Sony A7C review
The Sony A7C has a radically different look compared to other A7 models, but there’s a lot that’s very familiar inside.
(Image: © Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The Sony A7C's specifications are unambitious to say the least, particularly in terms of its video capabilities, but its practical performance, from its handy vari-angle screen to its excellent AF system, make it effective enough as a camera. We will leave it to you to decide if its two-tone design is appealing, but for us it does not have the quality ‘feel’ of the other A7 models. Does the Sony range and the full frame mirrorless camera market need this camera, though? It's not cheap, it's not pretty and its not even technically very advanced.
• Small(ish) body
• Excellent retracting lens
• Side-hinged vari-angle screen
• Autofocus performance
• Unambitious video specs
• Unappealing silver and black finish
• Not especially cheap
Sony is aiming the A7C at a new, younger market, but placing its faith in a steady evolution of its digital capture technologies rather than any headline-grabbing technical breakthroughs.
The biggest news around the Sony A7C is its design, which is like a fusion of the and the . Lots of people have made lots of fuss over how small this camera is. It's true that the rectangular body is smaller than that of the A7 III but bigger and thicker than Sony's APS-C cameras.
The flip-out screen is a major ergonomic leap forward, though, and the A7C also has a brand new retracting 28-60mm kit lens to go with the camera’s downsized dimensions.
ILCE-7C 24.2MP full frame Exmor R CMOS BSI
623-point phase AF, 425-point contrast AF
100-51,200 (exp. 50-204,800)
Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot, Avg., Highlight
4K UHD up to 30p
EVF, 2,359k dots
1x SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-II
3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 921k dots
10fps, 115 raw, 223 JPEG
124.0 x 71.1 x 59.7mm
503g (body only)
From the outside, the Sony A7C is radically different to the regular Sony A7-series cameras. The viewfinder housing on the top is gone, replaced by a viewfinder eyepiece in the top left corner of the body on the rear. The rear LCD screen now flips sideways via a vari-angle pivot that gives a much wider range of movement, and the camera’s two-tone black and silver finish is very different to the all-black livery of the other A7 models – though Sony says a limited-edition all-black version is coming.
Inside, though, the A7C is rather conventional. The 24MP sensor is the same as (or a close relative of) the sensor in the A7 III, and the video is capped at 8-bit 4K at 30p. By today’s standards this is very ordinary indeed, though Sony says the bit depth has been kept to 8-bit to produce manageable file sizes for capture and editing. The relatively low processing demands mean the A7C does at least have no recording limits – and its 4K video is ‘oversampled’ full width 6K, so the quality should be good.
You do at least get Sony’s S-Log2, S-Log3 and HLG modes, together with both mic and headphone sockets, not to mention 120p full HD.
What you also get is Sony’s latest and best autofocus technologies, with 693 phase AF points and 425 contrast AF points, between them covering 93% of the frame. Sony’s AF system is arguably the most advanced and effective on the market, and this one has the Real Time Eye AF, human/animal, left/right eye and Real Time Tracking seen on the flagship , and the AF speed and sensitivity adjustments of the new .
The A7C is just as effective at stills photography, especially if you shoot sports and action. Its 10fps continuous shooting speed is pretty impressive, but its buffer capacity – the number of shots it can take before slowing down – is better still. Sony says it can capture 115 raw files or 223 JPEG images in a burst; 115 raw files is 3-4 times more than most general-purpose cameras can manage.