Sony has announced the split of its A7C series into two new models, offering lower-cost versions of its higher-end cameras. The new models are the A7C II, based on the A7 IV, and the A7C R, a mini-me version of the A7R V. Both models offer key ergonomic updates but lack some features that professional photographers may find essential.
Starting with the A7C R, it comes with a softer, grippier material and a deeper handle, addressing ergonomic issues present in previous Sony models. It also includes an add-on grip that extends the length of the camera, providing a better grip, but making the camera less compact. Despite this, it still offers a lightweight and compact option for street photography and more.
The A7C R features a flip-out one-million dot display and a 2.36-million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with slightly improved .70X magnification over the A7C II. It offers full in-body stabilization with 7.0 stops of compensation, making it a valuable feature in such a small camera. Other features include mic/headphone ports, USB-C 3.2, a micro HDMI connector, and a single UHS-II card slot. However, the lack of a second card slot is a limitation for many professional photographers who rely on backup options.
In terms of photo specifications, the A7C R is similar to the A7R V with a few differences. It can shoot 61-megapixel RAW images at up to 8fps, compared to 10fps on the A7R V. It has a smaller buffer and a single lower-speed SD UHS-II card slot, limiting the number of photos that can be captured in a burst. However, it offers identical image quality to the A7R V, with very high resolution and exceptional detail.
While the A7C R cannot shoot 8K video like the A7R V due to heating issues with the smaller body, it still offers 4K 60p full-frame video and 6.2K oversampled 1.5x cropped 4K 60p video. It comes with S-Log3, S-Cinetone, and S-gamut3 Cine, records 10-bit 4:2:2 sampled video, and can shoot at up to 120 fps in 1080p mode. The A7C R is priced at $3,000, making it $900 less expensive than the A7R V.
Moving on to the A7C II, it has the same 33-megapixel sensor and many of the same specs as the A7 IV. In terms of body and handling, it is identical to the A7C R, with the same extra dial, updated grip, improved EVF, and other features. It offers shooting speeds of up to 10 fps in mechanical or electronic shutter mode. The autofocus on the A7C II is superior to the A7 IV due to the dedicated AI processing unit present in the A7C R and A7R V. This results in improved subject detection, tracking, and other features.
In terms of image quality, the A7C II delivers the same level of quality as the A7 IV, with sharper photos due to the increased resolution and superior low-light capability despite the smaller pixels. However, it does suffer from rolling shutter issues. In terms of video, the A7C II outperforms the A7C R, offering sharp full-frame 4K 30p video with 7K oversampling or 4K 60p with a 1.5x crop. It also provides 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling with S-Log3 and S-Cinetone, making it a better option for videographers.
The A7C II is priced at $2,200, making it $300 less expensive than the A7 IV. It offers several improvements over the A7 IV, but lacks a second card slot, which may be a concern for some photographers.
Overall, Sony’s new A7C series offers lower-cost alternatives to their higher-end cameras, providing photographers with options that address ergonomic issues and offer key updates. However, the lack of certain features may be a drawback for professional photographers who require specific capabilities in their cameras.