Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VA

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VA

Note: Sony released the RX100 VA in July 2018, and you can read about the changes here. Be aware of the existence of the two variants and make sure you're buying the newest model.

20MP 1" Stacked CMOS sensor | 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens | 4K video capture

What we like:

  • Excellent photo quality
  • Very good AF for a compact
  • 24 fps burst shooting with deep buffer
  • Oversampled 4K and ultra-slow-motion video

What we don't:

  • Interface and controls can be overwhelming
  • No touchscreen
  • Pricey
  • Limited battery life
The RX100 VA is an updated version of the RX100 V, which offers the same 20MP Stacked CMOS sensor, fast 24-70mm equiv. lens, hybrid AF system, clever popular viewfinder and excellent 4K video quality. The 'VA' adds a larger buffer, new metering, white balance and AF modes, an improved EVF refresh rate and more.
As with its predecessors, the RX100 VA has a compact, somewhat slippery body with a 1"-type Stacked CMOS sensor and a fast 24-70mm equiv. lens. The pop-up electronic viewfinder remains, though we're disappointed that the LCD still isn't touch-enabled. We continue to think the interface and menu system are in need of an overhaul.
It unquestionably offers the best combination of photo and video quality, autofocus, speed and compactness in its category
Autofocus is swift and accurate in complete auto mode, following subjects and faces around the entire frame and focusing on them at lightning speed, even at 24 fps. Try to take control over specifying your subject, though, and the camera can falter. The buffer is also exceptionally large. Battery life is not one of the RX100 V's strong suits.
Still image quality is at the top of its class thanks to the sharp lens (if you get a good copy) and excellent JPEG image quality, even in low light. Raw image quality is similar to most other cameras in this roundup, since they nearly all use some variant of a Sony 1"-type sensor. Which is to say: it's very good.
The camera's 4K video is incredibly detailed, and rolling shutter is now so well-controlled as to be a non-issue for most. Extensive video tools make this one of the most capable video-oriented stills camera available: log gamma captures high contrast scenes, incredibly effective stabilization in 1080 makes for rock-steady footage, and the new AF system is uncanny in its ability to intelligently pick and decisively maintain focus on subjects. It still lacks a microphone input, though.
The handling and ergonomics continue to be the RX100-series' weak point, and we wish Sony would address some of these concerns as they continue to add features and capability into a camera where the menus and controls are already overwhelmed. The end result is an incredibly capable camera that encourages point-and-shoot usage. If that's just what you're looking for, and you can justify the price tag, it unquestionably offers the best combination of photo and video quality, autofocus, speed and compactness in its category.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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