The A7C – Is Sony trapped in a bad cycle?

The A7C was announced and like many people, I can’t help feeling disappointed. No, contrary to what people may think, I’m not disappointed with the specifications of the camera. Sony could have put the full A9 spec into the camera and I’d still be disappointed.

Sony seems to be trapped in a cycle of downsizing that reminds me a little of Apple. It makes sense to some degree, but not when downsizing is your only strategy. Apple was trapped in making their phones smaller until someone actually got the bright idea (from Samsung) that smaller wasn’t always better.

The problem with Sony’s current strategy is that their focus on the entire range is about downsizing. The A7 and A9 range are all, well, small. If these were stand alone bodies, that would be fine, but pro glass isn’t small, and that means that making these bodies smaller doesn’t always make sense.

If you’re somebody with bigger hands, you’re stuck with a battery grip, and lets be honest, the battery grips don’t add a little, they add a lot. If I compared the Sony A9 with a grip to a D850, the Sony A9 with grip is substantially larger.

The issue with going smaller is that it results in compromises. It compromises construction, it compromises weatherproofing, it compromises heat dissipation, it compromises features. In short, trying to fit all those things in a small body means requires a lot of engineering.

That engineering is wasted if you are putting a 135mm f/1.8, 70-200, 100-400 or 24-70 f/2.8 on it because it’s going to be big and heavy no matter how small the body is. Lets be honest, there is a lot of big glass being sold at the moment.

On top of that, the engineering is actually makes it harder to hold a camera with one hand, because you can’t grip it properly with a finger falling off the bottom. Yes, a lot of people hold cameras one handed. It’s common practice.

So for once, I would like to see Sony produce a true professional camera. It doesn’t have to be 1D or D5 sized, but it has to at least be larger than the A9 without the need to make compromises. That being the case, I’d buy two of them.

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