If you liked the sports-oriented Alpha 9, Sony has a new pocket camera they sure want to sell you.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII sports a new 1-inch stacked 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with DRAM chip. It has the BIONZ X processor in name, but is not exactly the same processor found in the top-of-the-line Sony full-frame cameras. It features the same 24–200mm f/2.8–4.5 Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens of its RX100 VI predecessor released last year. The optical SteadyShot image stabilization is capable of up to 4 stops of compensation. Unfortunately, we aren’t seeing a triumphant return here of the built-in ND filter last seen in the RX100 VA.
The pocketable travel camera has 357 phase-detect and 425 contrast-detect autofocus points that cover 68 percent of the frame. It can autofocus up to 0.02 seconds and performs 60 autofocus and autoexposure calculations per second. If this is starting to sound a little Sony a9-ish, we’re just getting started. The RX100 VII also has in common the 1/32,000 anti-distortion shutter, 20 frames per second blackout-free silent shooting, Real-time Tracking, Real-time Eye AF (with auto, left, or right eye selectable options), and Real-time Eye AF for Animals.
On the backside, the rear 3-inch, 921.6k-dot touchscreen LCD can tilt 180-degrees up and 90-degrees down. There’s a 0.39-inch, one-push OLED EVF that has 2.36 million dots.
Single Burst Drive Mode
Sony has a new feature called Single Burst Drive Mode which gives photographers extreme control over capturing precise moments. This mode can capture 7 raw or JPEG photos up to 90 frames per second (60 and 30 frames per second options also available) per single shutter press. Focus and exposure will be fixed at the first shot fired, and this is not a pre-shoot type mode where it is capturing anything before the shutter press.
When would this be useful? The example photos from Sony showed a tennis player hitting the ball and a lightning-fast sequence of photos being able to pick up the perfect shot where the tennis racket strings were flexed in while contacting the ball.
The RX100 VII is capable of recording 4K HDR video. While recording in 4K, users can enable Active SteadyShot which increases the effective image stabilization by eight times and can sustain continuous shooting of up to five minutes in this mode (when Auto Power Off Temperature is set to Standard). For Full HD shooting, there’s a new optimized stabilization algorithm used in the RX100 VII.
Other useful video features in this camera include Real-time Eye AF for Movies and Real-time Tracking, touch tracking, interval time-lapse recording, picture profiles, native vertical video recording, and a 3.5mm microphone input. While there is no built-in shoe on the camera itself to hold a microphone, there are brackets and cages that have been made for RX-series cameras that should do the trick. The RX100 VII is also fully compatible with Sony’s VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip.
With the announcement of the RX100 VII, Sony is also making available a Movie Edit add-on for their Imaging Edge Mobile app that can perform aspect ratio changes and add image stabilization in post.
The Sony RX100 VII is priced at $1,198 and will start shipping in August 2019. Preorders open up today at 6 p.m. ET.