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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII (RX100M7) Review - Performance

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response <0.05secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response <0.1secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
20fps (High-speed continuous), with AF/AE


Using the "Single burst shooting" drive mode, there's also the option to shoot 7 frames at up to 90fps, which is very impressive, as long as your timing matches the subject you're photographing. You can also choose between 90, 60 or 30fps, and focus and exposure is fixed. 

 

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Colour reproduction is very pleasing, with good levels of colour saturation, and results should please many. There is a range of different colour profiles ("Creative styles") to choose from, with each one customisable, so that you can adjust the contrast, saturation and sharpness. Exposure is very reliable, with little need to adjust the exposure compensation. The JPEG images straight from the camera gives good levels of dynamic range, and there is a good level of scope there to adjust if needed. Noise levels are low, and nothing to worry about when shooting in good lighting. The panoramic mode gives an image that is roughly 15mp in size when panning from left to right or vice versa. 

Digital Filters - Digital filters come under the title of "Picture Effect" and can only be used if you're shooting JPEG only. There are 13 different effects available. 

 

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII Lens test images

Lens Performance - The lens gives excellent levels of sharpness and detail at all positions in the lens range, and across the frame. Focus is reliable and fast with an excellent success rate. When shooting portraits, the face and eye detection AF helps improve the success rate for correctly focussed portraits. The aperture stays relatively bright as you zoom, with the lens using f/4 at 100mmm (equivalent). 

There are no signs of vignetting. Purle fringing is very well controlled, with only small amounts visible in areas of high contrast (such as trees against a bright sky). There are minimal signs of chromatic aberrations, even where you'd normally find them in an image. Distortion is very well controlled, being automatically corrected in camera. The lens is resistant to flare and we didn't notice any in our shots. 

The DRO and HDR modes give you images with improved dynamic range. These can be left on auto, or manually adjusted. The HDR option takes a number of shots (at different exposures) and combines them in to one JPEG image, with higher dynamic range, in-camera. 

 

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The RX100 VII offers an ISO range of ISO800 to ISO128000, with ISO25600 available when using multi-frame noise reduction. This is only available when shooting JPEG images, and not raw. Using ISO80 or ISO100 results in an image with slightly lower dynamic range, as ISO125 is the base ISO speed. Noise performance is very good, with the camera giving usable images at ISO3200 and ISO6400. The results are very similar to those found on the previous model, the RX100 VI

 

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten (incandescent) lighting, however, there are options in the camera menu to set this to: Standard, Ambient, and White. Ambient gives a warmer result, maintaining the atmosphere of the scene, whereas White gives a slightly more neutral image. For the most accurate results, the Tungsten preset gives the whitest image. AWB performs well under mixed light, with a slightly warm result. AWB gives the best result under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent presets giving a colour cast. 

 

Video - 4K UHD (3840x2160) video is recorded at 100/60mbps, with stereo sound, and optical zoom can be used while recording, with the lens starting from 26mm (equivalent). 4K video can be recorded at 30p, 25p or 24p, You can record FullHD video at 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p. 

There's now a microphone socket on the side of the camera. 

In NTSC mode you have the choice of 4K UHD video recording at 30 or 24fps. To record at 25fps, you have to switch to PAL mode. This will result in the camera telling you that you need to format your memory card before you can record video. Alternatively you can use a different memory card. This is a frustrating situation to find yourself in, simply because you want to change the frame rate of the video you're recording. 

High-speed video (HFR) can be recorded at 250, 500 or 1000fps, and is then recorded as a 1920x1080 video at 25/30p or 50/60p. The resolution of the video is lower at 1824x1026 (240/250fps), 1824x616 (480/500fps) and 1244x420 (960/1000fps). 

The camera uses a hybrid auto-focus (AF) system, which is a combination of phase detection and contrast AF. This makes focus very quick. 

For video enthusiasts there are a number of different picture profile options including: Off/PP1-PP10 where you can customise the: Black Level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-2, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-log3, HLG, HLG1, HLG2, HLG3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, and Detail. You can copy settings from one picture profile to another, as well as reset these settings.

The camera also features Proxy recording, Zebra display, Grid display, Mic level, and Wind Filter.

Detail is impressive, with 1.7x oversampling, giving sharp and detailed 4K video. Video quality is good, with optical image stabilisation helping keep video stable, which makes it possible to record hand-held, and optical zoom is smooth when used. There are additional SteadyShot options, including Intelligent Active (FullHD only), Active, Standard, and Off, further improving over the previous model. 

Additional videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.


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Photographs taken using the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII

Victoria QuaysMr PollinatorSheffield ExchangeBored DoggoA Forest in the middle of SheffieldChapel Ceiling Detail

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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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