Sony A7c Camera Review – Compact Size, Big Sensor Image Quality
The most recent and smallest full-frame interchangeable lens camera from Sony is the a7C. It equips an APS-C sensor a6600-style body with a 24MP full-frame sensor and image stabilization.
Although many of the features and capabilities are recognizable, a lot of effort has obviously gone into making this one of the tiniest full frame cameras available. In order to maintain those size savings, a new retractable kit zoom is being introduced alongside the a7C.
- Bionz X processor with a full-frame 24MP BSI CMOS camera (same as in the a7 III)
- Real-time tracking AF system with recognition of human heads, faces, eyes, and animals
- up to 30p of oversampled 4K footage with 8-bit S-Log and HLG
- up to 10 fps of continuous bursts
- 921k-dot touchscreen with full articulation
- Mic and headphone jacks, 2.36M-dot EVF, and 0.59x magnification
- Huge “Z-type,” dual-band, 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi battery with a 740 shot capacity
- The Sony a7C can be purchased for approximately $1799 ($2399 CDN) or for approximately
- $2099 ($2699 CAD) when equipped with the brand-new collapsible 28-60mm F4-5.6 kit zoom.
You’ll enjoy the A7C exactly as much if you enjoyed the A7 III for video. It offers exactly the same specifications everywhere, including 120 fps video at 1080p and 4K full-frame, crisp downsampled video at up to 30 fps. It only records 8-bit video internally at 4:2:0 and externally at 4:2:2 over HDMI.
Comparing that to more contemporary full-frame cameras with 10-bit 4K internal video at up to 60 frames per second, like the Canon R6 and Panasonic S5, both of which are slightly more expensive, is kind of disappointing. To be fair, the A7C offers a marginally higher dynamic range, and you have access to all of Sony’s S-log shooting settings to take full advantage of that.
Full-frame mirrorless Sony A7C camera for video
Because to the downsampling, video is extremely sharp when captured in 4K using the entire width of the sensor. Nothing matches a full-frame sensor for shallow depth of focus, especially if you have a nice, fast prime lens to really isolate your subject from the background.
As I previously stated, the A7C is a much better vlogging camera than the A7 III since it has a flip-out display. Even though it could use a more aggressive electrical mode to smooth out footsteps, the in-body stabilization works reasonably well with video. It’s also a big benefit that this camera has both a microphone and headphone jacks, and they’re strategically placed so they don’t obstruct the screen.
The A7C still has the same rolling shutter issues as the A7 III, which can make video appear shaky. That’s especially bothersome in full-frame mode at 24 frames per second, though the APS-C crop can greatly minimize it.
Photography of wildlife and action sports
As long as you’re not photographing the Olympics or other professional sports, the Sony A7C’s 10 FPS shooting and respectable buffer will be more than sufficient for anything fast-paced, from your children’s athletic activities to that wildlife safari experience you’ve been saving up for.
Having said that, what if you primarily work in lighting settings that are, shall we say, half-decent, and you primarily perform telephoto photography, where “reach” is everything? I have to recommend the Sony A6600 if you never go much higher than ISO 1600 or 3200. For telephoto shooting, I simply like the crop factor, plus the A6600 is less expensive while providing more physical features.
Design and Robustness
Despite its little size and basic ergonomics, the A7C is nonetheless a reliable, robust camera. The body frame is made of metal and is weather-sealed. The A7C will last the test of time, albeit “they” never specify whether it has the same high-end level of weather sealing as, say, a Sony A9 II or Sony A1.
I like the way the design strikes a good balance between portability and a very comfortable grip. Other cameras in the same price range (*cough* Fuji X-T4 *cough*) might have more dials and controls, but the ergonomics of the grip and thumb aren’t always as good.
On the down side, I should point out that the touchscreen LCD and the “small” little EVF both have an amateurish feel to them. I’ve personally grown pretty accustomed to the larger, lovely viewfinders of all the slightly higher-end cameras, so these were undoubtedly the two places where Sony chose to save a little money. On top of that, I have left eyes, which means my nose and cheek are always touching the touchscreen Display when I try to control the AF points.
Full-frame mirrorless Sony A7C camera
Even though I’ve closely watched Sony’s product strategy, I’ll admit that I never imagined it would produce a camera similar to the A7C. It contradicts the direction in which its full-frame mirrorless cameras have moved over time. Yet, it is inconsistent with its APS-C product plan.
Although I’m not a huge admirer of the A6000 series crop sensor cameras, they have sold really well. Sony, in my opinion, wished to extend some of that mainstream appeal to the full-frame market. In terms of technology, the A7C is essentially a full-frame version of the A6600, but with sensor magic from the A7 III.
Its debut price of $1,800 is less than that of any other A7-series camera. Yet, it’s still clearly not inexpensive. You may purchase the Canon EOS R, the Nikon Z6 or the Nikon Z5 for that price or less on the full-frame side. Though the Z6 is a superior choice for video, in my opinion the A7C outperforms them all.
You could purchase the Canon R6, Panasonic S5, or Nikon Z6 II for just a few hundred dollars more. If you’re interested in both video and photographs and have the money, I believe all of them are better options. But, the A7 III ultimately poses the biggest threat to Sony, especially in terms of photography. Personally, I think it would be better to have that camera only for handling. The A7C is a terrific option if you’d prefer something smaller, slightly better for vlogging, and with more advanced autofocus.