Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review

July 14, 2012

Overall Rating:


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

  • Star rating:



Price as Reviewed:


Packing a 20.2-million-pixel, 1in sensor and small enough to fit in a trouser pocket, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 could well be an ideal day-to-day camera

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 at a glance:

  • 20.2-million-pixel CMOS sensor
  • 3in, 1.229-million-dot LCD screen
  • 28-100mm (effective) f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss lens
  • ISO 125-6400 (extended to ISO 80-25,600)
  • Street price around £550

‘The best camera is the one you have on you’ is a phrase commonly repeated by many photographers. This is why those models that are small and light enough to be kept with you are so useful. Sony’s Cyber-shot RX100 is exactly this type of camera.

The issue with a pocket camera is just how much image quality, and control over exposure and depth of field, is compromised when compared to a larger camera, like a DSLR, because when it comes to sensors, bigger is usually better. Even the most notable compact cameras, such as the Canon PowerShot S100 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, use compact-sized sensors, which are much smaller than – and therefore cannot compete with – those used in compact system cameras and DSLRs.

Those compact cameras that do include larger sensors – Canon’s PowerShot G1X and Fujifilm’s FinePix X100 come to mind – may be smaller than a DSLR, but are not truly pocket-sized. What is particularly impressive about the RX100, then, is that it combines a pocket-sized body and a 1in (13.2×8.8mm) sensor, which is virtually the same size as the sensor in the Nikon 1 CSC and approximately four times larger than the 1/2.3in (6.16×4.55mm) sensor in a standard compact. On paper at least, the RX100 appears to have struck the fine balance between size and quality.

Sony describes the RX100 as an ‘expert compact camera’ and its best Cyber-shot to date. Bold claims indeed, so is the camera worth its place at your side?

  • External mic: No
  • Video: Full HD (1080p) AVCHD (50fps), MP4 (30fps), VGA (480p)
  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • White Balance: Auto, 11 presets (including 4 fluorescent), custom
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Micro SHDC
  • Output Size: 5472 x 3648 pixels
  • LCD: 3in, 1,229,000-dot, TruBlack TFT LCD
  • Sensor: 20.2-million-effective-pixel, 1in, (13.2 x 8.8mm), Exmor CMOS, 3:2 aspect
  • Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, memory, iAuto, Superior Auto+, 180° sweep shooting, 14 scene modes, picture effect
  • Weight: 240g (including battery and card)
  • Power: NP-BX1 Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Lens: 3.6x optical zoom, 10.4-37.1mm (28-100mm effective) Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T with 7 elements in 6 groups
  • File Format: JPEG, raw (ARW 2.3 format), JPEG+raw (still images)AVCHD 2, MP4 (video)
  • AF array: Multi-point (25 points), centreweighted, flexible spot, spot tracking, spot face detection
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/2000sec
  • Drive Mode: 10fps continuous high, 2.5fps continuous low, single, 2sec or 10sec timer, self-portrait (one/two people), bracketing ±0.7EV, white balance bracketing low/high
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Dimensions: 101.6 x 58.1 x 35.9mm
  • Metering System: Multi-segment, centreweighted, spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: Mini HDMI, Micro USB, hi-speed USB 2.0
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1/3 steps
  • RRP: £549.99
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual and direct manual
  • ISO: 125-6400 (extended to ISO 80-25,600)

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