Sony's new RX100 VI is a pocket powerhouse

The new RX100 VI premium compact camera from Sony may look the same as its predecessors, but this time Sony has managed to shoehorn in much longer 24-200mm f/2.8-f/4.5 zoom lens.

This new, high-magnification zoom lens is a considerable improvement (as far as range if concerned at least) over the RX100 V, which features a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens. This extended reach will certainly make it a much more tempting proposition for those looking for an all-in-one travel compact, a market which until now has been dominated by Panasonic with the likes of the ZS100 and ZS200

Sony has managed to keep the pocket-sized proportions of the RX100 VI, thanks to a unique lens design that features two ED (extra-low dispersion) aspherical glass elements and eight aspherical lens elements, including four AA (advanced aspherical) lenses. 

While the maximum aperture is now a little slower than the optic featured on the RX100 V, Sony believes the RX100 VI will still be capable of delivering portraits with beautiful bokeh. The lens also sports Sony's built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system, which delivers a 4-stop advantage.  

Resolution remains the same

The RX100 VI features the same resolution as the RX100 V at 20.1MP, with the 1.0-inch stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor featuring a DRAM chip and an upgraded BIONZ X image processing system with a front-end LSI to maximize processing speed.

The advanced 315-point phase-detect AF arrangement remains the same as before, and promises to acquire focus in 0.03 seconds (the world’s fastest AF acquisition time for 1.0-inch sensor camera).

In a first for the RX100 series, the RX100 VI includes Sony’s advanced High-density Tracking AF technology. This sees the focusing system concentrate AF points around a subject to improve tracking and focus accuracy, while Sony's Eye AF technology is also available with approximately 2x the tracking performance of the RX100 V. Finally, selecting your point of focus should be quicker and easier as touch control comes to an RX100 series camera.

The RX100 VI will also shoot at a very rapid 24fps with a buffer limit of 233 images, which when combined with the extra reach for the new lens and improved tracking performance promises to make this a great pocket-sized camera for shooting action.

4K HDR video

When shooting 4K video, the RX100 VI utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning, which promises to keep moire to a minimum and avoid the ‘jaggies’ that can sometimes otherwise ruin footage. The RX100 VI is also the first Cyber-shot camera to offer 4K HDR compatibility thanks to its new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile. 

Like the RX100 V, the RX100 VI features a high-resolution 2.35-million dot electronic viewfinder, while vloggers will be pleased to hear that on the new camera you can now rotate the display 180 degrees upwards, as well as 90 degrees downward, for a variety of shooting angles. 

The Sony RX100 VI will be available at the beginning of July priced at £1,150 / $1,200 /   AU$1,699. 

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.