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Sony A7C vs A9 II

The Sony Alpha A7C and the Sony Alpha A9 II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2020 and October 2019. Both the A7C and the A9 II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7C versus Sony A9 II
Sony A7C Sony A9 II
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800) ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 1440k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
740 shots per battery charge690 shots per battery charge
124 x 71 x 60 mm, 509 g 129 x 96 x 76 mm, 678 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A7C and the Sony Alpha A9 II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A7C and the Sony A9 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The A7C can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A9 II is only available in black.

Size Sony A7C vs Sony A9 II
Compare A7C versus A9 II top
Comparison A7C or A9 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A9 II is notably larger (41 percent) than the Sony A7C. Moreover, the A9 II is markedly heavier (33 percent) than the A7C. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony FE Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A7C 124 mm 71 mm 60 mm 509 g 740 Y Sep 2020 1,799 i
2.
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
3.
 
Fujifilm X-T4 135 mm 93 mm 64 mm 607 g 500 Y Feb 2020 1,699 i
4.
 
Olympus E-M1 III 134 mm 91 mm 69 mm 580 g 420 Y Feb 2020 1,799 i
5.
 
Olympus E-M1 II 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i
6.
 
Sony A7S III 127 mm 97 mm 81 mm 699 g 600 Y Jul 2020 3,499 i
7.
 
Sony A7R IV 129 mm 96 mm 78 mm 665 g 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 i
8.
 
Sony A6600 120 mm 67 mm 69 mm 503 g 810 Y Aug 2019 1,399 i
9.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
10.
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
11.
 
Sony A6500 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399i
12.
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999i
13.
 
Sony A7 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A7C was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the A9 II, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A7C and Sony A9 II sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the A7C and the A9 II have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the A7C is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the A9 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Sony Alpha A7C has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The Sony Alpha A9 II offers exactly the same ISO settings.

A7C versus A9 II MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Sony A7C Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7340795
2.
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
3.
 
Fujifilm X-T4 APS-C 26.0 6240 41604K/60p........
4.
 
Olympus E-M1 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
5.
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
6.
 
Sony A7S III Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/120p23.713.9252086
7.
 
Sony A7R IV Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p26.014.8334499
8.
 
Sony A6600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p23.813.4149782
9.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
10.
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
11.
 
Sony A6500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
12.
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
13.
 
Sony A7 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A9 II offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A7C (3686k vs 2360k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7C, the Sony A9 II, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Sony A7C2360 n 3.0 922 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 n Y
2.
 
Sony A9 II3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
3.
 
Fujifilm X-T43690 n 3.0 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 15.0 n Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M1 III2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
5.
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
6.
 
Sony A7S III9440 n 3.0 1440 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
7.
 
Sony A7R IV5760 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
8.
 
Sony A66002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
9.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
10.
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
11.
 
Sony A65002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
12.
 
Sony A7 II2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
13.
 
Sony A72400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
The A7C has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A9 II does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Sony A7C and the Sony A9 II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The A7C writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the A9 II uses SDXC cards. The A9 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A7C only has one slot. Moreover, both cameras support UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s).

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A7C and Sony Alpha A9 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony A7CYstereomonoYYmicro3.2YYY
2.
 
Sony A9 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
3.
 
Fujifilm X-T4YstereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M1 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
5.
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--
6.
 
Sony A7S IIIYstereomonoYYfull3.2Y-Y
7.
 
Sony A7R IVYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
8.
 
Sony A6600YstereomonoYYYES2.0YYY
9.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
10.
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
11.
 
Sony A6500YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Sony A7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
13.
 
Sony A7YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A9 II (unlike the A7C) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the A7C and the A9 II are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A9 II replaced the earlier Sony A9, while the A7C does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Sony A7C better than the Sony A9 II or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7C:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x71mm vs 129x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 169g or 25 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 3.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the A9 II).


Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A9 II:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 2360k dots).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.59x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2019).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7C comes out slightly ahead of the A9 II (8 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A7C 08:07 A9 II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A7C and the Sony A9 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A7C and the A9 II in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A7C3.5/5..86/1004/54/5 Sep 2020 1,799 i
2.
 
Sony A9 II....90/1005/55/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
3.
 
Fujifilm X-T45/5+ +..5/55/5 Feb 2020 1,699 i
4.
 
Olympus E-M1 III5/5..83/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2020 1,799 i
5.
 
Olympus E-M1 II5/5+ +85/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i
6.
 
Sony A7S III..+ +91/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2020 3,499 i
7.
 
Sony A7R IV5/5+91/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2019 3,499 i
8.
 
Sony A66004/5+83/1004.5/54/5 Aug 2019 1,399 i
9.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +89/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
10.
 
Sony A95/5+ +89/1005/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
11.
 
Sony A65005/5+ +85/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399i
12.
 
Sony A7 II5/5+82/1004.5/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999i
13.
 
Sony A75/5+ +80/1005/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony A7C:
Check Amazon price
Sony A9 II:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Sony A7C vs Sony A9 II

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony A7C Sony A9 II
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2020 October 2019
    Launch Price USD 1,799 USD 4,499
    Sensor Specs Sony A7C Sony A9 II
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.6 x 23.8 mm 35.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 847.28 mm2 847.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 42.8 mm 42.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.94 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.83 MP/cm2 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 204,800 ISO 50 - 204,800 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 95 93
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.0 25.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.7 14.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 3407 3434
    Screen Specs Sony A7C Sony A9 II
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots 3686k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Sony A7C Sony A9 II
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations500 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/8000sup to 1/32000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-II Dual UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Sony A7C Sony A9 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 3.2 USB 3.1
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Sony A7C Sony A9 II
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FZ100 NP-FZ100
    Battery Life (CIPA)740 shots per charge690 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 124 x 71 x 60 mm
    (4.9 x 2.8 x 2.4 in)
    129 x 96 x 76 mm
    (5.1 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 509 g (18.0 oz) 678 g (23.9 oz)

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