Sony cameras are renowned for their image sensors, making the brand synonymous with exceptional image quality. The Japanese company certainly lead the mirrorless race for popularity and image quality, making Sony’s lineup a stand out choice. With so many models on the market, which one is the right one to choose. This article will help you decide which Sony mirrorless camera is right for you. Plus we will go in-depth to explain the differences between the latest releases, the Sony a7C and a7S III in comparison to the rest of Sony’s lineup.
List of Sony Mirrorless Models By Megapixel
To begin, let’s first dive into the specifications to rank each of the Sony cameras by Megapixels. While this is the first specification that people look at, Megapixels shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Each of the Sony cameras has a different value for a particular purpose. In this article, we will also explain why.
- Sony Alpha a7R IV – 61 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a7R III – 42 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a7C Black – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a7C Silver – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a9 II – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a9 – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a7 III – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a7 II – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a6600 Kit With 16-55m f/2.8 Kit – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a6400 – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a6100 – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a6000 – 24 Megapixels
- Sony Alpha a7S III – 12 Megapixels
Why the Sony a7C and Who Is This Camera For?
The a7C is the newest a7 model in the range of mirrorless cameras from Sony’s lineup. Releasing after only two months since the a7S III, you might be wondering what’s different between these models? Plus your thoughts may extend further to ponder where the a7C fits?
When you look at the a7C in comparison to the rest of the a7 Series the style and size stand out. The a7C is an amalgamation of the rangefinder-style with a viewfinder on the side (like the a6000 Series). In contrast, the rest of the a7 Series mimic a DSLR in a mirrorless format. There are certain advantages for this style of a camera in comparison to a traditional approach.
For instance, for documentary and street photographers looking through the viewfinder while having the other eye open is crucial. It helps the photographer anticipate subjects walking into the scene. Whereas for sports or fast action, the a7C may look great on paper, however, the camera won’t perform as well as the a9 Series.
Getting back to our comparison with the a7S III, the a7C features 24MP, 100% more pixels than the S model. Other stand out features include a higher ISO range of 204,800, 66 more focus points and a shutter speed that’s twice as fast at 1/8000 of a second. The camera is also 190 grams lighter than the sizable a7S III, making it ideal for travellers and outdoor trips which aren’t in extreme elements. When turning your attention to the back of the camera, the a7C and a7S III both are the only cameras in Sony’s lineup to feature a fully-articulated screen as opposed to a tilting LCD.
When compared to the rest of the award-winning cameras from Sony’s lineup, the a7C still stands its ground. The a7R Series may rival the a7C in terms of Megapixels; however, it’s not shy to boast a higher ISO rating. Also, with 693 focus points in comparison to the a7R IV’s 567 or the a7R III measly 399, the focus system certainly isn’t an issue.
If portrait photography is your thing, then the a7C isn’t going to be as well suited. It is due to a slower flash sync speed of 1/160 second, much like the a6000 Series. All other models in the range are capable of 1/250 second, making them an ideal pairing with an off-camera flash.
So, in summary, even though the a7C may be one of the smallest of the bunch, do not overlook it. If you want a camera that’s great for on the go shooting opportunities or documenting your travels, the a7C is the one for you. If you plan on coupling this model with a longer lens, don’t. You may find it frustrating as the smaller body and rangefinder setup is better suited for a small prime lens. Keep the camera small, and the photographic opportunities will thank you back.
Why Does The a7S III Exist In Sony’s LIneup?
Well, we can put this down to one word. Video. The a7S III is the answer to every film maker’s dream. In comparison to the Sony PXW-FS5M2 4K XDCAM Camcorder, the a7S III is the film maker’s portable dream. Looking under the mount, the Bionz XR plays a positive role in conjunction with the 12 MP BSI-CMOS sensor. This combination of tech is capable of recording in 4K at 500mbps for outstanding visual quality in high resolution. With such a high res (even at Full HD), video codecs also complement this model. H.265, XAVC-HS and XAVC S-1 are all unique and able to handle richer data in comparison to the rest of the a7 and a9 lineup.
When putting the footage side by side against the a7R, a9, a7C and a6000 models, you can notice significant differences. Video has a better dynamic range with less moiré and aliasing artifacts. Rolling shutter becomes non-existent and thanks to the codecs, 1080p is cleaner at higher ISO than any other model.
The benefits don’t stop there for video users. Unlike any model before it, the a7S III offers up 120 fps (280 Mbps) for the ultimate slow motion. Did we mention that this is achievable at 4K? Plus you even have the addition to externally record your footage at 4:2:2, all while charging your battery using a USB PD supported plug.
So if you are into filmmaking don’t look past the a7S III. The Sony camera has all the bells and whistles, including a microphone and headphone ports so you can listen to them! In our opinion, it is worth spending the money on this model as the quality is above the bar when it comes to other brands and other models in Sony’s lineup.
Megapixels Count on the a7R Series Is a Good Giveaway For Who This Camera Is For
With the a7C catering for street, travellers and documentary photographers the a7R III and a7R IV fall into another category. Boasting 61 Megapixels and 42 MP respectively, these aren’t cut out for video like the a7S. Instead, these high-resolution beasts are made for capturing the finer details. Landscape and fine art photographers should stand up and bid for this one.
If you make your money capturing the wilderness or local beaches, then either of these models will scream your name. With the no optical low-pass filter on the a7R III, you get a clean image. However, tread carefully as this camera could underperform in comparison to replacement in highly detailed situations (think moss and repeating patterns). For this reason, we would recommend the a7R IV if your budget extends, otherwise, unless you pixel peep, the a7R III will do a just as good job.
What you will see in the images in comparison to the a9 Series, a7C and a6000 models is full-frame image quality at its peak. Shadow areas will contain more detail and highlights have more latitude in post-processing than any other. Weather sealing is also capable of protecting your investment against the elements while you gallivant to idyllic locations to find your award-winning scene.
Based on the resolution output alone, the a7R III or a7R IV is perfect for landscape photographers. Suppose you find yourself away from power and a computer. In that case, the camera includes dual memory card slots and an NP-FZ100 battery capable of capturing approximately 660 images on both models – so remember to pack a few spares.
Why the Sony a9 Series is the Workhorse of the Mirrorless Camera World
It goes without saying that Sony develops true thoroughbreds of the imaging world. None hold that title more so than the Sony a9 and a9 II. It is a series dedicated to those that need a professional workhorse that can track and capture fast-moving subjects. Ideal for sports, the Sony a9 series delivers exceptional performance, outstanding image quality and if required, 4K video.
The original Sony a9 mirrorless camera launched back in mid-2017 with an impressive set of specs, 5-axis Sensor-shift Image Stabilization and a weather-sealed body. At the time it was viewed as an expensive camera compared to others in the same class. But it quickly demonstrated its true value. The original Sony a9 featured a 24.2MP Full-Frame image sensor and the ability to capture a staggering 20fps. The a9 is a powerhouse of performance and imaging capability. At the time of release was compared with industry leaders such as the Nikon D5 and the Canon 1DX Mark II.
The second entry in this Series is the Sony a9 II. Billed as Sony’s 2020 Olympics camera, this beast is well equipped to handle professional sports photography. While the Olympics are on hold, the a9 II powers ahead with a more compelling design for ergonomic comfort and improved connectivity. Most importantly, the Sony a9 II elevated the already impressive performance of the first generation. But the improvements are only marginally different compared to the first generation.
Thanks to the BIONZ X image processor, the Sony a9 II camera is incredibly fast and responsive. Never miss a moment of the action with 10fps with the mechanical shutter or 20fps with the silent electronic shutter. Focus performance is quite impressive as a result of the image sensor, including 693-point phase detection and a processor that comfortably handles up to 60 AF/AE operations per second.
Professional Stills Photographers Need Look No Further Than The Sony a7 Series.
When it comes to pro-grade mirrorless Sony cameras, without a doubt the first Series to look to is the Sony a7 range. While Sony discontinued the original a7 that launched way back in late 2013, they filled the gap with the comprehensive a7 II and later the a7 III. It is fair to point out that each advancement in the a7 range has seen significant steps in optimising full-frame mirrorless performance. Professional portrait, wedding and event photographers flock to the Sony a7 system.
Despite the a7 launch, Sony was quick to release the a7 II full-frame mirrorless camera to secure the professional photographer base further. The second generation featured a 24MP CMOS sensor and excellent low light performance with a sensitivity range of up to 512000. While the a7 II was only marginally more significant, it was considerably heavier; however, sported improved image quality and overall performance.
Jump ahead four years, and Sony drew back the curtain on the latest and current generation in the a7 III. Once again, this new model represented the latest in full-frame mirrorless camera ingenuity and performance. Due to a change to the more modern 24MP Full-frame BSI-CMOS Sensor, improved image quality and ISO were the results. When combined with the onboard Sensor-shift Image Stabilisation, the a7 III is ideal for professional stills photographers working in any lighting conditions.
Sony a6000 – A Series Suited To Every Creative Shooter
One of the most often misunderstood of the Sony mirrorless camera series is the a6000 range. The introduction of the a6000 in 2014 kicked-off the range that proved to be incredibly popular and successful. Since then, Sony has consistently released upgrades to keep the system relevant and competitively capable. As for where they sit in the Sony range, the a6000 Series of cameras targets both entry-level and enthusiast photographers. Those looking for a powerful yet easy to master mirrorless camera experience reliability, consistency and image quality.
The original Sony a6000 preceded the a6100, a6300, a6400, a6500 and most recently the a6600. While we will not break down every camera in detail, the jump from the a6000 to the current a6600 has seen a raft of improvements. Sony’s desire to optimise the performance and user experiences have seen some essential ergonomic enhancements.
From a performance point of view, the weather-sealed a6600 features Sony’s Sensor-shift Image Stabilization, far superior low light performance, enhanced autofocus system and a brighter and puncher viewfinder. All of which are considerable leaps above the specs of the a6000. To meet the growing needs of visual creatives, the a6600 sports 4K and 120 fps High-Speed Video – both of which were not available on the original model.
The a6000 series of crop-sensor mirrorless Sony cameras represent a range of cameras suited to all forms of creative imagery. Regardless of capturing holiday snaps or food photography for your cafe, the a6000 is a highly capable, reliable and modest range of cameras.
Final Thoughts On Sony’s Lineup of Mirrorless Cameras
In conclusion, with such a diverse range of cameras in Sony’s lineup, everyone’s needs are covered. From landscape to sports photographers there’s a camera out there for you. Below is a quick summary of which camera may be best for you:
- Sony Alpha a7R IV – Landscape and Fine Art Photographers
- Sony Alpha a7R III – Landscape and Fine Art Photographers
- Sony Alpha a7C Black – Street, Documentary and Travel Photographers
- Sony Alpha a7C Silver – Street, Documentary and Travel Photographers
- Sony Alpha a9 II – Sports and Wildlife Photographers
- Sony Alpha a9 – Sports and Wildlife Photographers
- Sony Alpha a7 III – Wedding and Product Photographers
- Sony Alpha a7 II – Wedding and Product Photographers
- Sony Alpha a6600 – Multipurpose, Vloggers and Visual Creatives
- Sony Alpha a6400 – Multipurpose, Vloggers and Visual Creatives
- Sony Alpha a6100 – Multipurpose, Vloggers and Visual Creatives
- Sony Alpha a6000 – Multipurpose, Vloggers and Visual Creatives
Sony Alpha a7S III – Filmmakers, Cinematographers and YouTubers
For information on any of these Sony Cameras, visit us in-store or online. Our expert team can assist with your photographic and videography needs and help you understand which Sony camera is right for you.