Sony's RX100 VI delivers what smartphones can't - a massive zoom

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member

Few people were as skeptical about smartphone cameras as me. While I knew they would eventually eclipse point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs in terms of popularity, I didn’t foresee it happening this fast.

The rise in mobile photography goes hand in hand with the boom in popularity of smartphones; they played off the achievements of the other to get to where they are today. But, that wasn’t the only recipe for success. Mobile camera makers have had to pull all sorts of tricks out of their hats to overcome physical limitations – multi-camera arrays, artificial intelligence and vastly improved sensor quality, just to name a few.

Mix in the convenience factor and against all odds, it has worked. Today’s mobile shooters are incredibly impressive and for many buyers, camera quality is a key cog in driving smartphone purchasing decisions. Yet with all of the technological advancements, traditional cameras still have an ace or two in the hole.

One such advantage is prominently on display in Sony’s recently announced RX100 VI, a premium compact camera packing a whopper of a zoom lens.

Onboard the RX100 VI is a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm f/2.8 – f/4.5 aperture lens with two ED (extra-low dispersion) aspherical glass elements and eight aspherical lens elements (including four AA (advanced aspherical) lenses) that utilizes Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system to help prevent blur.

Under the proverbial hood is a 1.0-inch stacked 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS image sensor complete with upgraded BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI. You also get 315 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 65 percent of the frame and high-speed continuous shooting at up to 24 fps with full AF / AE tracking.

Sony says the shooter can acquire focus in as little as 0.03 seconds, making it the world’s fastest in terms of 1.0-type sensor cameras.

Look for the Sony RX100 VI to ship in July priced at $1,200. Pre-orders open on June 7.

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Posts: 92   +50
And the Panasonic TZ100 had a 25-250mm lens a year ago (which is bigger), and now the new Panasonic TZ200 has a 25-360mm lens which is even bigger still!


Posts: 2,685   +2,023
Smartphones WOULD rival some of the compact cameras, if the entire smartphone industry has the brass monkey's to stand up to the designers that want "slim, stylish & colorful". Let the phones gain a little weight, increase the sensor size & put a retractable zoom lens on the back. Samsung almost had that with the Galaxy Zoom a few years ago.


Posts: 158   +73
Camera designers are some of the most insular people on the planet. Camera phones have indeed come a long way, but for the iPhone to still not have a full width photo option is just crazy. Given most people are taking photos on their phones, and therefore most likely viewing them there, having those 2 black bars on the side is just plain nuts. Yes I know there are workarounds, like using 'take snapshot while videoing' or purpose-built apps, but the apps usually don't populate the exif fields like time, place, exposure etc. And of course you can crop - but who has time or the inclination to do that with lots of photos? I'm not saying it should necessarily be the default, but it should at least be an option.

The DSLR makers are no better. That a Canon DSLR doesn't have the option to take a panorama (without using a wide lens, I.e. with in-camera stitching) is just daft. It's just program code, and it's not like they don't have it - consumer level Canons can do it. And why not? Because " *real* photographers don't need or want those features ". Yes, but their market is not 'real' photographers, those people are few and far between. Their real market is the enthusiastic rich amateur, who likes things like that.