Introducing the Sony a7C: Full-Frame Capture in a Compact Body

Created : 2020-Sep-15  |  Updated : 2020-Sep-15

If you’ve ever wondered just how small Sony could make its full-frame mirrorless cameras, the newly announced a7C is here to provide you with the answer. Squeezing a 24.2MP BSI sensor into an APS-C form factor body, along with 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization, the a7C is the smallest and lightest camera of its kind, opening up a world of possibilities for photographers and videographers.

Accompanying the new ultra-portable body, Sony has also unveiled the FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 lens, the smallest and lightest standard zoom FE lens. Paired with the a7C, its similar sleek stature offers all of the benefits of a versatile full-frame system without the usual heft. Rounding out the new releases is the HVL-F28RM Flash, an easily pocketable wireless flash perfect for any of Sony’s a7 series cameras.

Who Is the a7C For?

The a7C is the perfect camera for vloggers, travel photographers, or any other image maker who wants the benefits of Sony’s full-frame mirrorless system in the smallest and lightest possible form factor. Sharing a similar design to Sony’s a6000-series APS-C mirrorless cameras, the a7C is svelte enough to carry comfortably in a purse, tote bag, or backpack, making full-frame everyday carry a reality. Conversely, the a7C could also serve as an excellent second camera or compact option for photographers already invested in Sony’s full-frame camera system.

Sony a7C at a Glance:

  • 24.2MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG/HDR and S-Log3/2
  • 15 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
  • Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
  • Smallest Full-Frame Camera with IBIS to Date

Full-Frame Sensor Captures High-Quality Imagery

The a7C features a 24.2MP back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor paired with a BIONZ X Image Processor to capture high-resolution imagery quickly, with minimal noise. Capable of ISOs up to 204800, and boasting 15 stops of dynamic range, the a7C handles challenging lighting environments with ease so you can count on your images being sharp and accurate no matter where you are shooting.

5-Axis Image Stabilization Minimizes Shake

In-body image stabilization (IBIS) has been a calling card of Sony’s mirrorless cameras for years. The a7C incorporates 5-axis IBIS so you can shoot stills and video handheld with minimal shake affecting your images. This also allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds so you can work in low-light environments or explore creative scenarios that would not otherwise be possible

Advanced Hybrid Autofocus Keeps up with the Action

The a7C benefits from 693 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection points for reliable and fast autofocusing. Real-time Eye AF maintains focus on your subject’s eyes whether you’re composing a portrait, documenting an event, taking a selfie, or recording a vlog. Sony’s new Animal Eye AF is available for capturing stills of your pets, and the a7C also features Real-Time tracking, which comes in handy when trying to keep pace with moving subjects common in wildlife, sports, and street photography. When shooting stills, the a7C supports up to 10 fps continuous shooting so you can be confident that you will get the shot you want.

4K Video Recording

The a7C is an excellent hybrid option for those who need to capture stills and videos using the same camera. It offers UHD 4K recording at up to 30 fps with full pixel readout and 4:2:0 8-bit output, as well as Full HD recording at up to 120 fps for slow-motion playback. S-Log2, S-Log3, and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) support are all available to achieve greater dynamic range and offer more flexibility during post-production. Headphone and microphone jacks are integrated into the body so you can record and monitor audio through the camera, and the a7C features a Multi-Interface Shoe that supports a digital audio interface when used in conjunction with shoe-mounted mics. Also, an HDMI Type-D port can be used in conjunction with an external recorder to gain 4:2:2 8-bit recording up to UHD 4K at 30 fps.

Unique Yet Familiar Design

The a7C’s design shares its form factor and the layout of many of its controls with Sony’s a6000 line of cameras. Chief among its similarities is the rangefinder-esque positioning of its 2.36m-dot EVF, as well as the general layout of its rear control buttons. Unlike past models, its SD card slot has been moved to the left side of the body alongside USB-C and micro-HDMI ports. And for wireless connectivity, the a7C can connect to your smartphone or computer via high-speed 2.4 or 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. Tethered shooting is also possible via USB for applications that benefit from larger or additional screens.

The a7C was designed with today’s generation of content creators in mind. A vari-angle, side-opening 3.0" touchscreen LCD can be flipped out and rotated, making it easy for vloggers to adjust settings and monitor recordings in real time. Further streamlining operation, a top panel record button is easy to access whether you are in front of or behind the camera. The a7C is also compatible with Sony’s Wireless Shooting Grip for even greater control when shooting self-directed content.

Complementing the portability of the a7C is its dust- and moisture-resistant design, so you can shoot outside without checking the forecast. A magnesium-alloy chassis further reinforces the build of the camera. Finally, the a7C uses the same NP-FZ100 battery as other recent Sony cameras, lasting up to 740 images or 225 minutes of recording between charges.

A Stepping Stone for Sony Photographers

The a7C introduces a fourth category within Sony’s full-frame mirrorless a7-series lineup. Joining the video powerhouse a7S III, high resolution a7R IV, and hybrid a7 III, the a7C becomes the compact camera of choice at this format.

In terms of features and size, the a7C fits right between Sony’s a6600 and a7 III mirrorless cameras. On one hand, it serves as a step up for APS-C sensor photographers itching to take full advantage of Sony’s FE lenses. On the other hand, it serves as a step down in size for photographers who need an ultra-compact body without sacrificing sensor siz

A Compact Lens for a Compact Camera

Accompanying the a7C is Sony’s new FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 Lens, the lightest and most compact FE standard zoom to date, weighing only 5.8 oz. Providing a perfect range for event, portrait, street, and landscape photography, the newest addition to the FE lineup serves as an excellent all-around lens for everyday carry. Its retracting design also increases its portability when not in use.

Optically, this new lens incorporates three aspherical elements for superior sharpness and accurate rendering. A linear AF motor provides fast and silent autofocusing, making it well equipped for still and video applications, and a minimum focusing distance range of 11.8-17.7" (depending on focal length) is perfect for capturing selfies and close-ups without strain. Finally, like the a7C, it features a dust- and moisture-resistant design for safe use outdoors.

Also, beyond the kit lens, Sony has recently introduced the LA-EA5 A-Mount to E-Mount Adapter, which is its most capable adapter, helping to bring Sony A-mount shooters over to the sleek E-mount mirrorless system. This adapter expands the usable number of lenses for mirrorless users without compromising on features and compatibility.

Powerful, Pocketable Flash

Finally, Sony has also announced the HVL-F28RM External Flash, an extremely compact and portable light perfect for pairing with the a7C. The new flash incorporates wireless radio control so you can work with it atop your camera or incorporate it into your existing Sony flash system to add an extra splash of light wherever you may need it. This flash has a guide number of about 92' and, going along with the common theme of today’s announcement, a more compact form factor than Sony’s HVL-F32M and HVL-F45M flashes.

The Bottom Line

If you have been thinking about stepping up to a full-frame camera but are concerned about bulky bodies and heavy lenses, the a7C may be just the camera you’ve been waiting for. If you already shoot full frame but have yet to find a camera body small enough for everyday carry, the a7C could fill this gap in your collection. Finally, if weight and size are limiting factors and your practice requires image stabilization, the a7C cannot be matched.

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