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Sony Alpha 7C Review • The smallest and lightest mirrorless camera

Sony Alpha 7C

An advantage of mirrorless cameras over other types of cameras is their size. Sony capitalized on this and made with  Sony Alpha 7C the smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera in the world (with viewfinder).

Along with this small and compact body, the Japanese launched the smallest and lightest lens standard zoom worldwide, EF 28-60 mm F / 4-5.6.

Measuring only 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm and weighing 508 grams, the Alpha 7C camera is similar in size and weight to the APS-C camera models, weighing only 1% more than the Alpha 6600. In fact, the camera looks like one of the Alpha 6000 series, but inside it is hidden more technology and a larger sensor.

We are dealing with a small camera, more compact than I expected (after seeing it in pictures and videos) with a pretty ok grip, but it is not the most comfortable for long use. The viewfinder is not in the middle but on the left. It’s very small and I didn’t like using it at all for photos. I preferred the screen. By the way, it is foldable, just like the one on the A7SIII and Sony is being modernized. You can film yourself more easily, whether it’s a vlog or a classic video clip to talk on camera. Also, the microphone slot is above the hinge so you don’t mind when you turn the screen towards you.

At the top we have a wheel for different shooting / shooting modes, a wheel for exposure compensation, a shutter button and a button dedicated to video recording. On the back we have the classic buttons, the wheel, the playback button and so on. You have only one custom button, and the menu button has the worst location, in the center above the screen, and this causes the screen to turn off every time you press with your left hand because you pass your hand in front of the viewfinder.

Overall, in terms of manoeuvrability, usability, the A7C camera is fine, given the small size. It’s a lightweight camera that you can put in a bag or jacket pocket (if you have the lens above). However, I prefer the stability offered by a larger full-frame than the A7III.

Sony Alpha 7C: Specifications 

The camera has an Exmor R CMOS full-frame image sensor with 24.2 MP 35mm backlight and a BIONZ X image processor, and Sony promises us an extended dynamic range of 15 steps. The ISO standard range is extended to 51,200 and can reach ISO 50-204,800. I mean you can film / photograph even in very poor lighting conditions and you will get good results with quite a bit of noise in the image, but I didn’t expect anything else considering that we are talking about Sony.

At the photo level, the camera can shoot in bursts of up to 10 frames per second with AF / AE enabled and has a buffer of 223 JPEG images or 115 in compressed RAW or 45 uncompressed RAW format. It’s not the fastest camera on the market, but I think it’s fast enough to catch children playing, pets and maybe, why not, and moving athletes.

All clips and photos in this test were taken with the 28-60mm F / 4-5.6 lens, which is very compact and small. The quality of the material is not extraordinary and it can be seen that it is made of plastic, but this makes it very easy. 28mm is not really the ideal focal length for vlogging and a slightly wider lens with a diaphragm capable of letting in more light would have been better. But even so, at F / 4 I was pleasantly surprised by the quality bokeh you can get, and here you can see the advantage that a full frame sensor offers over an APS-C or micro4thirds.

It is a standard, capable lens that manages to provide detailed images and I recommend it to those who want a compact lens or those who do not have any other lens with E mount. Otherwise, depending on the need, you can mount one with more zoom large or with a larger diaphragm.

As in the past, pixel reading takes place across the frame, with no pixel binning allowing more than double the volume of data to be captured compared to 4K video recording (QFHD: 3840 x 2160), which is subsequently oversampled to produce 4K videos. So very good 4K clips, but without the ability to shoot at 60 frames per second. If you want slow-motion you have to use Slow & Quick Motion or FHD recording up to 120 frames per second.

I filmed indoors in a not very well lit environment and I was surprised by the quality of the images obtained, despite the fact that the lens has only F / 4. I also went out in the neighbourhood and shot some video samples so you can see what he can do. The images are made in standard mode (so I didn’t go with S-Log and then edit them later etc).

An interesting function that only three cameras in Sony’s portfolio (ZV-1, A7SIII and A7C) have is the stabilisation in post-production with the help of the data gathered by a gyroscope incorporated in the body. This way, you could stabilize the image even more in post-production with Sony’s Catalyst Browser software. The process is simple and the results are amazing. However, you also lose something. To stabilize, the software has to crop the image and lose more of the frame, but I would be happy with that given the results.

The battery life of the NP-FZ100 is quite good and you will be able to film without worries for longer. Sony says it provides enough power to capture 740 images. Charging is also done with the battery in the device with a UBS-C cable.

Sony A7C vs A7III

After the launch of the A7C many wondered what the purpose of this camera is because it is very similar to the old A7III. First, the A7C is smaller and more compact than the A7III. This could be especially important for people who use small gimbals and need compact devices. You have fewer buttons and less precise control on the A7C than the A7III.

Another notable difference is the electronic viewfinder. Although both cameras have a viewfinder with the same resolution, on the A7C it will be harder for you to see what happens when you take a picture. The display on the A7III folds just up, while the A7C has that screen facing you. The good news for filmmakers is that the A7C has no recording limit, while the A7III automatically shuts off after 30 minutes.

But perhaps the biggest difference is that the new Sony camera has continuous eye tracking in video mode, which you will not find on the old model. Also, the autofocus on the A7C should be slightly better. For photographers, they need to know that the A7III is slightly faster with a maximum shutter of 1/8000 while the A7C can only be 1/4000. Both cameras can shoot 4K at 30/25 fps and FHD at 120 fps, but the A7III has two card slots.

I made this comparison because it seems relevant to me when you decide to buy A7C, especially since it sells at a price similar to A7III.

Sony Alpha 7C is by far the smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera in the world (with viewfinder)
The good:
  • Has no shooting limit
  • stabilization with the help of the gyroscope
  • compact
  • quality images
  • excellent autofocus
The not so good:
  • does not have 4K @ 60 fps
  • the kit lens has only f / 4 and a limited focal length range
Sony Alpha 7C