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How To Convert Your Sony a7C II Into a Cinema Camera Powerhouse

Transforming your Sony a7C II into the cinematic camera setup you’ve always envisioned: A comprehensive walkthrough.

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Transforming your Sony a7C II into the cinematic camera setup you’ve always envisioned: A comprehensive walkthrough.


Within minutes of the announcement of an exciting new camera like the Sony a7C II, a wealth of intriguing reviews, tutorials, and innovative hacks become available for exploration on YouTube and within various filmmaking communities.

While our enthusiasm for the Sony a7C II (as well as its robust counterpart, the Sony a7CR) is certainly palpable, we’re even more eager to delve into the inventive hack solutions emerging online. These hacks promise to elevate the a7C’s capabilities, effectively transforming it into a more advanced cinema camera option, surprisingly rivaling larger, pricier cinema cameras to a greater extent than one might expect.

Let’s examine DSLR Video Shooter’s approach to this build and consider potential enhancements for the Sony a7C II for those contemplating a purchase in the near future.

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Building Out the Sony a7C II

Before we delve into the process of converting this camera into a cinema setup, let’s take a moment to revisit the advantages and disadvantages of the Sony a7C II itself and consider potential additions or subtractions to its out-of-the-box specifications.

The arrival of the Sony a7C II wasn’t a complete surprise, given the anticipation surrounding its predecessor, the Sony a7C. However, while the A7C II has slightly enhanced its video recording capabilities, it’s fair to say that there hasn’t been a substantial improvement in terms of video recording specifications. The camera’s internal recording, for instance, tops out at 10-bit Full-Frame 4K30p video.

The standout features of the Sony a7C II revolve around its advanced AI processor, which powers various enhancements in auto features such as focus, exposure, and even white balance. It’s undoubtedly a more intelligent camera than its forerunner, but it may still lack the raw video recording capabilities that one might desire in a dedicated cinema camera.

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A Cinema Camera Conversion

This cinema camera conversion from DSLR Video Shooter offers an attractive option for individuals seeking enhanced specifications and features. The primary objective of this build is to augment the camera’s functionality and adaptability.

Given its compact mirrorless design, the camera naturally lacks some of the mounting options and cooling controls typically found in larger cinema cameras.

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The build process covers a lot of ground, and if you’d like to follow along, you can use the timestamps for various sections provided below:

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:55 P-A7C II Cinema Camera
  • 2:18 Sony A7C II Overview
  • 4:22 Parts Needed
  • 5:40 Building the Cinema Camera
  • 9:59 Additional Accessories
  • 10:56 But Why?
  • 13:06 Sony A7C II Final Thoughts

In summary, this build-out should only require an additional investment of around $300 on top of the Sony a7C II’s $2,200 price tag.

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What Should You Consider Adding to the Sony a7C II

However, when it comes to deciding on a build-out, your choice should ultimately align with your specific videography and cinematography requirements. The addition of a modular base rig to a mirrorless camera is a well-established practice, but if your aim is to incorporate advanced features and elevate functionality to a higher level, it’s an excellent starting point.

It’s worth noting that the market offers a plethora of exceptional digital mirrorless camera options today, many of which can easily compete with the best specifications found in cinema cameras. Nevertheless, there’s a distinct reason why most professional Directors of Photography (DPs) prefer cinema cameras over mirrorless counterparts, and it extends beyond technical specs.

Cinema cameras are distinguished by their superior design and durability. If your goal is to create a cinema conversion rig, your primary concern should be ensuring that everything is secure and adequately cooled for use on larger and often lengthier projects and shoots.

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