Today Sony announced its smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera, the Sony A7C. Sporting a 24 MP BSI-CMOS sensor, a BIONZ X image processor, 5-axis image stabilization, 10 FPS continuous shooting speed and 4K video recording capability, the Sony A7C is a very capable camera with an incredibly small footprint. At a mere 509 grams of weight (including the battery), it is noticeably lighter than the Sony A7 III, and even the Nikon Z5.
With its single-piece magnesium alloy structure, it is also a fairly durable camera, and thanks to the NP-FZ100 battery, it is able to capture up to 740 shots on a single charge (up to 680 when using the electronic viewfinder).
Its flat design is similar to the Sony A6x00-series cameras – it is pretty impressive that Sony was able to squeeze a full-frame sensor with image stabilization in such small space.
Most of the features, including the 693-point phase-detection autofocus system, have been borrowed from the Sony A7 III.
To make the camera this affordable, Sony had to compromise on some of the features. To keep the size small, the electronic viewfinder had to be significantly down-sized. Compared to the Sony A7 III, the Sony A7C has a 0.39″ viewfinder panel with 2.36 million dots. This resulted in viewfinder magnification of 0.59x, which is much smaller when compared to the 0.78x viewfinder magnification of the Sony A7 III.
In addition, unlike the A7-series cameras, the A7C has a single SD UHS-II compatible memory card slot, which is accessed from the side of the camera.
Together with the A7C, Sony has also announced a collapsible 28-60mm f/4-5.6 kit zoom lens to make a very compact shooting duo.
Sony A7C Official Press Release
Here is the full press release from Sony:
Sony Electronics Introduces Alpha 7C Camera and Zoom Lens, the World’s Smallest and Lightest Full-frame Camera System
SAN DIEGO, CA – September 14, 2020 – Today, Sony Electronics Inc. announced several additions to an already impressive imaging lineup — the Alpha 7C full-frame camera (model ILCE-7C), the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 (model SEL2860) zoom lens and HVL-F28RM flash.
The Alpha 7C is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame body with uncompromising performance, featuring advanced AF (autofocus), high-resolution 4K video capabilities and more. When paired with the world’s smallest and lightest FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 standard zoom lens, this versatile combination delivers an experience unlike any other, maximizing portability and versatility without sacrificing any of the power of full-frame imaging. The HVL-F28RM flash allows users to broaden their photo expressions with outstanding compactness, and an intelligent light intensity control linked to camera face detection.
“We are committed to creating the best tools possible, based on the needs of our customers,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics. “The new Alpha 7C camera and FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens pack many of our most advanced imaging technologies in a brand new design that is the smallest and lightest full-frame camera and lens system in the world. This opens up a new world of possibilities for creators, giving them the uncompromised power of a full-frame system in the palm of their hand.”
New Alpha 7C: Uncompromised Full-frame Performance in a Compact Design
The new Alpha 7C combines Sony’s full-frame image quality, advanced AF capabilities and versatile video shooting functions in a stunningly light and compact design. The new camera features a 24.2MP (approx. effective) 35mm full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor and BIONZ X™ image processing engine, offering high sensitivity, outstanding resolution, 15-stop wide dynamic range and high-speed image data processing.
Measuring only 4.9 inches x 2.8 inches x 2.2 inches (124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm) and weighing just 18oz (509g), the Alpha 7C is similar in size and weight to an APS-C camera, with only 1 percent more weight than the Alpha 6600. The Alpha 7C achieves the world’s smallest and lightest compact body through upgraded 5-axis in-body stabilization and shutter units, and the utilization of magnesium alloy monocoque construction, often used in the bodies of cars and aircraft. Even in this compact body, the Alpha 7C features a 5-step stabilization effect that allows for shooting snaps without a tripod. Moreover, despite the compact body, the high-capacity NP-FZ100 battery provides enough power for long shooting durations and to capture up to an industry-leading 740 images when using the LCD monitor, or 680 images when using the viewfinder.
Outstanding Full-frame Image Quality
Sony’s new Alpha 7C combines high resolution with low noise for excellent image quality at all sensitivities, offering the user stunning image quality for shooting everyday photography and movies such as nature, portraits, sports, street photography and more. Standard ISO extends up to 51,200 and is expandable from ISO 50-204,800 for low-light environment captures with low noise. The Alpha 7C also supports 16-bit processing and 14-bit RAW output for natural gradations.
Using AI-driven functions, the Alpha 7C’s Real-time Tracking maintains accurate focus automatically while the shutter button is half-pressed. In addition, “Tracking On + AF-On” is now assignable to a custom key and can be activated at once while the AF-ON button is pressed. Moreover, the intended subject can be specified just by touching it on the monitor when “Touch Tracking” has been turned ON via the menu and is available for both stills and movies. The Alpha 7C’s AF functions also feature Real-time Eye AF for both humans and animals to achieve fast and accurate focus. When using Real-time Tracking while “Face/Eye Priority in AF” is ON with a human subject, the subject’s eye and face is detected and locked on in real-time with extremely high tracking precision.
The Alpha 7C provides wide, fast, reliable AF that locks onto the intended subject instantly without losing focus, thanks to its 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system covering approximately 93 percent of the image area, with an additional 425 contrast-detection points to ensure reliable focus, even in busy environments.
The Alpha 7C also features continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE (autoexposure) by using a newly developed shutter unit and refined image processing system. It is also possible to shoot continuously at up to 8 fps in live view mode, with minimal viewfinder/monitor display lag for easy, stable framing, even with intense subject motion. The Alpha 7C allows up to approximately 223 JPEG (Fine L) images, 115 compressed RAW images, or 45 uncompressed RAW images to be captured in one continuous burst, and achieves highly accurate and reliable AF precision in light down to EV-4. These features make it easier to capture fast moving subjects in challenging environments.
Expanded Video Capabilities
Full-frame full-pixel readout without the need for pixel binning makes it possible to capture more than twice the amount of data required for 4K video (QFHD: 3840 x 2160), which is then oversampled to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. In addition, the Alpha 7C supports HDR (HLG) and S-Log/S-Gamut profiles, Slow & Quick motion, high-speed full HD recording at 120 fps and other advanced video features for additional creative freedom.
Furthermore, the Alpha 7C features Real-time Eye AF (human) for video shooting. The eye is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability so that the operator can concentrate on the content rather than focus operation. Users can also customize AF Transition Speed in seven settings, and AF Subject Shift Sensitivity in five settings, in their preferences. Touch Tracking functionality is also available for movie shooting.
The Alpha 7C features a side-opening vari-angle LCD monitor, making it easy to record selfies, overhead shots, low ground-level shots or whatever the user requires. The MOVIE button has been positioned on the top of the camera making it easier to operate while recording in selfie mode. The new Alpha 7C not only records high-quality video, but also high-quality audio. A digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe, allowing the ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit can be connected to input digital audio signals directly to the MI shoe for cleaner, clearer audio recordings. Like other MI shoe accessories, no cables or batteries are required, providing unrestrained freedom for Alpha system moviemaking. Headphone and microphone jacks are also provided to accurately monitor recorded sound, and metadata attached to movie footage shot vertically on the camera allows the footage after transfer to the smartphone or similar device, to also be replayed and edited in the vertical position.
Designed for Reliable Operation
The Alpha 7C is designed with the user in mind. The touch panel LCD monitor is a large touch-sensitive 3.0 type with approximately 921 thousand dots, providing optimal visibility even in bright outdoor conditions, and supporting touch focus, tracking and shutter operations. The Alpha 7C also features a high-quality view mode for finer, more natural detail in addition to a 2.35 megadot (approx.) XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ EVF. The Alpha 7C offers functions that simplify operation during and after shooting, such as Fn button customizations and more. It is also dust and moisture resistant to support shooting needs in challenging environments.
To simplify workflow needs, Wi-Fi compatible wireless-communication functions allows images and movies to be directly transferred to a smartphone or tablet for convenient sharing, viewing or saving. In addition to the conventional 2.4GHz band, support for the 11ac standard allows transfer via 5GHz band (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac) so that users can select that stable and high-speed transfer with low interference. A USB Type-C® connector that supports SuperSpeed USB 5Gbps (USB 3.2) is also provided, allowing fast transfer of images during PC remote shooting and power supply from external mobile batteries.
New FE 28-60mm F4-5.6: The World’s Smallest and Lightest Full-frame Zoom Lens with High Image Quality
The new FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 offers the world’s smallest and lightest form factor in a standard zoom lens, delivering high optical performance that achieves the high-resolution depiction of full-frame everywhere in the image. Optimal arrangement of the three aspherical lens elements effectively suppresses aberrations throughout the zoom range and realizes high resolution from corner to corner. A minimum focus distance of 0.99 foot (0.3m) (wide-angle) to 1.48 feet (0.45m) (telephoto) delivers close-up capability, making it perfect for everyday use or vlogging with a gimbal or grip.
At 5.9oz (167g) and 2.6 inches dia. x 1.8 inches length (66.6 mm dia. x 45 mm length), along with its mechanical and optimal optical design that features a retracting structure, the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 achieves unrivaled compactness and lightness, allowing users to easily carry it all the time. From everyday shooting to scenery, portraits and travel, it’s the ideal lens for any type of on-the-go shooting in a wide variety of environments. When combined with the Alpha 7C, the combination achieves uncompromising full-frame performance with the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera and lens system. Even with its compact size and light weight, the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 is dust and moisture resistant and accepts a variety of 40.5mm filters.
The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 delivers high-speed, high-accuracy AF allowing for Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF, using a linear motor. In addition to Sony’s advanced AF capabilities, the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 features an internal focus design which leaves the lens length unchanged with focus motion and close-up shots, enabling users to easily capture a wide variety of content from regular movie shooting to comfortable vlogging.
Pricing and Availability
The new Alpha 7C compact full-frame camera will be available in late October and will be sold for approximately $1,799.99 USD and $2,399.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens will be available in early 2021 and will be sold for approximately $499.99 USD and $649.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
A new kit featuring the Alpha 7C compact full-frame camera and FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens will also be available in late October and will be sold for approximately $2,099.99 USD and $2,699.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new camera, lens and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α – Alpha.
If you would like to pre-order the Sony A7C and you would like to support our efforts, please use the links below: