The big picture: Smartphones have decimated the standalone digital camera market but for enthusiasts and those that value quality and functionality over convenience, it's good to see that quality options still exist.... even if they are fewer and far between.

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.