Sony continues to recycle the same features over their phone lineup with a slightly dumbed down Xperia 1 phone which is their flagship with the same camera arrangement, screen, and main features. The 1080p 960fps mode is still here with a duration of 0.1 seconds and at 720p of 0.2 seconds. The resolution and quality are not real 1080p as we have discussed before and the reduced time makes it nearly unusable.
However, the feature many are calling a bad omen is the disappearance of the 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone is slimmer and smaller than the Xperia 1 but shares the best traits at a lower price. For many, it will not be enough to counter the popularity of other phones that are more full-featured and offer a vast array of video modes.
The Sony RX100 VII or also known as the RX100M7 is the latest in the stacked 1″ CMOS sensor line from the company in what amounts to another evolutionary incremental step without a real revolution. New is the impressive real-time AF technology from the Sony a9 professional camera now miniaturized into this pocketable beast with up to 20fps at full resolution and up to 90fps in high burst mode but for only 7 shots which is kind of a letdown as it is very limited.
The HFR mode in previous RX series cameras have been one of our favorites among the cameras released in the past few years by including truly usable 240p, 480/500p, and 960/1000p depending on NTSC or PAL mode selection with also the ability to trigger a pre and post record time to not miss the moment. This ability is akin to what a real dedicated serious slow motion camera can deliver. The problem is that the RX cameras are severely time-limited at 4 seconds quality priority time and or 7 seconds in shoot time priority.
The newly announced Sony a6400 is what the a6300 should have been almost two years ago. It is still missing a key feature that was introduced with the a6500 that of IBIS or Sensor Stabilization which works with any lens added to the system. However, if you remove the IBIS fail from the equation this is a killer camera for just $900 which in this day and age of $1000+ cellphones, it is quite a bargain for the body only.
We were amazed by the 120fps full HD quality of other sony alpha cameras like the a9 and the a7 III which fully track subjects while recording in super slow motion which really makes the feature stand out compared to other cameras which force you to go manual while on that mode. The codec quality has also been bumped in this camera for 120p to 100Mbps from 60Mbps on earlier cameras like the a6300 which should preserve more detail while sacrificing little in image crispness.
Sony has released an altered version of the RX100 V camera for the Australian market which keeps all of the good features of the RX100 V camera but also changes it’s internals and software to allow for increased buffer space for images and video in HFR mode and allows the AF module to include the Fast Hybrid AF system with 315 focal-plane phase-detection points to match that of the RX100 VI which was announced just last month.
The memory increase itself allows for 24fps continuous shooting with a buffer up to 148 JPEG frames. That also allows improved High Frame Rate recording times, and fast continuous AF with stills and while recording UHD 4K video. Recording of 7 seconds of recording in Shoot Time Priority at the 240 fps setting which matches the one in the regular RX100 V and RX100 VI in America.
The Sony RX100 VI camera has not reached the reviewers yet for a full in-depth look but the early press shoots did gather some slow-motion footage which shows the camera in action. We also got a final word from a good source that the camera has the exact same HFR resolution and timing features as the RX100 V which means there is no improvement in the quality of the image when shooting higher frame rates.
In fact, you may even get lesser quality footage due to the lens being now an 8x f2.8 to f4.5 lens 24-200mm (35mm Equivalent) which is much slower and by optical standards, it should trail the 2.91x f/1.8-2.8 Lens 24-70mm (35mm Equivalent) of the RX100 V. So you get a $250 price increase for a better AF system, better color in video, a better tilt screen which is now full touch and the ability to zoom 8x. If those things are important to you then the extra money may be worth it.
So nearly two years after the excellent RX100 V by Sony was released, which won on our recommendation for slow-motion camera on a budget for both 2016 and 2017, the new RX100 VI or the sixth iteration of this specific camera line has been announced. It keeps the same body size but out goes the fast f1.8-f2.4 lens of old which was surprisingly good for a now average f2.4 to f4.5 24-200mm equivalent or 8x optical zoom which is great as a do it all range. Many are not thrilled but we will have to see if the sensor advancements, the new 4 stop stabilization, and noise suppression works well enough to keep it an acceptable low light option.
Our main interest in these cameras lies in the fact that HFR mode or (High Frame Rate) has been a key selling point since the cameras first appeared. The RX 100 V improved resolution and recording time and we are glad to see that the new RX 100 VI maintains those specs. We estimate it will at least be the same 7sec in Shoot Time Priority and 4 seconds in Quality Priority.
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