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

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As well as the usual single and continuous focus modes, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 offers manual focus and ‘direct’ manual focus (DMF). Manual focus is achieved using the lens control ring. Like many other controls, the autofocus area can be assigned to the function menu for quick access to the multi (25 points), centreweighted and flexible spot focus options.

In the flexible spot area mode, pressing the OK button brings up the spot area, which can be selected across the majority of the frame. In single AF mode, focusing is rapid enough in good light, and Sony’s claims of 0.13sec in good light and 0.23sec in low light seem justified.

It is easy to forget how big the RX100’s imaging sensor is, given that the camera body is so small, until it comes to close focusing, as this is compromised due to the sensor size. While most compact cameras can focus as close as 1cm, at 28mm the closest the RX100 can get is 5cm, while at 100mm it is 55cm.

Other focusing features include smile detection, which activates the shutter when the subject smiles, and face detection, which is especially effective when used to focus in self-portrait, before activating the timer for the shutter. Pressing the OK button in the centre of the control wheel activates tracking AF and sets it to the subject closest to the centre of the frame. While the camera cannot match the performance of an expensive DSLR, but for general use it is fine.

The self-portrait drive mode activates focus and a self-timer once a face is detected.  The focusing in this portrait is spot on, shot using the rich tone monochrome picture effect

  • 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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