Sony Announces RX100 VII Pocket Camera With Pro-Level Features

Sony Announces RX100 VII Pocket Camera With Pro-Level Features

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.

Video

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.

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10 Comments

Matt Williams's picture

I assume they probably haven't changed the body at all. I don't know why 7 generations in they haven't added some kind of small grip or even just a textured grippy surface on the front. Last time I used one of these I constantly felt like it was going to slip out of my hand. It doesn't even need to be much - the Ricoh GR/GRII/GRIII have a great little grip and they fit in a jean pocket. I'm aware there's a cheap add-on grip from Sony, but 1) why should you have to spend the extra money and 2) it's just an adhesive grip - you can surmise the various issues with that. Even if they didn't want to increase the thickness by adding a grip (even though the lens unit already protrudes just as far), at least give a textured surface.

Anyway, they're nice cameras otherwise. Though I'd love something more like a 24-120 with like an f/1.8-4.0 or something thereabouts.

Eric Salas's picture

I kinda agree on adding some texture but then again if they did that, then you couldn’t add grip yourself which is exactly what I did to the V I had.
Two extremely tiny pieces of grip tape and problem solved with no added weight or size.

Matt Williams's picture

Yeah, I get what you mean. If they had an actual grip, you wouldn't be able to add anything. But if it was just textured, surely you could still get one of the many custom grips out there? I do love the ability to add custom grips, some of them are pretty awesome. I don't know, it's not a huge deal and wouldn't stop me from buying one (though the price does). Just seems like *anything* - even a little texture - would be better than the slippery, smooth metal.

The V has the 24-100mm equivalent, right? Not this slower 24-200. I'd prefer that lens with the new AF features and whatnot.

Eric Salas's picture

If it was textured you couldn’t stick anything to it.

I do also wish they kept the 24-70 lens and I think they tried to cover too many bases with this.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

I loved my cybershot years ago but it wasn’t nearly as expensive. And I wonder who this camera is for. I don’t mean to say it’s a bad camera but if I had $1200 in budget for a camera, I’d pick something with interchangeable lens. Something from the a6000 series or even older a7...

Ryan Mense's picture

If I remember correctly from what Sony has said about previous releases the great majority of buyers for their high-end compacts are professional photographers. People who already own a good full-sized kit and are looking for something high quality to be able to grab and go or travel with.

EL PIC's picture

I heard same but think my cell phone is fine and often use it along my 5D

Eric Salas's picture

Exactly. I like to have a pocketable option for personal photos that I don’t cringe at if I want to edit them.

Edward Porter's picture

Most music festivals ban interchangeable systems - so this will at least appeal to that crowd.

I still don't know why they don't add some basic computational photography technology and turn the entire P&S segment on its head. This camera's ISO 6400 shots at night are essentially worthless. You can get much much better results using the Pixel 3 -- a telephone. I know Sony wants to protect its MILC business, but this would truly impact the industry. First, it would be the single must-have P&S for the few who want a bridge between a phone and an SLR/MILC. Second, I have no doubt that 5-10% of SLR/MILC customers would buy this for in-pocket access.