The Sony RX100 VII is the latest model in the RX100 Cyber-shot range. We have previously reviewed the Sony RX100 VI and wanted to see how the newest version of this powerful compact camera compares. Released in August 2019, this portable point-and-shoot camera has a great array of features, including a high-quality ZEISS lens. Furthermore, the Sony RX100 VII offers excellent image quality with a 20.1MP sensor and BIONZ X image processor.
This camera is also unbelievably small – it can easily fit in your pocket and is light to hold and carry. For those who are continually on the move and don’t want the hassle of carrying a large DSLR plus lenses, the Sony RX100 VII could be a top choice. I feel it is ideal for “on-the-go” photography – travel, street, action, and sports, for example. For those occasions where you need to react quickly and have a device that you can use quickly without any fuss.
From the offset, we can see this camera has a great set of features. Measuring just 101.6mm at its longest dimension, it’s hard to see how Sony has packed in so much technology! The Sony RX100 VII features the latest image processing technology – the BIONZ X processor. Furthermore, it has a high-quality Exmor RS CMOS sensor providing 20.1MP image quality.
- Size: 101.6 x 58.1 x 42.8mm
- Weight: 302g
- Sensor: Exmor RS CMOS 20.1MP
- Image Processor: BIONZ X
- RAW Images: Yes
- ISO Range: 100-25,600
- Connectivity: WiFi / Bluetooth / USB
- Touchscreen: Yes
I like the inclusion of a touchscreen and WiFi connectivity – previous versions of the RX100 have not had a touchscreen and I feel this does make a difference. For such a small device, a touchscreen helps improve functionality and control your compositions.
This camera also has a solid ISO range, which means you can take decent low-light photos. My main criticism is the aperture range – f/2.8 to f/11 is not exactly exceptional. It does give you an OK range to work with, but it certainly isn’t comparable to DSLR cameras that have minimum apertures of f/22+.
The Sony RX100 VII looks fantastic – it has a compact, stylish design. Everything about this device makes it one of the best point-and-shoot cameras for design and portability. It weighs practically nothing and can fit neatly in the palm of your hand. For someone of my sleight build, this is perfect. I feel that someone with larger hands, however, may feel like this camera is a delicate toy!
The pop-up viewfinder is a nice touch – it means that the camera still has space on the rear for a large touchscreen and loses none of its functionality. If you prefer to shoot traditionally, you can use the pop-up viewfinder which is positioned logically. Alternatively, you can use the touchscreen to alter compositions and take photos.
For video, the touchscreen can be tilted – this provides flexibility for recording action movies and means you can easily review the footage while recording.
As with other Sony RX100 models, the performance is excellent. The basic photo quality of this camera is fantastic. The BIONZ X processor and 20.1MP sensor create sharp, clear images with minimal distortion. Colors look fantastic, and the focal range of the lens provides extra flexibility.
The Sony RX100 VII is also a great device for vlogging and creating action videos. It can record in full 4K HD and has an excellent autofocus system, allowing you to track action easily. The portability, video quality, and built-in video features really lend themselves to using this camera as a vlogging tool.
I also like easy data management tools – the camera has an excellent menu system. You can quickly navigate through images and make changes easily. Furthermore, you can download an app that allows you to turn your smartphone into a remote shutter.
Sony RX100 VII vs. Sony RX100 VI
Earlier, I mentioned the previous model – the Sony RX100 VI. Let’s look at how the Sony RX100 VII improves on this previous version, and what extra features it has. The following is a basic comparison of the two specifications:
|Sony RX100 VII||Sony RX100 VI|
|Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X|
|Lens Mount||24-200mm ZEISS||24-200mm ZEISS|
|Dimensions||101.6 x 58.1 x 42.8mm||101.6 x 58.1 x 42.8mm|
From this table, there isn’t any difference in specs. So why should you purchase the newer RX100 VII? Firstly, the RX100 has slightly better battery life. Furthermore, for video, the RX100 VII has a microphone port whereas the RX100 VI doesn’t.
Other noticeable differences include the addition of time-lapse recording and enhanced autofocus features like AF eye-tracking. It is these small details and new additions that make the Sony RX100 VII the superior choice. The basic quality remains the same, but the RX100 VII has greater utility for photography and movies.
Is the Sony RX100 VII Worth It?
The Sony RX100 VII is certainly a contender for the best compact zoom camera. It has a high-quality ZEISS lens and provides marvelous image quality. I would use this portable camera for travel photography, street photography, or action shots. It’s clear that Sony pushes its use as an action camera due to the autofocus system and features. Moreover, the 24-200mm effective focal range of the lens helps. For sports and general action shots, this is a brilliant model.
I feel that for professional studio shots, or for high-grade photography, a mirrorless camera or a full-frame DSLR would be better suited. While the image quality of the Sony RX100 VII is fantastic, you can’t change lenses, and it does not have a large aperture range. It all depends on your personal preference and what you intend to use the camera for. Regardless, the Sony RX100 VII builds upon the success of its predecessors and adds some useful features.