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Sony RX100 VI vs ZV-1

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI and the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2018 and May 2020. Both the RX100 VI and the ZV-1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX100 VI
versus
Sony ZV-1
Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
20 MP, 1" Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 125-12,800 (80 - 25,600) ISO 125-12,800 (80 - 25,600)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1229k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Tilting touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
24 shutter flaps per second 24 shutter flaps per second
240 shots per battery charge260 shots per battery charge
102 x 58 x 43 mm, 301 g 105 x 60 x 44 mm, 294 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI and the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 VI and the Sony ZV-1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony RX100 VI vs Sony ZV-1
Compare RX100 VI versus ZV-1 top
Comparison RX100 VI or ZV-1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony ZV-1 is notably larger (6 percent) than the Sony RX100 VI. However, the ZV-1 is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the RX100 VI. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 VI nor the ZV-1 are weather-sealed.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony RX100 VI 102 mm 58 mm 43 mm 301 g 240 n Jun 2018 1,199 i
2.
 
Sony ZV-1 105 mm 60 mm 44 mm 294 g 260 n May 2020 799 i
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 111 mm 61 mm 46 mm 340 g 230 n Jul 2019 899 i
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 105 mm 61 mm 41 mm 304 g 235 n Jul 2019 749 i
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 5 136 mm 97 mm 131 mm 812 g 350 n Jul 2019 1,249 i
6.
 
Leica C-LUX 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i
7.
 
Sony RX100 VII 102 mm 58 mm 43 mm 302 g 260 n Jul 2019 1,199 i
8.
 
Sony RX100 V 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999 i
10.
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799 i
11.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The ZV-1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the RX100 VI, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX100 VI and Sony ZV-1 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX100 VI and the ZV-1 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the ZV-1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the RX100 VI, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The RX100 VI has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

RX100 VI versus ZV-1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Sony RX100 VI 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p...... ..
2.
 
Sony ZV-1 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p...... ..
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p...... ..
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p...... ..
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 5 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p...... ..
6.
 
Leica C-LUX 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p...... ..
7.
 
Sony RX100 VII 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p21.812.4418 63
8.
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.4586 70
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.6591 70
10.
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.3495 67
11.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.4483 67

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the RX100 VI has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the ZV-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony RX100 VI, the Sony ZV-1, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Sony RX100 VI2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
2.
 
Sony ZV-1none n 3.0 922 swivel Y 1/2000s 24.0 n Y
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IIInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 52360 n 3.0 1240 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
6.
 
Leica C-LUX2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
7.
 
Sony RX100 VII2359 n 3.0 921 tilting Y 1/2000s 90.0 Y Y
8.
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
10.
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
11.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The RX100 VI has one, while the ZV-1 does not. While the built-in flash of the RX100 VI is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Sony ZV-1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the RX100 VI and the ZV-1 have zoom lenses built in. The RX100 VI has a 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 optic and the ZV-1 offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX100 VI and ZV-1 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the ZV-1 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The ZV-1 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the RX100 VI and the ZV-1 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI and Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony RX100 VI-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
2.
 
Sony ZV-1YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II-stereomono--micro3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III-stereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Leica C-LUX-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Sony RX100 VII-stereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
8.
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the ZV-1 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The RX100 VI does not feature such a mic input.

The ZV-1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the RX100 VI has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 VI was succeeded by the Sony RX100 VII. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX100 VI and the Sony ZV-1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI:

  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2018).


Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1:

  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZV-1 comes out slightly ahead of the RX100 VI (7 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

RX100 VI 06:07 ZV-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony RX100 VI and the Sony ZV-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the RX100 VI and the ZV-1 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony RX100 VI4.5/5+ +83/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199 i
2.
 
Sony ZV-14/5..85/1004/54.5/5 May 2020 799 i
3.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II4/5+82/100..4/5 Jul 2019 899 i
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III..+ +81/1004/5.. Jul 2019 749 i
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 5......4/54/5 Jul 2019 1,249 i
6.
 
Leica C-LUX......4.5/54/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i
7.
 
Sony RX100 VII4.5/5....4/55/5 Jul 2019 1,199 i
8.
 
Sony RX100 V4.5/5+ +83/1004/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV4.5/5+ +85/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999 i
10.
 
Sony RX100 III5/5+ +82/1004.5/55/5 May 2014 799 i
11.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony RX100 VI:
Check Ebay offers
Sony ZV-1:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony RX100 VI vs Sony ZV-1

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
    Launch Date June 2018 May 2020
    Launch Price USD 1,199 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12,800 ISO 125 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 25,600 ISO 80 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    Screen Specs Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 24 shutter flaps/s 24 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/32000sup to 1/32000s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1
    Battery Type NP-BX1 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)240 shots per charge260 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 102 x 58 x 43 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.7 in)
    105 x 60 x 44 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 301 g (10.6 oz) 294 g (10.4 oz)

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