Sony a7C II Review: Enhancements Beyond its Compact Size

The Sony A7C II appears as a viable alternative to the bigger Sony A7 IV as a result of its incorporation of the most recent Sony processing systems, real-time artificial intelligence recognition, and enhanced video features that were formerly limited to top-tier Alpha cameras. It further differentiates itself from the Sony Sony ZV-E1, which was built for video and has a sensor with 12 million pixels, thanks to its resolution of 33 million. The Sony A7C II shines as a powerful and lightweight full-frame camera, merging perfectly into a more compact body Sony’s most recent technological achievements. In contrast to its predecessor, this model makes very few concessions and delivers all of the top-tier features despite its compact full-frame body. The electronic viewfinder may gain from an extension, and a full-size HDMI connection would be a great addition; nevertheless, such changes could undermine the camera’s small form, which is one of its primary selling points.

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Last update was on: September 30, 2023 2:17 am

The first generation of the Sony A7C was not particularly notable for its performance as a travel camera. At first sight, the A7C II and its predecessor may appear to be quite identical; yet, the A7C II features some minor yet significant changes.

Notably, it now has a second control dial, which substantially improves its handling and makes it more comfortable to users of the A7 who are accustomed to using cameras in the conventional SLR format. The user experience has been significantly improved with the addition of a new custom button as well as a redesign of the rear controls that has been optimized for touch-based identification. The cumulative effect of these ostensibly little changes results in a substantial improvement in the usefulness of the camera.

Key Specifications

  • 33MP BSI CMOS full-frame sensor
  • Bionz XR processor and dedicated ‘AI Processing Engine’
  • AF tracking with subject recognition, 759 AF points with 94% coverage
  • Up to 10 fps shooting with AF
  • In-body stabilization rated up to 7.0EV
  • 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder with 0.7x magnification
  • Full-width oversampled 4K from 7K, up to 30p
  • 4K/60p (from 4.6K capture) in Super35 / APS-C mode
  • 10-bit video or HEIF stills capture
  • S-Cinetone color mode
  • 4K/30p USB streaming
  • No mechanical first curtain shutter

However, the internal workings of the camera are where the most significant changes take place. To a large extent, the A7C II may be compared to the Sony A7 IV, which is generally acknowledged to be the most effective mirrorless camera for the vast majority of customers. The sensor with 33 million pixels and the Bionz XR processing technology are both carried over. In addition to this, it integrates elements from more current models produced by Sony, such as the menu and touchscreen interface that was taken from the ZV-E1.

The real-time AI subject recognition is the most noteworthy advancement, and it is a function that is also included on the Sony Alpha 7R V. This takes Sony’s already amazing AF system to the next level by utilizing AI to recognize and keep focus on a subject, even if the person’s eyes aren’t visible anywhere in the frame. This is an improvement over the previous system.

This real-time AI subject identification proves to be particularly beneficial during video recording, and the capacity to put LUTs into the camera for use with S-Log image profiles further increases the appeal of the device. The autofocus system’s speed, precision, and intelligence appear to be on par with the performance observed in other current Sony models, both in stills and video recording, despite the difficulty of doing a direct side-by-side comparison between the two systems.

The A7C II is equipped with an incredible number of capabilities that are geared for people who are passionate about video. It records 4K footage at 30 frames per second from the full 7K output of the sensor, maintaining a high level of image quality using downsampling that does not include line skipping or pixel binning. A 4K option at 60 frames per second is also available, although in a cropped Super35/APS-C mode. It is capable of recording at up to 120 frames per second in Full HD. Microphone and headphone jacks, in addition to a mini HDMI port, give an abundant number of communication possibilities. For prolonged video recording, the camera is compatible with power delivery through USB-C as well as battery and mains power.

The image sensor of the A7C II is identical to that of the well-known and highly regarded Sony A7 IV, which is renowned for its performance. It keeps a consistent image quality up to ISO 51,200 and 102,400, however it achieves its best performance at ISO settings lower than 6400. Notably, the new AI processing improves white balance, color in dark regions, and generates more natural skin tones, and it has the potential to capture images with a quality that is even superior to that of the A7 IV.

The first generation of the A7C may not have been very inspiring, but the A7C II shines with the newest Sony Alpha technology, all packed into a tiny and lightweight chassis that is ideal for traveling. The combination of this camera with lenses such as the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G and the FE 40mm f/2.5 G would make for a fantastic travel configuration for both still photography and video. It is possible that the A7C II or its counterpart, the A7CR, will be able to take the place of the very desirable Sony RX1 Mark II.

There is no question that the A7C II will not appeal to everyone, particularly those individuals who like a camera in the manner of a traditional SLR with a central viewfinder. Although it has been enhanced, the electronic viewfinder is still somewhat limited in its scope. Nevertheless, the A7C II emerges as a formidable compact camera alternative for those users who prepare their shots using the screen.

Sony a7C II: Design

When it was first released, the A7C had the distinction of being both the smallest and biggest full-frame mirrorless camera that featured in-camera sensor stabilization. This was the case when the camera was in its first generation. The Sigma fp, on the other hand, is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera, and it achieved this title thanks to its electronic stabilization capabilities for video. The A7C II keeps its small form factor and lightweight profile, with dimensions of 124 by 71.1 by 63.4 millimeters and a mass of 525 grams.

Although, at first appearance, the body of the A7C II appears to be identical to that of its predecessor, there have been significant alterations made to the camera. The most noticeable change is the addition of a front dial, which eliminates a previous annoyance caused by the fact that only a dial on the back of the device was available. This improvement brings the camera’s handling in line with that of previous models of the A7 series, making it more desirable to Sony customers who are accustomed to using both dials for control of their devices.

An omission is responsible for yet another big alteration. The exposure adjustment marks have been removed from the top dial, which was formerly used for those functions. Because of this modification, it may now be used for a wide range of exposure settings. Because there is now a new dial on the front of the camera, there is no longer a requirement for a secondary dial to remain “blank,” therefore many users may decide to utilize it to adjust the exposure compensation instead.

The ‘C1’ custom button has also been added, and it can be found above the back screen, near to the button that brings up the menu. In addition, a mode switch located on the exposure dial makes it possible to quickly switch between the photo, video, and slow motion and fast motion movie modes.

Additional small improvements include making the rear buttons more obvious and identifiable, such as by making the delete button concave so that it can be identified more easily by touch when using the viewfinder. The shutter button has been made more obvious, which improves the convenience for users. The USB-C connector and the microphone socket have been moved to the top of the camera’s side in order to eliminate any cable interference when the screen is tilted forward. The grip of the camera has been updated with a new material that has the appearance of leatherette.

The extended grip device, which may be purchased separately if desired, is an important new feature. This extension makes the size of the camera grip larger and provides a spot to rest the tiny finger without adding any more buttons or dials. It secures to the underside of the camera while allowing unimpeded access to the camera’s battery compartment. The A7C II makes use of Sony’s standard NP-FZ100 battery, which is rated for around 540 photographs. In spite of the loss of around 100?200 photos as compared to its predecessor, the impact on day-to-day camera use is rather minor. The battery may be easily recharged while on the road, and the camera features both USB-C charging and power transmission, making it suitable for use when recording videos.

The original A7C received feedback that its viewfinder size, which was adequate but not ideal, was not the best it could be. The font size of the electronic viewfinder has remained the same at 0.39, but the magnification has been increased from 0.59 to 0.7, making it more user-friendly. The resolution has not changed from its previous level of 2.35 million dots. The viewfinder experience is vastly enhanced despite the fact that this improvement is rather little.

Enhancements made on the inside are complementary to those made on the outside. The A7C II uses the most recent iteration of Sony’s menu system, which comes with streamlined color coding and enhanced navigation. Users are now able to navigate the menu by touching and swiping the touchscreen, much like they would on a smartphone. This new feature was just added and fully incorporated into the menu.

The cumulative effect of the additional features adds a great amount to the attractiveness of the A7C II. The first generation of Sony’s A7C appeared to be designed with beginners and vloggers in mind; however, the A7C II has a body that more closely resembles the rangefinder-style design that many people had first hoped for. It transcends its previous function as a simple Sony A6700 by exuding a more mature and coherent sense within the A7 lineup. This is because the A7 has been improved.

Sony a7C II: Features & Performance

Internally, the A7C II has seen significant improvements over its predecessor. The first generation of the A7C utilized a full-frame CMOS Exmor R sensor with 24.2 million pixels; the updated version, on the other hand, utilizes the 33-million-pixel sensor from the A7 IV. The resolution and overall potential image quality are both improved as a result of this move. In addition to this, the 5-axis sensor-based stabilization now has seven stops, which is an improvement above the A7 IV’s 5.5 stops. The subject identification capabilities of the A7C II have been improved thanks to the inclusion of an artificial intelligence processing engine that is analogous to the one found in the Sony A7R V. This innovation improves autofocus by giving subjects more priority and altering exposure as well as white balance in accordance with what is being focused on.

Even though most photographers are used to seeing continuous shooting rates of 20 to 30 frames per second, the A7C II’s rate of 10 frames per second is an impressive achievement. This pace is attainable with either the electronic or mechanical shutters, in conjunction with continuous focusing and exposure changes. The improved buffer in the camera can store more than 1,000 JPEG photographs in a burst, but it can only save 44 raw images or a combined total of 20 raw and JPEG images. These skills ought to be sufficient taking into account the intended user population. HEIF files, which are an alternative to JPEGs, offer superior detail and color depth than its counterparts.

When compared to its predecessor, the A7C II represents a substantial improvement for filmmakers. Processing power available in modern cameras enables resolutions and frame rates that are comparable to those of the Sony A7 IV. The footage shot in 4K at 30 frames per second, downscaled from 7K at full frame and without pixel binning, is a standout feature. This ought to improve the details as well as the color accuracy. In addition to that, it can shoot in 4K at 60 frames per second (in Super35/APS-C mode), at up to 120 frames per second in Full HD, with 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, S-Log3, Cinetone Picture Profile, Active SteadyShot stabilization, and correction for focus breathing.

The A7C II, in contrast to the A7 IV, integrates capabilities that were found on the ZV-E1. These features include Auto Framing, which crops the image to frame and track a subject, as well as log recording using LUTs. In addition, it is equipped with a headphone jack, a micro HDMI port, and a variety of capabilities that are helpful for filmmakers, which positions it as an option for casual vloggers and content creators.

During the testing phase, I filmed a variety of video clips, including handheld vlogs, and discovered that the eye-detection autofocus tracking was flawless. The real-time monitoring of birds was impressive, and the artificial intelligence was able to change focus whenever the birds rotated their heads. The in-camera stabilization produced a “floaty” look when applied to subjects that remained still and smooth results when applied to subjects that moved. The video quality lived up to Sony’s reputation and featured a variety of look-setting LUT settings.

The A7C II is a fascinating option for filmmakers as well as photographers because of its versatility and the fact that it skillfully combines improvements with the advantages offered by its predecessor.

The improvements made to the A7C II over its predecessor combine to provide a camera that is appealing to a diverse audience of customers due to its adaptability and versatility. Image quality is improved as well as finer details as a result of the camera’s internal changes, one of which being the adoption of the higher-resolution 33-million-pixel sensor from the A7 IV. This resolution boost, in conjunction with the increased 5-axis sensor-based stabilization that offers seven stops, makes the camera ideal for photographers who want to get top-notch images regardless of the settings in which they are shooting.

A new level of subject identification and focusing performance has been made possible by the incorporation of an artificial intelligence processing engine similar to the one found in the A7R V. This innovation, which is driven by AI, optimizes focus priority, which results in photos that are sharper and more accurately focused. In addition, the capability of the camera to automatically alter the exposure and white balance settings based on the subjects that are being photographed makes for a smooth shooting experience, particularly in conditions where the lighting is constantly shifting.

The A7C II has a continuous shooting rate of 10 frames per second, which is lower than the extremely high frame rates that some users have been accustomed to. However, this speed continues to be excellent for the vast majority of photographers and makes it possible to record action-packed scenes. This frame rate may be achieved with either an electronic or a mechanical shutter, and both the autofocus and exposure settings are preserved between frames. Over one thousand JPEG photographs may be stored in the camera’s buffer at once, which is a capacity that should meet the requirements of the vast majority of customers.

When compared to its predecessor, the A7C II offers videographers a significant improvement in terms of performance. The use of more modern processing technologies makes it possible to capture high-quality video that is on par with what the A7 IV is capable of. The 4K 30p video mode is the main feature; it employs a full-frame 7K output and downsamples without pixel binning, making it one of the most impressive aspects of the device. This method promises to increase both the level of detail and the color integrity, both of which are necessary for professional video production.

The camera has a wide range of shooting choices, including Full HD at up to 120 frames per second and 4K 60p in Super35/APS-C mode, both of which are captured in 10-bit 4:2:2 color space. Tools like as S-Log3, Cinetone Picture Profile, Active SteadyShot stabilization, and Focus Breathing correction are helpful to filmmakers. The incorporation of technologies from the ZV-E1, such as Auto Framing and log recording with LUTs, broadens the scope of possible creative expressions and simplifies the motion picture production process.

The A7C II was shown to be a dependable instrument for video recording throughout the testing process. Eye-detection autofocus tracking meant that accurate focus was maintained during dynamic situations, while real-time tracking for moving targets, such as birds, showcased the versatility of the camera. The in-body stabilization of the camera proved efficient in creating stable photos, both when the subject was standing still and when the subject was moving.

The A7C II closes the gap between its predecessor and higher-end models in Sony’s portfolio by virtue of the significant enhancements it offers over its predecessor. It is designed to meet the requirements of filmmakers as well as photographers, making it an adaptable and potent choice for those individuals who are looking for top-tier picture quality and video capabilities in a compact device.

Sony a7C II: Photo & Video

It came as a surprise when Sony moved from the A7C II’s previous sensor, which had a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, to a sensor with the same 33 megapixel resolution as the Sony A7 IV. The camera was formerly considered an entry-level choice in Sony’s full-frame portfolio; however, it now competes on a level playing field with the excellent A7 IV and may almost be considered an alternate model. The A7C II is an interesting option because to the adoption of cutting-edge processing techniques as well as improvements to AI.

In addition, it is possible that this action may signal the end of the 24 megapixel full-frame sensor standard that has been the norm for the previous ten years. Aside from cameras designed specifically for recording video, such as the ZV-E1 and FX3, the Sony A9 II, which has been around for three years now, is the only camera of the most recent generation to include a 24.2MP sensor.

The ISO range of the sensor extends from 100 all the way up to 51200, and it can go as high as 102400 for still shots. The image quality is on par with what one would anticipate from the most recent generation of Sony cameras, and it features remarkable detail. The new FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II lens produced photographs with an impressively high resolution, making them ideal for taking realistic landscape pictures. Even in the APS-C crop mode, the camera generates photos with a resolution of 14 million pixels, which is adequate for printing of average size.

During the course of the testing, I took pictures in both raw and HEIF formats. This enabled me to evaluate the quality of HEIF files, which was especially helpful given that raw files couldn’t be analyzed due to software constraints. The dynamic range of HEIF photographs captured at lower sensitivities (ISO 100-400) really surprised me. These images had detailed highlights and shadows, which is a hallmark of HEIF files. The responsiveness of these photos to alterations made in Adobe Camera Raw demonstrates the possibility of these photographs to be edited and then quickly shared on social media.

The camera features Sony’s well-known Creative Styles and Picture Profiles for adjusting the color of photographs. The color reproduction of the A7C II is on par with that of more current Sony models, exhibiting levels of contrast and color that are more realistic. The default Creative Style was excellent for producing photographs with color and contrast that were well-balanced. This style was particularly useful for photographing birds in natural areas. The Vivid style produced images with more brilliant colors and a somewhat higher contrast, making them suitable for sharing on social media platforms such as Instagram thanks to their livelier appearance.

One of my small complaints is about the multi-metering option, which I thought to be too dark for my preferences. However, this was readily corrected by using the exposure compensation slider to add around 0.3EV of brightness to the shadow parts without sacrificing the quality in the highlight sections.

In terms of video, the A7C II is packed with a variety of features. On the other hand, I used it largely as a vlogger or a casual content maker, recording little vignettes of self-addressed monologues and random footage to test autofocus with bird tracking. The video quality wowed me and maintained the same level of color and depth as previous Sony cameras, which I found quite impressive. Notably, the oversampled 4K footage that was taken from the complete 7K sensor readout appeared to be in very high quality.

The A7C II does not have the sophisticated raw shooting modes that are found on cameras that are more focused on video recording, but it makes up for this shortcoming with capabilities such as 10-bit recording and LUT compatibility for s-log3 film. Because of this, it is an ideal option for those individuals whose primary focus is on filming rather than conducting significant color grading in post-production.

Sony a7C II: Specifications

Dimensions2.8 by 4.9 by 2.5 inches
Weight18.1 oz
Sensor Resolution33 MP
Sensor TypeBSI CMOS
Sensor SizeFull-Frame
Lens MountSony E
Memory Card Slots1
Memory Card FormatSDXC (UHS-II)
Battery TypeSony NP-FZ100
Minimum ISO50
Maximum ISO204800
Stabilization5-Axis IBIS
Display Size3 inches
Display Resolution1.04 million dots
Touch ScreenYes
Viewfinder TypeEVF
Viewfinder Magnification0.7x
EVF Resolution2.4 million dots
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi, micro HDMI, Microphone (3.5mm), Headphone (3.5mm), USB-C
Maximum Waterproof Depth
Video Resolution4K
HDMI Output4:2:2 10-bit
Flat ProfileYes

Sony A7C II: Verdict

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Alpha 7C II Full-Frame Interchangeable Lens Camera - Black

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Last update was on: September 30, 2023 2:17 am

The Sony A7C II amalgamates components we’ve previously witnessed in other Sony models. While an incremental upgrade over its precursor, it introduces substantial enhancements to autofocus and a resolution boost to 33MP. It continues to hold its ground as one of the finest choices for content creators seeking a compact camera without compromising on professional-grade features. True to Sony’s recent trend, the A7C II showcases top-tier video capabilities, but it equally caters to hybrid creators who prioritize both photography and videography, offering a rangefinder-style EVF.

Notwithstanding some ergonomic improvements, the A7C II remains somewhat challenging to handle with larger Sony lenses?a trait that might be attributed to its full-frame sensor, suggesting its design targets.

In summary, the Sony A7C II combines familiar elements into a package that not only serves as an evolutionary step from its predecessor but also brings significant enhancements, notably in autofocus and resolution. For content creators valuing portability and premium features, it remains a top contender. This model adeptly integrates Sony’s cutting-edge video capabilities while catering to the needs of hybrid creators who demand excellence in both photography and videography. However, despite refinements in ergonomics, its compatibility with larger Sony lenses can present challenges?an aspect that could be attributed to its full-frame sensor orientation.

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Paul is a highly experienced journalist and the editor of DSLRCameraSearch. With a background in the photographic industry since 2017, he has worked with notable clients such as . Paul's expertise lies in camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, and industry news. His work has been featured in renowned publications including . He is also a respected workshop host, speaker Photography Shows. Paul's passion for photography extends to his love for Sony, Canon, Olympus cameras.