What's new and how it compares

The RX100 VI squeezes a much longer lens into a still pocketable body, making it more of a do-everything travel zoom than the short-but-bright lenses in previous models.

The RX100 Mark VI looks a lot like the original Mk I but the cameras have grown a little deeper with each model. It's still a very small camera, considering the sensor size and image quality that it's capable of.

The new lens offers twice the reach of any previous RX100 model, making it a much more flexible camera, but to keep the overall package size down, this has meant it's the slowest lens to yet feature in the series. The maximum aperture at the wide end of the lens is F2.8, making it 1.3EV slower than the F1.8 lenses in previous models. This means either having to use longer exposures to get the same amount of light or accepting that your images will be a bit noisier.

Along the way the RX100 series has gained a series of features, this latest model gaining a more convenient viewfinder that pops up and retracts with a single press, along with a rear screen that flips down as well as up. It also gains Bluetooth connectivity but this is used solely for transferring location data from a smart device, not for speeding or easing the Wi-Fi connection process.

Compared

However, it's worth noting that the lens doesn't race to its minimum aperture of F4.5 as soon as you start zooming: it stays at F4 until a little over 100mm equivalent, and can still give a bit of background blur and typical portrait shooting distances, especially if your subject is standing some distance away from that background. This doesn't make it competitive with the likes of Canon's G7X II but it's faster than the 28-100mm equivalent lens on the first two RX100 models (they topped-out at F4.9). It also allows for more background blur than the two competing Panasonic models at like-for-like zoom settings.

The Mark VI's longer zoom puts it squarely up against Panasonic's TZ / ZS series cameras (with the 'TZ' naming indicating that they're Travel Zooms, first and foremost). The cheaper TZ100 is a closer match for the RX100 VI in terms of lens range.

Sony RX100 M6 Panasonic ZS100 Panasonic ZS200 Sony RX100 M5
MSRP $1200 $699 $799 $1000
Zoom range (equiv) 24-200mm 25-250mm 24-360mm 24-70mm
Max aperture range 2.8-4.5 2.8-5.9 3.3-6.4 1.8-2.8
Pixel Count 20MP 20MP 20MP 20MP
Sensor tech Stacked CMOS BSI CMOS BSI CMOS Stacked CMOS
Focus type Phase detection Depth-from-defocus CDAF Depth-from-defocus CDAF Phase detection
Burst shooting rate 24 fps 10 fps 10 fps 24 fps
Viewfinder tech OLED Field-sequential LCD Field-sequential LCD OLED
Viewfinder magnification 0.59x 0.46x 0.53x 0.59x
Viewfinder resolution 2.36M dots 1.66M dot equiv 2.33M dot equiv 2.36M dots
Video resolution UHD 4K UHD 4K UHD 4K UHD 4K
Video capture method Full-width oversampled Cropped 1:1 capture Cropped 1:1 capture Full-width oversampled
Touchscreen Capabilities Touch AF
Touchpad AF
Playback
Touch AF
Touchpad AF
Playback
Function menu
Main menu
Touch AF
Touchpad AF
Playback
unction menu
Main menu
None
Battery life (CIPA) 240 shots per charge 300 shots per charge 370 shots per charge 220 shots per charge
Weight (inc card & battery) 301g 312g 340g 300g
Dimensions (measured) 103 x 58 x 44 110 x 65 x 47 112 x 66 x 49 103 x 58 x 43

In addition to its shorter but brighter lens, the Sony is also able to shoot and, in principle, focus faster than both Panasonics. It also has a much nicer viewfinder (larger, brighter and with progressive scan). In fact, the RX100 VI outshines the Panasonics in most regards, other than lens range: something we covered in a recent article.

One significant advantage of the RX100 VI is that it takes its video from the full width of the sensor. This has a number of benefits: for a start, it means that the lens offers a similar field-of-view range to that available in stills mode, meaning you can still achieve wide-angle capture. The second benefit is that using a larger expanse of sensor means more light capture and less noisy footage. Finally, the RX100 VI's ability to capture video using ~5400 pixels, before down-sampling to the standard 3840 pixels means its footage can be more detailed than the Panasonic's.