Sony Releases RX100 VA with Boosted Performance


As if the RX100 landscape wasn't confusing enough at this point with six models on display, Sony has made another addition with the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VA. This update is definitely for the better as the new "five-A" model is simply an improvement on the existing Mark V. Its main change is updated processing with the BIONZ X found in the just released Mark VI. This unlocks a variety of new features and boosts plenty of others while the camera remains effectively the same in size, shape, and operation.

To explain the differences, we need to get a refresh on what the Mark V actually had. Primarily, this model introduced the 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS sensor with 315-point phase-detect AF points. Quite impressive. It also championed the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8 lens first found on the Mark III and could reach sensitivities of up to ISO 12800 while shooting continuously at 24 fps. Stills wasn't its only trick, as high-quality video was a highlight function. Users could choose to shoot UHD 4K video with S-Log2 for pro-quality recordings while a HFR Mode generates Full HD video at up to 960/1000 fps.

Most buyers of the RX100 wanted it for its form factor. It can slip into your pocket and yet when it came out you had a variety of physical controls, such as a control ring on the lens, a 0.39" 2.36-m-dot OLED pop-up EVF, and a 180° tilting 3.0" 1.23m-dot LCD. All these features combined make it a serious camera but in an everyday form factor.

So what's new about the VA? Well, thanks to the processing upgrade, we should see a slight improvement to general image quality, likely resulting in less noise at higher sensitivities and increased sharpness. The camera also offers an advanced Eye AF setting on par with the Mark VI, a continuous shooting buffer of 233 frames, up from 150, and reduced lag in the EVF. Those were the major changes and features introduced, but far from the only ones. Zone area AF is available, AF area registration, priority set in auto white balance, custom key now offers more options, there is a rating function, you can set the shutter to start recording movies, and there is a My Menu option, among plenty of other additions. Changes include a slight update to the menu's look while Movie Format and Dual Video Rec functions get updated to match the VI. Finally, there were a few things dropped in favor of streamlining the system, including PlayMemories Camera Apps, My Photo Style, and Eye-Fi support.

Now that the VA is released, are you looking to get that with its 24-70mm option or spring for the longer 24-200mm of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI? Let us know in the Comments section below!


So, what of the time lapse? have they added a proprietary version for the camera or will one have to get a third party add on? The silly app from the play store was just that. 

It appears that as of now the only way to do time-lapse is with a third-party remote control that connects via the Multi Terminal (micro-USB) port.

This is great news, I would definitely prefer the old faster lens with the new processor and features.  

I have the Mark IV. If I were to upgrade that camera, I'd also go for the longer lens. As Dave H. and Jean L. commented, if I were going for the small format, I'd want the extra reach.

I like the format with the longer lens.  If I am going to carry the camera around then when I do it will be the only camera that I will have with me.  Therefore, I want all of the lens in that small form that I can get.

Interesting indeed, but, since the RX100 family comes as a carry-around format, I see no point in NOT having the longer reach of version VI, even though it costs an extra $200.

The main difference is that the shorter lens is a good deal faster. At 24mm it is an f/1.8 versus the f/2.8 of the Mark VI. This could make a difference to many, especially those who are more likely to stick to the widest end for shooting (vloggers come to mind).