Sony cameras
Image asset courtesy: Sony

Sony has launched two new cameras in its Alpha 7C series of full frame mirrorless cameras. The new Sony Alpha 7C II is the second generation of the popular Sony Alpha 7C camera with updated and improved features. And the new Sony Alpha 7CR has a high resolution 61-megapixel sensor, as found in the Sony Alpha 7R V.

Sony Alpha 7C II

Sony Alpha 7C II
Image courtesy: Sony

The new Alpha 7C II has a full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor with around 33.0 effective megapixels. It’s also supported by the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine and seven-step optical five-axis in-body image stabilization. In addition, the new camera has an ISO range from 100 to 51200 for both still images and movies, expandable to 50 to 204800 for still images. The Alpha 7C II has a compact and lightweight design which Sony says is around 22 percent lighter and has up to 45 percent less volume than the Alpha 7 IV.

Sony Alpha 7CR

Sony Alpha 7CR
Image courtesy: Sony

The new Alpha 7CR also has a full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor but with a much higher 61.0 effective megapixels. Again, the camera is powered by the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine. However, the Alpha 7CR has a slightly smaller ISO range from 100 to 32000 for still images and movies, expandable to 50 to 102400 for still images. In addition to seven-step optical five-axis in-body image stabilization, Sony says that even slight blurring at the one-pixel level is detected and corrected. Compared to the Alpha 7R V, the Alpha 7CR is about 29 percent lighter with 53 percent less volume.

Autofocus performance

Both the Alpha 7C II and Alpha 7CR feature the same AI-processing unit as the Alpha 7R V with Real-time Recognition AF. This uses pose estimation technology to capture and track your subject even if they are in a complicated pose or their face is hidden. Sony also says that the system can recognize birds, insects, cars, trains and airplanes as subjects. This is in addition to people and animals which the previous generation Alpha 7C could follow.

Video performance

Sony says that the Alpha 7C II and Alpha 7CR condense high-resolution video data equivalent to 7K and 6K, respectively. From this, both cameras record high-quality 4K video. The new cameras also support shooting in S-Log3 which gives you more than 14 stops of dynamic range. In addition, you can use import LUTs to preview how your log footage will look once processed in post production. Alternatively, you can shoot in S-Cinetone which can create a cinematic look straight out of the camera. S-Cinetone is based on the Sony Cinema Line technology to give you natural mid-tones for great skin color.

Other features

The Alpha 7C II and Alpha 7CR feature a vari-angle touchscreen LCD monitor. They also both have XGA high-resolution viewfinders. In addition, the new cameras are compatible with the Sony smartphone Creators’ App application. With the app, you can upload videos and still images to a cloud service and operate the camera remotely.

What we think

The new Alpha 7C II updates the previous generation with a higher resolution sensor and a newer processor. However, the new features and improvements aren’t as dramatic as users of the original camera may have hoped for. The Alpha 7CR does have a headline grabbing feature with its high resolution sensor, but this is more of a benefit to still photo shooters than video makers. Both new offerings from Sony have a lot to offer if you are looking for a new camera. However, they may not have enough new features to warrant upgrading from the original Alpha 7C if video is your main use.

Pricing and availability

Both cameras are available to pre-order now. The Sony Alpha 7C II retails at $2,199 and is scheduled for delivery by the end of September 2023. The Sony Alpha 7CR costs $2,999 and is due to ship by mid-October 2023.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.