Sony’s new compact superzoom features ‘the world’s fastest autofocus’

Sony RX100 VII

With an ever-increasing number of mirrorless cameras entering the market, it can be easy to overlook the compact superzoom  category. The new Sony RX100 VII continues to showcase incredible capabilities despite wielding such a small form-factor. This new release comes just a year after the previous generation, yet still manages to offer several impressive improvements.

Quite a few of the upgrades have been inspired by Sony’s a9, which is a much bulkier camera. While several stand out, bringing 0.02 second autofocus acquisition time to the Sony RX100 VII is something that every user will immediately appreciate.

Sony RX100 VII: A powerful and pocketable camera

Chasing after the Sony a9, the company’s new RX100 VII has received an upgraded 20-megapixel 1-inch stacked sensor. This is a technology that Sony has been working on for several years and allows users to capture photos of rapidly-moving subjects with a minimal amount of distortion.

Sony has also added a new drive mode called Single Burst Shooting. It can snap seven still images taken at 90fps, 60fps or 30fps. Combine this with the RX100 VII’s stacked sensor and you’ve got a pocketable camera that should be quite capable of snapping action photos with incredible quality.

If you’ve ever recorded video on a handheld camera before, you know that audio quality has a tendency to be poor. Sony addresses this issue head-on with the addition of a 3.5mm microphone input. This add-on allows Sony to market its new camera squarely at vloggers since they now have the option to buy a professional camera microphone.

“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.”

Pricing and availability

The Sony RX100 VII will ship in August 2019 and will be priced at $1,198. A listing has already appeared at B&H, but it does not allow customers to pre-order quite yet. Considering that Sony’s previous generation RX100 VI has been available for purchase at Amazon for quite some time, we expect the Sony RX100 VII to make an appearance there relatively soon.

9to5Toys’ Take

My last dedicated camera was one of Sony’s mirrorless offerings. I sold it several years ago and have been using an iPhone for 100% of my photography ever since. While Apple has had 2x zoom in its smartphones for several years now, it comes nowhere near the 200mm max offered by the Sony RX100 VII.

With such a pocketable form-factor, I find Sony’s new compact offering to be nudging me back in the direction of buying a dedicated camera. While I find the price tag to be quite daunting, having the latest and greatest technology in a much smaller package helps the case that it may get enough use to justify the investment.

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