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Sony RX100 VII is a tiny superzoom with 90fps bursts and A9-level performance

Sony RX100 Mark VII
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony's RX100 series of compact cameras have proved to be some of the most popular of their kind among enthusiasts, and the line has now welcomed some fresh blood in the shape of the RX100 Mark VII.

The seventh iteration in the line, the Sony RX100 VII conforms to much the same design as the previous RX100 VI, and arrives with the same lens that provides a 24-200mm zoom range in 35mm terms and a maximum aperture of f/2.8-4.5.

Also on board is a newly developed 1-inch stacked CMOS sensor, which, once again offers 20.1MP, as well a BIONZ X processing engine and five-axis image stabilization, courtesy of compensatory elements shifting inside the lens.

It arrives with the familiar headline claim of having the world's fastest autofocus among cameras with a 1-inch sensor, which sounds impressive but means very little in practice, although Sony has squeezed in some of the autofocus wizardry it's introduced in its interchangeable lens cameras in recent months.

The system offers 357 phase-detect AF points and 425 contrast-detect AF points, with Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF both on board, handling both human subjects and animals. Sony promises the same shooting speed and AF performance as its A9 model – that means 20fps burst shooting without any blackout, with up to 60 autofocus and auto-exposure calculations per second. Even more amazingly, the camera can fire at up to 90fps, though only for seven frames and with focus and exposure fixed to that of the first frame.

Video recording continues to be offered in 4K UHD and Full HD flavors, once again at frame rates up to 30p on the 4K setting, although the camera now boasts support for 4K HDR shooting, which wasn't available on the previous RX100 Mark VI. Vertical shooting support is also now offered, and the image stabilization system here is said to be more powerful. Impressively, Sony has even found space for a mic socket.

Once again we see a pop-up electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2.36 million dots and a magnification of 0.59x (in 35mm terms), together with a 3-inch touchscreen with 1.23 million dots, which can flip up and around 180 degrees. Wi-Fi and NFC are also both on board, as is Bluetooth.

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Sony has already had a busy 2019. Most recently it added the Alpha A7R IV to its A7 stable of full-frame mirrorless cameras, following the separate announcements of the A6400 APS-C mirrorless camera and RX0 II ultra-compact camera earlier in the year.

The company has also fleshed out its lens portfolio in recent months, adding the FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, FE 200-600 f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS and FE 35mm f/1.8 to its optics portfolio.

The RX100 VII will be available from August with an RRP of $1,200 in the US and £1,200 in the UK, while folk Down Under will have to shell out AU$1,999 for the new pocket rocket.