If it looks familiar, that’s because it is! The seventh iteration of Sony’s ultra-popular RX100 series has now landed, and externally, everything is in the right place. (That’s a good thing if you shoot underwater as the Mark VI housings out there should be ready to roll.)
Internally, it’s a different story. While the Mark VII employs the same 24–200mm f/2.8–4.5 zoom as its predecessor—sorry, no return to the more-beloved-by-underwater-shooters 24–70mm f/1.8–2.8 of the Mark V—the big news is a new 1-inch-type stacked-CMOS sensor. The resolution hasn’t changed (it’s still a respectable 20 megapixels), but there are now more phase-detection autofocus points (357) as well as the class-leading AF systems found on the a9 and a6400: Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals.
The latest-generation BIONZ X image processor is doing the grunt work, achieving 0.02-second focus acquisition speed (the “world’s fastest” among 1" compacts, according to Sony), 20fps burst shooting with continuous AF/AE, and a new Single Burst Shooting Drive Mode shooting at up to 90fps. A couple of caveats with that last one: The 90fps burst is only seven images, focus and exposure are locked, and you can’t keep your finger on the trigger for multiple bursts.
On the video side, little has changed but there’s plenty on offer: UHD 4K/30p at 100Mbps, 1080p video at up to 120p, and a touchscreen that flips up 180° for, ahem, topside vlogging of your latest underwater adventures. The Mark VII also adds souped-up image stabilization combining both optical and digital correction, as well as a microphone socket.
The Sony RX100 VII is shipping in August for $1,200 (the same tidy sum that Sony was asking for the Mark VI at launch).
When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the product mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner—Backscatter.com.
Sony Brings New Level of Power to Premium Compact Camera Line-up with Introduction of the RX100 VII
Newest Addition to RX Series Delivers Alpha 9 Level Speed and AF Performance with Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF
- Newly developed 1.0-type stacked 20.1 MP Exmor RS™ CMOS image sensor with DRAM chip and latest generation BIONZ X™ image processor
- Alpha 9 level speed performance with up to 60 AF/AE calculations per second and 20fps blackout-free shooting with AF/AE tracking
- World leading 357-point focal-plane phase-detection AF + 425-point contrast-detection AF with world’s fastest[v] 0.02 sec focus acquisition speed
- Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals
- ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm F2.8 – F4.5 Large Aperture High Magnification Zoom Lens
- New Single Burst Shooting Drive Mode at up to 90fps speed
- Pro-level movie functionality including 4K HDR (HLG), Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting, 4K Active SteadyShot™, Vertical-position data recording for movies and integrated microphone jack
SAN DIEGO — July 25, 2019 —Sony Electronics today announced a new addition to its award-winning series of RX compact cameras: the RX100 VII(model DSC-RX100M7). Utilizing technologies that were previously available only in Sony’s acclaimed Alpha 9 full-frame mirrorless camera, the RX100 VII achieves new levels of performance in a compact camera, in both stills and movie shooting.
The RX100 VII is powered by a newly developed 1.0-type stacked 20.1 MP Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and the latest generation BIONZ X image processor, which work together to deliver peak autofocus and speed performance that has never before been available in a compact camera. Flexibility of shooting is ensured by a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm[viii]F2.8-4.5 high magnification zoom lens, making the RX100 VII a versatile choice for all types of shooting scenarios and users, ranging from photo enthusiasts to professionals.
“The RX100 VII sets a new standard for performance in compact cameras,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions at Sony Electronics. “Sony will continue to drive innovation in the world of imaging, constantly pushing to empower creators with the most capable tools that allow them to realize their vision, and create like they have never been able to before.”
New Standard for AF Performance in a Compact Camera
The RX100 VII offers a world-leading[v] 357 focal-plane phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points. In addition, thanks to a newly optimized lens drive control, the world’s fastest[v] 0.02 sec[vi] AF acquisition time is realized. A major leap in AF/AE tracking performance during continuous shooting[i] means the camera performs AF/AE calculations up to 60 times per second[ii] and captures fast moving action at 20fps[iii] with AF/AE tracking, ensuring that each moment is shot with swift and accurate focus.
In addition, the image sensor realizes blackout-free shooting[iv] for a completely live view, even when continuous shooting at 20fps[iii]; the same experience as the Alpha 9.The RX100 VII also debuts a new drive mode, Single Burst Shooting[ix], for capturing the perfect high-speed shotat up to 90fps[x] in JPEG/RAW format utilizing the anti-distortion shutter. Single Burst Shooting[ix] allows the photographer to frame fast moving action and shoot as if taking a single shot, but the camera will actually deliver seven still images taken at 90fps, 60fps or 30fps, so the user can select the perfect moment.
For the first time in a compact camera, the RX100 VII introduces advanced Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF capabilities. Real-time Tracking utilizes Sony’s latest algorithm, including artificial intelligence-based object recognition to ensure that subjects can be captured with excellent accuracy, even via the touch panel on the rear screen. Real-time Eye AF, the latest version of Sony’s acclaimed Eye AF technology, employs A.I.-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time. This results in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF for both humans and animals[vii], which allows the photographer to concentrate exclusively on composition[ii].
Movie Making Marvel
The compact and lightweight characteristics of the RX100 VII (approx. 302g / 102mm x 58mm x 43mm[iii]) mean it can always be carried and has mounting flexibility that larger cameras simply cannot match.
Despite the small form factors, there are a multitude of pro-level movie making capabilities, including:
- 4K in-body movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in high bit rate XAVCS™[xi]
- Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for video
- 4K Active SteadyShot that is 8x more effective than 4K Standard SteadyShot[iv]
- Industry standard 3.5mm microphone input[v]
- Hybrid Log-Gamma[xii](HDR) / S-Gamut3.Cine / S-Log3, S-Gamut3 / S-Log3
- Compatibility with Movie Edit add-on from the ‘Imaging EdgeTM’ mobile application for movie stabilization and editing
- Vertical-position data recording for movies[vi]
- Interval Shooting[vii] for stunning time-lapse videos
- Super Slow Motion[viii] recording at up to 960fps
- 180-degree flip screen for ease-of use while vlogging
Shooting Grip Kit for Vloggers
Sony will also be introducing a Shooting Grip Kit (DSC-RX100M7G), which includes an RX100 VII and Shooting Grip (VCT-SGR1) that allows for easy recording and zooming right at your fingertips; Bracket with Accessory Shoe; and two Rechargeable Battery Packs(NP-BX1)[ix]. Pair this kit with an external microphone (sold separately), such as the Sony Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M) which mounts onto the bracket’s accessory shoe and allows for a convenient and simple vlogging setup.
New Jacket Case for the RX100 Series
Sony has also introduced a new leather-look body case for the RX100 series(LCJ-RXK), which includes a lens jacket and shoulder strap to protect the camera from bumps and shocks. Available in black, it provides easy access to the microphone jack and USB terminal, which enables charging and image transfers without the need to remove the case.
Pricing and Availability
The RX100 VII compact camera will ship in August 2019 for approximately $1,200 US and $1,600 CA.
The RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit will be available later in 2019 for approximately $1,300 US and $1,700 CA.
The LCJ-RXK jacket case will ship in August 2019 for approximately $85 US and $110 CA.
[i] Approximate effective megapixels
[ii] When using the electronic shutter; effective when the shutter speed is 1/60 or above
[iii] When using the electronic shutter with "Continuous shooting mode: Hi". Effective when the shutter speed is 1/60 or above
[iv] Effective when using electronic shutter. The slower the shutter speed, the lower the refresh rate of the screen
[v] Among fixed-lens digital still cameras with 1.0-type sensor. As of July 2019, based on Sony research
[vi] CIPA standard, internal measurement, at f=9.0mm (wide-end), EV6.6, Program Auto, Focus mode: AF-A, Focus area: Centre
[vii] Real-time Eye AF for Animals supports still images only, and cannot be used in combination with tracking. Does not work with some types of animal. Focusing may not perform well depending on scene and subject conditions
[viii] Angle of view (35mm format equivalent)
[ix] Seven still images are shot per burst. Focus and exposure are fixed at the first shot
[x] When Drive Mode is set to “Single Burst Shooting: Hi”
[xi] 3840×2160 pixels. A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps. When “Auto Power Off Temperature” is set to “Standard”, continuous shooting is possible for about 5 minutes
[xii] Connect this product to an HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a USB cable to display HDR (HLG) movies
[xiii] Compared to RX100 VI
[x1v] Both right eye and left eye are selectable, either via the menu or by the touchscreen panel
[xv] Width x Height x Depth
[xvi] Image compensation angle at wide-end (Comparison with 4K standard mode)
[xvii] Attaching a mic without the Shooting Grip Kit requires an optional accessory
[xviii] In-camera movie playback is in the horizontal position. Whether or not movies are displayed in the vertical position depends on your device
[xix] Wi-Fi does not work during interval shooting
[xx] Audio recording is not available. A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required
[xxi] One included with RX100 VII body
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