too early to really tell, but here are a few thoughts from my first outing with this new camera.


  • When you are on the photos look amazing
  • Super 35mm mode is still 26 megapixels!
  • Buttons feel much more solid than the other Sony cameras


  • When you miss focus even by a little it is much more evident
  • Focus seemed a bit slower than the Sony A9 (This could be user error)
  • Huge files
  • Sony menu still horrible
  • Hard to follow birds with viewfinder blackout (Spoiled by the A9)

A Surprise Visit

I went a long time before ever seeing a green heron at the Celery Bog. In fact the first time that I ever saw one was in Maryland while at a park out there. I had a fly by earlier this summer, but that was it. On Thursday though a green heron flew right in by me. I asked the birder next to me what it was because I could not believe my luck. The bird worked the area all around the viewing deck before finally getting a frog and a fish out of the pond. It was a good stroke of luck that I hope continues.

Video With The Sony A7R IV

On Thursday I made a couple of videos with the Sony A7R IV. I loved the feature to make slow motion videos so I tried to take that into account making the videos. I have had some fun making videos out at the bog. These are not Animal Planet worthy videos, but they are fun to make.

Come Walk With Me

On October 5th I am leading a photowalk on the campus of Purdue University. The walk is very informal. It is just a chance for a bunch of photographers to get together to make some images. All skill levels are welcome. Bring whatever you make photos with. You can read more about the walk by going here. Some new and exciting news about the walk is that it now has a sponsor. Camera Outfitters is giving away an 8×10 print to every walker as well as a $25 dollar gift card to one lucky walker. I have also added a $10 gift card to Kathie’s Kandies in downtown Lafayette, as well as a Walt’s Pub gift card. I am working on some other prizes for the walk as well.

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