Those who are familiar with the Sony RX100 design over the years have known that this point and shoot has been very popular since it comes with a 1" image sensor and a flip-up LCD screen. But what has kept it from taking its place as the top vlogging camera is its lack of an external microphone jack. But no longer, as the RX100 VII finally gets a mic jack, along with real-time eye autofocus introduced in the A9.
Essentially an updated RX100 VI, which just came out last year, the 7th generation of the camera model brings along with it real-time tracking and eye focus that have been quite popular in full-frame mirrorless cameras like the Sony A9, as well as the lesser A6400. The upgraded 357-point phase detection autofocus system is touted as the world's fastest at .02 seconds, and there's also contrast detection autofocus that boosts up to 425 points.
There's the same Zeiss 24-200mm f2.8-4.5 zoom lens for 8.3x optical zoom the 20mp stacked 1" Exmos CMOS image sensor is a definite upgrade, bring with it a single burst shooting drive mode that can shoot up to 90fps in a seven still burst. The RX100 VII also shoots internal 4K video with hybrid log gamma (HLG) HDR 4K and no pixel binning. Sony has also added an active mode image stabilization for keeping your image rock steady while moving with the subject.
- ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm1 F2.8 - F4.5 high magnification zoom lens
- World's fastest (0.02 sec.) AF speed, 357-point phase detection and 425-point contrast-detection AF
- Up to 20 fps Blackout-free Shooting, using up to 60 times/sec.5 AF/AE calculations
- Single Burst Shooting captures 7 shots at up to 30/60/90 fps in JPEG/RAW
- AI-based Real-time Tracking for stills and movies, and Touch Tracking
- Real-time Eye AF for human (stills and movies), and for animal (stills only)
- Newly developed 20.1MP10 1" Exmor RS stacked BSI CMOS sensor with DRAM
- 4K movie with direct pixel readout, no pixel binning, HLG instant HDR; Interval Shooting
- Microphone jack, vertical-position data recording, Super slow-motion up to 960fps
- Active mode image stabilization in 4K video recording, and Movie Edit add-on compatible
For me, however, the most noteworthy hardware feature for shooters is the external microphone jack, leaving behind the days of needing to record an audio track separately and syncing in post, though it's my experience that filmmakers will want to continue to do that anyway just to be safe. And now that the RX100 VII has that feature, it will most likely open up a world of possibilities for vloggers on YouTube looking for a compact alternative to carrying a hefty DSLR or full-frame mirrorless camera.
To that end, Sony has also created the RX100 VII "Shooting Grip Kit" which adds a handheld grip (with camera controls), microphone bracket and two rechargeable batteries. What add-on external microphone you use is up to you, but RØDE has several great options.
When available in August of 2019, the RX100 VII will sell for around $1200, but add an additional $100 and you get the Shooting Grip Kit. Nearly worth it for the extra batteries! I'd also pick up the Sony LCJ-RXK Jacket Case for an extra measure of protection. The Case is designed to not interfere with camera operations, including using the flip-up screen, attaching to a tripod, and wireless data transfer WiFi and NFC. That's an extra $85 well spent, and the leather look finish makes it look very old school.