Sony RX100 VII Review

It isn’t easy to think of another camera series that has made it to its seventh edition. Still, the popularity of Sony’s RX100 range goes

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It isn’t easy to think of another camera series that has made it to its seventh edition. Still, the popularity of Sony’s RX100 range goes a long way toward explaining how we got here and why it has been so successful.

Previous variants of the RX100 have made their way into the hands of many photographers, either as backups to models with interchangeable lenses or as primary cameras for individuals who do not desire to be burdened by a more extensive and heavier system. The RX100 III is the latest iteration of the RX100 series.

Last updated on January 19, 2024 2:48 am

It is also considered to be one of the best cameras for traveling. However, with prices being asked far into the four-figure range, some people may find it difficult to justify the more current offerings.

Despite this, the tiny camera series seems to be headed in the right direction. Its most recent versions have larger lenses and inherit critical capabilities from Sony’s Alpha line of mirrorless cameras while keeping the bodies as portable as before. So what innovations did the Sony RX100 VII bring to the table that was absent in its predecessors?

Sony RX100 VII Features

While the first five models of the RX100 kept a minimal zoom range and a large maximum aperture, the RX100 VI replaced the lens with a focal length comparable to 24-200mm when measured in 35mm, and the RX100 VII keeps this optic.

Surprisingly, Sony could fit this lens into a body that was not significantly larger than it had been in the past, but the trade-off was a decrease in the maximum aperture.

The interior of the lens is aspherical, advanced aspherical, and extra-low dispersion glass, which all work together to help keep everything bright and clear. Additionally, the lens has Optical SteadyShot technology, which allows things to remain steady.

However, the sensors haven’t been the same this whole time, and it shouldn’t be surprising that the RX100 VII has been blessed with a new one, albeit one that still conforms to the exact 1-inch dimensions and stacked architecture as before. It is unusual for a camera to have a precise sensor resolution throughout seven consecutive models.

Sony RX100 VII Build Quality

The RX100 design has undergone very little evolution since the first model in the series was released in 2012. Except for minor cosmetic differences, the Sony RX100 VII appears virtually identical to the RX100 VI. Additionally, the camera’s metal body continues to have the same satisfyingly robust feel as that of earlier models.

It is remarkable when you think about all of the features that Sony could cram into such a little package, not the least of which was the optic.

However, this also means that the same criticisms that were leveled at the previous models can also be dropped at the new model. Some of these criticisms include the lack of a grip around the front and only a tiny square of rubber on the back plate where the thumb falls. Other complaints include the absence of an ergonomic design.

Because of this, it is less comfortable to carry than competing models, such as the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III; it is a camera meant to be as tiny as possible. However, an optional grip is available for purchase if you require one.

Sony RX100 VII Autofocus

Even though the RX100 VI already had a fantastic focusing system, Sony made improving the autofocus capabilities of the RX100 VII one of the primary goals for this camera.

The autofocus (AF) systems on newer Alpha models and software updates to older cameras have increased performance throughout that line. Now, Sony is working to bring the same magic to its Cyber-shot range of cameras by bringing the same magic to its Cyber-shot range of cameras.

So, what can we report? First, the number of phase-detect autofocus points has been increased from 315 on the RX100 VI to 357 on this model, and together they now cover 3% more of the frame than they did in the previous model.

In addition, the existing contrast-detect AF system, which had 25 points, has been upgraded to a 425-point system. Sony claims that the camera can focus in as low as 0.02 seconds with this new system.

Real-Time Monitoring, which employs AI-powered tools to automatically transition between regular autofocusing while tracking a moving target and face/eye tracking when the system identifies a person’s face, is the most significant enhancement made to the autofocus function of the camera.

As individuals move in and out of view or adjust their location regarding the camera, this should make it simpler to rapidly concentrate on what is essential in the scene.

Sony RX100 VII Performance

In the past, Sony’s menu systems have been criticized for being difficult to understand due to their abundance of options; however, color coding in more current models has simplified navigating the menus.

What we have on the RX100 VII is similar to what we have on previous models. Even if there are a few unpleasant abbreviations here and there, the opportunity to set up a tab with your preferences is a saving grace because there is a lot to go through. However, you can still set up an account with your choices.

You can use the screen as a touchpad while using the viewfinder, which is always convenient in place of a joystick-type control. The touchscreen works well for adjusting the focusing point and is pleasant and sensitive to even lighter touches.

Sony RX100 VII Image quality

The image quality of the previous RX100 VII left us pleased; thus, we have high hopes for the new Sony RX100 VII; can it live up to these expectations?

In a nutshell, the camera can create high-quality photographs in various lighting circumstances with relatively little user input.

Detail is excellent in general, and what is particularly good is how well this is maintained when using ISO settings closer to the middle of the sensitivity range; plenty of detail lurks in slightly noisier images, so it’s just a matter of removing this noise. But, overall, the quality of the piece is excellent.

Overall, the details are excellent in the middle of the frame and generally well-maintained to the edges. There is just a little bit of softness in the corners at both ends of the lens, but other than that, the entire lens has excellent detail retention.

Although this seems to be worse at the wide-angle end of the zoom range than at the telephoto lengths, it tends to improve slightly when the aperture is stopped.

Sony RX100 VII Specs

Body typeCompact
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Image ratio w h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeStacked CMOS
ProcessorBionz X
ISOAuto, 125-12800
Boosted ISO (minimum)64
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
CIPA image stabilization rating4 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
Focal length (equiv.)24–200 mm
Optical zoom8.3×
Maximum apertureF2.8–4.5
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View.
Digital zoomYes (2x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range8 cm (3.15″)
Macro focus range8 cm (3.15″)
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live ViewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.59×
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range5.90 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Continuous drive90.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedAverageSpot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1280 x 720 @ 30p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 25p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI with uncompressed 4K/30p output)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth and NFC
Remote controlYes (wired or smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-BX1 lithium-ion battery & USB charger
Battery Life (CIPA)260
Weight (inc. batteries)302 g (0.67 lb / 10.65 oz)
Dimensions102 x 58 x 43 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.69″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Sony RX100 VII Verdict

Last updated on January 19, 2024 2:48 am

The Sony RX100 VII is, without a shadow of a question, a fantastic piece of photographic equipment. It was likely that any changes Sony made here would only make it a better performer, given the strong performance and enormous popularity of previous models. That is pretty much the case.

The autofocus system deserves special recognition because it is quick and exceptionally good at following moving subjects, detecting faces even when they are far away, and switching between face/eye detection and more standard tracking as the subject changes in distance and orientation. This is a testament to the autofocus system’s remarkable versatility.

Even though some competing models don’t fare too poorly in terms of speed when compared to others, the fact that some of them are still only based on contrast-detect AF makes it unlikely that they’ll be able to catch up with what Sony is doing here until that aspect of their design is improved.

In addition, it has excellent image quality, detailed 4K video, and a significant amount of control over both aspects.

The body’s high build quality and small size – especially when considering the lens and the inclusion of the viewfinder – make it easy to carry around and slip into a pocket. You can be confident that it will survive the occasional bump and scrape. The viewfinder can be retracted, and the LCD screen is acceptable. This combination makes for a perfect partnership.

Sony RX100 VII FAQs

Is Sony RX100 VII worth buying?

If you are looking for a compact camera that is both high-quality and advanced in its feature set, the Sony RX100 VII is an excellent option to consider purchasing.

It provides exceptional image quality, a quick autofocus system, and a wide range of shooting modes, making it a perfect choice for amateur and professional photographers.

Does Sony RX100 VII shoot RAW?

RAW files are image files that are not compressed and contain all of the original data captured by the camera’s sensor.

The Sony RX100 VII can take photos that are saved in RAW format. As a result, when shooting in RAW, you have more flexibility in the post-processing and editing stages of the workflow.

Is Sony RX100 VII good for photography?

Absolutely. Because of its large 1-inch sensor and advanced image processing technology, the Sony RX100 VII is a capable camera that produces excellent image quality.

This is made possible by the camera’s advanced design. It also provides a variety of manual controls and shooting modes, which makes it an excellent option for photographers who want more creative control over the images they capture.

Is Sony RX100 VII better than a phone camera?

Yes, in the majority of instances. While phone cameras have come a long way in recent years, they still can’t match the image quality and versatility of a dedicated camera like the Sony RX100 VII.

With its larger sensor, faster lens, and advanced autofocus system, the RX100 VII can capture stunning images that aren’t possible with a phone camera.

Does Sony RX100 VII have Bluetooth?

Yes, the Sony RX100 VII is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, enabling the quick and simple transfer of photos and videos to other devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers, without wires.

Is the Sony RX100 VII full frame?

Unfortunately, the Sony RX100 VII does not have a full-frame sensor. Instead, it has a 1-inch sensor, more significant than the sensors found in most compact cameras but smaller than the full-frame sensors in many professional-level cameras. The sensor is larger than the sensor found in most compact cameras.

When was RX100 VII released?

The highly successful RX100 series of compact cameras from Sony was expanded with the release of the RX100 VII in August of 2019, making it one of the most recent additions.

Does RX100 VII have ND filter?

The Sony RX100 VII has a built-in ND (neutral density) filter, enabling users to exercise greater creative control over exposure even when shooting in bright light. In addition, the camera’s settings menu has the option to activate the ND filter manually.

Which Sony RX100 VII has Touch Screen?

The Sony RX100 VII comes standard with a touch screen that enables users to easily navigate the menus and settings of the camera, as well as touch-to-focus and touch-to-shoot capabilities, respectively.

How long does the battery last on Sony RX100 VII?

The maximum number of shots that can be taken on a single charge with the Sony RX100 VII’s battery is approximately 260.

This is a relatively low number compared to some other cameras’ battery life. On the other hand, the camera does come with a USB charging cable, which makes it convenient to charge the device while traveling.

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