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...
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.