Sony Extends to 200mm with Revamped RX100 VI

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Sony has seriously done it again, with today's announcement of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI, now with an incredible 24-200mm equivalent optical zoom lens and practically the same form factor as every other model in the compact series. There is still all the magic packed inside that made previous iterations of the RX100 so popular, including UHD 4K video, super-slow-motion recording, speedy autofocus that can lock on in just 0.03 seconds, and a refined set of controls, though now there is quite a bit more that makes this a true next-gen release.

I know, you want to hear all about the lens, but we must talk about what makes this camera so good in the first place: a (relatively) large 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor that deliver stunningly sharp and clean imagery at sensitivities from ISO 80-12800. This will be familiar to those who know the RX100 V, because this has remained largely the same. This combination also enables the Fast Hybrid AF system to lock on in just 0.03 seconds using a 315-point phase-detection system that covers 65% of the image area and can even access the Eye AF function. Sony claims that this makes it just as good as their ILC systems, including the fabulous a7 III and a9 which are among the fastest in their class, and with these specs and generations of improvements it is easy to believe. Put this together with 24 fps continuous shooting with full AE/AF, and you have something that will make full-fledged pro cameras look sluggish.

Now for the main event: a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm equivalent f/2.8-4.5 lens with eight aspherical elements to reduce aberrations and distortion throughout the entire range. It packs down to an impressively small size when not in use, ensuring the RX100 VI remains as pocketable as ever, and is quite bright throughout, reaching f/4 at 100mm. Further advancing the quality of your shots is a vastly improved Optical SteadyShot image stabilizer mechanism that is rated to four stops at 200mm.

It wouldn't be a modern Sony camera without some high-end video recording capabilities, and the RX100 VI delivers with UHD 4K using full pixel readout without any pixel binning. HLG HDR is now supported, as well as the BT.2020 color space and S-Log3 for wide color gamut and high dynamic range scene capture and display with compatible televisions. Fast Hybrid AF is available during video too, and super slow motion remains, with up to 1,000 fps capture. Other video features included are Gamma Display Assist, Zebra, HDMI output, TC/UB, and Proxy recording.

While the body looks quite similar to past versions, the RX100 VI offers some notable enhancements, such as a one-push access EVF. The same 2.35m-dot EVF as before can now be popped up and closed without any need to slide out or open certain components manually. The rear LCD is touch compatible now, with Touch Shutter, Touch Pad AF, and Touch Focus functions and it can be tilted both 180° upward for selfies and 90° downward for added versatility. More customization is available in the menus and for the various control rings and buttons. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth provide added functionality when paired with a smart device.

That isn't even all as the VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip is being released today as well. Designed for the RX-series cameras, this compact grip makes it super easy and comfortable to operate your camera with its own integrated shutter button, record button, and zoom rocker. It connects to the camera's Multi-Terminal interface and mounts via the tripod socket. Also, it quickly converts to a tabletop tripod for sharp imagery and can tilt from +70° to -100° for achieving a variety of positions.

For such a tiny camera, the RX100 VI still manages to deliver pro-level performance and features. Is this the best point-and-shoot you can get today? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below!

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Why on earth doesn't this camera finally comes with a mic input jack...? Instead, a lens that goes up to 200 mm... Who on earth needs that on a point & shoot?

 Bought the original rx100 a few years ago, loved it then dropped it whilst in St Petersburg on holiday, the Sony repair quote back in Australia was $20 under what I had originally paid for the camera so I ditched it, I still have all the accessories, Sony basically said tough, I miss the camera badly, I now use an old iPhone as I travel.....currently writing this in Prague which is photo heaven, this new version vi has me thinking ....should I buy it....or buy a new up to date iPhone....as a total ameatuer at photography is it really worth buying the camera ?

Haha speaking of Sony repair costs... a few years ago our Sony BRC300P got wet. The repair quote from Telefix was $5,755. 

A brand-new unit cost $4,141. 

Sigh.

I travel with both an iPhone X and Sony RX100 IV. I use both in equal measure. In your position, I would definitely get the VI. You can’t get that kind of telephoto performance from an iPhone. Also, although the iPhone camera is quite good, the Sony yields superior images, IMO. 

If Sony wanted to update its compact, fixed telephoto lens why not a new HX90 with a 1” sensor...? it seems to me the new M6 is a merge between the HX90 and the RX100V, in which both cameras lost what really made them so special. The loss of F1.8 does not compensate for the added range. I used to take the M5 with me so much during the evenings, in low light situations... (I will continue doing so, although I cannot hide my disappointment)

Too bad they can't build in a nice tactile grip like Ricoh does on their GR series of cameras. This thing looks as slippery as a wet bar of soap.

Will it over heat when recording HD video for over 3 mins?

SONY! Why, why, WHY!? Why No articulating screen? Panasonic gets it, even Canon gets it. That's the last component that is missing on all your cameras. This would have been the perfect camera to put it on. Why Not?

I agree.  It seems like a gross oversite on all but the most budget cameras, p&s, prosumer, or pro.

It is already more than a perfect camera after Sony added such a zoom!

I guess they're not really targeting the vlogger crowd. I much prefer Sony's tilt screen to an articulating screen as it's quicker to deploy and more discrete, which is great for e.g. shooting from the hip.

Glad to see this update.  Currently have the RX 100v and will look to get the extra reach with the new 6.  I have a trip planned mid July.  What are the odds that I can have this camera before July 12 (pre orders on Thursday)?  Also, any chance this camera will fit the Fantasea underwater housing for the RX 100v?  Suspect not since the lens extends a bit further and the camera may be slightly larger but would be great if so.  

I owned the rx100 IV and loved it... in theory.  Great feature set and images, but since the zoom was fairly short and I never really got comfortable with the form factor, I always seemed to grab the X100 (S then F) instead.  With the VI, the new zoom combined with the grip may actually be game changers.  Dammit SONY!  I feel another GAS relapse coming on...  Any word on minimum focus?

The RX100 is the most excellent point & shot camera for me, I've been using mark III for years, and it was just great. Unfortunately, from video recording side, the audio is disappointing, the built-in mic is bad, and the camera doesn't have 3.5mm plug to use an external mic, you still have to record the audio externally separated if you wish to get an acceptable result. I am not sure though if they added the 3.5 plug to this model?

What an awesome travel camera and convenient back up in case of disaster.  You lug around SLR stuff long enough on a fun trip you'll wish you had this little guy. The grip/tri pod/shutter release puts it over the top.

f/2.8 = disappointment.

ditto.

rx100 has never been about telephoto abilities... @ 24mm, the f/2.8 in vi seems to be a downgrade from f/1.8 in iii, iv and v...

The RX100 has also been about choice, as all five previous models are still available if you prefer the 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 of the V.

Although I agree with you that people can still choose between all the legacy models, most people who choose previous models over the latest are not doing it because of feature set but because of budget (ie. $100 cheaper progressively as you move to older and older models since the previous rx100's has always been $1k on release -- except for this newest one vi).  Not an apples to apples comparison (different body size, different MP etc), but this newest f/2.8 lens has given me more reason to go back and look at the panasonic lx line with their f/1.4 or f/1.7 lenses

I agree with David, the RX100 was special because of the bright lens -- not the tele-zoom.  This a totally different camera.  It absolutely baffles the mind that there isn't an RX100 VI "Tele" & RX100 VI "Bright," which is what the brandline is based on -- a bright lens, and larger sensor for BRIGHT images.  It makes absolutely no sense to pair it with an increasingly long lens.  All I want is cleaner, sharper images and a reasonable range such as 24-120.  I don't want a 3-6 year old tech camera.  I want this latest generation, as BRIGHT as it can get.  There are plenty of dark, superzooms.  But I understand Sony wants money.

I'm with David and Enrique on this... loss of the 1.8 to get the extra reach wasn't worth it. If anything, i was hoping Sony was working towards a 1.4 if anything. Maybe the revised sensor makes up for it?.... but you can always use more light to the sensor. 

Agree!  I have the RX100 IV and love it because of the 1.8.   When I'm traveling, the IV is definitely my "evening camera"  and I don't want to walk around with my wife going out to dinner with a big clunky camera.   The 1.8 lens is great since I'm typically shooting in low light conditions.   I'll be interested to see how the VI functions in low light versus the IV and the V but unless the software is incredibly different, it's going to be hard to make up that difference.    I almost think this camera would be more of an upgrade for my mother in law who loves taking photos and wanted a point and shoot with a bit more zoom and is currently using the DSC-HX80

Try bringing this to a pro shoot and see how fast you are fired from that shoot , its incredibly small for my big hands 

I HAVE used similar earlier versions of these cameras (both PANASONIC and SONY) to shoot movie still for many Hollywood film and TV studios. They all hired me again. No problem. They are never on set and don't care about your equipment. Just that the moments you (quietly) captured for publicity are good, and in focus. 

Hi Arnold,

The RX100 isn't really meant to be a pro camera replacement, more as a high-end option for professionals looking for more from their everyday carry camera.

actually I have tried multiple times and your dead wrong sadly - I can use any camera and make my work.  I used a rx100v for many commercial shoots while testing it with minimum of a $1500 day rate and noone ever said a thing, no art director, no talent, no artist  , most of them praised me for making the images I make with any camera I bring - I probably sold a dozen people on buying one just from watching me use it  - photography is all about the person not the product  .  Not fired. still a full time 100% photographer. :)

Neither of the things you mentioned proves anything - you could be using it daily, earning $1,500 (or more) a day, getting praised by everyone who happens to be in the vicinity (and their grandmothers), etc., etc.

I have been using an RX100MIII since 2013 as my 3rd (or 4th - depending on the setting) camera and, while I have made many great shots with it, it (or its upgrade) will always stay in the slot it currently is. So far, in the 5 years since I bought it, I have not found a compelling enough reason to upgrade it to IV or V - it has been that good for the niche it occupies. But to use it as the only camera? I do not think so.

Any chance to see those pictures of yours to fully appreciate their brilliance?

You sound like me.  I have had the RX100III since it's debut and have still not found a reason to replace it.  I've been waiting for the VI.  The announcement is tempting me, but honestly, the III still take fantastic photos and fills almost all my needs. 

It really surprised me last year on a Disney trip when it bounced down the stairs of the Mexico pavilion.  Scratched, and dented the front housing, but still performing flawlessly....battle scars and all!

My take is that a good photographer can get good photos with any camera, even a pinhole. You just have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your camera. Still, there is an optimal camera for any given challenge. I get excellent images with the RX100 IV, but there’s no way I would shoot architecture or sports with it. 

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