The heavily speculated Sony Alpha A7C launched tonight. This new Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera is built around a 24 megapixels EXMOR R sensor with a 693-Point Phase-Detect AF system builtin and mounted on a 5-axis image-stabilization system with 5-stops of efficiency. Its sensor spans a standard ISO 100-51200 sensitivity range which expands to ISO 50-204800. A hybrid shutter takes the 1/4000-30s shutter-speed range faster one stop to 1/8000s in electronic-mode.
Even though the above specifications are very familiar and are in-fact an exact match for the Sony Alpha A7 III, this new mirrorless packs them all into a smaller body that is also 20% lighter. This makes the Sony Alpha A7C barely larger than the already exceptionally compact A6600 APS-C mirrorless and proves once more that Sony are masters of miniaturization. Most importantly, it saves this much bulk while maintaining the same 5-axis image-stabilization system performance as the A7 III and level of weatherproof construction.There simply is no other stabilized full-frame digital camera this small or this light! [2020.09.15 – Updated to reflect there are smaller and lighter unstabilized full-frame cameras]
Many of the improvements that allow the A7C to weigh a mere 509g are technological advancement that deliver the same performance a larger camera. This includes a light mechanical shutter that can sustain 10 FPS, 4K Ultra-HD video capture, an Interval Timer, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC. The hot-shoe on the A7C adds a digital audio interface for exceptional sound-quality to match with full-width 4K video recorded at 30 FPS or 1080p video at 120 FPS, all down-sampled from the 6K sensor output. The result are video files with tons of details and minimal artifacts.
A few savings were introduced to reach this incredibly compact-size. The most noticeable is its smaller 0.39″ EVF with rather tight 0.59X magnification, compared to 0.78X on the A7 III, although it sports the same sharp 2.4 MP resolution and builtin Eye-Start Sensor. Despite the LCD panel being the same, the A7C uses a much less convenient and durable rotating hinge. This new mirrorless also loses the front control-dial which allows for a larger and higher-capacity batter that translates to 680 shots-per-charge, which is just over 10% more that its larger sibling. There are still dual control-dials but the secondary one is uncomfortably low on the body and doubles as the 4-way controller. The smaller body does not make room for dual memory-card slots but the one there supports SDXC UHS-II cards.
To complement this new compact Full-Frame mirrorless, Sony also announced the smallest Full-Frame Zoom Lens ever made. The new Sony FE 28-60mm F/4-5.6 is a short standard zoom with dim variable aperture that combines with the A7C to make an incredibly light combo. This small collapsible lens weighs just 167g while still being weather-sealed. It supports 40.5mm filters but not a lens hood to shave a few milimetres from its length. The requisite zoom and focus-rings are there but the Focus Mode is controlled by the camera.
The Sony Alpha A7C will be ready to ship in late October for $1800 USD or $2400 CAD. Early next year, the Sony FE 28-60mm F/4-5.6 will hit the shelves but the A7C is, of course, compatible with the entire lineup of Sony FE lens and Full-Frame E-mount ones by third-party manufacturers. There are both to be hot products and so pre-orders are already open:
- B&H Photo: Sony Alpha A7C – Sony FE 28-60mm F/4-5.6
- Adorama: Sony Alpha A7C – Sony FE 28-60mm F/4-5.6
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