What do you get when you cross two of the biggest camera trends of the year? That would be the new Sony A7C – a small full-frame camera (tick) that’s also aimed at vloggers and YouTubers (double tick).
In the launch’s build-up, Sony promised a “new concept” for its Alpha range. And while the Sony A7C is more like a combination of two existing camera lines – the Sony A6000 series and Sony A7 series – it’s still an exciting prospect for anyone who’s been waiting for a full-frame version of the Sony A6600.
Despite having a 24.2MP back-illuminated full-frame sensor, the Sony A7C isn’t noticeably bigger than the highly compact Sony A6600. In fact, the A7C weighs just 6g more than its APS-C cousin (at 509g in total), and is only fractionally taller and wider. That means it’s not much bigger than the tiny Sigma FP.
This is all the more impressive when you consider that the A7C also packs in five-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), thanks to a newly designed system, and Sony’s high-capacity Z battery. The latter has been one of the best new features on Sony’s recent cameras, and promises to deliver 680 shots per charge (when using the viewfinder) or around three hours of video shooting.
So what makes the Sony A7C another contender for best vlogging camera? It packs in a lot of the features that one-person video crews look for, including a side-hinged touchscreen, large movie record button, and the twin benefit of headphone and microphone jacks to boost the audio quality.
Aside from the pro-focused Sony A7S III, the Sony A7C also goes bigger on video features than any of its A7 stablemates. You get Sony’s excellent Real-time Eye AF system, plus Real-time subject tracking. It also shoots 4K/30p video (oversampled from 6K, with no pixel binning), Full HD at 120p and does all this with no recording limits.
A mini Sony A7S III?
While vlogging beginners are better off going for something like the Sony ZV-1, the Sony A7C does bring a wealth of options for those who like get a bit more involved with their video shooting and editing.
There are S-Log and HLG profiles for color grading your videos, plus some of the fine autofocus transition speed control that we saw on the Sony A7S III. You can choose from seven different AF speeds or from five AF sensitivity settings to make sure you get the right look for your videos.
On the downside, the Sony A7C doesn’t offer 4K/60p video recording and is limited to 8-bit color depth. The former is available on the Panasonic Lumix S5, which can also shoot 10-bit video internally.
Like the latter, the A7C is also launching with a new small, lightweight lens that complements its size. The FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 weighs only 167g, bringing the combined camera and lens weight to only 676g. For a full-frame camera with IBIS, that’s extremely light, and makes it about two-thirds the size and weight of a Sony A7 III when the latter is coupled with an FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens.
Naturally, the combination of this size and the A7C’s performance makes it pretty pricey.
It’ll be available in October in two different versions – there’ll be a black option or a two-tone black/silver model to choose from, with both bodies costing $1,800 / £1,900 / AU$3,299. You can also get the kit that includes the new FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 lens for a slightly higher price of $2,100 / £2,150 / AU$3,899.
This makes the A7C more expensive than the Sony A7 III and Panasonic Lumix S5, though the video features could well justify the cost for vloggers and YouTubers looking to up their game to professional quality. We’ll bring you our full review very soon.