Sony A7C II and A7CR: new compact-bodied full-frame Alpha cameras

Sony has revealed two new models its compact-bodied Alpha A7C line-up: the 33MP Sony A7C II and the 60MP Sony A7CR. Both cameras use exactly the same ‘rangefinder-style’ body design, with a corner-mounted viewfinder and side-hinged fully articulated screen. In effect, they can be seen as smaller versions of the SLR-shaped Alpha A7 IV and A7R V, respectively – two of the best Sony cameras. Both count as considerable upgrades over the current Sony Alpha A7C.

The two new cameras share the same body, which takes on board many of the same improvements we saw in the APS-C Alpha A6700. This means that it fixes the A7C’s biggest flaws, with a front control dial on the handgrip, a larger viewfinder with 0.7x magnification, and a comprehensive touch interface. The cameras also gain Sony’s latest subject-detection autofocus system that debuted in the A7R V, powered by its own AI processor.

Where the cameras differ from each other comes with respect to their key photographic specifications and, inevitably, pricing. It’ll come as no surprise to find that the high-resolution A7CR commands a significant premium.

Sony Alpha A7CR at a glance:

  • $3000 / £3200 body-only
  • 60MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-32,000 (standard)
  • 8fps shooting
  • 4K 60p video
  • Sony Alpha A7CR with Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G lens.

    Sony Alpha A7CR with Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G lens. Credit: Andy Westlake

    Looking first at the Sony Alpha A7CR, it shares the same generation technology as the superb A7R V, but takes a step back with regards to certain specifications. For example, it can’t shoot quite as fast, at 8fps rather than 10fps, and it only supports 4K video recording, rather than 8K. But in exchange, it’s rather smaller, 200g lighter, and less considerably expensive.

    You can read our full, in-depth review of the Sony Alpha A7CR here.

    Sony A7C II at a glance:

  • $2200 / £2100 body-only
  • $2500 / £2349 with 28-60mm lens
  • 33MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200 (standard)
  • 10fps shooting
  • 4K 60p video
  • Sony A7C II with Sony 40mm lens, in-hand

    Sony A7C II with the Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G lens. Credit: Andy Westlake

    Turning our attention to the Sony A7C II, it’s a huge update over its predecessor the A7C in terms of both specification and handling. It also boasts more advanced autofocus compared to the A7 IV, with which it shares its sensor. Elsewhere, the A7C II and A7 IV offer broadly the same photographic specification. However, the A7C II is a bit cheaper than the A7 IV.

    Read our detailed First Look at the Sony Alpha A7C II here.

    Sony A7C II and A7CR shared key design features:

  • 2.36m-dot, 0.7x viewfinder
  • 3in, 1.04m-dot fully articulated touchscreen
  • Single UHS-II SD card slot
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, 7 stops rating
  • 124 x 71.1 x 63.4mm, 535g
  • Sony Alpha A7CR with 20-70mm lens compared to Sony Alpha A7R IV with 16-35mm F4 ZA lens

    The A7CR is somewhat smaller than its SLR-shaped siblings such as the A7R IV, but gives up some key features in return. Credit: Andy Westlake

    Inevitably, the compact body design brings some compromises compared to the firm’s SLR-style models. The handgrip is rather smaller, there are fewer buttons, and there’s no joystick for positioning the autofocus point. The viewfinder is smaller and lower in resolution, and you only get a single SD card slot (which doesn’t support faster CFexpress Type A cards). A simplified shutter mechanism does without a mechanical first curtain and offers a maximum speed of 1/4000sec.

    In fact, the A7C II / A7CR also lags behind the cheaper APS-C format A6700 in certain design features. It has a noticeably smaller handgrip (despite full-frame lenses generally being larger), and fewer function buttons as a direct result. There’s also no apparent way of adding a larger eyecup to the viewfinder.

    Both the Sony A7C II and A7CR are due to go on sale in September, alongside the new Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM lens that’s been announced alongside.

    Read our full, in-depth review of the Sony Alpha A7CR.

    Read our detailed first look at the Sony Alpha A7C II.

    Are the Sony A7CR and A7C II Cameras Perfect for Creators?

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