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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII (RX100M7) Review

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Review - Find out how the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII perfoms, and find out what's new with the latest version of this 20mp camera.


|  Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII in Compact Cameras
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The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII may look identical to the RX100 VI that goes before it, but there are a number of updates that make this camera one of the fastest available. 

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII (Mark 7) - uses a new 20mp 1inch stacked BSI CMOS sensor with DRAM chip that allows for ultra-high-speed continuous shooting at speeds up to 90fps. The camera uses the latest BIONZ X image processing engine from the Alpha 9, Alpha A7R III and A7R IV, Sony says this is "designed to give Alpha 9 class speed and AF performance." 

The camera also adds in a microphone socket, something that will be of benefit for video users, particularly vloggers, and YouTube stars, as adding an external microphone can instantly improve audio quality. 


Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Features

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The RX100 VII promises the "World's fastest AF performance" among fixed lens still cameras with 1inch sensors. There are 357 phase-detection focus points, with 425 contrast-detection AF points. This gives a wide coverage area of 68%. Focus is said to respond in 0.02 seconds, and this has been upgraded since the RX100 VI (with 0.03second focus speeds). 

The 90fps continuous shooting can shoot full-size 20mp images, for up to 7 frames (JPEG/RAW), and you can select from 90fps, 60fps, or 30fps. There's also 20fps continuous shooting, with black-out free shooting with AF/AE tracking, offering more shots.

The camera features real-time tracking, and real-time Eye AF tracking for video is new. The camera also has both eye-detection for humans, as well as animals.

4K UHD video recording is included, recording from a 14mp image, and downsampling to 4K (8mp), using a full pixel readout without pixel binning, giving 1.7x oversampling for more detailed video recording. 4K video can be recorded at 30fps, 24fps, or 25fps (PAL).

Developed following feedback from video shooters, the image stabilisation (for 4K) has been improved. There are options for standard or advanced image stabilisation. There's a new microphone socket that has been added to the camera, on the side. There's also support for vertical video recording (for use with sites like Instagram). 

The camera uses the same Zeiss branded 8.3x optical zoom lens, with an f/2.8-4.5 aperture, and optical image stabilisation (OIS), and the lens is equivalent to 24mm to 200mm in 35mm equivalent terms. There's also a high-resolution pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF), and a tilting 3inch touch-screen on the back, that can be tilted forwards so you can see yourself when recording video or taking selfies. 

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Key Features

  • 20.1mp 1inch Stacked BSI CMOS sensor
  • Zeiss 8.3x optical zoom lens, f/2.8-4.5, 24-200mm equivalent
  • Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 921K dots
  • Pop-up Electronic ViewFinder (EVF), 2.359m dots, 0.59x magnification
  • 90fps continuous shooting - full resolution, 7 shots
  • ISO80 to ISO12800, ISO25600 (Multi-frame NR)
  • 357 phase-detection AF points (68% coverage)
  • 4K HDR (HLG) video, 30fps
  • FullHD video - up to 120fps
  • High-speed video - up to 1000fps
  • 8cm close focus
  • DRO / HDR / Panoramic shooting
  • Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth built-in

 

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Handling

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The top of the camera remains the same as the RX100 VI, with a pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF), pop-up flash, stereo microphones, on/off button, zoom control and shutter release button, plus the mode dial, with Auto, P, A, S, M, MR, Video, HFR (High Frame Rate), Panoramic, and Scene modes.

The RX100 VII camera body is made of metal, front and top, with a plastic rear, sides, and bottom. The hinge system for the screen is also made of metal and feels very well put together. The front of the camera lacks much in the way of grip, so a "flipbac" grip may be useful here, or an alternative. The rear has a small rubber section for your thumb to hold on to. The compact size of the camera makes it difficult for there to be additional grip, so the use of the provided wrist strap is recommended. The control wheel around the lens is made of metal, and the overall feeling of the camera is quite reassuring. For added peace of mind, we'd recommend a case to keep it protected, especially considering the price of the camera. 

The camera is small, but has given a fairly good number of controls and buttons, with quick access to exposure compensation, drive modes, flash and DISP on the 4-way controller. You can also get quick access to settings with the Fn / Function button. These options can be customised, so you can ensure you have quick access to your favourite settings. 

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) can be used to switch the camera on, if you use the release button on the side when the camera is off. It can also be used to switch the camera off when you put it away. The view through the viewfinder is fairly good, with a high resolution (2360K dots) display, and a reasonable size of magnification is provided. The screen works well and is clear with excellent viewing angles. 

 

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New to the side of the RX100 VII is the microphone socket, which has been added above the MicroUSB and HDMI connections. 

The menus have been expanded, and there are now 14 pages of menu options in the first set of photo options. Luckily the camera has a "MyMenu" section so you can put your favourite settings in there for quick access. Like the Sony Alpha A7R IV, the function menu options can be customised, with different setups available for photo and video modes. 

The screen is a touch-screen, so you can use it to set the focus point, however you can't use it to change or select any of the options in the Fn / Function menu, nor the full menu system, which is a shame, as it may have made it quicker to change settings. 

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The camera uses the same NP-BX1 1240mAh battery as other RX100 models, and with a relatively short battery life of 260 shots (LCD), we'd recommend a spare battery (or two). The battery can be charged in-camera, using the MicroUSB connection. Unfortunately the camera doesn't have a USB Type-C connection.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Hands-On Photos of Equipment


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Photographs taken using the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII

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Comments


Carabosse 16 41.3k 270 England
13 Sep 2019 7:13PM
I am rather impressed by this camera. I have just had some photos, taken with it, accepted for publication in a local glossy. Despite the fact they were all taken at ISO 6400. Smile

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Carabosse 16 41.3k 270 England
18 Sep 2019 5:29PM
And with the new microphone port, the camera can be used as a nicely compact kit for handheld video. Smile

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