In December 2020, the most compact and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera, the Sony Alpha 7C, appeared in World retail. We received it with a standard zoom lens and tested in practice what possibilities it offers to the amateur photographer, traveler, and blogger.
Compactness and ample opportunities
At the first acquaintance with the camera, it surprises with its dimensions. The manufacturer managed to fit the full-frame sensor with five-axis stabilization in a body slightly larger than that of the “cropped” mirrorless cameras of the 6000 series. For this, the design of the novelty has been completely redesigned so that all the functions of professional models “fit” into the given framework. But the compact model does not sink in the hands, and it is convenient to use it even with leather or thick fleece gloves during winter shooting. The function buttons are made large, and it is difficult to miss them, and due to the average sensitivity of the shutter release, the camera does not strive to take an extra frame when accidentally touched. Sony alpha 7c mirrorless digital camera is available in two colors: austere black and silver-black for retro-style lovers.
Electronic OLED-viewfinder (2.36 Mp, 0.59x) in accordance with the form factor is built into the body. Its characteristics are sufficient for assessing focusing accuracy and scene brightness, and when shooting on a clear day, it is the most convenient tool for framing. I got a camera and an additional LCD monitor with a swivel mechanism. It also allows you to change settings and use the on-screen focus function. It works even when shooting with gloves – however, you have to buy special ones with inserts at the fingertips. However, this is how all touch screens are arranged.
The compact and foldable kit Sony FE 28-60mm f / 4-5.6 zoom lens keeps the kit small and lightweight – it fits easily into any bag or even a jacket pocket. We tested the camera with him, and he coped with a variety of subjects – from landscapes to portraits without any problems. In addition, the lens was able to pull backlight well. The creativity of the Sony Alpha 7C digital film Camera can be easily scaled if desired with a wide range of Sony E-mount proprietary interchangeable lenses, including the premium GMaster range. There is also the ability to use third-party glass.
The small size of the Sony FE 28-60mm f / 4-5.6 zoom lens is the reason for its low aperture. However, with a full-frame sensor, this does not interfere with obtaining a shallow depth of field.
On the back of the case is a three-inch LCD display with a swivel mount. It allows you to shoot from a variety of angles – from above, from below, and even from around the corner, as well as turn the screen towards the shooter. The latter makes the device especially convenient for recording video blogs – but more on that later
The Alpha 7C’s battery is surprisingly large. According to the manufacturer, a single charge is enough to take up to 680 shots using the viewfinder or up to 740 shots using the LCD monitor. These figures are also confirmed by the Japanese Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA). The promised video recording time under the same conditions is up to 220 and up to 215 minutes, respectively. In addition, the camera can be recharged via the USB port without interrupting shooting – for example, from a power bank. In practice, over 300 footage shot outdoors has drained the battery by about 40 percent – and that’s twenty-five degrees below zero. In addition, the camera very quickly not only goes into sleep mode but also comes out of it: it is very convenient when you need to take a picture, as they say, “from the hip.”
For regulars of the Internet, the Sony Alpha 7C offers a wide range of interfaces for quickly transferring the contents of a memory card to external devices. The compact camera received Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz), and NFC modules. It will not work to pay for coffee with the help of the latter, but it organizes pairing with other gadgets in a moment. The proprietary Imaging Edge Mobile application will help you quickly share the footage, and with the help of the Imaging Edge Webcam, the new product turns into a high-quality webcam for online broadcasts and video conferencing.
There is only one memory card slot onboard – this nuance should be taken into account by fans of protracted photo sessions in order to keep a removable drive ready. All common types of SD cards are suitable for shooting, including SDHC / SDXC, while the UHS-I / II standard is also supported.
The camera has one of the most advanced autofocus systems in its class. The proprietary 4D Focus technology employs 693 points of phase and 425 points of contrast AF on the matrix, covering about 93% of the frame. This provides fast and stable subject tracking with a wide field of view. You just have to get used to shooting complex compositions – but who said that the “do good” button even exists? When framing through the viewfinder, by activating the touch control function, you can move the focus point by touching the screen with your finger and without lifting from the eyepiece.
When photographing people in full growth, the automation confidently recognizes the figure and face. If you press and hold the AF-ON button, the best camera for outdoor photography will tenaciously keep a moving subject in focus. At close range, after face detection, Eye AF is activated, which greatly reduces the likelihood of out-of-focus portraits. This useful function also works when shooting animals (dogs, cats, birds) – just switch to the appropriate mode in the settings menu.
High quality in all conditions
The full-frame 24-megapixel sensor provides a wide dynamic range (15 EV). In other words, it allows you to accurately convey all the tones, from the lightest to the darkest, in contrasting subjects. This feature is useful in a variety of scenes: on the beach in the blinding sun, on a sunny winter day, or at night when shooting under bright lights. The camera handles a wide range of ISOs without any problems – it coped well with shooting at ISO 6400 and showed excellent color reproduction without blockages at ISO 2500.
In bright natural light, color reproduction is exactly what you’d expect from a professional camera. The camera provides a realistic palette in the evening – at sunset, in light twilight, and in well-lit rooms. At night, the Alpha 7C often gives out more saturated shades than in reality, especially during working hours, when the sky has not yet turned black – however, this only decorates photographs.
Both the back-illuminated full-frame sensor (BSI-CMOS) and the powerful Bionz X processor for effective noise reduction play a huge role in obtaining high-quality images in low light. This tandem allows for a good detailing without digital noise and color degradation up to the highest ISO values available to automatic (ISO 12800). If you take a photo for social networks and other Internet resources where you need to reduce the frame resolution, you don’t have to think about what ISO the camera is using at the moment, and only deal with the implementation of a creative idea. It will turn out not only to shoot handheld in very dark locations but also to report a dynamic event in low light, shortening the shutter speed by increasing the ISO.
An important feature of the camera that expands the possibilities and mobility of the photographer is the advanced five-axis stabilization system. It is based on sensor-shift, so it works with absolutely any lens mounted on the Sony Alpha 7C. Its declared efficiency of 5 exposures (EV) allows shooting without a tripod at long exposures. This is not only useful for further improving the quality of the photo (by lowering the ISO), but also for obtaining interesting visual effects.
As a tool for recording video, the Sony Alpha 7C will be of interest not only to generalist photographers but also to vloggers. Compact and lightweight, it won’t stretch your hands in a day’s work. The freely rotating screen allows you to control the shooting of video from the first person, so you do not have to hire a separate operator. Another big plus for representatives of creative professions is the ability to mount almost any lens with manual focus and aperture control through adapters.
During operation, image stability is ensured by an effective stabilization system, and tenacious phase detection autofocus helps to highlight the main subject in the frame. This feature is especially useful when recording a blog or taking portraits: the camera clearly aims at the face and eyes of the model without losing focus. 4K video can be recorded at 3840×2160 pixels, 100 or 60 Mbps bitrate, and 24, 25, or 30 frames per second. In Full HD resolution, the video is created with the same high bitrate at a frequency of up to 120 fps for shooting “Hollywood” slow-mo with a fourfold slowdown.
Alpha 7C is also ready for professional audio work. A Sony stereo microphone is connected via the connector on the top panel, and external headphones or a headset are connected via a 3.5 mm jack. You can also control the sound by the indicators on the LCD screen. The micro-HDMI port allows you to output video to external media. When shooting video, autofocus reacts very quickly to the movement of the object and detaches itself from interference, and what is even more important for. The rotating screen makes it possible to shoot from any angle.
Sony Alpha 7C point and shoot film camera is a compact and lightweight mirrorless camera. It is ideal for both the traveler and the author of the YouTube channel for vlogging and lives broadcasts in high quality. The full-frame sensor, powerful processor, and effective stabilization system ensure the high-quality performance of the model in any condition. The tiltable LCD screen, the ability to connect an external microphone, and an impressive fleet of compatible lenses for any shooting scenarios will help the photographer to realize his creative potential. A pleasant bonus is a capacious battery with the possibility of “hot” charging, which does not fail even before winter outdoor photo sessions.