Jul 19 , 2018
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX100 VI is the newest pocketable compact camera to feature a 1"-type image sensor. Unlike existing RX100 models, the RX100 M6 ventures into the do-everything/travel camera space, with the addition of a 24-200mm equivalent F2.8-4.5 lens.
Like its immediate predecessor, the Mark VI offers quick and accurate on-sensor phase detection autofocus, the ability to shoot at up to 24 frames per second and highly detailed 4K video taken from the full width of its sensor. It becomes the first RX100-series camera to offer a touchscreen and has a redesigned electronic viewfinder that can be activated or stowed-away with a single push.
- 20.1MP 1"-type stacked CMOS sensor
- F2.8-4.5, 24-200mm equiv. zoom lens
- Retractable 2.36M-dot EVF with 0.59x equiv. magnification
- 24 fps burst shooting (with continuous autofocus)
- UHD 4K video at 30p and 24p, 1080p slow-motion capture
- 5-axis image stabilization
- 3" touchscreen LCD
- On-sensor phase-detection autofocus
- Wi-Fi with NFC for quick image transfer to mobile devices
- USB charging
Despite the meaningfully increased lens range, the RX100 VI is less than 2mm (5/64") thicker than the Mark V. The result is a camera that can lend itself to a wider range of photographic situations (making it a solid traveling companion) but with a less bright lens that means sacrificing some of the low-light capability of its sister 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.
Body and Controls
The familiar looks of the RX100-series are mated to a familiar control interface in the Mark VI: one that allows but doesn't exactly inspire getting involved with the camera's settings. Perhaps this will make more sense as a travel and family camera, rather than the photography enthusiast that the shorter but brighter RX100 V seemed aimed at.
- The RX100 VI has a small, well-built body, but one worth treating with care
- It has a limited number of control points despite its extensive feature set but offers a degree of customization
- The touchscreen is useful but is solely used for focus position and playback mode
- The menus are extensive and difficult to memorize but have a custom 'My Menu' tab to minimize your need to track down the settings you want to change
- Overall the RX100 VI lets the user take some control but assumes you won't be changing settings very often