Recently, Sony announced two new full-frame mirrorless cameras. Most of us were already expecting the successor of the a7C, but I was surprised to see Sony released a smaller and more compact version of the a7R V. Meet the new Sony a7C R full-frame camera, offering 61 effective megapixels, BSI Exmor R CMOS sensor, BIONZ XR processor and many more. The a7CR is basically a smaller version of the A7R V but with some caveats or (key) features removed due to the smaller size. The a7C R will start shipping by the end of September for $2,999.99 (MSRP), and you can (pre) order on Amazon here. You can check out more details below from Sony’s official news release.
Sony Alpha 7C R Full-Frame Camera Released – A Smaller and Compact Version of the a7R V
Sony Electronics announces the release of the Alpha 7C R (model ILCE-7CR), a compact full-frame interchangeable lens camera. The Alpha 7C R, boasting the high-resolution and rich gradation performance of a full-size image sensor with approximately 61.0 effective megapixels, the same sensor found in the Alpha 7R V, into a compact and lightweight body (similar size and weight as the Alpha 7C II, approximately 18.2 oz). In addition to daily snapshots, it easily realizes high-quality image capture in a wide variety of settings, such as portrait, wildlife, and landscape photography, meeting the expectations of creative work with mobility.
The Sony a7C R is equipped with the same AI-processing unit and BIONZ XR® processors found in Sony’s newest interchangeable lens cameras, such as the Alpha 7R V and Alpha 6700. Real-time Recognition AF recognizes a wide variety of subjects with high accuracy, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization provides a 7.0 step shooting advantage when capturing stills. In terms of video performance, the a7C R supports high-quality 4:2:2 10-bit video recording up to 4K60p, and supports Sony’s acclaimed S-Cinetone™ color science for rich cinematic video. In addition, they have Active Mode in-body image stabilization, AI-based auto-framing, digital-audio interface support, and other features that support high-quality video shooting.
According to Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics:
“At Sony, we’re committed to continually raising the bar and elevating standards for content creators. With the introduction of the Alpha 7C II and Alpha 7C R models, we’re offering an innovative solution that serves creators in both photography and videography. This fresh addition to their toolkit ensures top-tier imagery and visual performance across our state-of-the-art imaging devices. By fusing advanced technology with user-friendly design, we’re empowering content creators to realize their artistic vision like never before,”.
Main Features of the Alpha 7C R
- Equipped with a full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R® CMOS sensor with approximately 61.0 effective megapixels and the latest BIONZ XR® image processing engine to achieve high-resolution and high-definition imaging performance.
- Compared to the Alpha 7R V, which is approximately 5.25 inches x 3.875 inches x 3.25 inches and weighs approximately 1.6 lbs, the Alpha 7C R is approximately 29% lighter and has approximately 53% less volume.
- The standard ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 32000 for both still images and movies (expanded ISO 50 to 102400 for still images).
- In addition, with 7.0-step optical 5-axis in-body image stabilization, even slight blurring at the 1-pixel level is detected and corrected.
- Equipped with Pixel Shift Multi Shooting that takes multiple images and combines them on a PC to create an ultra-high resolution image.
- By combining with the grip extension GP-X2 included with the Alpha 7C R, you can shoot comfortably with a stable hold even when shooting for long periods of time or using a telephoto lens.
Common Features of the Alpha 7C R and Alpha 7C II
Aside from the Sony a7C R, Sony also released a smaller and more compact version of the a7 IV – the a7C II. Below are the similarities of the a7C II and a7CR.
1. Compact size and high mobility
Both models are easy to handle and easy to carry. Compact size (both models are approximately 4.88 in wide x 2.8 in high x 2.5 in deep) and weigh approximately 18.1 oz for the Alpha 7C II and approximately 18.2 oz for the Alpha 7C R. When combined with the wide-angle zoom lens, FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II, announced today, it achieves the excellent image expression and high-speed AF that are unique to the G Master™ series, with the brightness of F2.8 at full zoom range. The user can choose their favorite lens from Sony’s extensive E-mount series of more than 70 lenses and enjoy a variety of image expressions in both still images and movies.
2. AF performance with improved subject recognition performance thanks to the built-in AI processing unit
Equipped with the same AI-processing unit as the Alpha 7R V, which recognizes subjects with high accuracy with Real-time Recognition AF. For example, when taking a picture of a person, even if the subject strikes a complicated pose or their face is hidden, human-pose estimation technology can be used to capture and track the subject with high accuracy. In addition to the existing tracking capabilities for people and animals already found in the Alpha 7C series, it is now possible to recognize birds, insects, cars, trains, and airplanes as subjects in the new models.
3. Advanced video performance
The Alpha 7C II and Alpha 7C R condense high-resolution and detailed video data equivalent to 7K and 6K, respectively, and can output high-quality 4K video. Equipped with S-Log3, which supports a wide latitude of 14+ stops, it renders rich gradation with little overexposure and underexposure even in scenes with contrast. Also, in Log shooting mode, the LUT imported by the user can be displayed on the camera monitor image, allowing the user to shoot while checking the finished image in post-production. In addition, it is equipped with S-Cinetone™, a unique Sony feature which can create a cinematic look straight out of the camera without post-processing. Based on Sony’s Cinema Line technology, S-Cinetone delivers natural mid-tones that are essential to healthy-looking skin color and deliver cinematic quality. It also features Creative Look, which allows you to easily change the look and feel of video and still images.
4. Operability and connectivity
Equipped with a touch-operable vari-angle LCD monitor, intuitive operation with the latest touch menu supports comfortable shooting. In addition to the new front dial that allows the user to assign their favorite functions, the still image/movie/S&Q switch dial, and an XGA high-resolution viewfinder, etc., the camera is easy to use. The camera is equipped with a 7.0-step optical 5-axis in-body image stabilization to support stable camera work.
In terms of connectivity, the camera is compatible with the smartphone application Creators’ App that uploads videos and still images taken with the camera to a cloud service, while allowing remote camera operation and image transfer from the camera to mobile devices. By the end of September 2023, Sony plans to support a new version of the software development kit Camera Remote SDK that enables remote operation and settings adjustments.
5. Designed with environmentally friendly principles in mind
Over the past 11 years, Sony has replaced approximately 395 tons of virgin plastic with recycled plastic in digital cameras and digital video cameras. Recycled materials, including SORPLAS™ix, are used for the camera body, reducing environmental impact without sacrificing functionality. In addition to being equipped with Sony’s Screen Reader function that reads menus and video playback screens aloud to assist operations, a new menu Magnify Display function has been added to support the creative activities of a variety of creators.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony Alpha 7CR will be available in Fall 2023 at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers. It comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,999.99 for the body only. Meanwhile, the Alpha 7C II will be available in Fall 2023 for an MSRP $2,199.99 USD.