Sony has concluded that it is time for the next stage, the next concept, of their 35mm full-frame Alpha cameras. As a result, the A7C has been created, and the “C” in the product name stands for “Compact.”
Aimed at a younger demographic than usual, the Sony Alpha 7C will be available in a new black and silver design (which Sony supplied us for evaluation) and a Limited Edition all-black version. The age range to which it is targeted is from the mid-20s to the mid-40s.
According to Sony, the A7C is the first model of a fresh new range, which will be priced similarly to the A7 III and have specifications comparable to those of the A7 III.
Additionally, they have introduced a new retractable standard zoom kit lens for the A7C. It is called the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 and weighs only 167 grams. Despite its diminutive size, the company claims it provides superior image quality to the FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens that is typically included with the A7 III.
In the United Kingdom and the United States, the Sony A7C will be released in October 2020 at a price point of about £1899 / $1798 for the body itself, or £2150 / $2098 with the Sony FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 kit lens.
Along with the Alpha 7C, there is also a new super-compact flashgun called the HVL-F28RM. This flashgun has a guide number of 28 and will retail for around £250 or $248 in the United Kingdom and the United States when it became available in November 2020.
Sony a7c Build Quality
The new Sony A7C is essentially a camera that takes the popular A7 III model and combines its sensor, processor, and other critical specs with the more compact and lightweight chassis of Sony’s APS-C camera, the A6600.
Because of this, Sony was able to create the world’s most miniature full-frame mirrorless camera, as well as the world’s most miniature full-frame mirrorless camera with in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that is currently available on the market (the Sigma FP is even smaller, but it does not have built-in IBIS).
The Sony Alpha 7C has equipped with the same 24.2 megapixels Exmor R back-illuminated full-frame sensor with an optical low-pass filter that the Sony A7 III uses. Additionally, the Sony Alpha 7C is powered by the same BIONZ X processor found in the company’s flagship A9 II and A7R IV cameras, as well as the A7 III (rather than the newer BIONZ XR processor that made its debut on the A7S III).
This indicates that the A7C has an ISO range of 100–51,200, which can be expanded to 50–204,800, and that it provides up to 15 stops of dynamic range when the camera is set to Raw mode.
It is also remarkable that such a vast sensor can be contained in a camera body that is about equivalent to the size of the APS-C A6600 compared to the full-frame A7 III.
It has dimensions of 124 millimeters in width, 71.1 millimeters in height, and 59.7 millimeters in depth. This is in comparison to the A6600, which has dimensions of 120 millimeters in size, 67 millimeters in width, and 59 millimeters in depth. The A7 III has dimensions of 126.9 millimeters in width, 95.6 millimeters in height, and 73.7 millimeters in depth.
Amazingly, the Alpha 7C, which has a body made of aluminum, weighs 509 grams when it is not equipped with a lens, battery, or memory card. This is just 6 grams, or 1%, more than the A6600 but a remarkable 141 grams, or 22%, less than the A7 III.
It employs a robust magnesium alloy body shell that features full weather sealing to provide more tranquility even when operating in more adverse situations.
Sony a7c Image Quality
During this evaluation, the Sony A7C captured photographs of exceptionally high quality.
The ISO range of the Alpha 7C is rather extensive and relatively useable, reaching up to 204800. Even ISO 102400 is acceptable for usage in an emergency. However, we would be hesitant to utilize the top option of ISO 204800. ISO 50-6400 has virtually no noise, while ISO 12800 and 25600 offer more than adequate images.
However, the RAW samples show precisely how much processing the camera performs by default since they are noisier at higher ISO levels than their JPEG counterparts and have fewer undesired color artifacts. This is because the RAW samples are processed more than the JPEG ones.
A practical Dynamic Range Optimizer function will extract additional data from an image’s shadow and highlight sections without adding any noise or other artifacts that aren’t intended.
The High Dynamic Range mode combines the results of two separate images taken at various exposures into a single image. The result is an image that has a higher dynamic range than what would be produced by a single photograph. However, it does yield some excellent effects even though it can only function with JPEGs and stationary subjects.
While the many Picture Effects enable you to create unique looks in a short amount of time, which would generally need you to spend a significant amount of time in the digital darkroom, the Creative Styles make it simple and quick to adjust the JPEG photos captured by the camera.
Sony a7c Specs
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||6000 x 4000|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||24 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||25 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||50|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||204800|
|White balance presets||7|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|Image stabilization notes||5-axis|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Extra fine, fine, standard|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.32)Raw (Sony ARW, 14-bit)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (2X)|
|Number of focus points||693|
|Lens mount||Sony E|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/8000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe)|
|Flash X sync speed||1/160 sec|
|Drive modes||SingleContinuous (Hi+/Hi/Mid/Lo)Self-timer (Std/Cont.)Bracket (Single/Cont.)WB bracketDRO bracket|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, XAVC S, H.264|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported)|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (Micro HDMI)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac (dual-band) + Bluetooth + NFC|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone or Bluetooth)|
|Battery description||NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||740|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||509 g (1.12 lb / 17.95 oz)|
|Dimensions||124 x 71 x 60 mm (4.88 x 2.8 x 2.36″)|
Sony a7c Conclusion
The newly released Sony A7C is the world’s smallest and lightest 35mm full-frame camera. It was created by combining the full-frame A7 III and the APS-C A6600 cameras. And thus lies both its primary selling point and its Achilles heel – it is both an engineering wonder and a surprise already somewhat out-of-date in terms of both its handling and its specifications.
The “C” in the product name stands for “Compact,” and the Alpha 7C lives up to that designation. Somehow, the company managed to fit a full-frame sensor, an IBIS unit, and a new flip-out screen into a body that is marginally bigger than the A6600 and only 6 grams heavier.
If you’ve ever wished for a full-frame camera the same size as most APS-C models, the Sony Alpha 7C will not let you down; it is a technological tour-de-force in this respect. You won’t be disappointed if you’ve ever desired a full-frame camera the same size as most APS-C models.