Recommendation: deciding between Sony a6400 and Sony a7c

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Lionbear

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Hi! I would be very grateful for your advice on my buying decision: Sony a6400 vs. a7c.

I had Panasonic G70 some time ago, but didn't liked the camera that much. Then I sold it and got Moment lenses for my iPhone 11, which are actually fun. One of the main reasons I sold the camera was the fact, that I always have my phone with me and I didn't liked to carry heavy chunky camera with me just in case I maybe would want to catch a nice picture.

Now I want to do more travel and landscape photography, would also like to shoot more portraits. So I want a real camera again :D Making pictures with my phone is fun, but the possibilities are still limited and the result is not the same.

I was quite set on the a6400, because of how portable this camera is, while being still quite good despite being 2 years old. Then I discovered a7c and I like this camera a lot. I like the idea of small, lightweight full frame camera, which is also quite new, so it got most recent specs and updates. The problem is, I'm not sure I need a full frame camera. Also ff lenses are bigger, heavier and much more expensive.

I think I could achieve good results with both of these cameras, but am afraid I would wish for a ff camera, if I get a6400. If I get a7c on the other hand, I will probably have the camera, where I wouldn't be using the whole potential of it. I think I could live with the kit lens for a7c for quite a while, but will consider to buy some lighter prime lenses. If I get a6400 I could get more lenses in the beginning for the price of a7c.

My plan is to take the camera with me on hikes, for city trips, for vacation. I won't be shooting professionally for the next time, but would like to achieve professional results some time in the future.

The reasons for a6400 would be the price of camera, cheaper lenses, weight and size.
Cons: cropped sensor, battery life isn’t good, image quality is not as good as on the full frame.

The reasons for a7c: newer specs, full frame, better image quality. Still lightweight and quite small.
Cons: lenses are more expensive and heavy, camera itself is more expensive.
 

Boojum

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This is a problem we have all wrestled with. Cartier-Bresson and many of the old Leica stalwarts did well with just a 50 mm prime lens. But today we are offered a myriad of wonderful lenses. Some folks seem to have bought out the store while others get by with one or two. I like full-frame but have kept my lens inventory to a minimum as what I have does what I need.

Address what and how you want to photograph thoroughly. If you do birds and bugs the Sony 200 - 600 seems everybody's solution for its excellent fast focus and great images. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1485540-REG/sony_sel200600g_fe_200_600mm_f_5_6_6_3_g.html It's a humdinger but does not come cheap. This hobby is like racing cars: speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?

You can find examples of full-frame and other all over this board as well as excellent examples of what the various lenses do. How fast do you want to go?
 
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Lionbear

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This is a problem we have all wrestled with. Cartier-Bresson and many of the old Leica stalwarts did well with just a 50 mm prime lens. But today we are offered a myriad of wonderful lenses. Some folks seem to have bought out the store while others get by with one or two. I like full-frame but have kept my lens inventory to a minimum as what I have does what I need.

Address what and how you want to photograph thoroughly. If you do birds and bugs the Sony 200 - 600 seems everybody's solution for its excellent fast focus and great images. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1485540-REG/sony_sel200600g_fe_200_600mm_f_5_6_6_3_g.html It's a humdinger bit does not come cheap. This hobby is like racing cars: speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?

You can find examples of full-frame and other all over this board as well as excellent examples of what the various lenses do. How fast do you want to go?
Thank you very much for your reply.
I actually didn’t though a lot about lenses yet. I’m still bew to photography and want to start slow and figure out what works for me.

My main focus would be landscapes, cities, travel photography. I also like to hike and would take the camera with me. I would love to photograph more birds and animals, but I think the appropriate lenses for this type of work would cost me to much in the beginning.

I was actually quite set on a6400, but then discovered a7c and liked thus camera. The size of these cameras is perfect for me, so a7iii would be to big for me zo carry around. I’m also concerned if the full frame lenses would be to big and heavy and I would end up not taking the camera with me as often as I would like.

Would the quality of a6400 be enough for the type of use I described?

I also thought about a6600, but I would get it with the 18-135 kit lens for almost the same price as a7c with 28-60. So it feels like I would get more for the same price with a7c.
The a6400 on the other side would be less expensive and I could get one or two lenses with it for the price of the fully frame.
 

Reciprocum

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APSC in 2021 is as much a dead end platform as m43 was 3y ago. When was last time Sony released a new APSC camera ? How many FF cameras have Sony released since then ?
Camera bodies come and go, glass stays with you. Just don’t invest in APSC glass.
 

Boojum

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I checked the sizes of the two cameras, the A7C and the A7M III:

A7C: 124 x 71.1 x 59.7 mm
A7M III: 126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7 mm

This is width, height, depth. The A7M III is not all that much bigger, ~20 mm. Where you will encounter weight and bulk is with the lenses and these are both full frame so you would be considering the same lenses regardless. Best way to choose is to pin a photo of each on the wall, have someone blindfold you and then throw darts at the photos until you strike one and that's your camera. OK, OK, ist nur ein Witz. Good luck with your choice. Either way you will have a fine camera. Tschüß
 

Lionbear

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APSC in 2021 is as much a dead end platform as m43 was 3y ago. When was last time Sony released a new APSC camera ? How many FF cameras have Sony released since then ?
Camera bodies come and go, glass stays with you. Just don’t invest in APSC glass.
Do you think it isn’t worth it to get an apsc camera now? Sigma and other third-party brands are still making apsc lenses.
 

FowlersFreeTime

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I totally understand your struggle choosing between the two camera bodies.

To confuse you even more, here is a good video comparing full frame and APSC results. The pictures are closer in quality than you think (when the lighting is good and the conditions are right).

I have the a6400, and have invested a lot of $ into APSC glass. That may be a mistake in the long run according to @Reciprocum but I do not agree that APSC is a dead-end platform especially if you are not taking photos as a professional.

For travel/hiking/landscapes, I think the a6400 is fine but I would have gotten the a6600 if it had been available 2 years ago when I got my camera.
The a6400 battery life isn't great, but the batteries are cheap and light, so buy a spare battery and a charger.
The 18-135 is a great travel lens: lightweight, good range, and fairly sharp, only problem is not good in dim light.
When I travel, my camera bag (a 6liter sling) has a6400, 2 spare batteries, Sony 10-18mm, Sony 18-135mm, Variable ND & CPL filters, a table-top tripod, and a Rode videomicro.

Disclaimer: I have never used a Full Frame camera, so I cannot truthfully comment on the difference in picture quality or dynamic range.
 

Reciprocum

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Do you think it isn’t worth it to get an apsc camera now? Sigma and other third-party brands are still making apsc lenses.
If taken good care your APS-C glass will last you 10+ years, but what body will you slap on them then?…
Your main purchasing choice/decision in photography is not brand or camera model, is lens mount/subsystem. If you plan to be using cameras for many years to come aim at the mount with the best (whatever your criteria of best is, price, size, image quality, weight, AF performance) offer and aim as high as your budget allows.
Definetly spend at least as much on glass as you do on your body, not the other way around.

Edit: for my first 3y in photography I was a happy crop m43 snapper, praising its portability to everyone. The 1st day I used a FF camera (A7M3) I cursed the time I wasted on that m43 format. Thank god I decided to jump over APS-C.
 
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spudhead

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APSC in 2021 is as much a dead end platform as m43 was 3y ago. When was last time Sony released a new APSC camera ? How many FF cameras have Sony released since then ?
Camera bodies come and go, glass stays with you. Just don’t invest in APSC glass.
I do not agree with the statement that APSC and m43 are pointless , I am my self firmly in the full frame sony camp a9 a7iii a99ii using 200-6000 and a-mount primes via adaptors 300 2.8-500 4.5 etc but crop sensor is an option for wildlife and for people who can not justify high end glass but still need reach, as far as m43 its an option for people who can not handle heavy gear for what ever reason, my daughter had to go from
dlsr ff to Olympus due to weight as the lenses got longer and heavier for wildlife. I will say that the Olympus m43 when dialed in give great images given the size of the sensor plus its got a 2 x crop and some really good lenses 40-150, 12-100, 300, and more
 
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Lionbear

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I totally understand your struggle choosing between the two camera bodies.

To confuse you even more, here is a good video comparing full frame and APSC results. The pictures are closer in quality than you think (when the lighting is good and the conditions are right).

I have the a6400, and have invested a lot of $ into APSC glass. That may be a mistake in the long run according to @Reciprocum but I do not agree that APSC is a dead-end platform especially if you are not taking photos as a professional.

For travel/hiking/landscapes, I think the a6400 is fine but I would have gotten the a6600 if it had been available 2 years ago when I got my camera.
The a6400 battery life isn't great, but the batteries are cheap and light, so buy a spare battery and a charger.
The 18-135 is a great travel lens: lightweight, good range, and fairly sharp, only problem is not good in dim light.
When I travel, my camera bag (a 6liter sling) has a6400, 2 spare batteries, Sony 10-18mm, Sony 18-135mm, Variable ND & CPL filters, a table-top tripod, and a Rode videomicro.

Disclaimer: I have never used a Full Frame camera, so I cannot truthfully comment on the difference in picture quality or dynamic range.

Why you would pick a6600 instead of a6400, if it has been available? Is there something you are missing on your 6400?
I really appreciate personal opinions 🙂 It helps me a lot.
 

Lionbear

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If taken good care your APS-C glass will last you 10+ years, but what body will you slap on them then?…
Your main purchasing choice/decision in photography is not brand or camera model, is lens mount/subsystem. If you plan to be using cameras for many years to come aim at the mount with the best (whatever your criteria of best is, price, size, image quality, weight, AF performance) offer and aim as high as your budget allows.
Definetly spend at least as much on glass as you do on your body, not the other way around.

Edit: for my first 3y in photography I was a happy crop m43 snapper, praising its portability to everyone. The 1st day I used a FF camera (A7M3) I cursed the time I wasted on that m43 format. Thank god I decided to jump over APS-C.
That’s the problem. I wouldn’t buy a7c for 2000€ and a lens for the same price. At least now. Maybe one day in the future 😀
I would use the kit lens at first and maybe buy a prime lens soon (I’m thinking about 24 or 35 mm). I don’t want huge zoom lenses, because it would ruin the compact factor for me.

If I buy a6400 instead, I would also buy a couple of prime lenses. But probably not for a 1000€ for each. The main reason is, because I’m still a beginner and I don’t want to invest in a lens, which I may not be using or needing later.

I would at first try to learn as much as possible and try to figure out, what I like and what I need. But I would rather invest in a good camera now and then add good glas with the time.

Is there a problem that a6400 is already a couple of years old? I’m not sure how soon the cameras became outdated.
 

Lionbear

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Edit: for my first 3y in photography I was a happy crop m43 snapper, praising its portability to everyone. The 1st day I used a FF camera (A7M3) I cursed the time I wasted on that m43 format. Thank god I decided to jump over APS-C.
Haha 😀 you are probably right. But for me, of the camera + lenses to heavy, I wouldn’t take it all with me. That was my problem with dslr and also Panasonic G70. It was too bulky. So a7c with compact lenses is the best full frame option for me.
 

spudhead

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That’s the problem. I wouldn’t buy a7c for 2000€ and a lens for the same price. At least now. Maybe one day in the future 😀
I would use the kit lens at first and maybe buy a prime lens soon (I’m thinking about 24 or 35 mm). I don’t want huge zoom lenses, because it would ruin the compact factor for me.

If I buy a6400 instead, I would also buy a couple of prime lenses. But probably not for a 1000€ for each. The main reason is, because I’m still a beginner and I don’t want to invest in a lens, which I may not be using or needing later.

I would at first try to learn as much as possible and try to figure out, what I like and what I need. But I would rather invest in a good camera now and then add good glas with the time.

Is there a problem that a6400 is already a couple of years old? I’m not sure how soon the cameras became outdated.
I am not too sure of the differences between the sony 6400 and the 6600 so I dont know if the 6600 was much of a move forward, all I can say is there will always be a better camera body and a better lens but at what cost. Most cameras in the right hands will get great images and I understand you dont want to feel like you have wasted money so I would probably set a price limit and get the best you can for that. A quick comment on the a7c I dont see the point of this camera compared to the a7iii there no big size difference and the a7iii is a great body if ff is for you
 

FowlersFreeTime

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Why you would pick a6600 instead of a6400, if it has been available? Is there something you are missing on your 6400?
I really appreciate personal opinions 🙂 It helps me a lot.
a6600 has the bigger battery and IBIS when compared to the a6400 which has smaller battery and no IBIS.
The a6600 doesn't have a built in flash, but its useless to me on the a6400 anyway.
 

FowlersFreeTime

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A quick comment on the a7c I dont see the point of this camera compared to the a7iii there no big size difference and the a7iii is a great body if ff is for you
The only reason to get the A7C over the A7III is video: The A7C has gyro data if you would like to use Catalyst software to stabilize the footage in post production. If you're taking still photos only, then I agree that the A7C is a downgrade from the A7III.
If I was to upgrade to a full frame now, I'd wait until the A7IV.
 
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FowlersFreeTime

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Do you heard new rumors when it will be announced? I only heard „end of september“, but there isn’t any release yet.
No idea, but soon I think. I know once the pre-orders are announced, our webmaster Tim will definitely have information posted.
 
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Reciprocum

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Do you heard new rumors when it will be announced? I only heard „end of september“, but there isn’t any release yet.
Or if your budget cannot strectch to a brand new A7IV (by far the best entry point into FF if you can afford it), get a used A7III plus a couple of primes.
In Europe you can get A7iii (used) + SEL35F14ZA(used) + SEL55F18 (used) for 2.200eur + shipping
 

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