How to Format SD Cards in the Sony a7R IV

This is a step-by-step guide on how to format memory cards in the Sony a7R IV mirrorless camera.
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The Sony a7R IV takes two memory cards (both are UHS-II slots), and you can format each one independently. Sony also creates an image database on the cards as part of the formatting and setup process. You don’t have to do anything special for that–it’s done automatically. And in case you’re wondering, no, you don’t need to fill both memory card slots, and the cards don’t have to be the same size, brand, or specs.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to format memory cards in the Sony a7R IV.

If you’ve used another Sony camera recently, the Format function will be in a familiar place. You go to the settings tab (the toolbox icon). You’ll find Format near the bottom of page 5 (Setup5).

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You’ll then get presented with a page that lets you choose which of the two memory cards you want to format. You have to do them individually; you can’t format them both as part of a single operation.

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The next step is the normal confirmation to ensure that you know you’re wiping everything off the card. (If you format the card or delete photos accidentally, all is not necessarily lost. It might still be possible to recover the data so long as you haven’t started writing over it again. I’ve put together some information on how to recover accidentally deleted photos and videos separately.)

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Once you confirm, you’ll see a progress bar. It should only take a few seconds to finish.

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Finally, you’ll see a simple “Formatting completed” message. You’re then good to go.

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Tip: If you’re new to Sony cameras, you might get caught out with the way in which they’re set by default not to roll over automatically from one memory card to the next. I’ve put together a guide on how to change that behavior here.

Popular Accessories for the Sony a7R IV

Vertical Grip for Sony Alpha 7R IV - VG-C4EM
  • Space for 2x np-fz100 batteries doubles the operation time
  • Same grip and controls to match the look and feel of the Alpha 7R IV
Sony a7R IV Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera Body...
  • 61MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R sensor | Enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine w/ front end...
  • Incredible Autofocus: 567 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points | Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye...
Sony a7R IV 61.0MP Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera Body...
  • 61MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R sensor | Enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine w/ front end...
  • Incredible Autofocus: 567 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points | Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye...
Meike MK-MT24S 2.4G Wireless Macro Twin Lite Flash for Sony A9 A7III A7IIK...
  • Compatibility: Sony DSC-RX10M2, DSC-HX50, DSC-HX60, DSC-HX400, DSC-RX100M2, DSC-RX10, DSC-RX1R, DSC-RX1,...
  • Item included: 1 x MK-GT620 TTL Transceiver 6 x Adapter Rings ( 52mm,55mm,58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm )...
Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip for Alpha 7R IV with 64GB Memory and FZ100...
  • Dedicated to the Sony Alpha a7R IV mirrorless cameras, the VG-C4EM Vertical Grip offers both extended...
  • Vertical Grip makes it easy to hold the camera and operate controls with nearly the same feel as when...

Popular Lenses for the Sony a7R IV

Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4 GM Full Frame Wide-angle Prime Lens (SEL24F14GM),...
  • Compact Master wide prime Lens w/stunning wide-open resolution
  • F1.4 max aperture provides extraordinary exposure and Depth of field
FE 135mm F1.8 G Master Telephoto Prime Lens for Sony E-Mount
  • 135mm W/ F1.8 Max aperture maintains exposure and depth of field
  • G master design for extraordinary sharpness and breathtaking bokeh
Sony - FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Lens (SEL24105G/2)
  • G-lens design with 4 aspherical and 3 ED glass (extra-low Dispersion) elements, for high corner-to-corner...
  • Constant F4 maximum aperture maintains exposure and depth of field throughout the Zoom range
SONY FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens (Renewed)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing...
  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 Standard Lens (SEL50F18F/2)
  • Large F1. 8 maximum aperture enables beautiful defocusing effects
  • 7-blade circular aperture creates beautiful defocused bokeh
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