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Sony Alpha 7C – The World’s Smallest and Lightest Full-frame Camera System

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Being a Full-Frame camera is cool and it will be even cooler if it is squeezed into a smaller form factor, but will the Sony Alpha 7C deliver to fulfil the expectation of full-frame users?

The Alpha 7C is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame body with uncompromising performance, featuring advanced AF (autofocus), high-resolution 4K video capabilities and more. When paired with the world’s smallest and lightest 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. Let’s have a quick overview of this camera:-

  • 24.2MP Full Frame
  • Back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine.
  • 15-stop wide dynamic range
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation system
  • 10 fps
  • 4K video
  • 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm and weighing just 509g

Measuring only 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm and weighing just 509g, the Alpha 7C is a similar size and weight to an APS-C camera, weighing only 1% 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 monocoque construction. 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.

Image Quality
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 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. Standard ISO extends up to 51,200 and is expandable to ISO 50-204,800 for low-light environment captures with low noise. The Alpha 7C also supports 16-bit processing and 14-bit RAW output for natural gradations.

Advanced Autofocus
Using AI-driven functions, the Alpha 7C’s Real-time Tracking maintains accurate focus automatically while the shutter button is half-pressed. In addition, “Tracking On + AF-On” now is assignable to a custom key and can now be activated at once while the AF-ON button is pressed. Moreover, the intended subject can be specified just by touching it on the monitor when “Touch Tracking” has been turned ON via the menu and is available for both stills and movies. The Alpha 7C’s AF functions also feature Real-time Eye AF for both humans and animals to achieve fast and accurate focus. When using Real-time Tracking (while “Face/Eye Priority in AF” is ON) with a human subject, the subject’s eye and face are detected and locked on in real-time with extremely high precision.

The Alpha 7C provides wide, fast, reliable AF that locks onto the intended subject instantly without losing focus, thanks to its 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system covering approximately 93% of the image area, with an additional 425 contrast-detection points to ensure reliable focus, even in busy environments.

The Alpha 7C also features continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE by using a newly developed shutter unit and refined image processing system. It is also possible to shoot continuously at up to 8 fps in live view mode, with minimal viewfinder/monitor display lag for easy, stable framing, even with intense subject motion. The Alpha 7C allows up to approximately 223 JPEG (Fine L) images, 115 compressed RAW images, or 45 uncompressed RAW images to be captured in one continuous burst, and achieves highly accurate and reliable AF precision in light down to EV-4. These features make it easier to capture fast-moving objects with challenging environments.

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, 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. 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 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 a 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 microphone jacks are also provided to accurately monitor recorded sound.

Reliable Functionality
The Alpha 7C is designed with the user in mind. The touch panel LCD monitor is a large touch-sensitive 3.0 type with approximately 921K dots, providing optimal visibility even in bright outdoor conditions, and supporting touch operations. The Alpha 7C also features a high-quality view mode for finer, more natural detail in addition to a 2.35 megadot (approx.) XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF. The Alpha 7C offers functions that simplify operation during and after shooting, such as Fn button customisations and more. It is also dust and moisture resistant to support shooting needs in challenging environments.

To simplify workflow needs, Wi-Fi compatible wireless-communication functions allows images and movies to be directly transferred to a smartphone or tablet for convenient sharing, viewing or saving. In addition to the conventional 2.4GHz band, support for the 11ac standard allows transfer via 5GHz band(IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac) so that users can select that stable and high-speed transfer with low interference. A USB Type-C connector that supports SuperSpeed USB 5Gbps (USB 3.2) is also provided, allowing fast transfer of images during PC remote shooting and power supply from external mobile batteries.

New FE 28-60mm F4-5.6
The World’s Smallest and Lightest Full-frame Zoom Lens with High Image Quality
The new FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 offers the world’s smallest and lightest form factor in a standard zoom lens, delivering a high optical performance that achieves the high-resolution depiction of full-frame everywhere in the image. Optimal arrangement of the 3 aspherical lens elements effectively suppresses aberrations throughout the zoom range and realises high resolution from corner to corner. A minimum focus distance of 30cm (0.99 feet) (wide-angle) to 45cm (1.48 feet) (telephoto) delivers close-up capability, making it perfect for everyday use or vlogging with a gimbal or grip.

At 167g and 66.6 mm diameter x 45 mm, along with its mechanical and optimal optical design that features a retracting structure, the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 achieves unrivalled compactness and lightness, allowing users to easily carry it all the times. When combined with the Alpha 7C, the combination achieves uncompromising full-frame performance with the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera and lens system. The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 is dust and moisture resistant

The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 delivers high-speed, high-accuracy AF allowing for Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF, using a linear motor. In addition to Sony’s advanced AF capabilities, the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 features an internal focus design which leaves the lens length unchanged with focus motion and close-up shots, enabling users to easily capture a wide variety of content from regular movie shooting to comfortable vlogging.

Local price is not available at announcement time, but shipment is expected to be in Oct 2020. Visit Sony Malaysia for more information about this product.

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Editor | Arthur Chen
Editor, Photographer, Video Director & Producer and avid Traveller. The media industry has been my playground for a long time and is getting more exciting by the days.