Sony launched the A7SIII earlier this summer, but the company’s camera division has more in store this year. Today Sony announced its smallest and most compact full-frame mirrorless camera yet: the Alpha 7C.
Designed as a more portable alternative to mirrorless competitors like the Nikon Z6, Panasonic S5, Canon EOS R, and Sony’s own digital full-frame cameras, the $1,800 A7C (body only) combines the size of Sony’s APS-C a600 camera line with the higher image quality of the A7III line.
Weighing 17.9 ounces and measuring 5 x 2.88 x 2.38 inches (not including a lens), the A7C is basically the same size as the a6600 and almost 20% smaller than an A7III, while still sporting a 24.2-MP sensor, 5-axis image stabilization, and super fast autofocus system (with Eye AF) found in the A7C’s bigger and more expensive siblings.
Sony also boasts that the A7C sports up to 15 stops of dynamic range, light sensitivity that tops out at ISO 204,800, and support for a ton of high-end video recording formats including 4K/30Fps using S-Log3. You also get support for full HD slow-mo recording at up to 240 fps.
On top of that, to go along with its more travel-friendly nature, the A7C features a 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen in back that can be flipped 180 degrees so you can still see the display when you’re filming from in front, vlog-style. The A7C also features a built-in 2.3-million dot OLED EVF, except that instead of being centered in the middle of the camera like on larger A7 cams, it’s positioned off to the left like a range-finder to help increase compactness.
The A7C comes with a few other tweaks, including support for USB-C charging and improved battery life that lasts up to 740 shots per charge. Unfortunately, one thing the A7C doesn’t have is Sony’s redesigned and updated menu system which debuted on the A7SIII.
Sony didn’t stop there, because in addition to the A7C, Sony is also announcing a new lightweight lens and flash to ensure size-conscious photographers can create the most lightweight and portable full-frame camera kit around.
The new FE-28-60mm f/4-5.6 lens weighs just 5.8 ounces and features a retractable design that makes it even more compact when not in use, while still offering Sony’s standard dust and water resistance. Meanwhile, the new $250 HVL-F28RM was created to be Sony’s smallest and most compact (notice a theme here?) speed light that still offers wireless radio control for use both on camera and as a remote flash.
For me, while it’s a bit of a bummer that the A7C doesn’t have Sony’s new menu system, putting the same sensor and image quality of more expensive A7 cams into an even smaller and less expensive body seems like a winning formula, especially when so many legacy cameras like Canon and Nikon are still trying to play catch-up in the full-frame mirrorless category. That said, we’ll have to wait until we can take some real sample shots to see how it compares to other sub-$2,000 full-frame mirrorless cams.
The Sony Alpha 7C is slated to be available later this fall in both silver and black for $1,800 (body only) or for $2,100 as part of a kit bundled with the new 28-60mm lens.