Despite what Sony says, the A7C is not the “world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera”

Sep 15, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Despite what Sony says, the A7C is not the “world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera”

Sep 15, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Announced this morning, there is no doubt or question that the new Sony A7C is Sony’s smallest full-frame camera, but in the promotional material for the camera – which you can see above, Sony is claiming that it’s “the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera”. Well, it’s not.

Even if we narrow the field down to “interchangeable lens full-frame camera”, it’s still not the smallest. Nor is it the lightest. As I mentioned a couple of days ago when some of the specs leaked, that honour still remains with the Sigma fp. And since the official announcement absolutely nothing has changed.

When I posted the specs leak a couple of days ago, I even included a handy chart of comparison of the rumoured A7C dimensions and weight against those of the Sony A6600 (the model on which the A7C body design is based), the Sony A7 III (which is similar in capability to the A7C) and the entry-level full-frame cameras from its competitors, including the Canon EOS RP (which is also lighter than the A7C), Nikon Z5, Panasonic S5 and the teeny tiny little Sigma fp.

Here it is again in case you missed it…

CameraDimensionsWeight
Sigma fp112.6 x 69.9 x 45.3mm422g
Canon EOS RP133 x 85 x 70 mm485g
Sony A6600120 x 67 x 69mm503g
Sony A7c124 x 71.1 x 59.7mm509g
Panasonic S5132.6 x 97.1 x 81.9mm630g
Sony A7III127 x 96 x 74mm650g
Nikon Z5134 x 101 x 70 mm675g

The Sony A7C is small, absolutely, but it’s not quite as small as its advertised claim. The Sigma FP is still significantly narrower, thinner and a tad shorter than the A7C, and there is a substantial difference in weight. The specs for the two cameras on the B&H website also back up these numbers.

Ok, so this claim maybe isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things and it certainly doesn’t affect the abilities of the camera. So, who cares, right? But when major manufacturers like Sony start to put out clearly false claims like these in their advertising in order to attract less-experienced photographers over to the brand to become new customers, where should the line be drawn?

I mean, Canon promoting the EOS R5, right up until its official release as an 8K video camera certainly has pissed off quite a lot of people and… well, technically, Canon hasn’t actually lied. They’ve made no false claims. They might have suggested, perhaps led you down a particular path, but the conclusions you’ve reached at your destination are your own.

This, on the other hand, is a blatant lie from Sony about the A7C and I think it should be called out because otherwise they’ll all start doing it and the lies will become bigger the longer they’re allowed to get away with it.

Update: It’s been brought to my attention that in some of the advertising, the claim is accompanied by the teeny tiny disclaimer “1 Among full-frame interchangeable-lens digital cameras with optical in-body image stabilisation mechanism”, although I’ve yet to see any of the advertising that carries this (very narrow) disclaimer myself. I’ve seen this image and claim made in multiple places – including major retailers – without any such clarification.

Where do you draw the line in advertising?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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25 responses to “Despite what Sony says, the A7C is not the “world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera””

  1. Matthias Avatar
    Matthias

    Isn’t the Minolta TC-1 the smallest full frame camera? You can even have pretty good 6×6 medium format cameras in that size and weight range. With lens! Looking only at interchangeable lenses cameras? What about the original Braun Paxette?
    Yeah… just felt like being a smartass for a change ;)

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Now you’ve got me wondering how it stacks up against the Agfa Isolette… *grabs tape measure*

  2. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    I’m sure there are a bunch of 35mm film full-frame cameras that are smaller and lighter too.

    But Sony do have a point, it’s the smallest and lightest full-frame camera from a manufacturer that anyone is interested in buying stuff from these days :)

    1. David Avatar
      David

      There are so many people who are currently still on pre-order for the R5. I am sure that Canon wishes that they can get them out of their manufacturing facilities faster.

      Must be a conspiracy rather than covid related supply chain issues.

      I pre-ordered mine in February (yes, Australian resellers were taking deposits back then) and lucky enough to get one in the first deliveries and haven’t been disappointed. Sports, landscape, underwater plus a newborn session yesterday… perfect for me!

  3. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    World’s Smallest and Lightest Full-Frame Camera *

    * That anyone cares about

  4. John G Schickler Avatar
    John G Schickler

    Seems that lying has become all too commonplace. Even with the disclaimer, the boast is what the ad world is called a “weasel”. That is used to describe a statement that may be true but is deliberately misleading. Politicians use them all the time. “Lowest prices of the season” is used when there is no definition of what the season consists of.

    1. Matthias Avatar
      Matthias

      “Become”… I sure don’t like it happening now, but in the early days of print advertisement, some pretty wild claims were made. I remember a pile of Catalogue des Armes et des Cycles de Saint Étienne (an old french mail order company) from the 1920’s my brothers and me used to check for BS perls when we were kids. Without Internet, it just too more effort to check those that were not downright shameless.

  5. Duncan Dimanche Avatar
    Duncan Dimanche

    they said lightest full frame camera “with IBIS” the sigma does not have ibis

    1. elf11 Avatar
      elf11

      No, they did not. What they actually said is circled right there in their own marketing image.

    2. Azmodeus Avatar
      Azmodeus

      The smallest camera with two colours on the body.

      Who cares it’s a very ordinary effort.

  6. Mike Shwarts Avatar
    Mike Shwarts

    How about the smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens full frame camera that is reasonably useful hand-held? The Sigma fp is really designed to be modular. While it can be used as is, to be useful hand-held you need to add a grip, and that adds weight and size.

  7. Reeltalk Avatar
    Reeltalk

    I’m sure they said smallest with IBIS.

  8. Mike Shwarts Avatar
    Mike Shwarts

    And your chart has a mistake. The A6600 is APS-C.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      It has no mistake. You see those squiggly things before the chart? Those are words. Once you figure out what those mean, the chart will make sense. :)

      1. Mike Shwarts Avatar
        Mike Shwarts

        I see the squiggly bits, but I don’t see APS-C among them.

        1. Kaouthia Avatar
          Kaouthia

          Try this bit…

          “the rumoured A7C dimensions and weight against those of the Sony A6600 (the model on which the A7C body design is based)”

          It explains exactly why it’s on the list. Thanks for playing. :)

  9. barry Avatar
    barry

    That was the Ad for North Korea you showing not the rest of the world, hence in that country they believe it, the rest of the world? It’s 50/50 like the ads on late night TV or all the statements made by politicians. It’s the new era of publicity truth hasn’t much to do with it. And by the way if you got the time to crack Sony s color sconce code in every lighting situation then your already a different kind of shooter.

  10. Regen Avatar
    Regen

    Good job. Now the people know the truth. I’ll sleep easier tonight.

  11. Russ Peterson Avatar
    Russ Peterson

    RX1 series? ?‍♂️

    1. Geoffrey Nelson Avatar
      Geoffrey Nelson

      Was thinking this aswell

  12. cameron Avatar
    cameron

    Some decent launch deals on the sony a7c at some retailers, what do you think? Wait for something better?

  13. JP Belanger Avatar
    JP Belanger

    I’ll give them a quote for free: “So light you won’t believe it’s a full frame camera!”

  14. George Mahlum Avatar
    George Mahlum

    Add the sigma viewfinder and grip.

  15. BlueBomberTurbo Avatar
    BlueBomberTurbo

    Wow, guess you guys didn’t bother actually reading the press release. Every time they mentioned smallest (and lightest), they didn’t say anything like the smallest (and lightest) ever made. They mentioned the smallest and lightest system (which includes the kit zoom lens), the smallest and lightest FF with IBIS, and the smallest and lightest uncompromising FF (where the fp is nothing but compromise).

    Also, where did that image up top come from? Not seeing it in any of Sony’s advertising…

  16. Fish Rock Avatar
    Fish Rock

    The sigma doesn’t have a real shutter, that thing is for video, it’s still frame ability is amateur