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Sony's RX100 VI compact hides a ridiculous zoom lens

Steve Dent

Sony has unveiled the RX100 VI 20.1-megapixel premium compact camera with a new telephoto lens that will make it a lot more interesting for travel photography. Rather than the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8 T lens of the last model, the Mark VI packs a hugely longer, optically stabilized 24-200 f/2.8-4.5 T mm 8.3X zoom lens. That's over a stop slower than previous f/1.8-2.8 T lens, but the extra range will be worth it for many folks, and Sony has boosted other specs to make up for it.

The RX100 VI is equipped with a 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS sensor with a built in DRAM chip to maximize speed. It can can shoot at 24 fps with full AF/AE tracking as before, but now focuses in just 0.03 seconds compared to 0.05 seconds. Moreover, eye-tracking Eye AF focus is twice as fast as on the RX100 V. It still has 315 phase-detection (plus contrast-detection) AF points, but gets a speed boost from the image BIONZ X processor found on Sony's flagship full-frame A9 mirrorless camera.

(Sony)

Happily, the RX100 VI now has a touchscreen that can handle touch focusing and shutter release, and it flips up 180 degrees for selfie shooters or vloggers, too. (Unfortunately, there's still no microphone port, limiting its usefulness for pros and serious vloggers).

Furthermore, it comes with 2.35 million-dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF (above) with one-touch operation so that you don't have to pull it out manually anymore. As you'd expect, the RX100 VI supports 4K video at 30fps, but can now handle HDR 4K, too -- the first for a Cybershot camera, Sony said.

Along with the camera, Sony unveiled the $100 VCT-SGR1 shooting grip to support all RX100 and RX1 camera models. It connects via a micro USB terminal and built-in buttons let you control shutter release and video recording. The bottom can be spread out into a tripod, letting it serve the same function as a Joby GorillaPod, for instance.

Sony introduced the RX100 V just a year after the Mark IV model, so we were getting impatient to see what it would do next. Now we know why it took so long, considering the significant lens and spec overhaul. The RX100 VI will arrive in July, but you can pre-order it on June 7th for $1,200. Stay tuned for a closer, hands-on look.


  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.