The sad thing about the Sony a7c is that it’s probably my favorite Sony camera: it has the most potential to be exactly what I want from Sony. But as I’ve learned in the past, what I want from camera companies isn’t what the masses want just yet. They all eventually come to want what I and other reviews wish for though. In fact, the Sony a7c is almost a perfect camera. But Sony needed to do more to it to transform this device into something more capable.
According to Sony Alpha Rumors, the Sony a7c is temporarily having manufacturing halted. This isn’t surprising as the entire world is having problems with components and supplies. It’s truly Sony’s most affordable full-frame camera. So to that end, they’re probably also making the slimmest profits on it. With that said, I think that Sony is going to do something that Fujifilm quietly did in the pandemic. A slew of cameras from Fujifilm never got delivered from what I hear. This has to do with the more affordable ones like the Fujifilm XT200 and others. Instead, Fujifilm focused more on the hot sellers and those that make them more money. This means the higher end X-series cameras, the X100V, and the GFX lineup. From a sustainability standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. When supplies are low, focus on making as much money as possible so you can keep operating as a company.
That’s exactly what I think Sony might do. But for the record, this whole post is my hypothesis based on market outlook, and what I’ve seen over the past year as a reviewer. Sony has focused a whole lot on pushing their other cameras like the Sony a7 IV, Sony a1 and others. The Sony a7c received lots of discounts that we reported on. They were probably trying to move through them as much as possible. Again, that’s just business.
Looking back too, the Sony a7c didn’t seem to receive as many pushes or promotions and hype as other Sony cameras. Think about it. How many photographers, YouTubers, or even reviews websites did you see talk about it? Despite that, the Sony a7c was my favorite camera of the bunch. It’s small, has a rangefinder-style body, and is capable. But man, it really needed a lot of reworking to the ergonomics, build quality, and autofocus.
With manufacturing of the Sony a7c being halted, I think that a few things might happen. I’ll explore a lot of these below.
The Sony a7c is Really, Truly Being Halted
The first thing that’s happening right now is that the Sony a7c really is being halted. Manufacturing of it will continue sooner or later. If this is really the case and the other two scenarios I speak of never happen, then I was probably, genuinely, just paranoid. And I’d fully admit that I was wrong.
The Sony a7c Might have a Successor Coming Very Soon
Here’s a plausible theory of mine: the Sony a7c is being halted at the moment and some sort of update might be coming. In Sony’s history, there was a time when there were tons of updates. Heck, they brought out the Sony a6300 and then the Sony a6500 just a few months later if memory serves correctly. They also introduced a slew of a6000 series cameras in 2019. In contrast, the Sony a7 series has mostly stabilized and the cameras have a longer shelf-life. The Sony a7c was introduced in September of 2020. It’s not unlike them to want to offer fresh updates though. For what it’s worth, the Sony a7c was just a worse Sony a7 III.
Given what Fujifilm has seemingly done, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony discontinued the Sony a7c and replaced it with some updates that still make the Sony a7 IV shine.
Is This the End of the Sony a7c?
Considering how little marketing I really saw go into it, I also think that this might be the end of the Sony a7c lineup. Don’t believe me? Well, compact full-frame cameras haven’t done so well for Sony. Remember the Sony RX1r series? We haven’t seen an update in many years now. It’s not like it was a bad camera. And if anything, Leica has shown the world how to make a full-frame compact camera with the Q2.
I really hope that this doesn’t in fact mean that the camera’s life as a product lineup is over. I think that Sony tried with their first camera, and didn’t totally fail. But they could’ve done a lot better. If anything, I’d hope they approach the Sony a7c with the same tenacity that they do the Xperia lineup despite its comparative failures.