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The Sony Alpha 7R V as a microscope camera: high resolution and impressive images thanks to LMscope precision optics

The Sony Alpha 7R V is a high-resolution mirrorless full-frame system camera that was released in November 2022. Combined with our LM adapter solutions, this professional-grade DSLM also delivers an impressive performance on the microscope.

System camera full format fullframe 61 megapixel Sony Alpha 7R V as a C-mount microscope camera

Overview of the camera’s key features:
  • BSI-CMOS full-frame sensor with 61 megapixels of resolution
  • 2 powerful Bionz XR image processors
  • Continuous shooting at up to 10 fps
  • ISO range: ISO 100–32,000 (expandable to 50–102,400)
  • 4K and 8K video recording capabilities
  • 8K video at 25 fps; 4K video at 60 fps, Full HD video at up to 120 fps for slow motion recording
  • USB 3.2 type C for data transfer, continuous power and charging, and for use as a webcam (4K 30 fps)
  • Live View tethering with Live View feed
  • Dual slots for SD cards (1 slot accepting CFexpress Type A cards, both slots supporting UHS II memory cards)
  • Highly flexible TFT LCD touch display (3.2‘‘, 8 cm), 3:2 format

Demo photo Sony Created on the microscope with Sony Alpha 7RV / broken glass

General considerations

The Sony Alpha 7R V, like its predecessor, is a highly capable mirrorless system camera and ideally suited for photomicrography and photomacrography use. Its 61 megapixel, backside-illuminated full-frame sensor (35 mm x 23.8 mm) has a high dynamic range (14.8 stops according to the independent DxO sensor ranking), which delivers brilliant contrast and natural colour reproduction. The camera, which is priced at around EUR 4,000, has a heat dissipation system designed to prevent excessive heating of the sensor and the associated loss of image quality and dynamic range.

Sony Alpha 7RV as a microscope camera with a very good LCD display

Especially in macro photography, when working with stereo microscopes, macroscopes, surgical microscopes and macro lenses, the advantage of using large, high-resolution sensors becomes strikingly apparent: in situations where imaging is performed at low levels of magnification (up to 50x), the high resolving power brings out more details in the object or specimen.

One of the key enhancements over the 7R IV is the new, highly flexible LCD design of the 7R V.

Microscope adapter for Sony Alpha 7RV, replacement for C-mount cameras

The Alpha 7R V has a 4-axis multi-angle LCD screen that combines the best assets of both tilting and side-open/flip-out vari-angle designs, allowing it to be moved in almost any direction. This makes working on the microscope, where the camera is often positioned high on the phototube, a lot more convenient. The LCD monitor with a diagonal display of 8 cm and 3:2 format is touch-enabled and can also be used to navigate through the extensive menu.

Movable display from the Sony Alpha 7R V is advantageous when used in microscopy

Good lighting is usually an advantage when working on the microscope. We therefore recommend using high-quality light sources with a high CRI value. The Sony Alpha 7R V delivers superb results and the best dynamic range at ISO 100. However, the camera is also an excellent performer when it comes to low-light microscopy techniques such as fluorescence microscopy, where the best results are obtained at higher ISO setting. In manual mode, ISO can be extended to a high of 102,400. The trade-off is that the higher the ISO, the more noise you will likely see in your images. The ISO setting can be adjusted in the menu:

High light sensitivity: Sony Alpha 7R V light sensitivity ISO value 50

 High dynamic range in the lower ISO range: Sony Alpha 7R V Set ISO values ​​in the menu

In terms of shooting speeds, the Alpha 7R V’s two powerful Bionz XR image processors enable up to 10 fps RAW shooting for more than 500 consecutive frames. The dual slot design allows for flexible image saving and handling. Both slots support SD-type memory cards, and one of them accepts ultra-fast CFexpress Type A cards. High-speed cards are an absolute must for fast continuous shooting and high-quality video recording.

The camera has both shutter types – mechanical and electronic. The desired option can be selected in the menu:

Sony Alpha 7RV shutter choose electronic or mechanical shutter

The shutter speed can be set between 30 and 1/8,000 seconds (for both the electronic and the mechanical shutter). The camera also has a bulb timer setting (only in mechanical shutter mode) for up to 15 minutes of exposure time.

Sony A7RV BULB mode: exposure time 15 minutes maximum


1.) USB C

Another standout feature of the camera is its fast USB 3.2 type C port, which can be used for transferring data, charging, or for keeping the camera on a continuous power supply. Additionally, it offers the flexibility to use the camera as a webcam. In professional environments (laboratory or photo studio), fast data transfer is an essential need. At 20 Gbps, USB 3.2 is twice as fast the commonly used USB 3.1 standard. The second USB interface is a micro USB port. The purpose for which the interface is to be used is defined in the menu:

Sony Alpha 7RV USB use continuous current data transmission charging function

2.) Wi-Fi: The camera’s built-in dual-band Wi-Fi module supports both the common 2.4 GHz band and the newer high-speed 5 GHz band. This tethering system enables remote camera control in Live View from Android/IOS mobile devices.

3.) Bluetooth connectivity: For those who prefer to bypass the computer, using a remote shutter connected via Bluetooth is a convenient option.

4.) HDMI A port

Side view, Sony Alpha 7RV HDMI interface type A, USB C

The camera’s full-size HDMI A port significantly enhances its utility in microscopy because it can be used to connect the camera to an 8K monitor and display images in 16-bit RAW format.

TOP microscope camera: Connect Sony Alpha 8K camera Live View with HDMI monitor

To do so, the HDMI output must be specified in the setup menu. This is also where the HDMI resolution can be set.

LIVE PICTURE on the external monitor Sony Alpha 7RV HDMI setup in the menu

Video resolution setting: 4K, HD, maximum resolution on HDMI monitor


The Sony Alpha 7R V is capable of shooting 8K video. At this resolution (7,680 x 4,320), it can record video at 25 fps. The frame rate for 4K video is up to 60 fps, and for slow motion recording, Full HD video with up to 120 fps is ideal.

Attaching the camera to the microscope:

Sony Alpha 7RV system camera digital adapter mounting on the microscope microscope camera

The camera weighs 723 grams and has a standard Sony E-mount system, allowing for quick and easy connection to a microscope using our specialised adapter solutions. Our products are matched exactly to the camera and the respective microscope, thus delivering outstanding image quality. Thanks to the modular design of our products, the same camera can be used on a variety of microscopes. We offer solutions for attaching the camera to the phototube or to the eyepiece tube (23.2 mm or 30 mm) of the microscope.

When attaching the camera to the microscope using the LMscope adapter solution, it is essential to select “Release w/o lens” in the camera menu. Failing to do so will prevent the camera from capturing images.

Operate the camera without the original lens, trigger without the CPU lens

If the camera is controlled remotely from the computer with the Sony Imaging Edge software, the camera can be operated without a memory card. If no card is used, the images are saved directly to the PC’s hard drive. To do so, “Release w/o lens” must be selected in the camera menu.

Trigger Sony Alpha system camera without memory card menu setting

Remote tethering

With Sony’s Imaging Edge software, the camera can be conveniently controlled and operated via Live View. Various settings can be configured, and the captured images can be edited and saved directly to the PC. The eyedropper tool is a quick and easy way to adjust the white balance, for example.

Microscope software: Remote software Sony Imaging Edge with Sony Alpha 7RV white balance

Especially at resolutions as high as those offered by the Sony Alpha 7R V, even the smallest misfocus can have a dramatic impact. For this reason, it is recommended to use the software’s focus magnifier for precise image focusing.

For a detailed report on using the camera with this software, see here (link).

Conclusion: The Sony Alpha 7R V is currently one of the top-tier cameras on the market (as of 2024). Its powerful full-frame sensor features a wide dynamic range and is exceptionally light sensitive. With our LM adapter solutions, which are equipped with an integrated precision optical system, the Sony Alpha 7R V can be attached to almost any microscope.



Fitting the microscope to digital single-lens reflex (DSLR), mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras (MILC ), digital single-lens mirrorless (DSLM) or C-mount cameras is easy with our LM digital SLR adapters, which feature a plan achromatic optical system. Our products make it possible to capture top-quality microscope images. To help you select the adapter that is right for your camera, we have set up an online configurator on our website. You can also email us – ideally with attached photographs of your microscope.

Modern DSLR and single-lens mirrorless (DSLM) offer the latest technology and are generally very well suited for microscopy applications. Most of them can be controlled remotely via PC/Mac. Because of their high sales volumes, they offer an excellent price/performance ratio compared to special-purpose microscope cameras.

Features of top DSLR and single-lens mirrorless cameras (DSLM):
- Large, powerful full-frame sensors (36 x 24 mm)
- Sensor resolution of 61 megapixels or 240 megapixels with Pixel Shift technology
- High light sensitivity (ISO 400,000+)
- Extensive dynamic range (up to 15 aperture stops/f-stops)
- Short exposure times (1/8000 second) up to 1/32,000 seconds using the digital shutter
- 4K Ultra HD  or 8K Ultra HD video function
- Live video capture on external monitors in ultra HD quality

In most cases, these cameras are significantly more powerful than microscope cameras with smaller sensors (1/2" or 2/3"). On our website you will find our current camera recommendations and a camera ranking which is specifically tailored to microscopy applications.