Sony a7CR review: high resolution in a small package
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Sony a7CR review: high resolution in a small package

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Product photos: Richard Butler

The Sony a7CR is a relatively compact high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera. It brings a large chunk of the gold award-winning a7R V’s capabilities to a smaller form factor and an appreciably lower price bracket.

Key features

  • 61MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • Bionz XR processor and dedicated ‘AI’ processing unit
  • Lossless Raw options in multiple sizes
  • 8fps continuous shooting (7fps in e-shutter mode)
  • Choice of JPEG or HEIF output (inc HLG HEIFs)
  • 4K video up to 60p or oversampled 4K from APS-C crop
  • ‘Auto framing’ video cropping modes
  • Pixel-shift high-resolution modes with motion correction
  • Single UHS-II SD card slot

The Sony a7CR is available now at a recommended price of $2999.95. The camera comes with a screw-in grip extender that gives your hand a little more room to hold the camera.


Index:


Buy now:


What is it, what’s new?

The a7CR is a camera made from familiar components, but the way in which they’ve been combined is the camera’s greatest novelty. So we have the image sensor and many of the features of the $3900 a7R V but in the conveniently small body of the a7C.

Actually, that’s not quite true: while the a7CR’s body is very similar to that of the original a7C, it has two significant improvements: it adds a front command dial on its slightly deeper handgrip and it gains the improved, higher magnification viewfinder optics from the recent a6700, addressing two of our biggest dislikes about the a7C.

Sensor/processor

The a7CR is built around the same full-frame 61MP BSI CMOS sensor as the a7R V, which is capable of capturing excellent levels of detail and performs well in terms of both dynamic range in good light and noise in poor light.

It’s accompanied by Sony’s latest image processor and a dedicated chip designed to run the complex algorithms generated by machine learning. This ‘AI’ processor helps the camera deliver more sophisticated subject recognition, the company says, with a wider range of subjects able to be recognized and more subtle detail within those subjects in some instances.

  • Humans (Body/Face/Eye)
  • Animal and Birds (Body/Eye)
  • Insects
  • Vehicles
  • Aircraft

These capabilities are available in both stills and video shooting, which we’ve found to give recent Sony cameras, the a7CR included, some of the most decisive and dependable video AF, in addition to some of the best stills autofocus. As well as quoting various percentage improvements in tracking performance, compared to the previous cameras without the dedicated ‘AI’ processor, Sony also says exposure metering and auto white balance should also be improved, based on subject recognition.

Stabilization

The a7CR is rated as delivering 7EV of correction: one stop shy of the number given for the a7R V but still a big improvement over the 5EV quoted for the original a7C. Sony has said the use of a higher-precision gyroscope, improved communication between the camera body and lenses, and optimized algorithms all contribute to the improvement.

Features

The a7CR includes all the features introduced in Sony’s most recent cameras; on the stills side, this includes a multi-shot high resolution mode, in-camera timelapse creation, focus bracketing, focus breathing correction in video and the ability to stream 4K/30 footage as a UVC/UAC webcam.

Multi-shot high resolution mode

The Sony a7CR offers the same multi-shot high resolution modes as the a7R V. This means you have a choice of 4-shot or 16-shot Raw bursts, which can then be combined using external software. The four-shot version results in a 61MP image where at least one red, green and blue sample has been captured for each pixel location, removing the need for demosaicing and gaining an image quality benefit from sampling the scene multiple times. The 16-shot mode does the same thing but from four slightly offset positions, boosting the output resolution to 240MP. Both modes have a motion correction option that uses a single source image in parts of the frame where something has moved. You’ll still need to use a tripod for both modes, though.

Video

The a7CR includes the Auto Framing feature that we first saw in the ZV-E1 high-end vlogging camera. But video is the main area where the a7CR’s performance specs differ from those of the a7R V.

The a7CR can shoot up to 4K/60p by sub-sampling a region of the sensor Sony says is an approximately 1.2x crop. This makes it relatively easily maintain a wide-angle field of view, but the footage won’t be as detailed as oversampled footage and won’t have the full noise performance of a full-frame sensor. There’s also the option of full-width, 4K at up to 30p that again sub-samples the sensor.

Alternatively, you can capture 4K at up to 30p using an APS-C/Super 35 cropped region of the sensor. This is oversampled, having been initially captured as 6.2K. This should bring much more detail but makes it more difficult to maintain a wide-angle field of view and comes with the noise performance of an APS-C/Super 35 camera.

Sensor region Capture options
Full-width (sub-sampled) UHD 4K at up to 30p
1.2x crop (sub-sampled) UHD 4K at 50/60p
1.5x crop (6.2K capture) UHD 4K at up to 30p

The a7CR is built around a single UHS-II SD card slot, so the maximum bitrate is the 600Mbps required for 10-bit All-I capture of 4K/60p. This, as much as product differentiation, is likely to be why the a7CR lacks the 8K capability of the a7R V, though it’s worth noting that it exhibited very high rolling shutter.

Beyond the headline specs, the a7CR has the focus map feature that blockily highlights which regions are in front and behind the plane of focus, and other useful features such as the ability to upload your own color-correcting LUTs. These can be used to provide a corrected preview, or they can be embedded alongside the video file so they’re available when it comes to editing, or they can be applied directly to the footage. This final option reduces flexibility in post’ but can side-step the need to color-grade if you’re workflow is a little more quick-and-dirty. The a7CR also includes the gentle S-Cinetone color profile, which is another good starting point for a minimal-grading workflow.

As with other modern Sony cameras, a series of connectors in the flash hotshoe allow digital audio input and the addition of accessories to record 4-channel audio.


How it compares

The a7CR’s $900 discount, relative to its big brother, the a7R V makes it sound like a bargain, but Nikon’s high-res Z7 II was launched for the same price. And, while not marketed as a compact body, it’s not so much bigger as to be entirely conceptually distinct. We’ll also compare the a7CR to the ‘full-sized’ a7 models that sit on either side of it in the lineup: the lower-res but less-expensive a7 IV and the a7R V.

Sony a7CR Nikon Z7 II Sony a7 IV Sony a7R V
MSRP $3000 $3000 $2500 $3900
Resolution 60MP 45MP 33MP 60MP
Cont. shooting rate 8 fps 10 fps 10 fps 10 fps
Image stabilization rating 7.0 EV 5.0 EV 5.5EV 8.0 EV
Flash sync speed 1/160 1/200 1/250 1/250
High-res mode? Yes, 16 shots No No Yes, 16 shots
Viewfinder res/mag 2.36M dot / 0.7x 3.69M dot
/ 0.8x
3.69M dot / 0.78x 9.44M dot
/ 0.9x
Rear screen 1.03M dot fully articulating (3″) 2.1M dot tilting (3.2″) 1.03M dot fully articulating (3″) 2.1M dot fully artic + tilt (3.2″)
Video capabilities 4K/60 ∼1.2x crop*
4K/30 1.5x crop
4K/30 full width (o/s)
4K/60 1.08x crop
4K/30 full width
4K/60 1.5x crop
8K/24 1.24x crop
4K/30 full width*
4K/60 1.24x crop
4K/30 1.5x crop (o/s)
Video bit-depth 8 or 10-bit
16-bit Raw output
8-bit
12-bit gamma output
8 or 10-bit
16-bit Raw output
8 or 10-bit
16-bit Raw output
Storage 1x UHS-II SD 1x CFe B
1x UHS-II SD
1x CFe A / UHS-II SD
1x UHS-II SD
2x CFe A / UHS-II SD
Wi-Fi 2.4GHz, 5GHz 2.4GHz, 5GHz 2.4GHz, 5GHz 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 2×2 MIMO
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
Battery life EVF / LCD 520 / 470 420 / 360 580 / 520 530 / 440
Weight 515g
(18.2oz)
675g (23.8oz) 659 g (23.2oz) 723g (25.5oz)
Dimensions 124 x 71 x 63mm (4.9 x 2.8 x 2.5″) 134 x 101 x 70mm
(5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8″)
131 x 96 x 80 mm (5.2 x 3.8 x 3.1″) 131 x 97 x 82mm (5.2 x 3.8 x 3.2″)

*Sub-sampled (doesn’t use all the pixel data from that region of the sensor)

All three cameras are bigger and heavier than the a7CR to varying degrees, but all three also offer nicer viewfinders that are both larger and higher resolution. The Nikon Z7 II can’t match the newer Sonys in terms of video features, and doesn’t offer any 10-bit modes, but it’s worth noting that none of these models are particularly great hybrid options: the high resolution sensors that make them so good for stills means all manner of sub-sampling or cropping to squeeze video out of them or, in the case of the a7 IV, quite high levels of rolling shutter.

There’s no question that the a7CR is competitive and competitively priced, but its size is the most notable thing about it.


Body and handling

The a7CR’s body is made from magnesium alloy, and Sony says it’s designed to be dust and moisture resistant. Unlike the original a7C, the a7CR features a front command dial.

The front dial is well placed, meaning you have a dial to control exposure parameters under both your thumb and forefinger. A third dial (which we found most useful as exposure comp) sits just to the right of the main rear dial. There’s still no AF joystick on the a7CR, meaning you’ll have to tap on the touchscreen, re-dedicate the four-way controller to set AF or swipe the screen in ‘touchpad’ mode, with the camera to your eye. That said, if you’re specifying a tracking AF area, the a7CR can pretty reliably be pointed at a subject and set to track it as you recompose your shot, so precision AF placement may not be necessary.

The distinctly low-resolution viewfinder resolution remains at 2.36M dots (1024 x 768px) but with brightness that comes much closer to that of the a7R V’s finder and improved viewfinder optics that deliver 0.7x magnification. This isn’t huge, but it’s a vast improvement on the ‘postage stamp at the end of a corridor’ effect that the a7C’s 0.59x magnification gave.

The rear screen is fully articulated, using a reasonably high-res 3.0″ 1.03M dot (720 x 480px) panel.

The camera’s USB port is also of the older 3.2 Gen 1 type: the standard that used to be called USB 3.0, a standard that maxes out at 5Gb/s.

The a7CR comes with a screw-in GP-X2 grip extender. This does exactly what it promises: extending the front grip to give a little more height for your hand to extend onto. It’s a simple enough design that screws into the camera’s tripod mount while offering a threaded mount directly below it. There’s a rather ungainly section that flips open to allow battery access.

The a7CR uses the same NP-FZ100 battery as the a7R V, powering it to a rating of 520 shots per charge if you use the rear LCD and 470 shots per charge via the viewfinder. As always, these CIPA-standard figures are useful for comparing between cameras but it’s not unusual to get around double the stated value, depending on how you shoot. The camera can be both powered and recharged over its USB-C connector.


Image quality

It’s hard to argue with the detail levels the a7CR produces from a comparatively travel-friendly body. Out of camera JPEG.

Sony 20-70mm F4 @ 70mm | ISO 250 | 1/400 sec | F5.6
Photo: Dale Baskin

Studio Scene

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you’ll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

Note: We’re still in the process of setting up our studio scene in the new Gear Patrol space. With that in mind, the a7CR sports the same 60MP BSI CMOS sensor and Bionz XR processor as the Sony a7R V, so image quality should be a match (we intend to shoot the test scene in the coming weeks).

The a7CR’s sensor bests its full-frame competition in details captured but doesn’t resolve quite as much detail as the larger-sensor Fujifilm GFX 100S. The a7CR likely has no low-pass filter, so you may see some signs of false color or aliasing in high-contrast/high-detail areas of a scene. The sensor is also a little noisier than its peers, which is expected given its greater pixel density. That trend continues as the ISO value increases into very high territory.

Sony’s JPEG sharpening is fantastic. The a7CR makes great use of every detail from its 60MP sensor. In low light, it also does a decent job of balancing noise reduction with detail retention. JPEG color also looks quite good. Blue and yellow tones are nice and rich, while the reds are slightly less punchy than Canon’s but still lovely. The greens too look solid.

Dynamic Range

Edited in Lightroom Classic 13.0.1 with the exposure increased by +4.5 stops and luminous noise reduction set to 25. Other adjustments have also been made to exposure parameters like shadows and highlights, as well as curves.

Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II @ 70mm | ISO 250 | 1/125 sec | F2.8
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

The a7CR 60MP sensor is a dual conversion gain design, which means the deep shadows of images shot at ISOs below 320 are a touch noisier than those above. However, once above this step, there’s little noise penalty to shooting ISO 320 in low light situations (to preserve highlight detail) and brighten the image in post, rather than using a higher ISO.

The above image, for instance, was shot at ISO 250 to preserve highlight detail. I then increased the ‘exposure’ in Lightroom by +4.50EV, half a stop short of the maximum LR increase. Other adjustments were made to blacks, whites, shadows and highlights, as well as curves. Noise reduction was also set to 25. You can check out the out-of-camera companion JPEG here for comparison. And head to our sample gallery to download the Raw file.

Base ISO out of camera JPEG underexposed by -4.0EV.

Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II @ 70mm |

Raw file pushed +5.0EV in Lightroom Classic and edited to taste.

ISO 100 | 1/25 sec| F2.8

The above image shows a similar example but this time shot at the a7CR’s base ISO 100 with the exposure increased by a full +5.0EV in in post. Like the image above, other adjustments were made to taste, including increasing noise reduction to 30. Again, you can see both of these examples side-by-side and more in our a7CR sample gallery.


Autofocus

Sony’s eye detection, for both humans and animals, continues to impress. Out of camera JPEG.

Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II @ 60mm | ISO 125 | 1/250 sec | F2.8
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Autofocus performance from the Sony a7CR is class-leading. However, to make the most of the AF system, you’ll need to change a handful of settings out of the box.

Setting up AF for success

First, you’ll want to switch the camera from AF-A, which is utterly useless, to AF-C. Then set your focus area to one of the tracking options – I like “Tracking: Expand Spot”. Next, make sure face and eye detection are turned on. Lastly, switch off the goofy AF assist beam. Now you’re ready to get the shot!

With the camera configured this way, it’s pretty easy to get around not having a dedicated AF joystick. You can either tap on the screen to move the AF box or tap the round button at the center of the rear click-wheel to activate the directional keys. Another option is to use the touchscreen as an AF trackpad when your eye is to the finder.

Better yet, leave the AF box dead center and when you find a subject you’d like to track/keep in focus, simply place it/them under the AF area, half-press the shutter to engage AF-On, and recompose as you please. The a7CR should stick to your subject like glue as long as AF-On stays engaged.

That said, for landscape photographers especially, an AF joystick would be a nice touch. No one wants to take off their gloves in sub-freezing temperatures to move AF point placement via a semi-responsive touchscreen. You do get a large AF-On button, though, which can also be reprogrammed for a range of functions.

AF performance

Even without animal detection engaged, Sony cameras do a remarkable job at nailing focus on pet eyes. Edited to taste in Lightroom Classic 13.0.1.

Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II @ 70mm | ISO 8000 | 1/320 sec | F2.8
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Overall, the autofocus performance from the Sony a7CR is fantastic. This camera reliably nails shots in all lighting conditions, even very low light, especially when using Sony’s latest-generation glass. I spent most of my time testing the camera with the new 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II and out of 400+ frames shot, greater than 98% are acceptably sharp.

On the subject of glass, given how much detail the a7CR resolves, it’s important to pair it with a lens that can optically match its output and mechanically, its AF speed.

Human face and eye detection

The a7CR’s machine learning-trained algorithms assist the camera’s face and eye detection in identifying and sticking to human subjects, regardless of their pose or prominence in a scene. I certainly found it effective. Even with my intended subject small in the frame, the a7CR’s eye detection did its thing and nailed focus. Edited to taste in Lightroom Classic 13.0.1.

Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II @ 52mm | ISO 5000 | 1/320 sec | F2.8
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Sony’s human subjection detection is also the best in the game and can be switched on or off regardless of your other chosen autofocus settings. However, the camera can only recognize one class of subject at a time, so choose wisely whether you want it to prioritize people, or say, airplanes. For me personally, I always leave human detection on.

Why? Because it works when you need it to and doesn’t interfere when you don’t (i.e. there are no humans in the shot). Even with face detection engaged, the camera does not prioritize human faces over subjects or objects you’re already tracking.

For instance, if I have AF tracking locked onto my dog Belvedere and a human enters the scene, the a7CR will not automatically ditch Belvy boy in favor of that person unless I release AF-On and recompose with the human under my AF area.


Video

The a7CR is a capable video camera but 4K capture comes with some caveats.

The Sony a7CR is a capable video camera with decent-quality 4K capture. But for the money, there are better options available with higher-quality output, like the Canon EOS R6 II.

Still, the a7CR offers plenty of video-making tools and features aimed at both amateurs and experienced filmmakers alike. This includes Sony’s cool Auto Crop feature, which is kind of like having your own personal robot cinematographer behind the lens.

I’m also a big fan of the camera’s video/stills toggle switch which allows users to save different custom settings, shortcuts and quick menus for each of the two shooting modes. You get plenty of control over which settings do and don’t carry-over, when you flick the switch.

Video quality

The a7CR can shoot up to 4K/60p by sub-sampling a 1.2x cropped region of its 60MP sensor. This crop factor limits the field of view of any lens attached – the widest you’ll get from a 24-70 for instance is roughly 30mm. Meanwhile, the sub-sampled nature also means that video quality takes a hit compared to 1:1 sampled or oversampled 4K/60p footage.

To avoid this crop factor, stick with the 4K/30p mode. It’s also subsampled but uses the full sensor width of the sensor, so you don’t have to worry about a crop factor being applied to your angle of view.

Alternatively, users can shoot oversampled 4K/30p footage in Super 35 using an APS-C-sized crop. This will provide the highest level of detail capture. But it also comes with a hefty 1.5x crop factor.

Video AF and stabilization

Sony’s video autofocus implementation is quite good, as is video AF performance. Face and eye detection work with exceptional reliability, with smooth focus transitions and no noticeable hunting. Users can also dial in how quickly they want focus to be pulled, with seven different speeds to choose from.

The easiest way to select a subject to track in video is via the touchscreen. If you’re in the middle of rolling footage, the touchscreen is also a great way to pull focus from one subject to another. Simply tap the subject you want AF to shift to.

The a7CR’s powerful 5-axis sensor image stabilization makes shooting handheld video a painless affair, even when panning or using a long-ish focal length. I was easily able to keep handheld video shot at 70mm nice and steady. However, for walking shots, you may want to switch on “Active Steadyshot.” This adds a (somewhat significant) additional digital crop to further smooth shakes and bumps. But it works remarkably well.

Other thoughts on video quality

Rolling shutter is fairly well controlled during most video capture modes (18ms for full-width 30p, 15ms for cropped 60p), which makes sense for a camera that is largely subsampling its sensor. However, the one exception is in Super 35 mode, which is oversampled.

If you don’t want a jello-like effect when panning or zooming (or weird artifacts when subjects move too quickly), avoid Super 35 4K mode, its rolling shutter takes around 30ms to read, so it’s fairly easy to provoke skewed verticals. That being said, if your subjects are mostly static, as might be the case during an interview, Super 35 will give you the best video quality.


Conclusion

Photo: Dan Bracaglia
What we like What we don’t
  • Outstanding high-resolution image quality
  • Raws have plenty of dynamic range
  • Best-in-class face and eye detection
  • Reliable AF tracking in stills and video
  • Effective in-body image stabilization for handheld shooting
  • Lots of useful video tools and feature
  • Decent ergonomics with lots of customizability
  • Solid battery life
  • Video and stills menus/settings can be adjusted/customized separately
  • EVF and rear display lack detail
  • No AF joystick
  • Non-removal EVF eyecup does not work well with glasses
  • Video quality is bested by competition
  • Single card slot
  • Sluggish sensor readout speed results in some ‘jello effect’ in 4K video
  • Pixel-shift images require desktop software for processing

The Sony a7CR is the ultimate big sensor/little camera model. It boasts a best-in-class 60MP full-frame chip – borrowed from the pricier a7R V – that’s capable of outstanding dynamic range and impressive detail capture, tucked inside of a diminutive camera body with decent ergonomics and a shoulder-friendly weight of just 515 g. Aside from the Sigma fp L, the a7CR is the most affordable 60MP full-framer on the market, and its addition of stabilization, cutting-edge AF and a mechanical second shutter curtain makes it much more usable.

But there are some concessions made in the name of space, weight and cost-savings. The grip, for one, is skimpy. Fortunately, Sony nipped this criticism in the bud by packaging a nifty screw-in accessory grip with the camera.

You also don’t get an AF joystick. Depending on your shooting style this may or may not be a deal breaker. For me, as long as the camera’s AF settings are set for success, I feel that it’s entirely possible to work around this. After all, the touchscreen can be used as an AF trackpad in a pinch – simply slide your finger on the screen to place the focus area.

The small screw-on grip extension included with the camera makes a surprising amount of a difference to how the camera handles, especially with larger lenses. You can remove it for occasions when you need to travel light.

My biggest criticism about the a7CR is the rather low-resolution viewfinder and rear display. For a camera with the best full-frame resolution in the biz, it’s darned hard to get a sense of the detail you’re about to capture while composing a shot. The same goes for viewing results in-camera. But, maybe this is a good thing? Ansel Adams, after all, never pixel-peeped his shots.

“This is a camera tailor-made for landscape and adventure photographers needing the highest-quality full-frame resolution and dynamic range in the least back-breaking package”

Beyond that, the a7CR gets nearly everything right. Battery life is solid, sensor-shift image stabilization works great during both stills and video, and the buttons/dials available are plenty customizable. Oh, and as one should expect from any modern Sony mirrorless camera in 2023, autofocus performance is best-in-class. Face and eye detection work without a hitch. And AF tracking, in general, is sticky and predictive, whether shooting stills or video.

Video quality from the a7CR is decent. But hardcore filmmakers may want to consider a lower-resolution full-frame option capable of higher-quality output. The 24MP Canon EOS R6 II, for instance, shoots gorgeous full-width oversampled 4K /60p that knocks the socks off of the a7CR’s subsampled/cropped offering (for less cash). That said, Sony’s filmmaking tools are plentiful and well-implemented. And for casual moviemaking, the a7CR’s footage should be more than good enough.

Out of camera JPEG.

Sony 20-70mm F4 @ 47mm | ISO 125 | 1/320 sec | F4
Photo: Dale Baskin

Ultimately, this is a camera tailor-made for landscape and adventure photographers needing the highest-quality full-frame resolution and dynamic range in the least back-breaking package. And the a7CR delivers on that aspiration, almost without flaw. Plus, there’s no shortage of fantastic E-mount glass to choose from, including compact options – like the Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM – that punch well above their size/weight.

If size and weight are priorities for you, and you don’t mind the viewfinder, the a7CR should probably be considered Gold-award worthy, but for us the small, low-res finder has enough of an impact on the overall shooting experience that it knocks the camera down to a Silver for photographers less concerned about traveling light.

Scoring

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about what these numbers mean.

Compared to the competition

Of course, the full-frame mirrorless camera competition is steep, even within Sony’s own lineup. Let’s take a closer look at each of the a7CR’s nearest competitors.

The Sony a7R V is about $900 pricier than the a7CR, yet the two share the same 60MP sensor, ultra-fast AI-equipped processor and 16-shot high-res mode. This is to say, image quality and AF performance are a match. But the a7R V offers a better overall user experience thanks in large part to its 9.44M dot EVF with 0.9x magnification. By comparison, the a7CR’s 2.36M dot EVF with 0.7x magnification seems downright rudimentary.

You also get a higher-resolution touchscreen, dedicated AF joystick, beefier grip, faster bursts and better video quality from the a7R V. Other niceties include dual CFexpress A / UHS-II SD slots instead of a single SD-only one, better IS performance and more control points.

Edited to taste in Lightroom Classic 13.0.1.

Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II @ 70mm | ISO 1600 | 1/25 sec | F2.8
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

On the other hand, the a7CR is a full 208 g lighter and considerably more compact than the a7R V, while capturing the same best-in-class still images. If keeping size and weight down is a priority, you may be better off springing for the a7CR and putting that extra $900 toward a quality lens (of which there are plenty).

The Sony a7 IV, on the other hand, is currently a full $700 cheaper than the a7CR. The former shares a similar body design to the a7R V, with a dedicated AF joystick, beefy grip and plenty of controls. The EVF is also nicer: 3.69M dot with 0.78x magnification. But the 33MP sensor can’t nearly match the high-resolution output of the a7CR’s 60MP chip. That said, 33MP files from a full-frame sensor should be more than enough resolution for all but the most discerning photographers wishing to print their work larger than life.

On the video side, neither camera particularly excels. The a7 IV suffers from rolling shutter in its best video modes, while the a7CR’s 4K video is either subsampled, cropped or both.

The Nikon Z7 II is a bit older than the a7CR but still a worthy competitor in many regards, including price. The Z7 II doesn’t offer quite as high-resolution capture but its 45MP sensor is still plenty capable when it comes to detail retention. The sensitivity also goes down 2/3EV lower than the a7CR’s sensor: ISO 64 vs 100, meaning better tonal quality whenever you can use base ISO.

Meanwhile, the a7CR beats the Nikon by 2EV in the image stabilization department. It also offers a multi-shot high-resolution mode, something absent on the Nikon. However, the Z7 II shoots faster bursts and boasts the same 3.69M dot EVF with 0.78x magnification as the a7 IV, which again, is much nicer than the one on the a7CR. Nikon’s ergonomics are also arguably better, as is the 4K/30p video quality. But we prefer Sony’s autofocus implementation and performance, so which is better depends on exactly what you plan to use each for.


Buy now:


Sample gallery

Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter/magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review); we do so in good faith, so please don’t abuse it.

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