Fresh off the assembly line, Sony is adding some younger siblings to its A7C family of compact full-frame cameras. This move harks back to its earlier cost-effective strategy used in the ZV-E1 vlogging camera. The latest additions to the family are the 33-megapixel A7C II, which finds its roots in the A7 IV, and the 61-megapixel A7C R, a sort of pint-sized clone of the A7R V. While retaining most of the punch of their larger counterparts, these cameras come with a few tweaks to the design, though they do omit some pro-level bells and whistles.
A Closer Look at the A7C R
First up is the A7C R, the newbie on the block. Designed with a softer and more textured material, along with a meatier grip, the camera also sports an optional handle extension for that extra pinky real estate. All good stuff, but be warned: it’ll make the camera bulkier.
Handling and Functionality
These design alterations address past ergonomic missteps seen in older Sony cameras, particularly when used for extended shooting sessions. The A7C R has been fitted with a new front dial, streamlining your ability to control aperture, shutter speed, and exposure. The camera also adds a specialized dial for switching between video, photo, and S&Q modes. Weighing in at just 515 grams (that’s 18.2 ounces, for those resisting the metric system), and with a significantly smaller footprint compared to its 723-gram big brother, the A7C R is a solid pick for street photography aficionados and more.
This camera sports a flip-out display with a million-dot resolution and a 2.36-million dot OLED electronic viewfinder that slightly one-ups its sibling, the A7C II. It also boasts 7.0 stops of in-body stabilization, which is nothing to sneeze at for such a petite machine. On the connectivity front, it comes with everything but the kitchen sink: microphone and headphone jacks, USB-C 3.2, and even a micro HDMI port. The downside? A single UHS-II card slot, which can be a deal-breaker for pros who want a backup option for their invaluable shots.
The A7C R is practically neck-and-neck with the A7R V in photo capabilities. You get 61-megapixel RAW shooting at 8 frames per second, albeit with a smaller buffer and a single lower-speed card slot. Both cameras boast 693 autofocus points with 79 percent coverage and use the same processor, which ensures nearly identical autofocus performance in a variety of shooting scenarios. As for image quality, it’s top-of-the-line, rivaling even 100-megapixel medium format cameras from Hasselblad and Fuji.
Video Capabilities and Price Tag
The A7C R does fall short in the 8K video department, likely due to the heat constraints of its compact body. However, it’s no slouch with 4K 60p full-frame and 6.2K oversampled 4K 60p video capabilities. The camera is priced at $3,000, which is $900 less than the A7R V, making your wallet sigh in relative relief. Look out for it hitting shelves in fall 2023.
A Quick Dive into the A7C II
The A7C II shares the A7 IV’s 33-megapixel sensor and comes with many of the same features and form factor as the A7C R. Unlike its pricier counterpart, though, it doesn’t include the optional grip extension in its package.
Speed and Autofocus
The A7C II gains an edge with slightly faster 10 fps shooting speeds and superior autofocus, thanks to its dedicated AI processing unit, a feature lacking in the A7 IV. Promised improvements include 40 percent better tracking for animals and birds, a 60 percent boost for eye autofocus, and a 20 percent improvement in auto exposure tracking.
Video and Pricing
For the videographers among us, the A7C II actually outperforms the A7C R in some respects. It delivers crisp 4K 30p video with 7K oversampling, among other features. Priced at $2,200, it’s $300 cheaper than the A7 IV, making it an attractive choice for those willing to live with just one card slot.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sony A7C series
What new models has Sony introduced in the A7C series?
Sony has introduced two new models: the A7C II, which has a 33-megapixel sensor based on the A7 IV, and the A7C R, which comes with a 61-megapixel sensor and is a miniaturized version of the A7R V.
What are the key ergonomic updates in the new A7C models?
Both the A7C R and A7C II feature a softer, grippier material and deeper handle for improved comfort. The A7C R also comes with an optional grip extension. Additionally, a new front dial has been added to easily adjust aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation.
How do these new models compare to their high-end counterparts in terms of features?
While they lack some features essential to professional photographers, such as a backup card slot, they come close to matching their high-end counterparts in terms of image quality and autofocus points. Both models also offer in-body stabilization and a range of connectivity options.
What are the video capabilities of the new A7C models?
The A7C R supports 4K 60p full-frame video but does not support 8K, likely due to heating issues. The A7C II offers full-frame 4K 30p video with 7K oversampling, or 4K 60p with a 1.5x crop. Both models feature 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling.
When will these new models be available and what is their pricing?
The A7C II and A7C R are set to be available in fall 2023. The A7C R is priced at $3,000, which is $900 less than the A7R V. The A7C II is priced at $2,200, which is $300 less than the A7 IV.
Are there any downsides to consider when choosing one of these new models?
Some downsides include a lack of backup card slots, which may be a deal-breaker for professionals. Also, the A7C II and A7C R use electronic first curtain shutters, which could affect bokeh when using lenses with very fast apertures.
More about Sony A7C series
- Sony’s Official Press Release for A7C Series
- A7C vs A7 IV: A Comprehensive Comparison
- Best Budget-Friendly Cameras for 2023
- A7R V Review: What You’re Missing in A7C R
- In-depth Look at In-Body Stabilization Technology
- A7C Series: User Reviews and Testimonials
- Guide to Understanding Camera Autofocus Systems
- How Electronic Shutter Affects Your Photography
- Overview of 4K Video Recording in Cameras
- Fall 2023 Camera Releases: What to Expect