Sony’s newest superior compact digicam is the extremely pocketable RX100 VII, the seventh iteration of the RX100. Since its debut, this line of cameras has confirmed a extremely popular possibility amongst fans searching for an ideal journey digicam, vloggers, and even professionals who need a compact backup possibility simply in case. The RX100 VII ought to swimsuit all these wants very properly, offered you’re okay with coughing up the $1,200 asking value.
Not that $1,200 is simply too costly for what you’re getting, since Sony has packed great worth within the Mark VII, together with an especially versatile 24-200mm (35mm equal) zoom vary, 20fps steady burst mode taking pictures, a flip-up contact display screen, built-in photos stabilization and the identical highly effective autofocus applied sciences you’ll discover on its flagship full-frame interchangeable lens professional cameras.

Pocket energy
The Sony RX100 VII satisfies a particular want, nevertheless it’s one which lots of people in all probability have: Striking a steadiness between picture high quality, vary and portability. One the comfort finish of the spectrum, the final word gadget might be your smartphone, since you have got that with you all the time. On the IQ and vary aspect, you’re taking a look at a top-end DSLR with a high-quality, low aperture zoom lens that may weigh greater than a big canine. The RX100 VII manages to be so spectacular as a result of it might probably supply close to the portability of a smartphone, with a few of the pictures chops of a setup that sometimes requires its personal suitcase.
Inside the RX100 VII you’ll discover a 1-inch sensor, which could be very large relative to smartphone imaging sensors. This is necessary as a result of it means there’s no contest between which can seize a greater picture, with decrease noise, higher depth-of-field and higher coloration rendering. For all of the software program magic that firms like Apple and Google can carry to the pictures desk, nothing but can completely compensate for merely having a bigger sensor.

The RX100 VII’s compactness isn’t simply spectacular due to the big sensor it packs inside, nonetheless; you additionally get an EVF, an built-in flash, an exterior microphone jack and an articulating LCD show. To get all of this right into a bundle this small is astounding – the EVF specifically is a good characteristic for anybody who desires to be a bit extra direct and explicit with their shot composition, whereas the flip-up LCD means you may as well have an ideal selfie display screen and monitor to be used when vlogging.

Last however not least when it comes to its portability advantages, you possibly can cost the RX100 VII by way of USB straight as a way to depart any further charging {hardware} at house. The digicam has a micro USB port for each knowledge and energy, and whereas it could’ve been good to see this upgraded to USB-C on this digicam to maintain up with the most recent when it comes to pc and smartphone charging, it’s nonetheless higher than requiring an exterior charger.
Zoom zoom
Sony selected a really lengthy zoom vary for the RX100 VII, which sports activities a 24-200mm (35mm equal) f/2.8-4.5 powered retracting zoom lens. That’s the identical vary and aperture because the RX100 VI, which opts for extra vary over the brighter 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens discovered on the V and earlier.
While you’ll lose some capability to separate your topic from the background vs. a brighter lens, you get much more attain for taking pictures motion or wildlife. The added vary positively makes it a greater all-around journey digicam, too, and makes it attainable to get some photographs you in any other case simply wouldn’t have the ability to get in any respect with a shorter lens.
The lengthy finish of the zoom vary additionally presents stunningly sharp photos, particularly in vibrant, daylight situations. In the examples under, you possibly can see a few of the 200mm samples shot on the RX100 VII subsequent to the 24mm large variations of the identical scenes to get a way of simply how shut you will get with this lens, and the standard of the pictures attainable even at these excessive zoom lengths.

At the large finish, you have got loads of actual property to seize nice sweeping architectural or panorama photographs, and the sharpness can be implausible in nice mild. There’s some distortion, nevertheless it’s principally corrected by Sony’s software program on JPG output. That 24mm large angle can be the correct width for arm-length selfies, although you’re in all probability going to need not less than a brief selfie stick for vlogging functions to provide your self just a little extra in the best way of framing choices.

Sticky AF
Leaving apart the truth that this is without doubt one of the higher sensors out there available on the market for a digicam this dimension, there’s one other very compelling purpose to select up this digicam, and one which possible provides it the sting over opponents from different firms. I’m speaking about Sony’s autofocus system, and the RX100 VII will get the most recent and best that Sony has developed, which is discovered solely in far more costly cameras from the corporate just like the A9 and the brand new A7R IV.
You get face and eye monitoring, for each human and animal topics, and these are each best-in-class in comparison with different digicam makers’ techniques. The animal one specifically is a Sony speciality, and labored amazingly properly on my actual canine – and on Sony’s Aibo robotic canine, captured on the Sony Ginza expertise middle in Tokyo.

The face and eye detection settings can be found in each nonetheless taking pictures and films, and you may set eye desire (left or proper), too. The latest AF characteristic, nonetheless, is object monitoring, which lets you level your AF level at a particular object and have the digicam routinely observe that object as you zoom or transfer, or as the item strikes inside body. You can select from a spread of choices concerning how massive of a focal space to trace, and this works in tandem with human face detection in order that the digicam will routinely deal with the topic’s face when it’s seen, and on them extra typically when it’s not, which is superb for sports activities or motion pictures.
In follow, this works extraordinarily properly. Sony’s claims about how properly this sticks, and the way good it’s at choosing a topic again up after it strikes behind an object, for example, are spot on. This is actually the most effective AF system out there on a digicam within the pocketable class, at any value level, and it’s really superb to expertise. In the photographs under, you possibly can see the way it allowed me to seize a really clear image of a hovering hawk on the 200mm tele zoom, the way it tracked a motorcycle in movement and obtained a transparent picture of the rider’s face, and the way it froze a motor bike in movement throughout a burst sequence (all of the photographs have been in focus, by the best way).

Low mild
Another space the place Sony’s RX100 VII and its 1-inch sensor are going to have a leg up in your smartphone is in sub-optimal lighting situations. Bigger sensors imply larger pixels and fewer noise, with higher blacks and shadows. Sony can be utilizing a bottom illuminated stacked sensor, and there’s built-in optical picture stabilization which suggests you possibly can take sharper photographs at decrease shutter speeds, letting in additional mild for clearer photos.
In follow, what you get are fairly good low mild photographs, particularly open air with ambient mild current, or in decently well-lit indoor settings. In poorer lighting situations or whenever you’re making an attempt to freeze motion in low mild, you’re going to get pretty noisy outcomes, particularly when in comparison with an APS-C or full-frame digicam. Sony’s tech can do rather a lot to profit from lower than splendid photographic situations, however in some unspecified time in the future, it runs up towards the bounds of what’s attainable.
Sony additionally doesn’t get fairly as aggressive with computational photographic methods for digitally compensating for decrease out there mild, as do the Pixel telephones and the most recent iPhone 11. That’s not essentially a nasty factor, although – the pictures from the RX100 VII current extra correct night time and indoor photographs, by comparability, and you may nonetheless get significantly better indoor photos with the RX100 VII than you possibly can with any smartphone.

As you possibly can see within the gallery above, the digicam does extraordinarily properly so long as there’s one well-lit topic or aspect in body. It’s much less efficient when the picture total is uniformly dim, however should you’re searching for nice photographs in these situations, it is best to in all probability take into account upgrading to a bigger digicam with a bigger sensor anyhow.
Movie maker
The RX100 VII’s best energy would possibly simply be how good it’s at taking pictures video for a tool this dimension. Video out of the digicam with very minimal adjustment from the default taking pictures settings produces extremely usable outcomes, for each house video fans and for YouTubers or vloggers trying to produce nice trying content material with out lugging a complete movie manufacturing studio together with them on their travels.
Once once more, the versatile zoom vary actually shines right here, and the you possibly can even shoot on the tele finish of the zoom handheld and get completely usable footage offered you’re a bit cautious about motion, as you possibly can see within the third clip within the sequence under, which was shot on the 200mm vary. Low-light footage seems nice, as is obvious from the second clip in sequence, and on the large finish you possibly can seize sweeping panorama vistas or flip up the display screen and switch the digicam round for selfie-style video.

The added microphone port makes it an much more highly effective filmmaking software, and should you decide up their elective VCT-SGR1 taking pictures grip, mixed with a small shotgun mic or one thing just like the Rode Wireless Go, you’ve obtained all the pieces you’ll want to create very compelling journey diaries in an extremely light-weight bundle that may have the ability to produce high quality and get zoom and large photographs which can be not possible on a smartphone.
Bottom line
The RX100 VII is a delight of a digicam and a simple advice to make. There’s nothing that compares on this dimension class when it comes to the vary of options, autofocus capabilities, video prowess and efficiency as a normal all-rounder. This is the do-everything journey digicam that you may actually solely dream of 5 years in the past, and it’s change into extra splendid for this use with each era that Sony introduces.
Whether you’re trying to step up your photographic prospects out of your smartphone, otherwise you need to complement your skilled or superior fanatic tools with a pocket digicam that’s out there as a b-camera for video or to seize a couple of alternative stills, the RX100 VII is tough to prime. It’s solely draw back is that $1,200 asking value, which is unquestionably above common for a compact digicam – however on a worth foundation, $1,200 isn’t in any respect costly for all the pieces this digicam has to supply.
Full pattern gallery

Shop Amazon