Sony RX100 VII Checks Canon in Battle Over Vlogging

Sony RX100 VII announced

Well, someone definitely nudged Sony awake. After the announcement of the Sony a7r IV, we knew there were three camera codes yet to be announced. Make that two with the release of the Sony RX100 VII (Amazon / B&H / Adorama). Take everything you love about the a9, and shove it into a point-and-shoot. 

And perhaps the best vlogging camera available. 

Let’s get the key specs out of the way:

  • Newly developed 1.0-type stacked 20.1 MP Exmor RS CMOS image sensor with DRAM chip and latest-generation BIONZ X image processor
  • a9 level speed performance with up to 60 AF/AE calculations per second and 20fps(3) blackout-free shooting(4) with AF/AE tracking
  • World-leading 357-point focal-plane phase-detection AF + 425-point contrast-detection AF with world’s fastest 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.

I get the feeling Sony didn’t care much for Canon’s PowerShot announcements earlier in the month. It’s essentially a baby a9. There are features on here which aren’t on the Sony a7 III.  

One quick point about the 90fps feature. What this is, in reality, is the camera can shoot seven frames at the 90fps speed. We’re not getting 90fps. Yet. Who knows what next month will bring? When Sony gets announcement happy, the company tends to get a bit crazy.

One spec that’s oddly not heavily focused on is the unlimited record times in 4K. The Mark VI  and generations prior were stuck on a five-minute record limit. You have tons of five-minute clips to string together. 

Now, it has a mode in the menu to lift that hard cap and temperature level to record as long as you want. Most videos I’ve seen have hit 60 minutes and only stopped because of a dead battery. The thermal issues plaguing other generations of the RX100 are gone. 

Of course, this is within reason. I know someone will stroll out on in the blazing heat on a road and the temperature limit will hard cap and shut the camera down. Don’t be that person. 

Sony RX100 VII Targets Vloggers

The camera is set to ship in August for $1200 (Amazon / B&H / Adorama). A Shooting grip kit will release later this year for $1300. It’s not gimbaled, so your call on waiting for it or not. Other grips work just fine. 

Sony’s latest RX100 is another step towards capturing the vlogging market. It handles 4K with ease. Not only is there the ability to shut off the record limits, but Active SteadyShot is also now in 4K. There is a crop, but you can easily get away with handheld videos.  

And now, it has a microphone jack. That’s right. No more syncing the audio to the video is post. It records right to the camera. 

You will need a cold shoe adapter or toss the RX100 VII in a cage to attach your preferred mic. Now you see why the grip kit is releasing this year. The camera fits in your back pocket, so it’s hard to complain. 

Another nod to vloggers is the flip-up screen. It’s more useful than the one of the Sony a6400 thanks to the hot shoe not blocking it. Move the EVF to the center on the next APS-C camera, Sony. Please. 

We first saw it on the RX100 VI and the VII is keeping the 24-200mm f/2.8 – f/4.5 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens. I understand they are also targeting the travel camera market, but I wish the 24-700mm f/1.8-2.8 would make a return. It’s doubtful that will ever happen due to the insane AF system on the RX100 VII. 

It’s wild a camera that small has swiped the AF system from the flagship a9. And when you stack it up against the Canon PowerShot announcements, it’s clear Sony wants to stomp on any and everything competition-wise. Sony fans are now screaming about the a7s III. 

Price and Availability

It’s not cheap at $1200, but it’s damn near an a9 in a point-and-shoot body. That’s a $3500 camera without a lens. Shipping is set for August and preorders at the usual suspects of Amazon, B&H, and Adorama are open (Amazon / B&H / Adorama). 

The Sony RX100 VII is a monster of a camera and boon for the RX line. But there’s more. The advancements we see here will make their way into the next generation of a7-series cameras and the much-rumored APS-C camera. That’s a win for everybody. And one which hopefully wakes Nikon up at some point.

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