What To Use For Birding? The Sony A9II Or The Sony A7R4

Trying To Decide What Camera To Use For The Spring Migration

This year I have a new problem for the spring migration. I have been trying to figure out what camera to use to make my photos. It should be an easy decision but there are great things about the other one that makes me want to use it as well. The Sony A7R4 has an amazing 60mp sensor that lets me capture all kinds of detail. The bad thing about the camera is that it is not the quickest when it comes to autofocus. The Sony A9II has a lightning fast and accurate autofocus system, but it “only” has a 24mp sensor. I say only a 24mp sensor because it is not great compared to the A7R4. What a crazy world we live in when a 24mp sensor is considered small. Here is a quick look at what my thought process was in choosing what camera to use.

Sony A7R4

Pros Of The Sony A7R4

  • 61 mp sensor
  • 24mp sensor in ‘crop mode’
  • Great image quality and detail
  • Improved feel and grip over the Sony A9
  • Locked exposure compensation dial
  • Great EVF
  • Dual UHS-II Card slot

Cons Of The Sony A7R4

  • Viewfinder blackout
  • AF lacks compared to Sony A9 series
  • “Only” 10 frames per second
  • Noise much more noticeable
  • shows any flaws in your technique
  • Can get warping in silent mode

Sony A9II

Pros Of The Sony A9II

  • Locking exposure compensation dial
  • No viewfinder blackout
  • 20 frames per second
  • Great AF system
  • Tracking mode superior to A7R4 and A9
  • Dual UHS-II card slots

Cons Of The Sony A9II

  • Compared to the A7R4 low megapixel

How Does The Sony A9 Fit Into All Of This?

The Sony A9 is still an amazing camera. The A9II added the extra UHS-II card slot as well as an improved grip. It also added the lock mechanism on the exposure compensation dial. The autofocus has been tweaked as well. Other than that it is basically the same camera as the A9II. It is also much more reasonably priced. Right now you can pick one up along with a Sony 200-600mm lens for a more reasonable price for what you are getting.


This is a hard one. If you photograph birds in flight the choice is easy. I would say get the Sony A9 or A9II. The autofocus and tracking are far superior to anything out there right now. You are making photos at 20 megapixels which is not bad. If you mostly photograph birds on a stick the Sony A7R4 might be the camera for you. The 60mp sensor is amazing. It is not as fast with the autofocus, but it is not terrible either. When you nail your photo it looks so much better. The detail in the birds is amazing. If you are looking for a budget option I would say that the Sony A9 might be for you. It is reasonably priced right now, and it is amazing. You also don’t get the warping that you will see in other mirrorless cameras.

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