First look: Sony RX100 Mark VII – the baby A9!

Sony has just announced the RX100 Mark VII, a 1-inch stacked CMOS type sensor camera, and I'm blessed to be the first photographer in Malaysia to have an early hands-on with it, and here's my test drive on this little pocket rocket!

     

Just like its predecessor, the new Mark VII sports a 24-200mm lens which is a very versatile focal range. With the Sony A9 as my daily workhorse, the feature that leaps out and grabs my attention on this new iteration is the inheritance of the real-time eye auto focus and AI tracking capabilities akin to the flagship Sony A9. The eye auto focus detects both human and animal eyes. I was suitably impressed when just a few months ago, Sony put these capabilities into the APS-C sized sensor A6400; but now, with the Mark VII flexing those same auto focus muscles in a much smaller form-factor, we could say that we can now fit the power of the Sony A9 right into our pocket! Plus, during burst shots, there is no blackout on the screen nor in the viewfinder when the shutter button is pressed. Couple that with the 20 fps burst rate up to about 90 frames in the buffer, we have a camera that is ready for just about any type of shoot.

   

I brought the Mark VII out for an evening couple's portrait session, and I am pleasantly surprised with the results of the images that we got. We had initially planned for a 5pm photo shoot session, but as luck would have it, the dark clouds rolled in and it poured ferociously before our session started. It wasn't until about 6:30pm when it stopped raining and we quickly seized the chance to get some photos before the sun had fully set. Albeit challenged with the cloudy skies and dim lighting, the Mark VII impressed me by its ability to focus well and produce great image quality in high ISO levels. All the images below are taken by the RX100 Mark VII.

             

Possessing the auto focus tracking prowess of the A9, the Mark VII tracks the eyes of the subject with great accuracy. In the shots below, the camera prioritizes eye auto focus as its main method of focusing. If the camera doesn't detect any eyes in the frame, it will track the face of the subject instead. If it doesn't detect the face, it will switch to tracking mode and continue to track the movement of the subject.

   

Watch the video below to see how the real time eye auto focus and tracking system work in tandem with the continuous burst shooting mode, and the resulting images.

   

The focal range of the Mark VII empowers the photographer to shoot from wide (24mm) to telephoto (200mm) with ease. Below is a series of photos that I shot of my friend Renee.

An image taken at 24mm:

 

This is taken at approx 130mm:

   

And this is taken at 200mm:

 

Apart from the outstanding features that I have highlighted above, the Mark VII has yet another party trick up its sleeves. Rejoice vloggers, there's now a mic input jack!

   

When vlogging, the screen now flips up 90 degrees so that vloggers can easily check the camera framing at all times.

   

I believe the aim of the RX100 series has always been to provide the best image quality in a form factor that's small and lightweight. It's certainly a joy to have such a versatile camera that's easy to tote around all day long. Now that Sony has beefed up the Mark VII with the latest and greatest tech taken directly from its flagship A9 model, this is one little camera that punches, quite literally, way above its weight. Does it deserve the title of a "Baby A9"? Yes, I do think so!

   

Mad props to Sony Malaysia for the RX100 Mark VII and Rewolf With Love for the bouquet of roses. Renee, Chloe, and Aaron for being amazing sport in our photo shoot sessions!

#RX100MVII #RX100M7 #SonyAlphaProPhotographer #SonyMalaysia