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α7C Compact full-frame camera


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Still digesting this release. Didn't get an email from Sony, but got one from B&H tonight. Apparently roughly the size of the APS-C α cameras, but full frame. And a purpose built normal zoom for a theoretically pocketable camera...

 

FE mount, from a quick read a host of great features, and specifically designed for portability? But compatible with all the great FE G lenses out there!

 

@pierces Thoughts?  Not hunting right now, but this is pretty crazy in a lot of ways!

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13 hours ago, markeb said:

 

@pierces Thoughts?  Not hunting right now, but this is pretty crazy in a lot of ways!

 

An innovative design with an interesting mix of features. Definitely not a contender for a pro rig replacement but not really entry-level either. Excellent, but not superlative video. 24MP back illuminated sensor, probably the same as the A7III (which is not in any way a negative). It has Sony's latest real-time tracking autofocus but retains the A7III's Bionz-X processor. It has the new (highly desired by yours truly) articulated LCD, but inexplicably retains the old menu system. Good viewfinder. 10fps burst shooting doesn't set any records, but is respectable and is more than enough for most applications. 

 

Really small for a full-frame (keep in mind that the A7III is itself very compact):

image.thumb.png.6b8e53e9cecaaa0f4f58d2d2250b549a.png

 

It is actually only fractionally larger than the A6600 with a similar grip housing the larger FZ100 battery. The initial reviews are calling it an all-weekend battery in this camera, so that's good.  Mostly a6x00 control layout without the front dial. No front dial is one of those things that is a giant deal-breaker for a lot of reviewers but in practical use, I never missed it on my A6000 or A6300 and seldom use it on the A7III. I guess it is what you're used to or maybe it's a box that needs to be checked in a review. Sorry...editorializing again. 

 

Bottom line from my point of view, if this was on the menu when I was jumping to full-frame from the A6300, I would have chosen it over the A7III. With the new 28-60mm zoom, it is a near-perfect walkabout camera and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as a travel camera or daily driver.

 

But...

 

Having the A7III already, I can't personally justify picking one up. Yet. If I were to break down and go for the massive MP of next year's A7rV with usable APS-C in-camera or post-processing crop for telephoto enhancement, I would be probably bail on APS-C and replace my A7III with the A7c as the second body.

 

Just my opinion. Happy shooting!

 

 

Dave

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That's kind of where I'd be as well. It would be a nice theoretical jump from my A6500, but having the A6500...

 

It's something to keep an eye on, though. I'll be curious to hear people's actual low light performance, for instance. The small form factor will probably make it a little awkward for a full size G lens, which I've found with my 90mm macro lens on the A6500 body, but with that purpose built lens, if the IQ is up there, it could be a great camera option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it's been a couple of weeks and I've read or watched a bunch of reviews and I've learned one new thing and confirmed another.

 

New:  The camera is a lot more attractive to me than it was at first. Virtually identical to the A7III in performance with surprisingly minor compromises made to achieve the size reduction.

 

Confirmed: Reviewers are a mixed bag at best with the majority being pseudo-experts who amazingly know better than any manufacturer what costly additional features a camera should have had to justify the price. 

 

I'm still not ordering one, but I will revisit that next year (damn you, Xbox Series X!) depending (or maybe not) on the specs of the "larger" 7-series cameras that may or may not appear in the next six months to a year. The A7c is a terrific concept and packs a lot of bang for the buck. As previously stated, If I had not already jumped into full-frame with the A7III, I would have already pre-ordered one. Does it have every little thing on my wish list? No. Nor has any camera I have ever owned. Is it a capable daily shooter that could step up to many or most pro requirements? I think so. 

 

I remember the "digital dream" from the early '00s. "Digital will make cameras smaller, lighter and offer features impossible with film". The last one started early with variable ISO, auto white balance and progressed to picture styles and phase detect AF on the focal plane. One look at a Canon or Nikon pro body or one of the 4/3 cameras hints at what part of the dream didn't really materialize quickly. Even my A77 was pretty much the same size as my Minolta film cameras. I originally bought a NEX-5 because the size and weight actually realized the other two "dreams" and the performance of the A6000 sent the big camera packing. My main struggle with going to full-frame was biting the bullet and going back up in size with the A7III, even though it wasn't all that much of a jump.  Now there's a full-frame that is only slightly larger (and I mean slightly) than the A6300. It mirrors the A7III in performance and really only lacks a second card slot and the viewfinder isn't quite as nice. The lack of the second slot might be an issue for an event shooter or other working pro but for me personally, this is mostly made up for by the improved AF algorithm (same hardware) and the fully articulated LCD screen. Yes. I want one. However, the handling of the A7III has grown on me and since my next lens will likely be a 70-200 f/2.8 when the grandkids' sports fire up again, I won't replace the A7III with an A7c at this time. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, when the A7rV shows up with it's crazy new sensor, I plan to abandon APS-C and the A7c will be a no-brainer for a second body.

 

A lot of things really sort of suck right now but it is still, truly, a great time to be a photographer!

 

 

Dave

 

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Thanks! (I think...)

 

I want to hear from someone who's carried one around with a native (not the really cool purpose designed) full-frame lens, especially one or more G-lenses, so see how the actual balance works out carrying and using the camera. And low light/macro performance.

 

Without an A7x in my mix, this would be a jump for a performance/size mix. And I have some good APS-C lenses...

 

Blast them. I just upgraded one of our TV's to an LG OLED (bedroom; essentially my wife's TV) and am now fighting the urge to upgrade the "main" TV. Some version of Moore's law is hitting everything electronic, and so much of it isn't simply compatible...

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6 hours ago, markeb said:

Thanks! (I think...)

 

I want to hear from someone who's carried one around with a native (not the really cool purpose designed) full-frame lens, especially one or more G-lenses, so see how the actual balance works out carrying and using the camera. And low light/macro performance.

 

For several years I carried my A6300 with the substantial 18-105 f/4 G mounted on it and never noticed a balance issue. I guess if one of those reviewers I mentioned held the camera by the grip and the left side of the body, that would feel like the balance.was off with a larger lens but with the left hand supporting the lens, it was never a problem.

 

With the same sensor as that A7III, low light performance should be the same (excellent). Though I'm not sure what you mean by macro performance since that is more a function of lens choice, you will see a significant narrowing of the depth of field for any given lens due to the larger sensor.

 

 

Dave

Edited by pierces
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And I still do carry the A6600 with the FE70-300mm G, 100-400mm GM, and 200-600mm G lenses onboard, as I did also with the A6300 before it, and the A6000 before that.  I've also been a long-time DSLR shooter and always use some of the larger lenses being a wildlife and bird shooter - I haven't yet seen a single photographer who carries any of those lenses on their camera by the camera grip.  Once the lens begins to outsize and outweigh the camera, you begin to carry the rig by the lens, and not by the camera.  The largest lenses usually have collars and/or handles to help carry, but even the moderate lenses that don't, like the 70-300mm and 24-240mm and such still are much easier to carry around the lens barrel - and would almost always be two-handed shooters anyway.  The weight of the lens is supported by the left hand and arm under the lens barrel while the right hand around the camera grip serves to steady and to aim when the camera is up to your eye.  It's quite stable and I never felt any difference in overall carry-ability or stability/ease when shooting between the A6xxx bodies and DSLR bodies with those big lenses attached.

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3 hours ago, pierces said:

With the same sensor as that A7III, low light performance should be the same (excellent). Though I'm not sure what you mean by macro performance since that is more a function of lens choice, you will see a significant narrowing of the depth of field for any given lens due to the larger sensor.

 

 

I've historically done a lot of jewelry/watch type macro where getting good light balance is a challenge. So I'm assuming the better low light performance would help with that somewhat unique macro application, along with the 90mm G macro lens I have.

 

Other than that 90mm lens, all of my lenses for the A6500, and I think for the Canon Rebel I used to use, are APS-C, and the macro largely stays at home for that application. I don't have the experience some of you have walking around with a big lens on a smallish camera. So it's not so much using it as carrying it and dealing with it. You can get away from some of that on the APS-C body with some excellent APS-C lenses. There's a reason the Canon 24-70L is nicknamed the "brick"; it weight almost 2 pounds, and it's a walk around lens! (More or less.)

 

And, I'm probably overthinking it as a) I'm not buying on right now, and b) I'm not heading to NYC anytime soon to B&H so I'm attempting to live vicariously through others experiences!

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