Sony’s tiny RX100 with its relatively massive one-inch sensor is one of my favourite compact cameras. It offers serious professional results and yet is small enough to slip into a front jeans pocket. A year after its introduction, the little gem is to get a makeover.
According to Japanese sources, the new version will include a tilting screen and a hotshoe. It would be tempting to assume one of Sony’s OLED viewfinders could be mounted here. However, from the diagram on the right this seems unlikely unless Sony has devised a way of connecting a custom-built viewfinder to the hotshoe electrics. Most current top-mounted viewfinders (such as those for the RX1, the Leica M/X series, the Panasonic LX7 and smaller Olympus mirrorless cameras) require a socket immediately below the hotshoe and above the screen.
If it turns out that there is no EVF option this will be a pity because the RX100 with a viewfinder would be an unbeatable proposition. On the other hand, what would the hotshoe be used for if not a viewfinder? An optical viewfinder with a fixed focal length would be of very limited use on a zoom camera, so I am hoping that there is more than meets the eye in this leaked diagram, perhaps some new-fangled interface for an EVF.
FURTHER THOUGHTS: I was quite wrong when I stated above that the RX1 had a socket below the hotshoe to provide power to the EVF. Having now had the chance to examine my own RX1, I find that the contacts for the EVF are inside the hotshot towards the front of the camera. The diagram of the new RX100 therefore makes more sense. Since I can think of no other reason for a hotshoe on such a small camera, I am convinced that it is intended for an EVF. The only snag is that the RX1’s excellent EVF would cost nearly as much as the RX100. It could be Sony will list a cheaper, lower-resolution version especially for the small camera. However, I am hoping that the RX1 EVF will fit since it would make the RX1 and RX100 even more complementary than before. The RX1 offers excellent full-frame IQ from a fixed 35mm lens while the RX100 gives a useful zoom, a reasonably fast lens (though not as fast or as sharp as that on the Panasonic LX7/Leica D-Lux 6) and a still-large one-inch sensor.