Sony has announced ‘the world’s smallest and lightest’ full-frame camera, the $3299 Sony Alpha 7C, along with a new kit lens and on-camera flash unit.
It will be available along with the new lens in late October. It will pay to shop around – on announcement day the camera was already being discounted to $3159 body only, and $3729 – down from the RRP of $3899 – with the 28-60mm kit lens.
The α7C weighs just 509 grams( with battery and SD card) and has the dimensions and (lack of) heft of the A600o series APS-C format cameras. It will be available in black and black/silver versions. It shares many of the features of the Sony A7 III including the same 24-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and Bionz X image processor.
Native ISO sensitivity settings range from 100 to 51,200 (extensions to ISO 50 and ISO 204,800 for stills shooting) and Sony claims dynamic range has been pushed out to 15 stops. Raw output is 14-bit, with a choice of compressed and uncompressed raw settings.
Built-in 5-axis sensor-shift stabilisation provides five stops of shake correction and the AF system comprises 425-point contrast detection combined with 693-point phase detection. Real-time Eye AF face and eye detection is available for human and animal subjects (stills only for animals). Real-time Tracking AF is supported and continuous shooting is possible at up to 10 fps with AF/AE tracking. It also offers improved dust and moisture resistance.
The maximum shutter speed available with the α7C is 1/4000 second. The camera has an ‘anti-flicker’ mode for handling fluorescent lighting. It offers interval timer recording for time-lapse movies.
The α7C’s 921,600-dot monitor is fully articulated and has five steps of brightness adjustment plus the default ‘Sunny Weather’ mode. The EVF has adequate resolution at 2.36 million dots, but is small, with .59x magnification and off to the left side of the camera.
It can record 4K video at 3840 x 2160 (25p) and also FHD (1920 x 1080 at up to 50p). The Slow & Quick recording modes offer frame rates between 1 fps and 100 fps. The NP-FZ100 rechargeable battery is good for approximately 680 shots/charge with the EVF or 740 with the monitor.
The retracting FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 kit lens weighs only 170 grams for a full camera and lens weight of under 700g. Minimum focus distance is 30cm at wide-angle and 45cm at the other end for decent close-up capability. It has improved dust and moisture resistance, and accepts a variety of 40.5mm filters.The internal focus design leaves the lens length unchanged with focus motion and close-up shots.
The HVL-F28RM flash offers consistent GN28 light output, optimised light distribution and continuous flash performance. It also features an improved dust and moisture resistant design. A newly developed metal hot shoe also houses the unit’s electrical contacts and offers improved resistance to physical shock and impacts.
The new flash also features a built-in wireless radio trigger for when mounted on a compatible camera26 and paired with an off-camera unit. When used as a transmitter, the HVL-F28RM can control up to 15 flash and/or receiver units in 5 groups at distances of up to 35 metres.
It will be available from December at $449
The full Sony press release (including no less than 28 ‘footnotes’!): Press release – Alpha 7C_SEL2860_HVL-F28RM flash