Photography enthusiasts, followers of Magic, Geeks – it’s time to rejoice! Sony has introduced not one, but two new cameras — the Sony A7C Mark II and the Sony A7C R. Both models come as compact iterations of the powerful A7IV and A7RV series, but with their own unique features and benefits. If you’re in the market for a new compact camera or just curious about Sony’s latest offerings, read on for an in-depth analysis, based on real-world testing in the bustling streets of New York City. But before we delve into the details, make sure to check out my hands-on review video below for real-world experiences and sample footage.
Sony A7C Mark II – Perfect EDC (Everyday Carry) Camera?
The A7C Mark II comes with dimensions of 124 x 71.1 x 63.4 mm and an estimated weight of around 525g. A newly designed grip provides better ergonomics, and the camera’s build quality feels more in line with other Sony bodies. Unlike the first version, which had a somewhat unusual texture, the A7C Mark II feels more refined and solid. The addition of a front dial and customisable exposure compensation dial and new C1 button are welcomed upgrades especially for those of you shooting in M mode. And one more addition is the photo/video/S&Q mode lever – solution known from newer Sony bodies starting with Sony A7IV. But compact design come with certain limitations – pros will definitely miss joystick and no second card slot. The screen is still the same vari-angle tilt screen with improved resolution (1036k dots vs 936k dots in previous A7C model) and viewfinder is still the same small 0.39 type viewfinder with the same resolution of 2359k dots, but improved magnification of 0.70.
Performance & Features
Equipped with a 33-megapixel full frame sensor, the A7C Mark II boasts the same resolution as the Sony A7IV but adds an AI chip for enhanced autofocus (AF) performance. This cutting-edge feature, which was previously introduced in the A7RV series, allows for real-time tracking and object recognition, making it a formidable option for any photographer. In terms of video features Sony A7C II shoots in 4k60 in APS-C mode or 4k30 in full-frame mode, both in 10-bit 4:2:2 with 7.0-step, 5-axis in-body stabilisation. We also have features known from Sony ZV-E1 – auto-framing and log recording with LUTs. Whether you’re shooting portraits, landscapes, or anything in between, this camera offers superior AF performance and can shoot continuously up to 10fps. The only performance limitation would be maximum shutter speed of 1/4000s which can be problematic if you intend to shoot fast prime lenses in bright scenarios.
All photos edited with FLAT MAGIC preset:
Sony A7C R – 61 Megapixel Powerhouse in a Compact Body
The A7C R shares the same dimensions as the Mark II: 124 x 71.1 x 63.4 mm, and weighs around 525g. Like its sibling, the Mark II, it also sports an enhanced grip and all the new design features including front dial, improved exposure compensation dial, C1 button and photo/video/S&Q mode lever. But Sony A7C R takes it a notch higher by including external grip as a standard accessory. Both screen and viewfinder are exactly the same as A7C II – so vari-angle tilt screen with 1036k dots and 0.39 type viewfinder with 2359k dots and improved magnification of 0.70. There is also only one SD card slot.
Performance & Features
When it comes to performance, the A7C R is a miniature beast. With a 61-megapixel Exmor R CMOS full frame sensor and a BIONZ XR processor, it offers ultra-high-resolution photography and an ISO range of 100-32,000. The camera features 7.0-step, 5-axis in-body stabilisation and a robust phase detection AF system with 693 points covering 79% of the frame. Thanks to the AI chip the autofocus performance is spectacular giving you pretty much everything that it’s older brother – Sony A7RV has to offer, including human, animal and object recognition. Its video capabilities are equally robust, featuring 4K60 video at 10-bit 4:2:2, and innovative auto framing and LUT recording known from the Sony ZV-E1. Just like in Sony A7C II we do have a cap of 1/4000s, but also only 8 frames per second continuous shooting.
All photos edited with MAGICADABRA presets:
Who Are These Cameras For?
Both cameras offer something for different types of users. Sony A7C Mark II is ideal for travellers and hobbyists looking for a reliable, everyday hybrid camera for photo video with top of the line performance. Thanks to the addition of AI chip it’s practically Sony A7IV in a compact body on steroids, giving you everything you would want from everyday camera. Sony A7C II paired with compact G lenses or my recent favourite – Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 is going to be amazing day to day tool.
The A7C R on the other hand is geared more towards professionals and artists who require the highest levels of image resolution, but want to stay mobile and light. Addition of the external grip makes this camera suitable to be used along with bigger G Master lenses, while still being lighter and more compact then Sony A7RV, giving you pretty much the same performance.
Pros and Cons
The A7C Mark II and A7C R come with their respective strengths and weaknesses. Both cameras score very high for its compactness, and excellent performance giving you pretty much everything current Sony cameras have to offer. On the flip side, they both lack a joystick and have only one SD card slot and are equipped with rather older technology of screen and viewfinder.
In conclusion, both the Sony A7C Mark II and A7C R offer compelling options for photographers and videographers. Whether you’re an amateur looking for one camera to rule them all or a pro, looking for compact solution to capture your everyday life – you’re likely to find what you’re looking for in one of these superbly designed cameras. From everyday photography to high-end professional shoots, these cameras are capable of meeting a wide range of needs. The key is to identify what’s most important for your specific requirements and making an informed decision based on that. If you want compact everyday hybrid photo and video camera – Sony A7C II is a perfect choice. If you’re looking for something that can give you both – compact EDC camera, but can be also used in studio or even in commercial photography with it’s higher megapixel count – Sony A7C R is the one to go.
Be sure to check out my sample image gallery provided by Pic-Time, and if you found this review helpful, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more in-depth tech reviews!