Talk about a new concept! Sony promised something new and here it is: the Alpha 7C, which already started a discussion online: is it really smaller than the Sigma fp?
Sony’s Alpha 7C is, as promised, a new concept for the company. A camera that points to smaller dimensions, while offering a full frame sensor. Sony announced the camera as the the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame body, a note that had everybody scratching their heads, because, simply by measuring models, Sigma’s fp seems to keep the crown.
One has to read the whole press-release, including the footnotes – of which Sony always has many – to get the full picture: the Sonys Alpha 7C is world’s smallest and lightest full-frame body with uncompromising performance, featuring advanced AF (autofocus), high-resolution 4K video capabilities and more, this more including IBIS and, obviously, EVF. So yes, with EVF it’s the world’s smallest camera.
When paired with the world’s smallest and lightest – again this is Sony’s claim – FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 standard zoom lens, this versatile combination delivers an experience unlike any other, maximising portability and versatility without sacrificing any of the power of full-frame imaging. One should also note that Sony also introduced the HVL-F28RM flash, – no, not announced as the world’s smallest flash – that allows users to broaden their photo expressions with outstanding compactness and an intelligent light intensity control linked to camera face detection.
Who is this camera for?
Still, this is a compact trio that will easily be carried everywhere, something that is usually the idea behind any reduction in size. Here is what Sony had to say about the new product:
“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.”
The reception to the camera is mixed, apparently, with many people asking who this camera is for, and where it fits within Sony’s strategy for its whole lineup of cameras. Still, those looking for a compact model may want to invest in what seems to be a new direction for Sony. While some may want to wait for a Alpha 7C II or even Alpha 7C III, those who want a compact full-frame model and want it now may go for this camera. Here are some key specs shared by Sony:
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 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm (4.9 inches x 2.8 inches x 2.2 inches) and weighing just 509g (18oz), the Alpha 7C is a similar size and weight to an APS-C camera, weighing only 1 percent more than the Alpha 6600. The Alpha 7C achieves the world’s smallest and lightest compact body through an upgraded 5-axis in-body stabilisation system, upgraded shutter units and the utilisation of a monocoque construction which is often used in the bodies of cars and aircrafts. Even in this compact body, the Alpha 7C offers a 5-step stabilisation effect that allows beautiful shots without the need for a tripod. Moreover, the high capacity NP-FZ100 battery provides enough power to capture an industry-leading 740 images when using the LCD monitor, or 680 images when using the viewfinder – making it perfect for long shoots.
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 customise 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, ground-level shots or whatever the user requires. The MOVIE button has been placed to the top of the camera making it easier to operate while recording in selfie mode. Additionally, the Alpha 7C also captures sound in high quality to match that of the image capture and deliver harmonious high-quality video.
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 to 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 movie making. Headphone and a 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 a smartphone to also be replayed and edited in portrait mode.
Price 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.
The HVL-F28RM flash will be available this winter and will be sold for approximately $249.99 USD and $329.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.