I recently bought a new camera; a premium compact camera from Sony. I’m on a mission to find a small pocket-size camera that can outperform my iPhone AND take photos as good as a professional DSLR camera (or almost as good as).
After some research my choice fell on the Sony RX100 Mark 7. Even though I shoot mostly Canon for my photography work I’ve also used Sony many times in the past and I’ve always been a fan of their cameras. So my expectations were high.
I read some good reviews, and saw some YouTube videos before making my final decision to buy. I was super impressed for all the technology and features this tiny point & shoot camera had. This might be the perfect camera for me, I thought.
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog post, I dream of a camera that is light-weight, shoot fantastic images on automode, focus fast and snap sharp pictures.
I have no aspirations of carrying a heavy DSLR around when I’m not doing professional photography work, and I don’t really want to tweak manual controls when I’m out on hikes, walking the dogs or just shooting for fun. I want a good compact camera to take on occasional travels, something for snapshots and everyday memories – yet, I still want the images to be better than my iPhone photos.
Since the Sony RX100 Mark 7 is a premium compact camera the price is also premium and cost about $1300 USD. But I decided that if it can do the job as my second camera it’s worth every penny. So I placed my order and waited with excitement.
The camera landed on my doorstep a few days before a weekend trip to Skagen in the North of Denmark. It was the perfect chance to first get to know the camera and then go and test it out in the field.
I spend two full days getting to know the camera, and with all the things this camera can do, I honestly felt it wasn’t enough to know ALL of it. But I knew enough to give it a good test drive.
The first couple of photos I took while getting to know the camera was disappointing. So I kept practicing, watching hours of tutorials on this specific camera, reading the manual and try different settings. I just did’t seem to “click” with the camera. It felt like a bad date; like the camera and I were two far apart in personality to connect on a deeper level.
I was sure it was ME that was doing something wrong, and not the camera. So I stayed positive and took it with me on my trip.
I could easily fit the Sony RX100 Mark 7 into my small handbag along with my iPhone, so it was no problem carrying it with me all day. Which was exactly what I wanted.
Every time I took a photo, I made sure to photograph it first with the Sony RX100 Mark 7 and then with my iPhone 13 Pro. I tried to get the photos as similar as possible shooting just on auto mode.
When I got back to the hotel after a day out and about in beautiful Skagen, I was eager to transfer my Sony RX100 Mark 7 photos to my phone to compare. But I was not pleased with the result. When I zoomed in the photos looked grainy and pixelated – way too much than what they should be for a $1300 USD camera.
My first thought was that it must be something with the transfer. Maybe the quality was reduced when they uploaded to my phone? Maybe it would be better when I got the files on my computer?
But when I got home and saw the pictures on my computer screen the result was the same. In many of the photos the focus was so bad I couldn’t use the photos. So what you see in this post are a hand-picked selection out of almost 200 images from my trip.
As I began to edit the photos and compare them to my iPhone snapshots my heart sank. For most of the images the iPhone had outperformed the Sony RX100 Mark 7. I even had to put more effort into edit the photos to get them closer to looking like the iPhone photos.
It was only with the flower photos that the Sony RX100 Mark 7 was performing better, in these close up shots the Sony was much better as you’ll see in the photos below. But in all the other photos the iPhone did just as good or even better.
In that moment, I knew I had to send the Sony RX100 Mark 7 back. It’s the first time in my 14 years as a photographer that I’ve sent a camera back because the image quality wasn’t good enough! There’s no good reason to pay for a premium compact camera if it doesn’t perform way better than the iPhone camera, right!
I also couldn’t help comparing the Sony RX100 Mark 7 to the way older Canon 7GX which I review in this post. Considering the fact that the Canon 7GX cost only half the price of the Sony it performs better, and it’s more user friendly too. So that leaves me a bit confused to WHY the Sony RX100 Mark 7 cost as much as it does.
One feature that I really missed was the option to operate the settings and shoot directly from a touch screen. Though the Sony does have a screen, it doesn’t have a touch screen. The only thing you can activate on the screen is the focus which was not always perfect.
So that brings me back to the dating metaphor. Sometimes a camera is just not a great fit for you and your personality. And though the Sony RX100 Mark 7 wasn’t right for me, somebody else might love it. It wasn’t the relationship I was looking for, so I’ll keep searching for the next small compact camera to fall in love with. Until then I’ll stick to my iPhone.
Happy beautiful day lovelies.