Sony must feel the need for speed these days because this manufacturer is making incredible improvements to continuous shooting speeds and autofocus very quickly. The latest in its efforts is the pocketable RX100 VII, which claims the title of world’s fastest autofocusing 1" fixed-lens camera, boasts 20 fps continuous raw shooting with no blackout, and enhanced 4K video recording at up to 30p. With every RX100 release they seem to cram more and more tech inside without giving up the svelte form factor that makes it so appealing.
An a9 in Your Pocket
Speed was the calling card of the a9. It offered a revamped AF system with ultra-fast shooting speeds for a full-frame mirrorless system. There was also the very useful ability to shoot up to 20 fps with no blackout. We see this spec making its way into the RX100 VII, thanks to a newly developed 20.1MP 1"-type Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor. Brand-new Single Burst Shooting optimizes this capability by allowing the capture of 7 frames at 30, 60, or even 90 fps in raw and/or JPG. Combine this with the ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm equivalent f/2.8-4.5 lens and you have a very capable camera that can handle everyday snapshots, your kids’ soccer games, and even some pro-level applications as a secondary camera that won’t break your back.
For extra details, the RX100 VII can now perform up to 60 AF/AE calculations each second, offering performance that is on par with the flagship a9 mirrorless. The new sensor architecture supports a 357-point phase-detect AF system, covering 68% of the frame with a lock-on time as fast as 0.02 seconds. This is the fastest of any point-and-shoot camera on the market. Further improving AF is an array of the latest Sony technologies, including Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals. Many of these functions are supported in movie, as well, for superior autofocus performance across the board.
Upgraded 4K Video Recording
Beyond Real-time Tracking and the advanced AF system making their way into the latest RX100, 4K video has received a few new features that make it even better. It still keeps the UHD 4K at up to 30p space, including S-Log2/3 and HLG HDR built in. The most serious change, however, is that the RX100 VII now has a microphone jack. This has been requested with every release and now, with this and a 180º tilting screen, this model is definitely the best RX100 for vlogging that Sony has released yet.
Other upgraded functions come to the image stabilization in video. 4K Active SteadyShot uses optical and digital technology to provide 8x more effective stabilization than Standard SteadyShot can. You can also work with the Movie Edit add-on mobile application to edit and stabilize your footage further to near gimbal-like quality, formatted specifically for your sharing needs. Also, vertical-position data is saved, meaning you can shoot and edit vertical video for social right away. Finally, Interval Shooting is now built in for easy time-lapse creation.
Full HD video is available and there is a High Frame Rate mode capable of reaching 1000/960 fps for ultra-slow-motion video. A micro-HDMI port can maximize quality by outputting a clean 8-bit 4:2:2 image to external monitors and recorders. And, when the Auto Power Off Temperature setting is set to High, users will be able to record beyond the 5-minute limit of past models, and even past the usual 29-minute, 59-second restriction when the camera is used ideal conditions.
In terms of accessories, the RX100 VII will work with the VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip for easier control over the camera and an RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit will bundle the grip, a bracket with accessory shoe, and two battery packs with the camera.
All the Usual Features
This is the seventh generation (and eighth release) in the RX100 series, so there are numerous features we come to expect by now. The body shape of the RX100 VII has remained exactly the same as its immediate predecessor and offers the same impressive 24-200mm equivalent zoom range. Still quite pocketable, the RX100 VII continues to be one of the best point-and-shoot cameras on the market.
For operation, the camera controls are the same as before, which is good. There is a high-res 2.36m-dot pop-up OLED EVF, a 3" 921k-dot tilting LCD that can go from 180º up to 90º down, and all the usual control dials and buttons we have come to love. It is powered by the same battery as before, so people looking to upgrade should have no issues, and can charge via USB for easy, on-the-go power. Additionally, it has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for immediate sharing.
Now that you can have an a9 in your pocket, is that enough to make you pick up the RX100 VII? Please let us know your thoughts and share any questions you may have in the Comments section, below!