With the same sensor as the RX100 II, which is one of the best compacts we’ve tested, could the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 bridge camera break the dominant hold of the DSLR and CSC? Read the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Product:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,000.00

Hands-on review

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 at a glance:

  • 20.4-million-pixel, 1in CMOS sensor
  • 1.29-million-dot articulated screen
  • 1.44-million-dot EVF
  • 25-200mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss zoom lens
  • Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • RRP £999.99

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 – Introduction

Sony’s RX fixed-lens cameras certainly caused a stir. The premium compact cameras hit specific gaps in the market, such as a genuinely pocketable camera with a larger-than-standard sensor in the shape of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, but most notably a compact camera with a full-frame sensor in the form of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1. Now Sony is tackling bridge cameras by introducing the premium Cyber-shot DSC-RX10.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 – Features

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 has the same 20.4-million-pixel, 1in sensor as the RX100 II. The RX100 II compact impressed us when we reviewed it in AP 27 July, and if the RX10 matches the RX100 II it could be one of the best bridge cameras for image quality that we’ve seen.

However, it isn’t just the sensor that looks great on paper, as the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 8.8-73.3mm f/2.8 lens is equivalent to a 25-200mm lens (in 35mm terms), with a constant f/2.8 aperture. The lens dominates the camera, and despite the RX10’s small sensor it has to be large to accommodate the constant f/2.8 aperture.

No expense has been spared on the electronic viewfinder, with the camera having a 1.44-million-dot display. The tilting rear screen is a 3in, 1.29-million-dot model, and like the viewfinder it is bright and crisp, with a good level of contrast.

Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity are included, along with a small pop-up flash and the new Sony multi-interface hotshoe.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 – Build and handling

Like other RX models, the RX10 feels robust and solid. Its polycarbonate body is neatly put together, but, more importantly, it provides a good range of buttons and dials without being overly complicated.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is clearly designed for enthusiast photographers. There are the expected features, such as a function button on the rear and an exposure-compensation dial on the top-plate. However, little touches, such as the power switch being wrapped around the shutter button, and the fact that the shutter button has a screw thread for a cable release, will appeal to those wanting a bridge camera that replicates the feeling of using a DSLR.

One neat feature is the manual aperture ring around the lens. It will no doubt appeal to many photographers, but it has an additional advantage for those who shoot video. The clicking of the aperture ring can be switched off, so rather than clicking into position, the aperture smoothly changes in size. This is great for smooth and silent depth of field changes.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 – First impressions

Photographers often say they want to replace their DSLR with a CSC due to the reduced size and weight. The reason they don’t choose a bridge camera is because the smaller compact-camera-sized sensor does not provide the image quality they demand. In the RX10, Sony may have created the perfect compromise between size, sensor and lens. However, the camera is quite heavy due to the amount of glass used, and the price might be a sticking point. That said, if the image quality performs as we expect, the RX10 could be one of the best bridge cameras out there.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is out from mid-November, priced £999.99. It will be tested in AP 7 December.

Details

Video:AVCHD: 50p/60p, 50i/60i, 24p/25p. MP4: 25p/30p. VGA: 25p/30p
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Micro SD, Micro SDHC, Micro SDXC
Built-in Flash:Yes
White Balance:Auto, 9 presets (including 4 fluorescent), manual, custom
External mic:Yes
Output Size:5472 x 3648 pixels
LCD:Tiltable 3in, 1.228-million-dot TFT LCD
Weight:813g (including battery and card)
Exposure Modes:Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, memory, iAuto, superior auto+, 180° sweep shooting, 9 scene modes, picture effects
Sensor:20.2-million-effective-pixel, 1in (13.2 x 8.8mm), Exmor R
Lens:8.3x optical zoom, 8.8-73.3mm (24-200mm effective) Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* with 14 elements in 11 groups
Power:NP-FW50 rechargeable Li-Ion
File Format:JPEG (Standard, Fine), raw, raw+JPEG (Sony ARW 2.3 format)
Shutter Speeds:30-1/3200sec
AF array:Multi-point (25 points), centreweighted, flexible spot, spot tracking, spot face detection
Drive Mode:10fps continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer (10sec/2sec delay), self-timer (cont), self-portrait one-person, self-portrait two-person (with 10sec delay, 3/5 exposures), bracketing
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Exposure Comp:±3EV in 1/3 steps
RRP:£1,049
ISO:80-12,800 (Multi-frame NR: Auto – ISO 125-25,600)
Dimensions:129 x 88.1 x 102.2mm
Focusing Modes:Single-shot AF (AF-S), continuous AF (AF-C), direct manual focus (DMF), manual focus
Metering System:Multi-segment, centreweighted, spot
Connectivity / Interface:Multi-interface hotshoe, multi/micro USB terminal, Micro HDMI
Compression:2-stage JPEG
  1. 1. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 at a glance:
  2. 2. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Micro USB
  3. 3. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Metering
  5. 5. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Autofocus
  6. 6. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  7. 7. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Dynamic range
  8. 8. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - White balance and colour
  9. 9. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  10. 10. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - The competition
  11. 11. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review - Our verdict
  12. 12. Hands-on review
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