Sony RX100 VA Review

My Sony RX100 VA Review | Real World Perspective, Lab, and More

91
An Ultra Compact Pro Grade Point and Shoot Camera

In this detailed Sony RX100 VA  Review I will cover everything you need know using a real world perspective as well as lab testing!

When compared to the older Sony RX100 IV which I reviewed here, Sony stuffed the New RX100 VA with much more power in the processing department via the Front End LSI. They also added a new sensor which incorporates a Hybrid AF System with 315 Phase detection pointsHigh Frame Rate mode (Slow Motion Video) is now available in full HD all the way up to 960 frames per second, and the max frames per second with photography shooting is now 24fps!

All of these new features are welcomed and powerful in there own way, but the Front End LSI in particular is what provides the extra processing throughput power/ speed. This then allows for the upgraded Slow motion and frames per second processing power requirements. That is an insane amount of data for the camera to process per second!

The Hybrid -AF is a huge gain for tracking subjects in low light and in all other conditions for that matter. Especially helpful for video tracking, sports, pets, kids that never stay still, etc…  This should be pretty noticeable based on other Sony cameras I’ve tested before and after hybrid af was implemented on the sensors.

The Sony RX100 series cameras has always been to me the best possible quality available, in the smallest form factor possible. In addition to that, it has always been packed with an incredible amount of features that you would only see in more pro model cameras. The versatility of such a compact camera is also impressive based on the compromises that must be made due to the small pocket size. Sony has added and changed the hardware a lot over the years, but the key fundamentals have always remained the same in my eyes. Incredible awesome pro power and image quality, in a pocket sized camera!

The RX100 VA digs into the wallet $998 US deep. At first the price seems high when comparing to other 1inch sensor model cameras, but when you see the real world results and compare features in detail, it makes sense where the money is going to me. Top quality everything….

If you are looking to save a few bucks, then be sure to check out my RX100 IV Review to see what that model can do in the real world and I think you will be impressed at the power, quality, and size of the camera.

The original Sony RX100 V was replaced by the VA version which enhanced a few features that the newest RX100 VI offers such as:

  • New Processor
  • Deeper buffer (233 files, up from 150)
  • Proxy movie mode (captures 720p footage alongside 4K capture)
  • ‘Zone’ AF area mode
  • Variable size spot metering, Entire Screen Average and Highlight Spot metering
  • Add ratings to images (with ability to customize which ratings are available)
  • Three Auto WB options (Std, Ambience or White)
  • New Menu System

The RX100 VA also lost the compatibility with Sony’s in-camera ‘PlayMemories Camera Apps which is very unfortunate, but appears to be the future for all new Sony cameras.

Also, be sure to check out this article for more information on the Sony RX100 V, vs Sony VA, vs Sony VI Models >>

Let’s take a closer look and note all the new features the Sony RX100 VA offers. If those features in red are important to you, then it might be worth considering the RX100 VA

Sony RX100 VA – Key Features

  • 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log2 Gamma
  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-2.8 Lens
  • 24-70mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Fast Hybrid AF System with 315 Points
  • super-fast 0.05-second AF speed
  • HFR Mode for Full HD Video up to 960 fps
  • 0.39″ 2.36m-Dot OLED Pop-Up EVF
  • 3.0″ 1.23m-Dot 180° Tilting LCD
  • ISO 12800 and 24 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-In ND Filter
  • Weight = 10.55 oz / 299 g with battery and memory card
  • Ultra Compact Pocket Size Camera
  • Price = $998 US  BHPhoto (Click Here)

Sony RX100 VA Camera Body Shots

Sony RX100 VA Review – Video Version

Sony RX100 VA – 4k Sample Video

The Latest and Greatest
As you can see the latest Sony RX100 VA is quite impressive and maintains that class leading image quality that is hard to beat. The Photos and video both look incredible and the new hybrid AF system also works great as you can see in the soccer photos. I really pushed a few of the images in editing just to show you how well they take to the treatment, and this camera can totally pump out pro results in my opinion. It's certainly expensive, but you do get what you pay for in my opinion. If you need more reach, then check out the RX100 VI which has a 24-200mm effective lens, but is a bit slower in the max aperture, so it's not as good for low light photography as the RX100 VA. However it does offer a significant zoom range advantage which is better for overall versatility I would say.
Bang For The Buck90
Feature Set95
Build Quality and Design95
Ergonomics80
User Interface and Menu System90
Auto Focus System95
Image quality95
Usability90
Video Quality95
Audio Quality85
Optical Quality95
Low Light Performance92
Battery Life80
Fun Factor95
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Pros
Hybrid AF makes for much better subject tracking
Front end LSI for much faster processing and large buffers
Ultra compact design
class leading image and 4k video quality
24 frames per second shooting
Excellent low light performance
Fast f/1.8 max aperture lens which makes it great for low light and background separation
Cons
4k video limited to 5min clips
ergonomics are not the best
no audio jacks
No touchscreen
Not the best battery life
noisy lens zoom motor which you can hear while filming video
91
An Ultra Compact Pro Grade Point and Shoot Camera

Sony RX100 VA – Sample Photos

I took a lot of sample photos with the Sony RX100 VA, so please check them out below and be sure to click on the images for a nice high resolution version.

Lab Testing – High ISO

These ISO test photos were taking in raw quality all the way to ISO 12800. The ISO 25600 test shot was taken in jpeg mode as labeled.

Zoom Testing

Minimum Focus Distance

Real World Sample Photos

Flash Testing

Using Various Picture Effects

HDR Photography Sample Photos

Conclusions:

As you can see the latest Sony RX100 VA is quite impressive and maintains that class leading image quality that is hard to beat. The Photos and video both look incredible and the new hybrid AF system also works great as you can see in the soccer photos. I really pushed a few of the images in editing just to show you how well they take to the treatment, and this camera can totally pump out pro results in my opinion. It’s certainly expensive, but you do get what you pay for in my opinion. If you need more reach, then check out the RX100 VI which has a 24-200mm effective lens, but is a bit slower in the max aperture, so it’s not as good for low light photography as the RX100 VA. However it does offer a significant zoom range advantage which is better for overall versatility I would say.

That is about for my Sony RX100 VA review and I really hope you got what you were looking for. Please feel free to ask questions and comment below as always. I will catch up with you later and support links below.

Gear Links:

The Latest and Greatest
As you can see the latest Sony RX100 VA is quite impressive and maintains that class leading image quality that is hard to beat. The Photos and video both look incredible and the new hybrid AF system also works great as you can see in the soccer photos. I really pushed a few of the images in editing just to show you how well they take to the treatment, and this camera can totally pump out pro results in my opinion. It's certainly expensive, but you do get what you pay for in my opinion. If you need more reach, then check out the RX100 VI which has a 24-200mm effective lens, but is a bit slower in the max aperture, so it's not as good for low light photography as the RX100 VA. However it does offer a significant zoom range advantage which is better for overall versatility I would say.
Bang For The Buck90
Feature Set95
Build Quality and Design95
Ergonomics80
User Interface and Menu System90
Auto Focus System95
Image quality95
Usability90
Video Quality95
Audio Quality85
Optical Quality95
Low Light Performance92
Battery Life80
Fun Factor95
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Pros
Hybrid AF makes for much better subject tracking
Front end LSI for much faster processing and large buffers
Ultra compact design
class leading image and 4k video quality
24 frames per second shooting
Excellent low light performance
Fast f/1.8 max aperture lens which makes it great for low light and background separation
Cons
4k video limited to 5min clips
ergonomics are not the best
no audio jacks
No touchscreen
Not the best battery life
noisy lens zoom motor which you can hear while filming video
91
An Ultra Compact Pro Grade Point and Shoot Camera

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