The Sony Alpha 7C makes full frame travel photography accessible

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I’m not sure which industry progresses faster—the mobile phone industry or the camera industry. Long ago full frame used to be the domain of high end professional photography with the likes of Hasselblad and Mamiya your go-to for large format printing or digital displays. The arrival of the $3,299 AUD (body) Sony α7C brings full frame photography one step closer to the budgets of more hobby photographers, travellers, and the rest of us hacks available as a body or bundle.

Sony are claiming the α7C is “…the world’s smallest and lightest1 full-frame camera system…When paired with the world’s smallest and lightest 4 FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 standard zoom lens”. For travel photography in particular, that’s welcome news! Having to lug huge bodies and lenses around when traveling is no joy at all, unless you’re there just to shoot and/or getting paid to do so.

Weighing in at 509g and measuring only 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm it is still packed with features. Available in silver or black the body design is similar to other classically styled cameras on the market, but still feeling very much of the Sony family.

It features a 24.2MP (approx. effective) 35mm full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor and BIONZ X™ image processing engine with 15-stop 6 wide dynamic range and high-speed image data processing. Theres support for 16-bit processing and 14-bit RAW output for natural gradations.

Standard ISO extends up to 51,200 and is expandable to ISO 50-204,800 12 for low-light environment captures with low noise making those dark Tokyo laneway shots easier.

Sony have given the Alpha 7C’s Real-time Tracking which maintains accurate focus automatically while the shutter button is half-pressed with “Tracking On + AF-On” and able to be assigned to a custom key. Or you can use your fingers on the monitor when “Touch Tracking” has been activated which can be used for both stills and movies. Real-time Eye AF tracks both humans and animals and Sony promises extremely high tracking precision.

There’s a 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system covering approximately 93% of the image area, with an additional 425 contrast-detection points which is aimed at helping in busy environments.

The α7C is capable of 10 fps with AF/AE (autoexposure), with 8 fps in live view mode. If you’ve got a UHS-II compatible SDXC memory card it can handle 223 JPEG (Fine L) images, 115 compressed RAW images, or 45 uncompressed RAW images to be captured in one continuous burst.

Videos are done via a full-frame full-pixel readout that does away with the need for pixel binning paving the way to capture more than twice the amount of data required for 4K video (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) which is then oversampled to produce high quality 4K footage. There’s support for HDR (HLG21) and S-Log/S-Gamut profiles, Slow & Quick motion, high-speed full HD recording at 120 fps and more.

Real-time Eye AF (human) is also used for video shooting with the ability to change the AF transition speed with 7 settings and the AF subject shift sensitivity with 5 settings.

Flippy screens may be the bane of purists but they wouldn’t be developed with virtually every new camera is they weren’t useful or desired. Driven largely by selfies and then YouTubers, it also gives you more opportunities to capture different angles. The α7C screen articulates in just about every direction and allows for the hotshoe to do its thing without interruption.

At the top, Sony use their Multi Interface (MI) Shoe, allowing the ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit to be connected with cables or batteries with accessible headphone and microphone jacks. Other ports include a USB Type-C® connector that supports SuperSpeed USB 5Gbps (USB 3.2).

The usual WIFI and connectivity functions are also embedded in the α7C.

Price and availability

The α7C is available in Australia in black or two tone black/silver design from early October 2020.

Body only: RRP $3,299 AUD. 

Hard bundle with the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens: RRP $3,899 AUD

Visit Sony for more.

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