Sony’s New a7CR Delivers Incredibly Versatile Power in a Compact Body
Sony has introduced two new impressively powerful and versatile cameras into its lineup while giving both truly compact designs.
The first of these, the Sony a7C Mark II is the successor to Sony’s acclaimed a7C from 2020 and is very similar to the a7 IV but with wholly new AI features. We cover it in detail in this post.
The other major camera introduced by Sony alongside the a7C Mark II is the a7CR and it’s close to being a compact version of Sony’s a7R V despite lacking a few non-essential features of the older camera.
However, it offers unique benefits of its own despite its much lower price tag.
For starters, the new a7CR comes packed with the same 61-megapixel backlit Exmor R full-frame sensor as the a7R V despite being 53% smaller and 29% lighter at just 18.2 ounces or 515 grams.
Along with its huge sensor, which is much larger than the 33MP version on the co-introduced a7C Mark II, the a7CR also comes with a dedicated AI processing Unit for enhanced subject recognition AF, AI tracking and AI-powered Auto Framing for video recording.
Much like the a7C II shares so many features with its a7 III cousin, the a7CR does the same with features and internal specs found in the older but much pricier a7R V.
The new a7CR camera offers the same number of AF tracking points at 693 and the same AF coverage area of 79% of its image space.
Curiously, the a7CR, despite a higher price, offers fewer AF tracking points than the A7C II, which has 759 points across its much smaller 33MP sensor.
In terms of shooting speed, the a7CR can manage up to 8 frames per second compared to the 10 fps of the a7R V and this only applies if it’s shooting with its partially mechanical first curtain shutter.
With the electronic shutter activated, the fps drops to 7. In practice, these are pretty minor distinctions though and few photographers are likely to notice them.
Also worth noting is that this is the single smallest camera introduced on the market by Sony, or just about anyone so far with such a huge full-frame 61MP sensor built into it.
Another new feature built into the ca7CR expands its photo resolution chips even further. This is its Pixel Shift Multi-shooting function, which lets photographers produce 240.8MP images through a rapid series of overlayed shots taken with its 61MP sensor.
Sony has also given this new ultra-compact full-frame monster camera an improved 5-axis image stabilization system with 7 stops of compensation when paired with a compatible lens.
As for its ISO, the a7CR gives exceptional low-light performance despite a base range of 100-3200. This can be further extended to 50-102,400 too.
Overall, with its huge full-frame sensor resolution in such a compact body and the other above specs, the a7CR has the potential to be an absolutely excellent travel and street photography camera.
With other aspects of its photo shooting specs, such as its AI autofocus features, the a7CR could also make for a superbly robust wildlife and sports shooting device.
In terms of its video recording chops, the new Sony a7CR can hammer out full-frame 4K at 60fps with 6.2K oversampling in Super35, and comes with S-Log3, S-Cinetone and S-gamut3.cine.
Its video can be shot with 10-bit 4:2:2 sampling and the a7CR also delivers FHD video at 120fps. Just like the a7C II, the a7CR also has internal timelapse shooting functions.
On the other hand, the a7C II offers even better 7K oversampling, which is interesting given its lower price tag.
On the other hand, if you compare the a7CR to its pricier cousin the a7R V, the latter’s 8K recording and advanced cropping features are distinctly higher-tier.
Overall though, the a7CR is an absolutely remarkable camera for having all of the above specs plus a full-frame 61MP sensor despite costing nearly $1000 less than the older Sony a7R V. The new camera’s AI features make it even more remarkable for its price.
We’ve mentioned the compact build of the new a7CR multiple times but it’s really worth emphasizing given this camera’s almost incredible specs:
Despite all it comes packed with, the a7CR weighs just 18.2 ounces and is less than 200 grams heavier than Sony’s tiny a6000 from 2014!
By comparison, the a7R V tops out at 25.5 oz despite having the same sensor size and so many of the same features.
Externally, the Sony a7CR is built just like the a7C II that it was introduced alongside. This includes the same 1.03-million-dot adjustable LCD rear screen and a 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF with 0.7x magnification.
Both cameras also feature a second, front command dial like those found in Sony’s pricier camera models.
Sony will be releasing the a7CR onto the market for $2,999 in a body-only version. Dollars for value, this might make this one of the best cameras you can now possibly buy with the kind of sensor and specs it has.
Bear in mind that this is just under $1000 less than the cost of the much bulkier Sony a7R V despite the sheer similarity of specs between the two cameras and their identical full-frame sensors.