Sony Announces the A7CR & A7CII and New FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens


Sony is back with two exciting additions to its compact full-frame line: the a7CR and a7C II cameras. Both cameras harness the powerful BIONZ XR to massively overhaul photo and video performance. Debuting alongside them is an all-new FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II zoom, enhancing the original that was released in 2017. The lens boasts advancements in image quality and autofocus speed, all in a lighter and smaller form factor. 


Bringing the high resolution and imaging performance of the a7R V in a sleeker, more minimal profile is the all-new a7CR. Ideal for travel photographers or those who are resolution hungry but can do without the extra heft, the a7CR adopts the same 61MP Full-Frame Exmor R Back-Illuminated CMOS sensor from the a7RV while retaining the compact size for which the C line is famous. It is both 29% lighter and 53% smaller in volume than the a7R V; at just under a featherweight 1.14 pounds, the a7CR will be the smallest Alpha to date to boast such tremendous resolution.

Sony a7CR Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7CR Mirrorless Camera

The other tech the a7CR grabs from its a7R V brother includes:

  • AI processing unit and 693 point-phase detection system for incredible autofocus performance; you can rely on the a7CR's autofocus to lock on to a variety of subjects―from people, insects, trains, and much more.

  • Capture larger-than-life imagery with Pixel Shift Multi shooting to produce photos with a 240.8MP count.

  • An all new and improved 5-axis internal body image stabilization system provides up to 7 stops of compensation and ensures maximum image stability for on-the-move shooting and long exposures.

  • With a standard ISO range of 100-3200 and an extended range of 50-102400, you can shoot without worry in low-light environments.

While the a7CR is poised to be an excellent compact photo camera, its video capabilities are certainly nothing to scoff at, because it features a wide array of professional video functions that can be found in Sony's famed Cine line.

  • 10-bit 4:2:2 All-I XAVC S-I

  • S-Log3 and S-Gamut3.Cine recording

  • 15+ stops of dynamic range

  • Incredibly detailed Super35 4K QFHD oversampled from 6.2K (2.6 times the information of traditional 4K files)

  • Shoot up to 4K60 and FHD 120P in full-frame

It's evident that the a7CR is on track to revolutionize the concept of compact travel cameras with its high resolution and full-frame capabilities. Those who prefer a little more grip or may have large hands will be pleased to hear that it also comes with an additional base-mounted extension handle. The handle will also provide ¼-20" thread for tripod mounting, while maintaining battery accessibility. Speaking of batteries—though the camera shares a similarly sized form factor to Sony's APS-C line, the a7CR will feature an NP-FZ battery port, perfect for full days of shooting.

a7C II

While the a7CR is geared toward those looking to snag sharp, high-resolution photos akin to that of the a7RV in a compact body, we can look to the a7C II for a more versatile, hybrid experience in a similarly miniscule form factor. As the direct successor to the original a7C, which launched in September of 2020, there are several exciting upgrades to look forward to in the newly announced a7C II.

Sony a7C II Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7C II Mirrorless Camera

Improving over the first-gen model, the a7C II is fitted with an all-new 33MP sensor, bringing enhanced photo and video performance, as well as AF improvements and superior low-light sensitivity over its 24.2MP predecessor.

  • With the inclusion of the new AI processing unit and an additional 66 phase detection points (759 total points and 94% sensor coverage), rely on an unparalleled autofocus system to ensure your subject is locked on at all times.

  • Photograph moving subjects at up to 10 fps via mechanical or electronic shutter.

  • Like the a7CR, the a7C II will see an all-new 5-axis IBIS, bringing up to 7 stops of shake compensation to your shooting.

  • With an ISO range of 100 - 51200 and even greater extended range of 50 to 204800, night-time and lowlight shooting will be a breeze.

The versatility of this camera cannot be understated, since it comes with myriad features that will allow you to capture stunning video with ease.

  • By oversampling from 7K and performing a full pixel readout without any pixel binning, your full-frame 4K30 video is guaranteed to have great presence and sharpness.

  • Enabling the "Anti-flicker Tv scan" function allows for automatic adjustments of shutter speed, effortlessly compensating for light flickering that may be tricky to negate by eye.

  • Work with up to 15+ stops of dynamic range with S-log3 and S-Gamut3.cine.

  • 10-bit 4:2:2 bit depth and color subsampling allows you to snag and reproduce a shot with incredibly tasteful colors.

  • With 15+ stops of dynamic range, your video library will quickly become chock-full of cinematic footage.

There are several movie features that Sony has included in the a7C II, from breathing compensation, shockless white balance, AI-based auto framing, support of up to four channels for audio recording, and much more. Simply put, the a7C II is designed to be a versatile camera to fit numerous situations on a whim. At any given moment, snag a tack-sharp photo with lightning-fast and pinpoint-accurate autofocus, and switch effortlessly to capture dynamic oversampled 4K video at the flick of switch. For those who need a minimalist camera system that can do it all, the a7C II may just be the answer to your imaging needs.

FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II

Bringing more exciting news to the ever-growing arsenal of compact photo and video gear is Sony's new and improved FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II wide-angle zoom lens. Users who are familiar with the original model will promptly notice and experience the enhancements that this successor introduces. First and foremost, Sony has managed to make this lens even smaller and lighter―at 20% lighter and 10% smaller, this lens would be an excellent addition to anyone short on luggage space. What makes it even more remarkable is that despite a substantial reduction in size, its optical performance has undergone a tremendous overhaul, as well.

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens
Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens

Optically you can expect to see improvements in these four areas:

  1. Corner-to-corner resolution at both the wide end (16mm) and telephoto end (35mm) has been greatly improved; you can expect to see increased sharpness and clarity.

  2. Chromatic aberration is significantly suppressed; one Super Extra-low dispersion (ED) and two ED glass elements compensate for any unwanted aberrations while maintaining image detail.

  3. Flares and ghosting are also greatly negated. Thanks to this, the supplied petal lens hood is now shorter, reducing the minimal footprint of this lens.

  4. Close-up performance has been boosted, as well, with closer minimum focusing distances. While the minimum focus distance on the original 16-35mm GM was 11.1 inches, users of the second-generation 16-35mm will have a minimum focus distance of 8.6 inches

On top of all of that, four extreme dynamic linear motors are deployed alongside a floating internal focus system, creating faster autofocus speeds than the original, which was already pretty fast. There are some other nifty features that were pleasant additions, such as an aperture ring with a toggle for clicks, which is perfect for video users who prefer to adjust for exposure on the fly via aperture, two customizable buttons, an iris lock switch, and a fluorine front element coating to repel water, oil, and other contaminants.

It's quite exciting to see this new generation of compact full-frame cameras with the a7CR and a7C II because it's evident that many professional photo and video features have been jam-packed into these portable bodies. Pair either of those two with the new FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II lens, and you have got yourself a sleek combo for high-quality shooting.

What do you think of this new generation of compact full-frame alpha cameras from Sony? If you have the original 16-35mm GM, would you want to make the switch to the new and improved version II? Let us know down below!


1 Comment

Great specs, compact size and affordable price. Another win for Sony! Would also like to see a demo with natural light or 5K studio; it's difficult to evaluate skin tones and color accuracy with color gels.