Sony RX100 VII Gets “Next Level” AF Performance from the Sony a9!

Sony just announced the Sony RX100 VII premium compact camera with some “next level” AF performance borrowed from the top dog Sony a9 full-frame mirrorless camera.

As impressive as this sounds, the more impressive feat here is the fact that Sony has been pushing these little cameras around now for seven generations without upgrading basic design features such as a proper flip-out screen and a longer lasting battery, which is pretty much a requisite for the increased incremental performance each generation brings, but I digress.

In their press materials, Sony goes on to say that their new RX100 VII is “utilising technologies developed for Sony’s full-frame mirrorless camera Alpha 9, the RX100 VII achieves new levels of performance in a compact camera, in both stills and movie shooting, inspiring the user to feel confident that they are armed with professional-level power in their pocket for spontaneous shooting in everyday life.”

For those that want to skip the preamble, here’s the skinny:

Sony RX100 VII Features

  • 20.1 MP 1-inch Exmor RS Back-Illuminated CMOS Sensor
  • ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.8-4.5 Lens
    • 24-200mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning:
    • XAVC-S 8bit (don’t get your hopes up)
    • UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p [60 to 100 Mb/s]
    • 1080p at 23.976p/25p/30p/50p/60p/100p/120p [16 to 100 Mb/s]
  • Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for video
  • 357 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast detection areas
  • 4K Active SteadyShot that is 8x more effective than 4K Standard SteadyShot
  • Integrated 3.5mm Microphone input for external mics!
  • Hybrid Log-Gamma (HDR)/S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, S-Gamut3/S-Log3
  • Interval Shooting for time-lapse videos
  • Super Slow Motion recording at up to 1000fps (quality varies)
  • 180-degree flip screen
  • Dimensions/Weight:
    • approx. 302g/102mm x 58mm x 43mm)
  • Pre-order: $1,198 at B&H

The RX100 VII comes with a newly developed 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and the latest generation BIONZ X image processor. This combination delivers new levels of autofocus performance and achieves speed breakthroughs that have previously only been seen on the Alpha 9.

The integrated ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 lens remains the same as on the previous gen, but if “it ain’t broke, why fix it right?”. I get it from a manufacturing and business perspective makes sense to re-use as much parts as possible from the previous generation and rehash it since you’ve already spend the $$$ on the R&D, which is an extremely capital intensive process, so they get a pass here.

The big bump in specs comes in the AF performance – here you get 357 focal-plane phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points. In addition, thanks to a newly optimised lens drive control, the RX100 VII apparently delivers world’s fastest 0.02 sec AF acquisition time, as claimed by Sony.

A major leap in AF/AE tracking performance during continuous shooting means the camera performs AF/AE calculations up to 60 times per second and captures fast moving action at 20fps with AF/AE tracking, ensuring that each moment is shot with swift and accurate focus.

This will be perfect for vloggers, enthusiasts and just about anyone who wants a point-n-shoot camera with excellent autofocus in video.

Sony RX100 VII Selfie

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’ utilises 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 AI-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF for both humans and animals, and allows the photographer to concentrate exclusively on composition.

  • Shooting Grip Kit for Vloggers

Sony really wants you to start vlogging with the new RX100 VII – hence why they’ve come up with a “vlogging kit” with an external microphone and the Shooting Grip Kit (DSC-RX100M7G).

The kit includes an Sony RX100 VII, Shooting Grip (VCT-SGR1) which allows for easy recording and zooming right at your fingertips, Bracket with Accessory Shoe to attach the Microphone, and two batteries (NP-BX1).

  • Pricing and Availability

The RX100 VII is available to listed at B&H for $1,200 with pre-orders starting soon.

The RX100 VII and LCJ-RXK are expected to start shipping in Europe and North America in August 2019. Pricing for Europe is approximately €1,300/£1,200 and €85 respectively.

To learn more and get full specs head over to Sony here.

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