Sony A7C : Review



- So when I first heardabout Sony's new A7C, I thought, "Yeah, okay, "this is purely just a parts bin camera," which it is. It takes the best of the Alpha line and it puts it into a smaller form factor. (shutter clicking)(mellow music) But what I didn't realize is just how much more enjoyable it is to shoot with a full-frame camera that is actually small in size. 

To have a large sensor in a small body, to natively have access to somegreat Sony full-frame glass, yet still be able to stashit quickly into a small bag. From the sweet articulating screen to the parts compartmenthaving actual doors, this camera, it's a little ripper. (mellow music) Okay, so the A7C is a confusingaddition to the A7 line that started with the A7 and the A7R that both launched in 2013. Since then, we have seen a hell of a lot of full-frame cameras come to this lineup. After the A7 and A7R, we then saw the A7S, followed by the A7 MarkII, the A7R Mark II, the A7S Mark II, the A7R Mark III, the A7 Mark III, the A7R Mark IV, and the A7S Mark III, and now the A7C, which is surprisingly compact, maybe? Maybe that's it? 

That'sprobably it. (chuckles) It looks a lot more like the cameras in the A6000 lineup from Sony because its EVF is moved to the left side rather than in the middle. But first, let's start with all of the hardware on this camera. (mellow music) Sony finally did awaywith the hanging doors that took literal precision to put back on and were always hanging in the way. There are now very much attached doors on the left side of the camera that house a mic port, a headphone jack, HDMI port, USB-C port,and one SD card slot. 

These are easy to open and easy to close, and best of all, the mic port up on top doesn'tblock the flippy screen. And yeah, we're gonnacall it a flippy screen because that's like way morefun than saying articulating. It's easy to whip out, flip around, or position to yourneeds, yet feels sturdy. When moving around tostart filming myself, I never noticed a lagin the screen rotating and the touch control,although limited to tapping to set a focus point, is responsive. 

All of the buttons around backare on the right-hand side and the menu button isright in the middle, I'll get to that in a minute. It's not really a problem for me because my left hand isalmost always on the lens, but I do wish there was a dialunderneath the shutter button for ISO, most likely. That would be so much quicker than having to like pushover on the ISO button and then flip through. So, the menu button. When reaching for it with my left thumb, the EVF sensor is triggered and it's just a tad too farto reach with my right thumb without having to really gripthe camera with both hands. And because the menu button also acts as a back button within the menu system, using it just feels like a chore. 

This might sound nitpicky, butuse it for a bit, you'll see. There are no improvementsto the Sony menu system in the AC7 either, which atthis point, I'm just used to, but I do wish I could touchthe screen to move through it. I'm also pretty bummed that we aren't seeingSony's new menu system that they put out with the A7S Mark III. It has a new layout and you can also use thetouchscreen to move through it. Would've been nice to have. (shutter clicking) Buds, I am very happy to report it is the perfect levelof small. (chuckles) (mellow music) It fits in a bag andisn't annoying to carry, but it still feels really solid and it doesn't slip out of my hand. 

Even when I'm using something like this big 24-70 G-Master lens on it, which paired with that24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, is hella pretty. (shutter clicking) The A7C can shoot up to 115 raw images at 10 frames per second witha max shutter speed of 1/4000. It's fast. The ISO can range from 100 to 51,200 and extend all the way up to 204,800 ISO. In my use, anything past 12,800 ISO started to show a lot oflike smoothing and noise, but (sighs) it's still a huge range and I felt really comfortableleaving auto ISO on and just setting the max to 10,000. All of this should soundpretty familiar though, because the A7 Mark III from two years ago had pretty much the same specs. Now, the image that you get will of course be affected by the lensthat you put on this camera, and this 24-70 I've been rocking, oh, my gosh, it's so pretty! Like it's been really hard to take a photo that I'm just not super happy with. (shutter clicking) (mellow music) Sony also released a newkit lens with this camera and when you bundle it with the camera, it will run you $2,100. 

It's a 28-60 millimeterF4-5.6 pancake zoom lens. It's super compact, and it'sgot a decent focal range, but it definitely feels pretty plasticky and that slow aperturereally doesn't show off this camera's best self. Now, on the video side, thereisn't too much new here. You got 4K at 24 frames per second and 30 frames per second, but to get 120 frames per second or even just 60 frames per second, you'll have to jump down to 1080. There is in-camera stabilization, but it's the standard Sony 5-axis system, while good, is nothingto write home about.

 That IS is definitely more helpful when using a low shutterspeed and taking photos, but the beefier camerafor video in the A7 lineup is definitely the A7S Mark III, which can shoot up to 4K at 4:2:2 10-bit and 120 frames per second. But that camera is also $3500, so... There's that. (chuckles) Now, on this camera, there is still thatrolling shutter problem, causing quick motion to skew and bend. So if you're doing quickpans or handheld work, it is still very noticeable, which doesn't make this camera the best for professional video work. I had the most fun takingphotos with this thing and this is where it really feels like a little ripper, dudes. So when you pair the flippyscreen with the small size, with that high ISO range,with that super-fast shutter, she rips! That's what I'm saying! Like that's when you feelthe little ripper idea. (shutter clicking) (mellow music) This auto-focus system is currently one of the best out there and you have four pagesof focusing options within that crazy bad menusystem to dial it all in. Although I once in a whilehad to use the touchscreen to lock in my focus point, the A7C has Sony'srealtime tracking system that can latch onto a subject in the frame and hold onto that point infocus no matter where it moves, so long as it stays in the frame. 

And if that point happens to be a face, lay down on that shutterbutton and let it rip. (shutter clicking) Now, it did have trouble focusing on faces with masks on them, but let's really hope theworld starts feeling better so that's like not a long-term issue. Now, battery life on thiscamera is also really good. You can record at 4K forwell over an hour and a half with no overheating justbefore the battery dies. And in running aroundBrooklyn taking mostly photos and maybe five or six one-minute-longvideos here and there, I was making it through a full day with one of the A7C's NP-FZ100 batteries. (mellow music) So that's the AC7, from 115 raw images at10 frames per second, to a really greatauto-focusing experience, to high ISO, to pretty decent video, but what actually makesthis camera special is its compact size. It's being able to carryit around for hours and not really noticing it. It's being able to stashit into a bag super easily. 

And if you're coming from the A6000 line and you're looking forthat full-frame look, well, this camera will feellike something special to you. And to be clear, at $1,800, the AC7 does not have a small price tag. It's not even a budget full-frame, I like really wouldn't even call it that. It is a lower-cost full-frame and it is absolutely a parts bin camera. I mean, it's pretty muchan A7 Mark III from 2018 put into a smaller body, but it's a lot of good partsput into that smaller body, and hopefully it will only get better. Man, for Sony's first compact A7, it rips. I don't know, I'm like sure that I don'tlove this shot anymore. Oh, the sun kinda went down really fast, it looked so good when Iwas like backlit, you know? (groans) This is the moment where I'm like, "Should I reshoot the whole thing?" 

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