Operation and control

Despite the tiny body, the RX100 VII has room for a pop-up viewfinder. It takes just a single flick of a switch to fully deploy it, and you have the choice of whether this action powers the camera up and down.

Every model so far in the RX100 series has packed a ton of functionality into a tiny camera body, and the RX100 VII is no different. Here's how the camera can be customized for your type of shooting.

Key takeaways

  • Menu system requires you to memorize locations but includes My Menu tab for collecting regularly used settings.
  • Fn menu can be defined separately for stills and video modes, but is not touch responsive
  • Four customizable buttons can be separately configured for stills and video, if you wish

Menus

The RX100 VII uses the same menu system as recent Sony cameras. It's one of the more complex menu systems out there. In part this is because it plays host to so many different features and options, but it's also because although Sony has clustered common functions together into groups, there's no way to see where these groups are until you get there.

Dots along the bottom and color-coding of the tabs give you something to recognize and remember, but you still need to memorize where different sections of the menu are hidden.

So, while all the AF options live in the same part of the menu, you have to memorize that that part is 'Camera Tab 1, pages 5-7' or that the Shutter/SteadyShot options are page 5 of Camera Tab 2. The color-coded tabs and dots at the bottom of the screen (both of which appeared with the RX100 VI and VA) act as aides-mémoire but they're no real substitute for being able to see where you're trying to navigate to.

On the plus side, there is a customizable 'My Menu' tab that lets you assemble your most-used functions into a single place in the menu, for faster access and less demand on your ability to remember. New to the RX100 VII is the ability to always have the 'Menu' button take you to 'My Menu' rather than the last page of the Menu you had browsed, accelerating access to your most used functions greatly (under 'My Menu Setting', select 'On' for 'Display From My Menu').

Fn Menu

Up to twelve functions can also be stored in the camera's Fn menu, again minimizing the need to delve into menus.

The RX100 VII lets you define separate Fn menus for stills and video mode, meaning you don't have to so carefully choose which settings you want semi-fast access to.

But, although the RX100 VII has a touchsceen and the Fn menu looks like a touch interface, it's not: you use the four-way controller and dials if you want to change settings.

Button customization

The RX100 VII has four customizable buttons, each of which can be assigned a vast array of functions. The 'Delete' button at the bottom right corner of the camera, plus the center, left and right directional presses of the four-way controller can be re-assigned. Different options can be set for Stills, Video and Playback modes.

The options for stills shooting are vast and varied. To make them easier to find, Sony has split the 81 options across 23 pages that match the named sub-sections of the menu structure as a whole.

Options for stills mode

Quality / Image Size

  • File Format
  • JPEG Quality
  • JPEG Image Size
  • Aspect Ratio

Shoot Mode/Drive

  • Drive Mode
  • Single Burst Self-timer
  • Selftimer during Bracket
  • Interval Shooting
  • MR Camera 1/2 Memory

AF1

  • Focus Mode
  • AF/MF Control Hold*
  • AF/MF Ctrl Toggle
  • Focus Standard*
  • Focus Area
  • Regist. AF Area hold*

AF2

  • Regist AF Area tggle
  • Tracking On*
  • Face/Eye Priority in AF
  • Eye AF*
  • Subject Detection
  • Switch Right/Left Eye

AF3

  • Face/Eye Frame Disp Sel.

Exposure 1

  • Exposure Comp.
  • ISO
  • ISO Auto Min. SS
  • Metering Mode
  • Face Priority in Multi Metering
  • AEL hold*

Exposure 2

  • AEL toggle
  • [Spot] AEL hold*
  • [Spot] AEL toggle

Flash

  • Flash Mode
  • Flash Comp

Color/WB/Img. Processing 1

  • White Balance
  • Priority Set in AWB
  • AWB Lock Hold*
  • AWB Lock Toggle
  • DRO/Auto HDR
  • Creative Style

Color/WB/Img. Processing 2

  • Picture Effect
  • Picture Profile
  • [Stills] Soft Skin Effect

Focus Assist

  • Focus Magnifier
  • Peaking Display Select
  • Peaking Level
  • Peaking Color

Shooting Assist

  • Smile Shutter
  • [Stills] Auto Object Framing
  • In-Camera Guide*

Movie 1

  • MOVIE [REC]
  • HFR Frame Rate
  • Auto Dual Rec
  • Audio Rec Level
  • Audio Level Display
  • [Movie] SteadyShot

Movie 2

  • [Movie] Marker Disp. Sel.

Shutter/SteadyShot

  • [Stills] Shutter Type
  • [Stills] SteadyShot

Zoom

  • Smart Telecon.

Display/Auto Review

  • Finder/Monitor Sel.
  • Zebra Display Select
  • Zebra Level
  • Grid Line
  • Live View Disp. Select
  • Bright Monitoring

Custom Operation 1

  • My Dial 1 during Hold*
  • My Dial 2 during Hold*
  • My Dial 3 during Hold*
  • My Dial 1->2->3
  • Toggle My Dial 1
  • Toggle My Dial 2

Custom Operation 2

  • Toggle My Dial 3
  • Audio signals

Network

  • Send to Smartphone

Playback

  • Playback

Setup

  • Monitor Brightness
  • Gamma Disp. Assist
  • Touch Operation Select
  • TC/UB Disp. Switch
  • Display My Menu

Others

  • Not set

* Functions that require the button be held down cannot be assigned to the left and right buttons

By default the buttons carry their functions across into video mode, but you can customize any or all of them individually to perform a different function.

Options for movie mode

Shoot Mode/Drive

  • MR Camera 1/2 Memory

AF1

  • Focus Mode
  • AF/MF Control Hold*
  • AF/MF Ctrl Toggle
  • Focus Standard*
  • Focus Area
  • Face/Eye Priority in AF

AF2

  • Eye AF*
  • Switch Right/Left Eye
  • Face/Eye Frame Disp Sel.

Exposure 1

  • Exposure Comp.
  • ISO
  • Metering Mode
  • Face Priority in Multi Metering
  • AEL hold*
  • AEL toggle

Exposure 2

  • [Spot] AEL hold*
  • [Spot] AEL toggle

Color/WB/Img. Processing 1

  • White Balance
  • Priority Set in AWB
  • AWB Lock Hold*
  • AWB Lock Toggle
  • DRO/Auto HDR
  • Creative Style

Color/WB/Img. Processing 2

  • Picture Effect
  • Picture Profile

Focus Assist

  • Focus Magnifier
  • Peaking Display Select
  • Peaking Level
  • Peaking Color

Shooting Assist

  • In-Camera Guide*

Movie 1

  • MOVIE [REC]
  • HFR Frame Rate
  • Auto Dual Rec
  • Audio Rec Level
  • Audio Level Display
  • [Movie] SteadyShot

Movie 2

  • [Movie] Marker Disp. Sel.

Display/Auto Review

  • Finder/Monitor Sel.
  • Zebra Display Select
  • Zebra Level
  • Grid Line

Custom Operation 1

  • My Dial 1 during Hold*
  • My Dial 2 during Hold*
  • My Dial 3 during Hold*
  • My Dial 1->2->3
  • Toggle My Dial 1
  • Toggle My Dial 2

Custom Operation 2

  • Toggle My Dial 3
  • Audio signals

Network

  • Send to Smartphone

Playback

  • Playback

Setup

  • Monitor Brightness
  • Gamma Disp. Assist
  • Touch Operation Select
  • TC/UB Disp. Switch
  • Display My Menu

Others

  • Not set
  • Follow Custom [Stills]

* Functions that require the button be held down cannot be assigned to the left and right buttons

In Playback mode your options are considerably more limited (you can only customize the 'Fn' button), but the options include the rather useful 'Rating' option. This lets you choose which star ratings are available, then lets you cycle through these values as you review your images.

Personally I tend to set Rating to allow 3* and 5*, then tap or double-tap the Rating button to assign these values to my images. 3* for 'maybe' and 5* for 'definitely'. These star ratings are written into the metadata in a way that Adobe Bridge recognizes.

Focus / Function Ring

The focus/function ring of the RX100 VII can be adjusted. It's a freely rotating ring that takes a bit of a turn before the camera reacts to the input. As such we find it works better for continuously variable settings, such as zoom or manual focus, rather than discrete settings such as exposure compensation.

Functions that can be assigned to the control ring

Exposure

  • Standard
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • Exposure Comp.
  • ISO

Color/WB/Img. Processing

  • White Balance
  • Creative Style
  • Picture Effect

Zoom

  • Zoom

Others

  • Not set