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Sony 20.2 Megapixels Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Review by AP

2012-07-25 02:14 | Source
8825 reviews
On May 16 2012, Sony announced the Cyber-shot RX100 digital compact camera featuring a 20.2 Megapixels sensor and fast F1.8 Zeiss branded 3.6x zoom lens. At the heart of the RX100 is the 1.0-inch type Exmor CMOS sensor that's specially developed by Sony which is approximately 4x larger than the 1/2.3-type sensors in traditional point-and-shoot cameras. The large sensor can take in more light while capturing images & movies with very low noise. The lens is the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* fixed lens with 3.6x optical zoom range and a wide F1.8 maximum aperture to let in additional light. The lens features 7 bladed circular aperture and an Advanced Aspherical (AA) lens element.

Other features of the RX100 includes support of sensitivity up to ISO 25600 (using Multi Frame Noise Reduction), 10 frames per second in full resolution, high-speed autofocus as quickly as 0.13 seconds, a 3-inch 1,229k dot Xtra Fine LCD display with WhiteMagic technology (use additional white pixels to boost screen brightness), a smooth control ring around the lens body for manual adjustments, as well as 6 different creative styles and a variety of popular picture effects including Toy Camera, Partial Color, and HDR Painting. The Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 digital camera is listed for about $650. Here's the summary of review by AmateurPhotographer, giving the camera a rating of 4 out of 5:

"With a large, high-resolution sensor and bright lens, we would expect the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 to do very well against its competition. Despite its high resolution, the size of the sensor means that the photosites are a claimed 3.6x larger than those in the company's own Cyber-shot HX20V. For resolved detail, the RX100 does not disappoint, and raises the bar for other pocket cameras to follow. Impressively, detail is largely uncompromised throughout the ISO sensitivities for well-exposed images. Our resolution charts indicate centre sharpness, and JPEG files reach the 26 marker at ISO 100, dropping only to the 24 marker at ISO 3200. To get the most out of the camera, however, it is necessary to use raw format, because the camera resolves up to the 28 marker on our charts, which is the most detail we have seen from any pocket camera. There is a fall-off in sharpness of edge detail, certainly at the widest focal length, but not to any unacceptable levels. In general, JPEG compression is much more aggressive in compact cameras than in DSLRs. The RX100's noise reduction and sharpening adjustments are more obvious than the colour adjustments in JPEG compression, especially at ISO 1600 and higher where detail is much more 'mushy'. Therefore, in low light it is worthwhile shooting in raw format. I was particularly keen to see the quality of detail in real-world images, such as landscapes, and I was impressed by the crispness of detail, such as blades of grass, when an ISO setting of 400 or below is used. The selected aperture also makes a difference to sharpness, with f/4-5.6 the optimum setting. The native ISO range can be extended from ISO 125-6400 to 80-25,600, the high setting available only in multi-frame NR mode. Handling of noise is good if not spectacular, with luminance and chroma noise faintly noticeable in real-world images at ISO 400 and more obvious at ISO 800. Images all the way to ISO 1600 are perfectly usable, however, even up to ISO 6400, especially given that the large file size of full-resolution images means that noise is less noticeable when viewing an RX100 image at the same size as a one taken from a lower-resolution camera. Having taken a few images in the multi-frame NR mode at ISO 25,600, I opted not to use it again as the smoothing of detail is particularly unpleasant.

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."

ModelDSC-RX100Powershot G1 X
StyleAdvanced CompactAdvanced Compact
LCD Screen3.0-inch (7.5cm) (4:3) / 1,229k dots / Xtra Fine / TruBlack / TFT LCD3.0-inch TFT color LCD (Vari-angle type with wide-viewing angle) with Approx. 922,000 pixels LCD Coverage Approx. 100%
Memory CardsMS Duo and SD / SDHC / SDXC Compatible SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
ResolutionStill Image Size 16:9 : L: 17M (5472x3080); M: 7.5M (3648 x 2056); S:4.2M (2720 x 1528) Still Image Size 3:2 : L: 20M (5472 x 3648; M: 10M (3888 x 2592); S: 5.0M (2736 x 1824) Still Image Size 4:3 : L: 18M (4864 x 3648); M: 10M (3648 x 2736); S: 5.0M (2592 x 1944); VGA Panorama Still Image Size : [3:2] L: 20M (5472x3648)/M: 10M (3888x2592)/S: 5.0M (2736x1824) [16:9] Large: 4352 x 2448, Medium 1: 3072 x 1728, Medium 2: 1920 x 1080, Small: 640 x 360 [3:2] Large: 4352 x 2904, Medium 1: 3072 x 2048, Medium 2: 1600 x 1064, Small: 640 x 424 [4:3] Large: 4352 x 3264, Medium 1: 3072 x 2304, Medium 2: 1600 x 1200, Small: 640 x 480 RAW: 4352 x 3264 [1:1] Large: 3264 x 3264, Medium 1: 2304 x 2304, Medium 2: 1200 x 1200, Small: 480 x 480 [4:5] Large: 2608 x 3264, Medium 1: 1840 x 2304, Medium 2: 960 x 1200, Small: 384 x 480
File FormatsStill Image Mode : JPEG, RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format) Video Format : AVCHD Ver2.0, MP4 Still Image: Exif 2.3 JPEG, RAW (14 bit, CR2 (Canon Original)) Video: MOV (Image data: H.264; Audio data: Linear PCM (2 channel stereo)) Videos: MOV (Image data: H.264, Audio data: Linear PCM (Stereo))
Focal Length3.6x zoom, Still16:9 29-105mm / Still 4:3 30-108mm / Still 3:2 28-100mm / Still 1:1 36-127mm / Movie 16:9 29-105mm (Std), 33-120mm (Active) / Movie 4:3 36-128 mm (Std), 41-146mm (Active)4x zoom, 15.1 (W) - 60.4mm (T) (35mm film equivalent: 28 (W) - 112mm (T)
Shutter SpeediAuto (4-1/2000) / Program Auto (1-1/2000) / Manual (Bulb, 30-1/2000) / Aperture Priority (8-1/2000) / Shutter Priority (30-1/2000)1-1/4000 sec. 60-1/4000 sec. (Total shutter speed range) - Shutter speed range differs depending on the shooting mode
ApertureF1.8-4.9f/2.8 (W) - f/5.8 (T)
ISO SensitivityAuto ISO125-6400 select w/upper/lower limit, 125 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 expand to 80 / 100, Multi Frame NR:Auto ISO125-25600 equiv., 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800 / 25600Auto*, ISO 100 / 125 / 160 / 200 / 250 / 320 / 400 / 500 / 640 / 800 / 1000 / 1250 / 1600 / 2000 / 2500 / 3200 / 4000 / 5000 / 6400 / 8000 / 10000 / 12800 (When in P mode) *Optimal ISO speed is automatically set depending on the shooting mode.
White Balance SettingsAuto / Daylight / Shade / Cloudy / Incandescent / Fluor (Warm White) / Fluor (Cool White) / Fluor (Day White) / Fluor (Daylight) / Flash / C. Temp., Filter / CustomAuto*, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom1, Custom2 *Facial color is evaluated in Face AiAF (Face Detect WB). Adjusts the white balance separately for the main subject and the background when the flash fires.
Flash ModesAuto / Fill-flash / Slow Sync / Rear Sync / OffAuto, On, Slow Synchro, Off - Facial brightness is also evaluated in Face Detect
Flash RangeISO Auto 0.30m to 17.1m (W)/0.55m to 6.3m (T) (Approx.1' 3/4"" to Approx.56' 1 3/4"")(W) ISO 6400 up to 24.2m (W)/8.9m (T)1.6-23 ft. (W), 3.3-10.2 ft. (T) (50cm-7.0m (W), 1.0-3.1m (T)) - Image brightness may diminish depending on the shooting distance.
Shooting ModesPortrait, Anti Motion Blur, Sports Action, Pet, Gourmet, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Night Portrait, Fireworks, High SensitivityC1, C2, M, Av, Tv, P, Auto*1, SCN*2, Creative Filters*3, Movie*4 - Shooting movies is possible with the movie button *1 Smart Auto also available for movies *2 Movie Digest, Portrait, Landscape, Kids & Pets, Sports, Smart Shutter*5, High-Speed Burst HQ, Handheld Night Scene, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Stitch Assist *3 High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap *4 Standard, iFrame Movie *5 Smile, Wink Self-timer, Face Self-timer
Maximum Movie Resolution AVCHD: 28M PS (1920x1080, 60p/50p) / 24M FX (1920x1080, 60i/50i ) / 17M FH (1920x1080, 60i/50i) MP4: 12M (1440x1080, 30/25 fps) / 3M VGA (640x480 30/25 fps)[iFrame Movie] 1280 x 720 (30 fps*1) [Miniature Effect] 1280 x 720*2 / 640 x 480*2 [Other than the above*3] 1920 x 1080 (24 fps*4), 1280 x 720 (30 fps*1) / 640 x 480 (30 fps*1) *1 Actual frame rate is 29.97 fps. *2 Shooting: 6 fps, 3 fps, 1.5 fps Playback: 30 fps*1 *3 Movies made in Movie Digest mode: 640 x 480 (30 fps*1) only. *4 Actual frame rate is 23.976 fps.
Maximum Movie Frames Per Second25/30/60 fps24 fps, 30 fps, Minature Effect: 6 fps, 3 fps, 1.5 fps
Maximum Movie DurationN/ADepends on storage
Macro FocusW:Approx.5cm(0.16') to Infinity, T:Approx.90cm(2.95') to Infinity7.9 in. - 2.3 ft. (20-70cm) (W), 2.8 ft. - 5.2 ft. (85cm - 1.6m) (T)
MeteringMulti segment / Center weighted / SpotEvaluative*1, Center-weighted average, Spot*2 *1 Facial brightness is evaluated (Face Detect AE) in Face Detect. *2 Fixed to Center, linked to AF frame
Image StabilizationYes, Optical SteadyShot? with Active Mode Image StabilizationYes (Lens-Shift)
Self Timer10sec. / 2sec. / Self portrait / Self timer Cont. Approx. 10-sec. delay, Approx. 2-sec. delay, Custom* * Delay time (0 - 15 sec. (in one-second increments), 20/25/30 sec.) and number of shots (1-10 shots (in one-shot increments)) can be specified.
Video Out (TV Playback)Yes, Micro HDMIYes, Analog: NTSC or PAL, Digital: HDMI (HDMI mini connector)
BatteriesLITHIUM ION NP-BX1 (supplied) Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack NB-10L
Dimensions4" x 2 3/8" x 1 7/16" (101.6 x 58.1 x 35.9mm) (W/H/D)4.60 x 3.17 x 2.55 in. / 116.7 x 80.5 x 64.7mm
Weight7.5 oz (213g)17.3 oz. / 492g
Other InfoContinuous Shooting Speed : 10 fps at 20.2MPContinuous Shooting Normal: Approx. 1.9 shots/sec. (in P mode), Approx. 4.5 shots/sec. (in High-speed Burst HQ mode)* AF: Approx. 0.7 shots/sec. (in P mode) LV: Approx. 0.7 shots/sec. (in P mode) - Under conditions where the flash does not fire automatically. - Differs depending on the zoom position. * Max. of 6 continuous shots per burst
Release Date2012-05-162012-01-09

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Sony DSC-RX100 Camera Reviews Roundup

CameraHoarders - Jan 11 2014
"As I already mentioned, 13.2 x 8.8mm CMOS sensor is the crown jewel of this camera. It has 20 megapixels (more than enough) and excellent performance in every aspect. Colors can really pop out (if you want them to) and high ISO performance is as good as it gets. With careful exposure and some post processing on PC, images can look like they were shot with a..." More »
Not Rated
pdn - Jan 05 2014
"The RX100 II produced some of the best image quality I've ever seen from a compact camera. Sony's decision to put a new BSI sensor in the RX100 II while keeping the same 20.2 pixels of resolution and the same 1-inch type size as the previous camera, was a smart move. In decent lighting at low ISOs, the RX100 II performs as well as its predecessor, which is..." More »
Not Rated
Imaging Resource - Jan 01 2014
"The original RX100 shook up the compact camera market, and the new Sony RX100 II continues in that mold, picking up our award for 2013 Best Pocket Camera of the Year. While superficially very similar to the original model, the new RX100 II brings a number of key enhancements. The most obvious change is the addition of a 3-inch tilting LCD screen on the back..." More »
Not Rated
PopPhoto - Nov 23 2013
"The design of the RX100 II is extremely similar to the original RX100. The new version has a tilting LCD, which certainly comes in handy when shooting at low or high vantage points and can help ward off glare when shooting on sunny days. Sony also added its Multi-Interface Shoe to the top, which means you can mount Sony's excellent FDA-EV1MK OLED electronic..." More »
Not Rated

Sony DSC-RX100 Reviews Roundup [Total 50 Reviews] »

Sony DSC-RX100 Camera Recent User Reviews

Camera envy., Kar-Jersey Girl - Oct 13 2014
Verified Purchase ( I took this camera to Peru. everyone in our group had 'camera envy' . The aperture ring is its most excellent feature, makes shooting on the fly very easy. And the pictures are awesome....

Truly an amazing camera. I’m not a pro and I could ..., Lu - Oct 09 2014
Truly an amazing camera. I’m not a pro and I could get really amazing pictures with this (in auto mode). Gave it to a friend who is a professional photographer and to see what he could get out with this really shocked me. An amazing buy for and there is not much of a difference (in terms of picture quality) from the mark III from what I heard....

Two Stars, O. Kroeger "Dilletante" - Oct 07 2014
Verified Purchase ( Go with the newer version....

Stunningly good., Emissary - Oct 03 2014
I bought this at its original full price of $650 USD - yes, the price of an entry DSLR - and NEVER regretted it. All of my previous point and shoots have been rendered obsolete by the creep of cell phone camera tech (even the popular S90,95 etc. series is now barely distinguishable from what a good camera phone can take), but there is no chance of that happening with this camera anyt...

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