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

White Balance and Colour

Colour rendition should be another area in which the large sensor and bright lens enhance the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100’s performance. Indeed, in standard colour mode, JPEG images straight out of the camera are bold and punchy without being overly vivid and ‘digital’. The four colour modes, plus black & white, are adjustable ±3 for contrast, saturation and sharpness.

At the time of writing, RX100 raw files are not compatible with the latest version of Lightroom, so I have made raw edits using the company’s Image Data Converter version 4.1. Comparisons with the corresponding raw file show that the alterations made to colour during JPEG compression are subtle, with a pleasing boost to the vibrancy. Furthermore, the accuracy of JPEG colours is excellent. The blues in a sunny sky are spot on, although they do shift to cyan when the scene is overexposed. Greens are bold without looking too ‘unreal’, while skin tones are pleasant.

There are ten white balance presets, five of which are for various types of tungsten light. All settings can be bracketed via the dedicated setting in the drive-mode menu. For certain situations, I found the presets to be more accurate than AWB. For example, in scenes showing lots of green, the camera compensates and produces a slight magenta cast. This behaviour is common to most cameras, however, and in such cases it is worth switching to the dedicated white balance preset instead.

This image is a JPEG file straight out of the camera. Colours are pleasant and there is crisp detail in the blades of grass

  • 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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