The big reasons why a7C really needs Mark II

The Sony a7c isn’t just Sony’s most affordable full-frame camera, it’s also the smallest. The rangefinder-style viewfinder offers a shooting experience unmatched in Sony’s a7 series. And yet the a7c hasn’t seen much love in the form of the Sony a7c firmware.

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The camera has only seen two firmware updates since its release nearly two years ago, and both updates focus solely on bug fixes and added video features. Reports last year claimed that a7c’s production had been halted, likely because the camera was the most affordable and therefore the least profitable case due to supply chain issues. While we’d love to see a Sony a7c II, reports suggest the camera won’t see a refresh on its second birthday this fall. Will the Sony a7c see a Mark II this year or in 2023? Or will Sony let the first generation be the only a7c?

While we were working to make sure our Sony camera reviews are up to date with the latest firmware, I tried Sony’s rangefinder and updated Sony a7c review. While the firmware changes little for stills, I’ve updated my thoughts on how the camera now compares to the current range a year and a half later, from ergonomics to focus automatique. While this is Sony’s most affordable full-frame option without opting for an outdated body, I’d still like to see a refresh for the tiny-but-beautiful design. Many camera negatives cannot be corrected with software updates.

Sony’s rangefinder design is still quite unique among full-frame cameras, with a silver color option that makes the a7c quite different from the rest of the E-mount range. I’d love to see Sony launch a Mark II of this camera, both because of the small size and the different feel of that offset viewfinder. But, there are a few things that I think any potential Sony a7c II (if it ever launches) would need.

First, the missing joystick. I spend most of my time in the single-point autofocus modes, and moving the focal point without a joystick is a pain. Adding a joystick would be a game changer in terms of ergonomics and shouldn’t take up much space. This is particularly important as it lacks the smartest autofocus system in Sony’s lineup.

The other thing missing from the control scheme is the second dial on the front to have a dial for shutter speed and another for aperture or ISO if you’re using a lens with a command dial . I know a lot of photographers won’t even consider a camera that doesn’t have two SD card slots, but I’m not sure Sony can manage to fit it in without making the camera bigger.

The other area Sony needs to update is autofocus. It’s not Sony’s best autofocus system, but again, I don’t expect the cheapest a7 series camera to have the best. But, if Sony waits more than two years to update the a7c, an autofocus update will be even more necessary. There were several instances where eye AF failed and I think other cameras would have done better. What’s most disappointing is that the camera doesn’t seem to focus on dark colors as well.

Other areas like a better stabilization system, touchscreen and improved dynamic range are on the wish list. But, realistically, if the Sony a7c is to remain Sony’s most affordable full-frame body, there will be trade-offs. As Sony’s most unique case, I hope the a7c doesn’t fall by the wayside and we’ll soon see a Mark II.

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