Sony A7CII Review | A Compact A7IV?

The Sony A7Cii is the latest of two cameras in the A7C line, along with the A7Cr. Offering compact, more fashionable-looking versions of other pro-Sony cameras. Now we did a big comparison between the A7Cii and the A7iv, so if you want to see the differences, or rather lack of differences between those cameras you can check that out on our YouTube Channel.

But first, let's get some specs out of the way.

The A7Cii sports a full-frame 33-megapixel sensor with a burst mode of up to 10 frames a second. In video, it shoots video up to 4k 60 422 10 bit. S-Log shooting as well as S-Cinetone are available. It features Sony's wonderful AI Autofocus and 7-stops of in-body image stabilization.

Okay so, while we did go over this in detail in a previous video, I am going to touch on the fact that the A7Cii is just an A7iv in a different body. Our tests seemed to indicate there isn't a meaningful difference in performance, so the major difference comes down to size and form factor. That being said, I am going to briefly touch on image quality and performance.

Image Quality & Performance

Image Quality is great both in photos and video. S-log 3 is delightful and very editable. In Low Light Images look great up to 3200 ISO, and even up to 25600, the grain is still pretty manageable, and film-like. In video, the camera's built-in noise reduction is killer giving you latitude to shoot up to ISO 25600 without much of a problem.

Now though that quality is great, the image buffer isn't huge, (one of the compromises of the A7Cii vs A7iv), and in video any frame rate beyond 4k30 results in a 1.5x crop.

Handling is a little surprising. Even though it's a bigger sensor, this feels smaller than the a6700. This is not the kind of camera you carry around with a big lens and no strap. Even something like the Sony 24-105mm f/4 OSS G lens feels a little heavy. I used a Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 and it was quite a lot. The grip is just not designed to let my fat mitts get a comfortable grip. The grip extender, which I ended up buying, does help quite a bit, but I would still say it's not an all-day shoot kind of camera. And this would be my biggest complaint. Having just a little bit better grip I don't think would have affected the weight too much and could have added a lot to this camera's usability. But I suppose then that would be one less reason to get an A7iv. Can't have folks NOT buying things.

So that leads me to what this camera is and what it isn't.


Reasons to Get the Sony A7Cii

What it's not is an upgrade to an A7iv. It is at best, marginally better performance-wise in some areas, but with worse ergonomics and a smaller photo buffer. It's not the kind of camera you are going to be wanting in your hand all day with a big zoom lens. Even with the grip, you are only going to be able to comfortably hold primes and smaller zoom lenses for extended periods. And it's the same with video, this is not going to be a good primary video camera. It still has the 1.5 crop in 60p 4k. Though the low light performance is great, there are a lot better options for primary video cameras, with more frame rate options and good low light performance. (See the Sony A6700.)

So if you want to replace your A7iv, you might want to consider something else. But if you love your A7iv and want a second version, this could be for you, which leads me to what this camera is.

For those who already have a Sony A7iv or even an A7R of some kind, and you want a B-cam to have a prime on, or a smaller zoom. This is for folks who have an A1, and an A7r, but don't want to take that to wander the streets of a big city on vacation. This is the kind of camera you can put in your bag and take with you, and have 33 megapixels ready to go. It's also great for folks who may primarily shoot with a 24-105 and might want a super wide or a prime to go with it. Paired with something like the 40mm 2.5 lenses, you can take really beautiful pictures using a tiny almost crop sensor-sized camera. Now this isn't a formal review of the 40mm 2.5, but that thing rocks.

This is an excellent, daily-use camera. This is what you carry with you in case something cool happens that you want to take a picture of. It's small and lightweight, and I feel like was intended to be used with lightweight lenses. This works best, in my opinion on a comfortable camera strap, at your side, and not being in your hand constantly. And that is exactly why I got it. This wasn't my, to shoot big projects on, camera. This is my, "I'm having fun AND I was able to bring my camera!" sort of camera.

But what do you think? Have you had a chance to try it out? Are you interested in a re-skinned A7iv?

Don't forget to take your camera out today! 

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