Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review

December 12, 2013

Overall Rating:


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10



Price as Reviewed:


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...

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review – Noise, resolution and sensitivity

Image: The JPEG compression and noise reduction appear a little harsh when compared to edited raw images

As a premium bridge camera, the image quality of the RX10 will be the defining factor when considering a purchase. The 20.2-million-pixel sensor is the same as that used in the RX100 II, and image quality is again excellent from the RX10 with its f/2.8 Carl Zeiss lens.

Our resolution chart images show that at ISO 100, the RX10 can resolve to around 28. With well-controlled noise levels and a high resolution, even at ISO 800 the camera reaches around 26. In fact, at ISO 6400 it reaches 24, which is very good for a sensor of this size and resolution. When pushed to the maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800, resolution remains at 24, but it is clear that quite heavy luminance noise reduction has taken place, resulting in a softer image with less contrast. Those who shoot only JPEGs should stick to sensitivities below ISO 800 for best results, although images are acceptable up to ISO 6400.

Raw files resolve roughly the same amount of detail as the JPEG images in our resolution chart test, although in real scenes the JPEG compression and localised luminance noise reduction and sharpening take their toll on JPEG images. Some areas with a slight texture are completely smoothed by the compression and noise reduction, while the sharpening of edges increases the effect of luminance noise.

I found that the best results were achieved by shooting raw files at a sensitivity of less than ISO 400, reducing any slight colour noise and performing a little sharpening. Increasing the luminance noise reduction from 0 to 5 in Adobe Camera Raw does just enough to take the edge off the noise without sacrificing detail.

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the 24-200mm equivalent lens set to 55mm setting and f/5.6 . We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.

  • 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

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