Sony A7c | The smallest Alpha full-frame camera
Ten years ago Sony released their first mirrorless interchangeable lens system which was closely followed by the full-frame A7 camera. This design took the larger sized sensors out of bigger DSLRs and encased them in a smaller and more portable body. Well today I’m pleased to say that Sony has done this once again with their new model, the A7c.
- 24.2 MP BSI Exmor R CMOS sensor
- Bionz X Processor
- 4K30P movie recording
- 693-point phase detection AF
- Up to 10fps continuous shooting
- Up to 15-stops dynamic range
Being a smaller design and only weighing in at just 509g’s this full-frame mirrorless is actually 22% lighter than the A7 III and just 6g’s heavier than the A6600. To create it this small Sony has developed a new compact shutter unit adopting the electromagnetic-drive system along with a monocoque construction from its magnesium allow chassis. Available in an all-black or black and silver two-tone finish Sony has created something a little new for this entry-level full-frame which is also dust and moisture resistant.
At its heart is a 24.2-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS Exmor R sensor and the latest Bionz X processor and the stills capabilities within the A7c left me pleased with a good dynamic range up to 15 stops, bringing out details in my highlights and shadows.
For any fast-moving family members running around or playing that Sunday morning sport or if you just fancy shooting a little quicker you can shoot continuously up to 10 frames per second for a lengthy 115 RAW images or 223 JPEGs. The subjects in your images will stay in focus too thanks to the A7c being able to autofocus and auto exposure at this frame rate too.
With 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points that cover a large 93% of the sensor the A7c inherits the same industry favourite focusing seen throughout Sony’s latest systems. Real-time Eye AF for both Humans and animals along with Real-Time Tracking help to keep your subjects sharp as they move throughout your frame. This is the same performance found inside the A7R mark IV and gives a reliable focus down to - 4 EV which lets you take advantage of that larger sensor for low light environments. Helping with this is the ISO range that covers from 100-51,200 or is expandable from 50-204,800. Now no one is ever going to shoot at such a high number but having a low level of noise at the slightly bigger numbers leaves you with a pleasing end result.
Capable of shooting 4K video up to 30p from a 6K oversample means we have no sensor cropping or pixel binning. This is an 8-bit recording with the improved colour reproduction taken from the A7R IV. If you like things slow and smooth simply step down to Full HD where you can shoot up to 120p leaving you with that dreamy slow-motion capture. Focusing is quick with the fast hybrid AF along with the real-time eye AF and real-time touch tracking. Pre-installed S-LOG2 & 3 and a dynamic range of 14 stops content creators looking to add a little more in post-editing will have no troubles.
Being this small makes the A7c ideal for lightweight hand-held shooting and aiding your stills and video is a newly developed compact stabilisation system providing up to 5 stops of compensation helping to keep your footage smooth and clean.
I’ve been shooting with the new 28-60mm F/4-5.6 compact kit lens which comes with the A7c. As standard kit lenses go this one performed really rather well with a quiet yet fast autofocus thanks to the linear motor and sharp and clear images thanks to its optics. This lens is nearly half the size of the 28-70mm seen on the earlier alpha models and weight just 167gs. Matching the build quality of the A7c this new lens is also dust and moisture resistant and has a close focus of 0.3m in its widest form and 0.45m at it’s longest.
Connectivity in the form of 2.4 and 5Ghz Wi-Fi allows you to connect the camera and transfer your content to a smart device before uploading it to your favourite social sharing platform.
Powering the A7c is the same Z series battery already found inside it’s bigger brother models and you can get up to 740 still images or 215mins of video when using the monitor or 680 stills and 220mins via the EVF on a single charge. You can also power for extended recording times or charge the camera up via the USB C port located on the side allowing you to head out for longer adventures without the need to worry about when you’ll next have a mains socket available.
Sony told us it was going to be small and that it was going to have all the features we love from them. Well, all I can say is they were right. For anyone looking to step into an interchangeable lens system and wants to get the best image quality possible from a full-frame camera without the larger price point, the A7c is definitely something to have on your radar.
It's an ideal camera to take away on your travels or use on a daily basis due to how portable it is and with 24 megapixels stills and 4K video recording along with that lower light performance, high dynamic range and the brilliant Real-Time tracking and Eye AF it’s hard to miss focus and you end up with too many images to choose from.