Sony DSC RX100 Review
Sony recently launched the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, its compact point and shoot camera with a 1-inch (13.2mm by 8.8mm), 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. The size of the sensor is approximately 2.7 times more than the sensors in other cameras of the same size.
In addition, Sony DSC RX100 has a 3.6x optical zoom (28mm to 100mm, equivalent to 35mm) as well as a F1.8 aperture. It also features an expandable ISO range from 100 up to 25,600. The RX100 is expected to shoot excellent video as it takes full High Definition 1080p video at 60 frames per second.
The DSC RX100 is a sleek camera housed in a matte black, all light weight metal body that is small and slim enough to fit in a pocket. However, a small handgrip could have made it easier to handle the small and smooth-bodied camera.
The power-on switch, zoom lever and pop-up flash are located on the top panel as well as the dial for the Program, Aperture, Shutter Priority and Manual (P,A,S,M) modes. The pop-up flash could have been easier to use with a flash lever instead of activating it through the menu.
The high resolution, 1,228k-dot, 3-inch LCD screen at the back displays the images with great clarity even if viewed under direct sunlight. The lens aperture value is adjusted by the control ring around the lens by default. The Fn button can be used to store your settings such as ISO, exposure compensation, white balance and shutter speed.
In addition, the camera also has the Superior Auto mode and Intelligent Scene Recognition mode which let the camera determine which scene to keep as the final.
We liked the DSC RX100′s bright optics. When shooting at 30 cm or nearer from the subject at 28mm wide end, the background is blurred so as not to distract from the sharpness and clarity of the subject’s image. It’s like a shallow depth of field.
One major complaint was the slow F4.9 aperture at the telephoto-end compared with the other competing such as the Olympus XZ-1(F2.5) and Fujifilm FinePix X10 (F2.8).
The Sony DSC RX100 could focus to as near as 4cm for close ups. It was also quick in its auto focus performance. Tracking focus which is useful in shooting moving subjects was easy to access by pushing the button in the scroll wheel and it performed reliably.
The colors shown in the scene while shooting were retained in the reproduced images. The least noise was observed between ISO 100 and 800. Noise is more noticeable from ISO 1,600 and higher but image detail remained. With ISO set at 3,200, loss in contrast in the image was observed along with more grain. At ISO 6,400, the image detail was already softened and grain was scattered throughout the image.
The video performance of Sony DSCRX100 was better than average. Good contrasts as well as sharp details were observed. The image stabilization feature performed as expected, providing extremely stable video recording, also during panning shots. Sound recording was very sensitive,
Here’s a summary of Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100’s Features
- 20.2 megapixel 1.0-inch (13.2 x 8.8mm) Exmor CMOS sensor
-BIONZ Image Processor
-3.6x Carl Zeiss Lens F1.8
-3.0-inch LCD display (1,229k dot) with true blacks and bright whites
-Full High Definition Video Recording
-ISO from 100 to 25600 (using Frame Noise Reduction at higher ISO)
-Burst speed of 10 frames per second
-High speed (0.13 second) Auto Focus
-Manual and Auto Focus Modes
-Six Creative Styles, including: High Contrast Mono, HDR Painting, Illustration, Miniature, Partial Color, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Richtone Monochrome, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, Toy camera and Watercolor,
-Fn Button for Assignable Function
-Auto Portrait Framing (original photo as well as the cropped version are both saved)
-White Balance – Auto, Cloudy, Custom, Daylight, , Fluorescent ( daylight, warm white, cool white and day white) Flash, Incandescent, C.Temp./Filter, Shade,
-Weight – Approximately 213g. (3.8 oz)
-Size (mm) – Width – 101.6; Height – 58.1
Pros and cons of Sony DSC RX100
- Small and lightweight, slim and attractive design
- Quick and accurate focus even between shots
- Excellent lens quality and decent zoom range, bright F1.8 optics
- Good JPEGS and very good RAW files
- Excellent manual and auto controls including the function buttons and adjustment ring
- Exposure compensation and white balance you see on screen is identical to the actual shots
- No grip for safe handling; Better use the wrist strap.
- A bit confusing menu
- No external battery charger
- No manual- you have to download from company support website
- Slow F4.9 aperture at full zoom.
- No dedicated button or lever for pop-up flash.
With a much larger sensor than compared to the other compact models and its other outstanding features, we think that overall, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 offers the best deal between lens optics and sensor size and lens optics. It has a larger sensor and maintains a fast F1.8 aperture (at 28mm). Its size and portability will make it appealing to beginners as well as enthusiasts alike. It’s will perfectly fit on the pockets of your jacket or pants. But is the Sony DSC RX100 worth $650? It’s true that the camera features good manual controls but it does not have the versatility of a Micro 4/3 camera or a DSLR, which are available in almost the same price range.
Click here to get the sparkling new, Sony DSC-RX100