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Sony’s budget full-frame A7C camera has an all-new compact body

You can shoot full-frame 4K video at up to 30 fps, or 1080p at up to 120 fps with all video limited to 4:2:0 8-bit and 100Mbps bit rates. You also get both S-Log2 and S-Log3 recording to maximize dynamic range. That’s not bad, but for $200 more, Panasonic’s full-frame S5 shoots 4K at 60 fps and has 10-bit internal recording for 4K (with S-Log) at up to 30 fps.

Sony

The autofocus is a strong point, as you’d expect from Sony. It uses Sony’s ultra-fast hybrid phase-detection AF, with 693 phase-detection points in full-frame mode. You also get Sony’s latest AI smarts ad features, including human and animal eye-tracking, object tracking, predictive control and adjustable AF transition speeds in movie mode. If it works like Sony’s other recent cameras, it should offer fast and near-flawless autofocus both in movie and photo modes.

For photos, the A7C isn’t quite as fast as the A6600 (11 fps), but it matches the A7 III with burst speeds of up to 10 fps with continuous autofocus (14-bit RAW and JPEG). The EVF, however, is not as nice as you’ll find on the A7 III, with a 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder compared to 3.6 million dots. Considering the camera is designed more for video, however, that shouldn’t be an issue for most users.

With the same NP-FZ100 battery as the A6600, you get up to 680 shots with the viewfinder or 740 shots using the LCD monitor — close to the A6600 and excellent for a full-frame camera. There’s just a single card slot, but thankfully it supports fast UHS-II cards. That means you can capture up to 45 uncompressed RAW frames, 115 compressed RAW or 215 JPEGs in a burst. The A7C also has a USB-C Type 3.2 port that can charge the battery, along with an HDMI micro and both headphone and microphone ports.

All told, the A7C is an interesting, unexpected member of the A7 family. It looks like the A6600, but has the sensor and many features from the A7 III, while adding in the A7S III’s fully-articulating display for vloggers. At $1,800, it is $200 cheaper than the A7 III was at launch, but it’s still not exactly what I’d call “entry-level” like the $1,400 Nikon Z5.

The A7C will cost $1,800 for the body only, or $2,100 with Sony’s new, very compact FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 lens. It should go up for pre-order shortly, and we’ll learn the US release date soon.


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