Sony RX100 VII Premium Compact Camera
Last updated on January 22, 2021 8:36 am
It’s been seven years since Sony first debuted its RX100 series. Revolutionary at that time, placing a one-inch sensor inside a pocket-friendly body paved the way for what we would come to think of as a standard for a premium compact camera. Now in its seventh iteration, in theory, the Sony RX100 VII distills everything the company has learned and developed over the past few years.
The past few generations have seen the camera evolve into something which really shows off all of Sony’s technical prowess – but boy do you pay the price for it.
this is a camera for those whose money is no object. Over the years we’ve seen the introduction of a tilting screen, a pop-up viewfinder, a longer zoom lens, 4K video, high-velocity shooting and this time Sony has gone bigger on video features in an attempt to make it attractive to videographers and vloggers.
Sony RX100 VII – Design and features
As for the design – there’s not really a whole lot to state here, Sony offers kept the same type aspect for the RX100 VII much like its predecessor, the RX100 VI. That’s not really a huge surprise because the upgrades because of this model come beneath the hood.
So, essentially what which means is that you will get something extremely pocketable, which houses a 20.1MP one-inch CMOS sensor (which is new) and couples it with a very flexible 24-200mm (8.3x) optical zoom (which isn’t). A couple of generations ago, Sony made the decision that users would rather have a longer zoom than a shorter one with a wider aperture, so the maximum you can go here is f/2.8, which is still bright enough for most situations. Also returning is the tilting screen, and nifty hidden away pop-up viewfinder for composing.
What’s not so good is both the lack of a front grip which makes the RX100 VII just that little bit slippy – particularly nervewracking when you’re toting around with a £1200 compact camera – and the size of the buttons and dials, which remain on the fiddly side. Still, if you’re willing to bypass that, you get some other incredibly powerful specs to work with.
The big fresh additions are improved 4K video stabilization, Film Eye AF and a mic input – the latter getting the big one for vloggers.
Stills shooters involve some new playthings too, particularly if you want to shoot fast-moving topics. Now you can shoot at a frankly ridiculous 90fps, which decreases to the still incredibly impressive 20fps if you would like to shoot blackout-free of charge and keep AF monitoring. We can’t really think about a period when you’ll ever have to shoot at 90fps, but as generally, this is a means for Sony showing off what it’s with the capacity of – whether anyone will in actuality make use of it is almost irrelevant.
Additionally, nowadays there are 357 phase-detection autofocus points which cover 68% of the frame, with just one more “world’s quickest autofocus” of 0.02 secs also promised. We’ve also got the addition of Pet Eyesight AF to build on the achievement of the currently installed Eye AF.
Sony RX100 VII – Screen and Viewfinder
Sony initial introduced a pop-up viewfinder because of its RX100 series a few generations ago. It gives you the opportunity to frame your shots in a more traditional way than using the screen and also coming in particularly useful when shooting in bright light.
Happily, the viewfinder pops up and automatically extends out to be ready to use from the get-go – which compares well with the Canon G5X Mark II which requires a two-step pop up and pull out kind of motion which can on occasion lead to missed shots.
Although not huge, the RX100 VII’s viewfinder is bright and clear and I found myself using it on a number of occasions. The fact that it can be hidden away when not in use helps to keep the lines of the camera good and sleek, while also setting it up taken care of of the tilt-up display screen.
That screen, which may be positioned to face completely forwards, is useful not merely for selfies, also for composing vlogs. You’ll observe that it immediately enters a selfie setting when you tilt the display screen forward, too. The display screen is touch-delicate, but frustratingly you still can’t utilize it to create selections in possibly the quick/function menu or the main menu.
Sony RX100 VII – Performance
Sony has already proved time and time again just how amazing its technology is – especially for such a pocket-friendly camera – in previous generations of the RX100 series.
Herewith the RX100 VII, it builds on that success, bringing features such as 90fps shooting. Generally speaking, you’re probably going to want to leave it on 20fps so you can enjoy full-time AF and blackout-free shooting.
On the whole, engaging continuous AF and selecting the fast frame rate means that the RX100 VII keeps up well with reasonably predictably moving subjects. This is probably not a camera wholly intended for sports photography, but with the long lens and fast shooting, you may get some decent spectator shots at football games and so on, while it’s also useful for subjects such as pets and children.
In other situations, the RX100 VII locks on to most subjects very easily, very rarely generating a false confirmation of focus. In very low light conditions, you might notice it takes a little bit longer, but it’s still pretty impressive even when there’s very little available light to work with.
One downside of having a camera so powerful is the battery lifestyle. How long it lasts will of training course vary based on what you prefer to shoot with it – if it’s mainly one still a complete day shouldn’t be considered a problem, but usually, packing the spare electric battery or a battery pack (USB charging is normally available) may be beneficial.
Sony RX100 VII – Image Quality and Video
That is another area where Sony has regularly proved that it could really deliver.
Pictures directly from the camera present a satisfying quantity of punch, with vibrant yet realistic colors. There’s also an excellent overall impression of details throughout the indigenous sensitivity range when looking at images at regular printing or internet sizes.
Despite devoid of the f/1.8 optimum aperture we noticed on early generations of the RX100 series, you can still generate the satisfying shallow depth of field pictures in the proper conditions, with the versatility of the longer zoom lens being really worth the wide aperture sacrifice overall.
In low light, devoid of that wide aperture also implies that you’ll probably need to shoot at fairly high ISO configurations. Images were taken at ISO 6400 display well at small sizes, but you can observe some loss of fine detail if examining images at 100%, but noise is kept to a minimum. Shooting in the raw format gives you the scope to bring back some missing detail if you feel the noise-reduction has gone overboard.
Images are sharpest at the wide-angle finish line of the lens. It remains consistently sharp throughout the focal range, but there is definitely some smoothing seen at the very much finish line of the telephoto lens. Again, this is most evident on the careful exam and shouldn’t be too problematic at normal printing and web sizes.
The RX100 VII does a good job of keeping up with moving subjects – particularly if they are carrying out a pretty predictable pattern – shooting at 20fps with whole AF allows you to by no means miss a moment
Video quality remains as effective as the RX100 VI with finely comprehensive footage. Picture stabilization kicks directly into help to keep things as clean as possible – and while I wouldn’t rely on it for super shaky conditions (such as mountain biking), for the average walkaround vlog, it does a good job of keeping items smooth.
Although sound quality from the inbuilt microphone is good enough for everyday videos, having the ability to add an exterior microphone is beneficial in several different circumstances – you can hear inside our example how badly the wind has effects on the sound, for example.
Should you choose the Sony RX100 VII?
In some recoverable format, there are so a lot of things to like about the RX100 VII that people wouldn’t have way too many qualms about calling it an ideal pocket solution. It certainly implies that you don’t need to skimp an excessive amount of on picture quality and functionality if you wish something is ultra-portable.
But now there is one issue – and it’s a huge one – and that’s cost. There’s no making your way around the actual fact that spending £1200 on a concise camera – regardless of how powerful – will be a major require many people.
If you want the very best of the greatest and you’ve got the spending budget to spend, then that is a camera which comes extremely strongly suggested, but it’s value looking down back through the type of RX100 predecessors if your budget is a bit more conservative and you could live without a few of the additional features that the RX100 VII brings.
Sony proves once more that it has some amazing technology in its arsenal that end up being packed down into the littlest of bodies. If you’ve got the money to invest and you wish the perfect camera for your pocket, that is, without a doubt, the main one to move for. For all those with a far more sensible spending budget, it’s value looking at old RX100 models, in addition to those from Canon’s Powershot range – especially the G7X Tag III if vlogging is normally your thing.