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Summary

Highly Recommended awardThe Sony RX100 VII is a high-end compact designed for travel, action, video and vlogging. Successor to the RX100 VI, it shares the same 24-200mm f2.8-4.5 zoom as well as essentially the same body with a touch-screen that can angle up to face you and small but detailed viewfinder that pops up and pushes back down again in a convenient single action. New to the RX100 VII is a faster sensor, allowing it to shoot long bursts up to 20fps without blackout, coupled with Sony’s latest autofocus and eye detection tracking for both humans and animals, so while it’s technically a tad slower than the 24fps top speed of the Mark VI, it’s more usable and ideal for capturing sports as well as active kids and pets. If you feel the need for greater speed though, a new single burst mode fires seven frames at up to 90fps, but in the absence of pre-buffering, your timing will need to be perfect. The best quality movie modes remain in 4k at 24, 25 or 30p, but are now enhanced by eye-detection, more effective stabilisation and the presence of a 3.5mm microphone input - a rarity in this type of camera, although without an accessory shoe you’ll ideally need a bracket or a lav mic. As before it’s up against tough competition from Canon’s G5X II and G7X III which both sport 4k video, brighter lenses with ND filters and flip screens while also undercutting it on price; the G5X II also has a viewfinder while the G7X III sports a mic input. But the Sony zooms much longer, boasts phase-detect AF that’s more confident whether you’re shooting stills or video, not to mention much quicker bursts and higher frame rates for super slow motion. That said, much of what makes the Mark VII compelling is available in the older RX100 VI if you don’t need the mic input, improved 4k stabilisation or latest AF modes, so keep an eye on prices, while dedicated vloggers may still prefer the earlier RX100 VA which has a shorter but brighter lens with an ND filter, albeit no mic input. Ultimately though if you’re after a do-it-all pocket travel camera that’s also great for video and action, the RX100 VII is hard to beat. It’s not cheap, but there’s nothing else that offers all of this and still fits in your pocket.

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Check prices on the Sony RX100 VII at B&H or WEX. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!

Sony RX100 VII review

Intro

The Sony RX100 VII is a high-end compact camera designed for travel, action, video and vlogging. Announced in July 2019, it arrives one year after its predecessor, and like that model packs a larger than average 1in sensor with 20 Megapixels, a respectable 8.3x zoom, fast shooting, confident autofocus and decent video into a pocketable body.

The RX100 VII looks almost identical to the Mark VI, sharing the same body, controls, flip screen, popup viewfinder, and 24-200mm f2.8-4.5 zoom. Sony’s equipped the new model with an even faster sensor than before, allowing you to shoot long bursts at up to 20fps with continuous AF and zero blackout or in a new ultra-fast mode which fires-off seven frames at up to 90fps; you also get Sony’s latest Real-time Tracking that seamlessly switches between object, face and eye tracking, as well as Real-time Eye AF that will recognise human and animal eyes.

The best movie quality remains 4k at 24, 25 or 30p, but now supports eye-detection while filming as well as a much more effective Active SteadyShot option in 4k; meanwhile vertically-formatted video remains vertical for use on phones and you can also adjust the heat warnings to allow 4k filming for clips of well over half an hour. And while the camera is physically almost identical to the Mark VI, it now becomes the first RX100 model to sport a 3.5mm analogue input to connect an external microphone. Canon may have pipped Sony to the post a few weeks earlier with a mic input on the G7X III, but both models remain unique in the pocket compact market in this regard; sure there’s no accessory shoe for mounting, but you can easily use a bracket or a lavalier mic.

I’ve been shooting with the RX100 VII for over a week in New York and back at home in Brighton, testing it directly against Canon’s two latest PowerShots, the G7X III and G5X II. I’ll start with my in-depth review video which gives you the highlights and a look at the general performance and quality, followed by a comparison between all three cameras for vlogging! You can also check out a selection of sample images and a noise comparison between it and the Canons using the tabs above.

 

 

 

 

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Check prices on the Sony RX100 VII at B&H or WEX. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!
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