Sony introduced Thursday the latest in its RX point-and-shoot cameras in the RX100 VII incorporating a newly developed 1.0-type stacked 20.1 megapixel Exmor RS CMOS image sensor.

The Sony RX100 VII, which will hit stores in August at a $1,200 suggested retail, is said to enable new levels of still and 4K movie shooting from a compact camera. In addition to the new image sensor, the camera includes Sony’s latest BIONZ X image processor, “which work together to deliver peak autofocus and speed performance.”

Another flexible feature in the compact camera (measures 102mm x 58mm x 43mm and weighs 302g) is its wide-range Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm F2.8-4.5 high magnification zoom lens.

The RX100 VII incorporates 357 focal-plane phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points.

Also included is a newly optimized lens drive control, allowing for what the company is calling “the world’s fastest 0.02 sec. AF acquisition time.”

The camera’s advanced AF/AE tracking during continuous shooting performscalculations up to 60 times per second to capture fast-moving action at 20 fps with swift and accurate focus.

The image sensor also offers “blackout-free shooting” for a completely live view, even when continuous shooting at 20fps; which is the same as Sony’s pro-level Alpha 9 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

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The RX100 VII also adds a new drive mode called Single Burst Shooting that captures a high-speed shot at up to 90 fps in JPEG/RAW format through an anti-distortion shutter. With this users can frame fast-moving action in a seven-image burst taken at 90, 60 and 30 fps as like taking a single shot. The user can later choose the best shot from the batch.

The Sony RX100 VII is also billed as the first compact camera with advanced Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF capabilities. Real-time Tracking employs a new algorithm, including artificial intelligence-based object recognition for a high degree of focus accuracy, even via the rear-screen touch panel. Real-time Eye AF is the latest version of Sony’s Eye AF technology that uses A.I.-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time.

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For video shooting, the RX100 VII includes a number of pro-level features including: 4K in-body movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in high bit rate XAVCS compression; Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for video; 4K Active SteadyShot that is 8x more effective than 4K Standard SteadyShot; 3.5mm microphone input; Hybrid Log-Gamma (HDR) / S-Gamut3.Cine / S-Log3, S-Gamut3 / S-Log3; compatibility with movie edit add-on from the “Imaging Edge” mobile application for movie stabilization and editing.

Also included is vertical-position data recording for movies; interval shooting time-lapse; super slow motion recording at up to 960 fps; 180-degree flip screen.

Also available later in the year will be the Sony RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit, model DSC-RX100M7G ($1,300 suggested retail) that will pack the RX100 VII camera with a Shooting Grip (VCT-SGR1); bracket with accessory shoe and two rechargeable battery packs (NP-BX1).

By Greg Tarr

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