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Sony a7 III vs a7C Comparison

Optics
Video
Features
Storage & Battery

Sony a7 III

Sony A7 III camera
Winner!
81%

Sony a7C

sony a7c
78%
Sony a7 III
vs
Sony a7C
Price
Brand
Sony
Sony
Model
a7 III
a7C
Released
2018
2020
Announcement Date
February 27, 2018
November 01, 2020
Camera Type
Mirrorless
Mirrorless
Camera Size
Camera Weight

Sony a7 III vs a7C Overview

These entry-level mirrorless cameras are part of Sony’s Alpha series. They have the same full-frame sensor and offer similar performance. That means a Sony a7III vs a7C comparison must concentrate on the big difference in body and ergonomics.

The older Sony a7 III scores higher on specs, but it isn’t a huge difference.

Badge
Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III

A gem of a Sony mirrorless camera with a powerful full frame sensor and great features for photography and videography.

Sony a7 III Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Quick and accurate 693-point AF
  • Wide ISO range with a low 50 setting
  • Outstanding dynamic range and low-light performance
  • Records stunning 4K video and has live stream capabilities
Cons
  • Noise reduction can remove details
  • Front heavy with big lenses
  • Menu system is difficult to get used to
  • No built-in time-lapse function

The a7 III looks like a DSLR camera. But the Sony a7C has a rangefinder layout. It looks more like one of Sony’s APS-C format cameras.

Neither body is better or worse than the other in principle. It’s usually just a matter of personal preference. Street or travel photographers might prefer the more compact Sony a7C. Others might prefer the Sony a7 III.

The rangefinder design of the Sony a7C means the viewfinder is a little smaller. It also has a slower maximum mechanical shutter speed, poorer performance at high ISOs, and only one storage slot.

However, the Sony a7C has higher frame rates, a bigger buffer, and gyroscopic stabilization. It’s also lighter.

And the a7C offers unlimited video recording, longer battery life, and lower minimum focus sensitivity. That means the autofocus works in darker conditions.

Back view of Sony a7C
The back of a Sony a7C

Body and Handling

The Sony a7C isn’t quite pocket-sized. But the flat-topped rangefinder layout makes it smaller and lighter than the Sony a7 III. It a7C looks like a lot of compact cameras.

The viewfinder resolution is the same on both cameras. However, the Sony a7C’s smaller viewfinder and rectangular shape make it harder to handle with long telephoto lenses.

If you prefer shooting in Live View, the Sony a7C’s vari-angle screen is much more flexible. You can use it to shoot in portrait and landscape formats. You can twist it around to face up or down. And you can even swing it out to the side and rotate it 180° for selfies and vlogging.

The Sony a7 III’s tilting screen has the same number of dots and offers the same screen size. However, it can only be tilted to help while shooting in landscape format.

The Sony a7C’s aperture and shutter speed dials are on the back of the camera. But they’re on the front and back of the Sony a7 III. It might seem like a small thing. But it means you can change your exposure settings with your thumb and forefinger without altering your grip. That gives the a7 III a big speed advantage.

The Sony a7 III being used for a low shot using the tilt screen
Sony a7 III tilting LCD screen in action

Sony a7 III vs a7C Optics

The two cameras have the same Backside Illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and Bionz X processing engine. That means there should be no difference in image quality when using the same lenses. However, the DXOMARK sensor scores rate the Sony a7 III slightly better in low-light situations.

Both cameras have the same 5-axis sensor-shift IBIS (in-body image stabilization) system. So they offer the same five-stop improvement in image stabilization.

They also have the same number of phase-detection and contrast-detection focus points, covering 93% of the frame. However, the Sony a7C’s AF system’s sensitivity in low light is one stop better.

Both also offer these features:

  • High continuous shooting speeds
  • Face detection and eye tracking
  • AE bracketing
  • An Anti-flicker mode

But the a7C also incorporates Sony’s latest AI-powered subject recognition system. This offers better AF tracking—especially when your subject’s eyes are temporarily hidden.

Kit Lenses

You may want to save money by buying a “starter kit” or “kit lens” bundled with either camera. You have several options. B&H offers the following lenses with the Sony a7C and a7 III:

  • 20 mm f/1.8
  • 24-70 mm f/4 (plus the 24-70 mm f/2.8 with the a7 III)
  • 24-105 mm f/4
  • 28-60 mm f/4-5.6
  • 50 mm f/1.8

These lenses all have shorter focal lengths. They’re general-purpose lenses for everyday shooting.

The 20 mm and 50 mm have a “fast” maximum aperture of f/1.8. It’s ideal for working in low light or creating a shallow depth of field. The other lenses start at f/4, which is not too bad. But you’d probably be happier with f/2.8.

All the lenses are fairly light, compact, and portable. And one or two of them, such as the 20 mm, are equipped with a Dual XD Linear Motor system and internal focusing. That makes the autofocus system quick, quiet, and accurate.

Optics
Optics
81%
80%
Megapixels
24.2 MP
24.2 MP
Image Resolution
6000 x 4000 px
6000 x 4000 px
Sensor Type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor Size
23.8 x 35.6 mm
23.8 x 35.6 mm
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
10 fps
10 fps
Lens Mount
Sony FE
Sony FE
Image Processor
Bionz X
Bionz X
Aspect Ratio
3:2
3:2
Minimum ISO (Native)
100
100
Maximum ISO (Native)
51,200
51,200
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
50
50
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
204800
204800
Minimum Shutter Speed
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/ 8000 s
1/ 4000 s
Autofocus Points
693
693
In-body Stabilization
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Electronic
Viewfinder Resolution
2,359,296 dots
2,360,000 dots

Sony a7 III vs a7C Video Performance

Both cameras offer 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) footage up to 30p. This uses 2.4x oversampling (without pixel binning) to add color depth and dynamic range.

Alternatively, you can shoot in Full HD up to 120p / 100p (NTSC/PAL) for slow-motion playback. Both cameras also offer flat S-Log2 and S-Log3 formats for color grading.

They both feature a Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) picture profile. This allows direct playback to HDR (HLG) TVs. They also both provide the following:

  • Time-lapse recording
  • A zebra stripes warning to indicate blown-out highlights
  • Gamma Display Assist for brighter S-log video display contrast
  • Proxy recording
  • External ports for a mic and headphones

The Sony a7 III can record in AVCHD format. However, the Sony a7C’s gyroscopic stabilization and unlimited recording are better for video.

Video
Video
56%
70%
Video
Max Video Resolution
4K
4K
Max Video Dimensions
3840 x 2160 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
30 p
30 p
Time-Lapse Built In
Video File Format
XAVC S, AVCHD
XAVC S

Sony a7 III vs a7C Features and Benefits

Neither has a built-in flash. But the two models share a long list of other features:

  • Support with RAW files
  • Electronic levels
  • External mic and headphone ports
  • Smartphone remote controls
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connections
  • Webcam functionality

As you can see below, they share many convenient specs. Notable ones are touch screen capability, weather sealing, and Blue Tooth connectivity.

Features
Features
81%
81%
Built-in Flash
External Flash
GPS
Weather Sealing
Screen Type
LCD
LCD
Touch Screen
Screen Size
3"
3"
Screen Resolution
921,600 dots
921,600 dots
Flip Screen
Live View
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth

Sony a7 III vs a7C Storage and Battery

The battery and memory card setups are almost similar. The Sony a7C has only one SD memory card slot. But it can take either UHS-I or UHS-II cards.

The Sony a7 III has dual card slots. One is for UHS-I, and the other is for UHS-II cards. You can use these two slots  in a variety of ways:

  • Shoot in RAW and JPEG, saving each format to a different card
  • Shoot stills and video, saving each format to a different card
  • Record to one card and then switch to the other when the first card fills up
  • Copy files from one card to the other

SD memory cards are gradually being replaced by XQD cards and CFexpress Type A and B cards on high-end cameras. However, they’re still cheap and popular enough to survive for a while longer. We have a guide to memory card types you may want to check out for more information.

Both cameras take the Sony NP-FZ100 rechargeable battery. The battery life is similar, but the a7C gets 130 more frames from a single charge.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
81%
45%
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo / Pro-HG Duo
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
NP-FZ100
NP-FZ100
Battery Life
750 shots
740 shots
USB Charging
DXOMARK Scores
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
96%
95%
Portrait (Color Depth)
25.1 bits
25 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
14.7 EVs
14.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
3722
3407
Scores
Main Features
84%
N/A
Extra Features
72%
N/A
Construction and Durability
67%
N/A
Handling and Ergonomics
67%
N/A
Value for Money
110%
N/A
Total Score
81%
N/A

Sony a7 III vs a7C – Our Verdict

Sony a7 III vs a7C Comparison imageOverall, there are only a few differences in our comparison of Sony a7III vs a7c:

  • Sony a7C: It’s lighter. It has a larger buffer size, lower minimum focus sensitivity, and gyroscopic stabilization. Plus, it has unlimited video recording and a longer battery life.
  • The Sony a7 III: Has a faster shutter speed, better high ISO performance, a larger viewfinder, and two SD storage slots.

The performance of these two full frame mirrorless cameras is very similar. It’s best to approach your choice between them based on your photography style and preferences.

If you’re a street or travel photographer and prefer stealth, portability, and convenience, then go for the Sony a7C. This compact full frame camera is also good for videographers.

Badge
Sony a7C

Sony a7C

A light and compact mirrorless option for taking excellent photos on the go.

Otherwise, you might prefer the bigger viewfinder and more traditional ergonomics of the Sony a7 III. That’s especially true if you’re used to using a DSLR with telephoto lenses.

Badge
Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III

A gem of a Sony mirrorless camera with a powerful full frame sensor and great features for photography and videography.

What Camera is Better Than the a7 III?

I should point out that the upgraded Sony a7 IV came out in October 2021. It’s more expensive. But it improves the Sony a7 III’s features across the board, particularly in video capability.

The a7 IV boasts gyroscopic stabilization, unlimited video recording, and three more video formats.

You also get several other upgrades:

  • A 33 MP image sensor
  • 66 more focus points
  • One-stop better minimum focus sensitivity
  • An anti-dust shutter
  • CFexpress Type A card support
  • A full-size HDMI port
  • 56% more resolution from the LCD screen and EVF (electronic viewfinder)

If you’re still unsure, get inspired with some of our other popular comparisons:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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