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Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 Above 10 Megapixel
The most powerful pocket camera on the planet - the Sony RX100 has large 1-inch, 20-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 3.6x f/1.8 zoom lens, manual exposure controls and full HD video.
Submitted by Franglais a Expert
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2013
Strengths: The RX100 is genuinely pocketable. It stays in my day bag all the time, except when I put it in the pocket of my trousers.
The image quality is excellent, at least as good as my Nikon D300. The images have a richness and control that I just couldn't get with the little sensor on my S95
Straight out of the camera in contrasty light (2pm on a sunny day) The RX100 gives me the open shadows that I like and no disgraceful burnout of white clouds in the sky
Usually in this case I rework the RAW image in Lightroom to get just the results that I want
The lens is very sharp at all apertures and focal lengths. Image sharpness is usually limited by subject movement - I use shutter speed priority quite often to eliminate the slight blurring cased by subject movement (remember this is a 20MPix camera)
In fact the lens is operating a lot of the time at maximum aperture to keep the ISO as low as possible
Low ISO performance is remarkable. An image taken at 3200 ISO looks pretty normal.
Combined with the f1.8 lens (at the wideangle setting) this makes the camera an excellent solution for night-time tourism and indoor pictures without flash
The focussing is very reliable.
Most of the time I let the camera choose the focussing zone (shown by green rectangles on the LCD), as I'm shooting general scenes with fairly wide-angle
If I want to do smart stuff, selective focus, foreground and background out of focus - I use a DSLR.
The exposure is very accurate. Of course it gets fooled by the usual things - it will underexpose when there is a white sunlit wall or overexpose when shooting trees in a wood but I have the ring on the back to set exposure compensation
The camera has lots of buttons, dials and wheels that you can customise to get control over the thing when you are shooting, without plunging into menus
The camera has lots of options which I mostly don't need and have never used but it's interesting to have them (smile recognition..).
Weaknesses: I do not like LCD viewfinders. I accept them only as the price to pay to make a camera so small. The RX100 has the usual problems:
1. The image is too small to see what you are doing. If I'm taking a group, I can't judge the best moment to do the picture because I can't see their expressions
2. In bright light (outdoors) you can't see the image anyway
3. You can't see into the shadowy parts of the image the way you can with an optical viewfinder. In RAW development I'm going to bring the shadows up to get more detail in them. I have to be able to see
The LCD viewfinder is best at night and indoors - which are where mostly I use the camera. It's really a handicap when used for tourism.
I use the front ring to set a precise focal length, like on a DSLR. However the travel is rather slow and there is no feel in the wheel when you go past a specific focal length
Shutting the camera down and retracting the lens seems to take a long time. The S95 was better in this respect
The Vibration Reduction mechanism doesn't seem to be as effective as that on the Canon S95.
There is a little bit of flare when there are bright lights in the frame.
I thoroughly recommend the RX100 as a pocketable stand-in for a professional DSLR for situations where you can't use the DSLR (not practical/socially acceptable/safe to carry a big camera)
For someone just starting up, who doesn't have a DSLR - there are lots of good entry-level DSLR's which are cheaper and more versatile. If you're really obsessed with portability then why not, but for me the LCD screen means that some of the time you're not sure of what you're doing
Price Paid: $650.00
Purchased At: FNAC Velizy
Similar Products Used: I used the Canon S95 for two years. Even shooting RAW with the Canon's small sensor was not enough to be sure that I was going to have an image that said what I wanted. The bigger sensor on the RX100 is a huge step forward
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by GrizzlyAdam a Expert
Date Reviewed: August 9, 2012
Strengths: Small package, huge sensor
Full manual control
Several in-camera effects
Beautiful LCD screen
Fantastic image quality
Weaknesses: Short zoom range (28-100)
Flimsy feeling mini-usb port cover and battery door.
No external charger.
The Sony RX100 lives up to the hype. It's a powerful camera in an ultra-compact body. I like having a high-end P&S camera that I can carry in a jersey or coat pocket when I bike and ski. I've used the Canon S95 and it worked very well. But when the RX100 came out, I was really intrigued. I sold the S95, and picked up the Sony, but not until I had read a dozen or so reviews of the camera. The common thread in all of the reviews that I looked at, was quality. Image quality, build quality, lens quality... you get the point. And the RX100 measures up.
It's well built, feels great in my hands, and the image quality is simply stunning. It's a fun camera to shoot with. The only head-scratcher is the small cover of the charging port. It just feels like it's going to snap off at any moment. And since the camera only chargers the battery internally, that little port gets a lot of use. The battery/card door also feels a little weak. Instead of snapping closed, there is a switch that has to be flipped in order for the door to lock. That's not a huge deal, but something that I am still getting used to.
I like to shoot video with my DSLR, but generally avoid it with P&S cameras because they are difficult to steady while shooting handheld. But the RX100 is heavy enough that handheld shots are not going to induce nausea when you watch them on a bigger screen. When I attached a pocket tri-pod to use as a mini-steady cam, the pictures were even smoother. And the IQ of the video is superb.
I'm really pleased with the RX100. It's an expensive P&S, but the combination of portability and IQ is unmatched. This is a P&S game changer. I'm looking forward to more bike trips this fall, and of course ski trips through the winter. The RX100 will be with me every step of the way.
Price Paid: $648.00
Purchased At: Amazon
Similar Products Used: Canon S95
Type of photography: Outdoor
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