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Sony goes smaller with latest full-frame - Alpha 7C

Create: 09/16/2020 - 10:49
Sony Alpha 7C

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Full-frame camera in a rangefinder-style body
  • New kit lens and flash also being released
  • Options include manual and electronic shutters

If you love full-frame mirrorless and you want a Sony, you’ve been limited to the SLR-like Alpha 7 and A9 cameras.

That has now changed with the introduction of the Sony A7C, which adopts the rangefinder-like shape of its APS-C mirrorless cameras. Sony is calling it “the world’s smallest and lightest” full-frame body.

Like Sony’s other full-frame cameras, the A7C uses a 24.2-MP backside-illuminated Exmor sensor and accepts any E-mount lens. It has an ISO range of 100-51,200, which is extendible to 50-204,800.

The body is 4.4 inches wide, 2.8 inches high and 2.2 inches thick (124.0 x 71.1 x 59.7mm) and tips the scales at just over one pound (18 ounces or 509 grams). This means that the A7C is slightly larger and an ounce or two heavier than the A6600 camera.

The A7C uses the beefier NP-FZ100 battery, which provides for up to 680 shots with the elec-tronic viewfinder and 740 with the LCD monitor and can be charged while in the camera.

The electronic viewfinder’s eyepiece is in the upper left corner of the camera, when viewed from the rear. It has an eye proximity sensor for those who only want to use it when need-ed.

The touch-enabled 3.0-inch monitor swings out from the side and rotates 270 degrees, which makes it suitable for video work, particularly for vloggers. The rotation allows for low-to-the-ground or overhead shooting for both still photos and video.

The A7C records RAW and JPG images plus 4K and Full HD video to a single full-size SD memory card.

MANUAL, ELECTRONIC SHUTTERS

The camera has both manual and electronic shutters. The manual shutter has speeds of 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, while the electronic shutter runs as fast as 1/8,000. Silent shooting can be turned on or off.

Like its full-frame siblings, the A7C does not have a built-in flash. There is Sony’s Multi-Interface Shoe that provides TTL control with compatible flash units. The synchronization speed is 1/160. Sony announced the HVL-F28RM with the A7C. It has a tilting head, as well as offering off-camera wireless control.

Connectivity includes USB Type C, HDMI Micro Type D, NFC, wireless and Bluetooth. For those who are recording video, there are standard 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks.

There is no word yet on whether a battery grip or other accessories will be available.

NEW KIT LENS

The compact nature of the A7C demands a smaller kit lens, and Sony has done just that with the f/4.0-5.6 FE 28-60mm optic. This means that the aperture is f/4.0 at the widest (28mm) set-ting and is f/5.6 at 60mm.

Sony claims that this is the smallest and lightest full-frame kit lens, coming in at 1.8 inches long when collapsed and weighing 5.9 ounces (167 grams). The lens’ zoom ring must be rotated to shooting position, which extends the barrel. See the photos below. Filter size is 40.5mm.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Figure on late October for the Sony Alpha 7C to begin shipping.

As always, there are a couple of options:

  • The body, available in black or silver, will be available in late October for US$1,799.99.
  • The f/4.0-5.6 FE 28-60mm zoom lens will be available in early 2021 for US$499.99.
  • The A7C body and FE 28-60mm zoom lens will also be available in late October for US$2,099.99 USD.
  • The HVL-F28RM flash will be available this winter for $249.99 USD.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.