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

Our Verdict

There is much to like about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, not least the premium build quality and excellent handling, including the lens ring control, extensive menu and customisation options.

The camera is intuitive to use, and will please both those accustomed to a camera and those new to photography. The lack of a viewfinder need not be feared because the LCD screen is very bright and contrasty. What I like most about the body is that it fits easily into my pocket, which increases the camera’s chances of accompanying me every day.

Not only does the camera handle very well, but its image quality in the areas of resolved detail, dynamic range and colour rendition is class-leading. The RX100 may be a little camera, but it packs a good punch, and it has made its way onto my Christmas list


Built-in flash
With no hotshoe, the RX100 relies on its built-in flash, which pops up a good distance from the body on its crane-like mechanism. Its output is sufficient for close-range subjects.

On the underside of the camera is its HDMI port, to which the charge cable is connected. There is no battery charger unit supplied with the camera.

Function button
Up to seven settings from a choice of 17 can be stored in the function menu. Controls include ISO, white balance, AF, metering mode and image size.

Auto modes menu
With either of the auto modes selected, adjustments can be made by accessing the menu. As well as picture effects, the focus, brightness, colour and vividness can be tweaked using the on-screen slider via the control wheel.

Shooting modes
As well as numerous picture effects, colour effects and the HDR mode, the RX100 has a 180º sweep panorama mode and a scene modes shooting menu, which includes macro, gourmet, sunset, night portrait and handheld twilight.

Manual focusing is possible, and achieved ‘authentically’ by turning the lens control ring. In manual control mode, peaking confirms which areas are in focus – very handy when the depth of field is shallow. Peaking highlights edge details in a choice of red, yellow or white.

iAuto and superior iAuto+
On the shooting mode dial is the option for iAuto and superior iAuto+. These modes take the hard work out of getting the correct exposures, selecting the appropriate settings according to the scene, indicated on the LCD screen.

Shooting tip list
The shooting tip list is accessed via the ‘?’ button and is a very detailed guide to photography basics, separated into menus for portraits and animals, landscapes, night scenes, shooting close-up with macro and, finally, shooting a subject in motion.

  • 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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