Meet the new Sony a7C II, a7C R & FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens

Meet the new Sony a7C II, a7C R & FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens

As the competition in the camera industry intensifies, Sony continues to assert its dominant position with two new full-frame mirrorless cameras: the α7C II and the α7C R. Both models are designed to cater to the versatile needs of modern photographers and videographers. While they share several features, including advanced BIONZ XR processing engines and robust 7-step image stabilisation, pivotal differences set them apart. In this quick comparison, we will break down the differences and touch on the new Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens, which was announced simultaneously.


The Main Difference Between the Sony a7C II and Sony a7C R

The biggest difference between the two models is their sensor capabilities. While the α7C II is equipped with a 33 Megapixel Full-Frame Exmor R CMOS Sensor, the α7C R takes it further with a remarkable 61 Megapixel Full-Frame Exmor R sensor. The latter brings unparalleled resolution into a compact and lightweight body, making it ideal for capturing high-resolution landscapes, portraits, and editorial and commercial work.


AI Capabilities and Autofocus

Both models feature advanced AI capabilities. However, the α7C R introduces an AI Pose Estimation technology that uses a skeleton-based model for human movements. This results in highly precise tracking of both eyes and body and head positions. The α7C II, although highly efficient with its Real-Time Tracking, does not offer the same level of feature-set in movement tracking.


Comparing Continuous Shooting Speeds

The Sony α7C II has an edge in continuous shooting, boasting a maximum frame rate of 10 fps. This makes the camera a strong contender for capturing fast-moving subjects like sports and wildlife. The faster frame rate allows photographers to obtain a broader selection of images within a split second, increasing the chances of capturing that perfect shot in high-speed scenarios.

On the other hand, the α7C R offers a slightly lower frame rate, maxing out at 8 fps. While this might appear as a drawback compared to its counterpart, this limitation is offset by the camera's primary strength: an exceptional 61 MP full-frame sensor. The α7C R is designed to capture images with intricate detail and high resolution, making it an excellent choice for portraiture, fine art photography, and landscape scenes. In such scenarios, the absolute speed of image capture often takes a back seat to the quality and richness of each frame.


Versatility in Video Recording and Live Streaming

Both models offer impressive video recording features, including 4K capabilities. The α7C R adds a variety of Creative Look presets for video, along with versatile live streaming capabilities up to 4K resolution. For cinematographers, the a7C R would be the better option as users can shoot 4K/50p in with a slight crop (1.2x) and S-Cinetone Picture Profile Monitor S-Log3 footage with MLUT 120p in Full HD. The α7C II also offers professional video features for hybrid shooters but leans more towards traditional videography needs.


The Differences Between the Interfaces

The Sony α7C II and the α7C R are equipped with high-resolution OLED electronic viewfinders, a feature that ensures photographers can frame their subjects with precision. The OLED technology offers vivid colours and sharp contrasts, providing a real-time and accurate view of the scene that the camera lens is capturing. Moreover, each camera model incorporates intuitive touch controls, allowing users to navigate menus, select focus points, and interact with other settings quickly and conveniently. The touch interface streamlines the shooting process, reducing the time spent in menu navigation and enhancing the overall user experience.

However, regarding control and customisation, the α7C R takes a step further with its additional features to enhance operability. The Still/Movie/S&Q selector control is a notable addition, allowing photographers to easily switch between various shooting modes. This functionality ensures seamless transitions, whether capturing high-resolution still photographs, filming, or shooting slow-motion or quick-motion sequences via the Slow & Quick modes. This functionality adds to the camera's versatility, making it an even more appealing option for creators who require a wide range of shooting capabilities in a single device.


Which a7C New Release is Right For You?

Although similar in many aspects, the α7C II and α7C R serve different niches within the market. The α7C II is a balanced, versatile choice for photographers and videographers who require speed and excellent performance in a compact form. On the other hand, the α7C R caters to professionals and serious enthusiasts who require high resolution and advanced AI capabilities for more intricate work. Regardless of the choice, both models build upon the Sony Alpha system to provide the latest innovation and performance.


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


As the latest in the FE lineup, this lens packs an array of upgrades catering to still photography and videography. With its unparalleled clarity, compactness, and robust build, this lens is destined to be a quintessential addition to the toolkit of professional photographers and videographers.


Optical Quality That Surpasses Most Wide-Angle Lenses

The lens features an advanced optical design that delivers exceptional image quality, setting it apart from most wide-angle lenses in its category. Spanning a versatile focal range of 16mm to 35mm, the lens captures everything from the fine details of architectural wonders to the majestic scope of expansive landscapes. Its comprehensive capability makes it an optimal choice for diverse photographic pursuits.

Regarding close-up photography, this lens further distinguishes itself through an innovative floating focus mechanism. This state-of-the-art design feature allows for a remarkably short minimum focusing distance of just 22 centimetres and a notable magnification factor of 0.32x. Such attributes enable the lens to capture intricately detailed subjects with unparalleled clarity while producing exceptionally smooth bokeh. This artistic effect enhances the visual appeal of close-up compositions, offering photographers an expanded range of creative possibilities.


Video and Focus Performance

The lens has been engineered with specialised video features that significantly enhance its performance for cinematographers. One of the standout attributes is its minimised focus breathing and axial shift while zooming, which ensures a more stable and distraction-free video capture experience. These features are particularly beneficial for filmmakers and videographers who require seamless transitions between different focal lengths. Additionally, the lens boasts centralised weight distribution, negating the need for gimbal re-balancing during focal length adjustments, a feature that is invaluable for those using stabilising equipment.

Supplementing these attributes is an exceptionally responsive and swift autofocus system. Leveraging XD Linear Motors, the lens achieves an autofocus speed twice as fast as its predecessor. This expedited performance is essential for executing smooth focus transitions, a feature that becomes especially crucial when filming in high resolutions such as 4K and 8K slow-motion video.


Construction and Weather Sealing

For those using GM lenses in the past, the new lens doesn't come as a surprise when durability and robust design are implemented. This stunning lens incorporates meticulous sealing against dust and moisture, including silicone rubber gaskets that insulate all buttons and switches. The lens mount is further fortified with a rubber ring, ensuring additional protection against the elements. Augmenting its resistance is a fluorine coating applied to the front element, making it repellent to water, oil, and other potential contaminants that could compromise optical quality.

Adding to the draw-card of useability and function, this lens boasts being the most compact and lightest full-frame lens in its 16-35mm f/2.8 class. Measuring just 111.5mm in length and weighing 133g less than its previous model, the lens epitomises a new standard in portable design without sacrificing any aspect of its performance. This combination of durability and portability places the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II in a class of its own, perfectly aligning with the needs of photographers and videographers who demand both robustness and ease of mobility in their equipment.


Why Buy the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens?

The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens manifests a perfect blend of innovation and practical utility. It succeeds as an evolution over its predecessor and as a stand-alone product, setting new standards for what a full-frame wide-angle zoom lens should be capable of. This lens offers an unprecedented combination of quality, versatility, and reliability for professionals and enthusiasts. We recommend this lens for any Sony Alpha user wishing to capture landscapes, architecture, travel, portrait, wedding, macro and, of course, motion footage.