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Hands on Review of the Sony RX100 VII High Speed Compact Camera


On this video, our friends and colleagues Chris Niccolls (and Jordan Drake) from DPR, take a look at the new Sony RX100 VII and talk about the differences between it and the older model as well as some of the things they like (and dislike) about the seventh’s iteration of this popular product.

We covered the RX100 VII when it was announced a few weeks ago (see here). This more extensive review looks at the camera from an operational perspective and it seems that while having some very strong points including the new and very fast sensor (and pretty decent buffer) as well as the fantastic tracking AF both in stills and video and no blackout viewfinder, there are some limitations including the rather slow lens, absent built-in ND filter, the limited 4K record time.

If you are looking at this camera compared to an advanced smartphone camera (such as the recent Google Pixel for example), image quality differences are not going to be huge, however there is no current smartphone that has the zoom range or the focus or fast shooting capabilities so if these features appeal to you a camera like the RX100 VII is a much better choice. Ergonomics is, of course, a significant difference although with its small size and lack of any sort of built-in grip – the RX100 VII has its own limitations (still much better than any smartphone).

In case you forgot, here are some of the new features of the new camera compared to the existing RX100 VI:

  • New 1″ stacked 20.1 MP Exmor RS CMOS sensor with DRAM chip and latest-generation BIONZ X image processor.
  • Alpha 9 level speed with 20fps blackout-free shooting with AF/AE tracking.
  • 357-point phase-detect AF points + 425-point contrast-detection AF (and super-fast 0.02-sec focus acquisition speed).
  • Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals (including eye AF in video).
  • 4K HDR (HLG).
  • 4K Active SteadyShot (said to be up to 8x more effective than 4K Standard SteadyShot).
  • Battery life:Up to 330 shots / 165 minutes (slight improvment here).
  • Vertical-position data recording for movies (using a gyroscope) as well as 1:1 aspect ratio shooting (great for Instagram).
  • Industry-standard 3.5mm microphone input.

Other features which did not change include:

  • ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm F2.8 – F4.5 lens.
  • 180-degree flip screen.
  • UHD 4K video at 30/24 fps (up to 5 min per file).
  • One-push pop-up XGA OLED electronic viewfinder offers a resolution of 2.36m dots and 0.59x magnification.
  • Step Zoom lets you quickly change between five common focal lengths (24, 28, 35, 50, or 70mm) by rotating the control ring.
  • WIFI/BT/NFC.

As for pricing, the new camera will cost just as much as the RX100 VI when it was announced or $1200 – making it one of the most expensive compact cameras on the market (certainly in the 1″ category).

If you don’t want to miss any new photography product be sure to check out our product photography section on our photo gear channel.

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