I've personally been following the rise of mirrorless and small compacts over the last few years and Sony has been making big inroads in this sector. Even though most of my work is done with the Canon 5D series, lugging a big SLR and the lenses needed is not always possible.
My wife is a Blogger, Stylist, Product Owner and general bucket of crazy (in a good way) - even though she's toyed with the idea of stealing my older 5D mk2/3 - the prospect always turns out less appealing when she realises just how much there is to carry around.
Because of these laws of physics (size of lens ∝ size of sensor), having a capable smaller sensor leads to smaller lens, smaller camera, smaller handbag :D and general happiness all round. In 2015 I introduced her to the Sony RX100 range (the RX100 IV specifically) and she has been a big fan ever since.
First things first, some of the most important features of this camera have been around for a while, even before the RX100 IV - The image quality from the 1" sensor is great, the Electronic View Finder is not the best one ever made but it's very usable, the lens covers the main usecases and starts off at a phenomenal f1.8 - all the way to f2.8 at 70mm. Lastly, even though this is a small compact, it handles just like a larger dSLR. Click the shutter, it shoots - no fuss, no "busy, please wait", no endless hunting for focus - all of these killer issues that you find in many other compact cameras.
So back to the RX100 VI - Initially when i saw the lens specification, I was gutted. From the initial impressions and reviews, there are improvements all across the board (EVF mechanics - the one step in/out is really a good thing, Image quality seems better even though the sensor is almost? the same) but the lens - f4.5 WHAT?! Sony why? What did you do to my lovely f1.8 - f2.8 lens?
So today as I was playing with the RX100 IV, I wanted to figure out, just how much f1.8 love do you actually get? At 24mm (the wide end), you get f1.8, however by 28mm you're already at f2.5.... This really changes things, especially when you consider that most people who have this camera will have a decent smartphone that is capable of shooting sub f1.8 at 24mm, and that makes all the difference. Suddenly (in my mind at least) having a longer zoom lens brings with it more capabilities, especially in the portraiture world that at f4.5 is really quite usable. It won't rival an 85mm f1.2L on a 5D - but it's going to produce some pretty nice images.
Apart from the lens, there are major improvements to movie capture (i'm not an expert here - check out the many reviews for more exact changes), the autofocus system, with Eye-AF being a very exciting prospect for me.
Once I have a unit to play with, I'll be going into more depth, however this is definitely one of the more exciting cameras released this year.