2019-07-25

Sony RX100 VII Review


Introducing the brand new Sony RX100 VII, a new entry into the lineup of Sony RX100 compact cameras. We've been shooting with it for a few days and this little camera has a lot to offer. From A9 style speed and autofocus performance in a pocket sized camera, through to incredible advances in video capabilities, there's a lot to look at.


Image Quality:

The RX100 VII is featuring a newly developed 1.0-type stacked 20MP CMOS sensor with a DRAM chip and BIONZ X processor. Ultimately, that means that you’re getting rich, sharp, detailed images, and the camera is able to operate at an incredibly fast rate.



I was particularly impressed with the dynamic range that I was able to get. Shooting on a bright day, I was able to get good detail in both the highlights and the shadows.

You’ve got the same lens as on the previous model, the 24-200mm f2.8-4.5. Now, for me, this is absolutely fine, it offers a very versatile focal range. Shooting at 24mm is nice and wide for landscapes and then being able to punch in for portraits and closeups is great.



It’s a relatively bright lens with the f2.8-4.5 aperture and while you’re not going to be getting incredible, blurred backgrounds, using the longer focal lengths you can still get a little bokeh in your shots.

Autofocus & Speed:

This is where the RX100 VII shines, the speed of this camera is incredible and the autofocus is amongst the best I have ever used.



With that new BIONZ X processor that you would find in cameras like the Sony A9 and the A7R IV, you can shoot at 20fps, blackout free in continuous mode with AF/AE tracking. If you want even more speed there’s also the new Single Burst Shooting mode which will allow you to capture 7 JPEG/RAW photos at 90fps with a single shutter release.

It’s also the fastest Autofocus in the world with a speed of 0.02 seconds. The camera is able to process up to 60 AF/AE calculations every second and I found that it was faster than I was. It was more able to keep up with a flying bird than I was able to pan the camera fast enough.



The most impressive autofocus features though are still the real time tracking, taken from the A9 and the real time eye autofocus for humans and animals. If you’ve shot with a Sony camera before you’re probably aware of how good this is and how well it works and it’s incredible to shoot with.

Sony have also added the ability to use the real time eye autofocus for video as seen in the new Sony A7R IV. This is such a big feature for vloggers and anyone looking to shoot video with this camera. It just makes focusing so easy and especially with vlogging, you can be sure you’ll always be in focus.


Video:

Speaking of video, this camera can shoot 4K at 30p, Full HD at 120p and while that’s pretty normal these days, it’s worth noting it’s 4K full pixel readout so no pixel binning.

There’s also significantly improved image stabilisation with the 4K Active Steadyshot giving you IS 8 times more effective than previously available, another great feature for vlogging.



Something which I think video users will be very excited to see is the new mic input allowing you to use an external mic. That’s going to be a very popular feature and it was something that was missing from previous models.

Design & Feel:

Visually, this is very similar to the previous models. You’ve got the pop up viewfinder with the nice touch that it turns on the camera if you pop it up and turns off the camera when you close it. You’ve got the tiltable LCD screen which allows you to maneuver it to different angles including 180 degrees up so you can see yourself for selfies or vlogging.



The camera felt comfortable to use, the buttons are a little bit small but to be fair, there’s not much you can do about that on a compact camera.

Ultimately, it’s very impressive how much Sony have been able to add to this camera over the last model while still keeping the design nice and sleek and very much a pocketable camera. As compact cameras go, this is a tough one to beat.



You can watch more of our impressions on the camera in our video below.

The Sony RX100 VII is available here.


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