Since the release of the new Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 in 2012, Sony has been making updates to the cameras and releasing one iteration every year. This makes a total of five cameras in the DSC-RX100 series. The first version, Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 has been a popular point-and-shoot camera that has widely been used among photographers.
Named the ‘European Advanced Compact Camera for 2012-2013’ by the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association), this feature-packed compact camera makes a good choice for discerning photographers. The camera was also named one of the ‘Best Inventions of 2012’ by TIME.
So if you are an expert photographer looking for a premium compact camera or just want to up your point-and-shoot photography, DSC-RX100 offers superior quality and DSLR-like operation in a classy, pocket-friendly package. Let’s find out what makes this camera a solid choice for photographers in this Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review.
Despite the availability of relatively small and large mirror-less models in the industry, the DSC-RX100 has been highly-regarded as the best camera in the market. Let’s have a look at the camera’s specs:
Type: Point-and-shoot, compact camera
Resolution: 20.2 megapixels, max resolution at 5472 x 3648
Native ISO: 125-6400
Extended ISO: 80 – 25,600
Shutter Speed: 1/2000 seconds maximum and 30 seconds minimum
Continuous Shooting Rate: 10 fps
Size: 102×58×36mm or 4.00 x 2.29 x 1.41 in
Weight: 240g/7.51 oz. (body only), 8.47 oz. (with battery)
Media Storage: SD Card, SDHC, and SDXC memory card
• Price in Sony Store: $399.99
• New on Amazon: $398.00 free shipping
• On Sale: $360.60
• Used: $269.99 plus $4.99 shipping
• Refurbished: $269.00
• Kit Options: carrying case, power battery, charger and SD card at $47.32
One of the unique features of this award-winning compact camera is that its LCD screen uses WhiteMagic™ technology to provide high contrast. Therefore, photographers who have trouble taking photos in bright sunlight do have to worry anymore. The technology uses an extra subpixel, adding a white to the blue, red and green that common cameras have. By combining this sophisticated new feature with advanced algorithms, the display becomes twice as bright.
The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 uses three steps to provide great shots. For starters, the F1.8 ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar® T* lens has a wide aperture that captures a larger part of the photo. The lens allows you to capture spontaneous photos and will regularly offer high-quality images full of contrast in any lighting condition. Second, the 20.2MP CMOS sensor captures extremely low light shots. Unlike the DSC-RX100, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 iii, iv and v use a sensor resolution of 20.1 MP. Lastly; the powerful BIONZ® processor has a diffraction-reducing technology that produces smooth detail.
Image Quality & Performance
Digital Camera manufacturers have done an impressive job in convincing consumers that the best point-and-shoot cameras are those with a large number of pixels. Well, Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100’s resolution is unmatched. The camera has a fairly large resolution of 20.2MP just like its successor, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 ii. This feature together with its large sensor and high-quality Zeiss lens allows the camera to provide photographers with remarkably sharp, detailed images.
The DSC-RX100 has a high ISO performance, but it is not up to the level of the best APS-C sensor SLRs. However, the ISO performance of the Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 delivers as it produces images with relatively less noise at high ISO.
Since the DSC-RX100 mainly targets serious enthusiast photographers, it does not exclude any of the most professional-oriented features. For instance, the camera can be used for manual shooting. Photographers can manually select settings like aperture, ISO and shutter speed to craft images according to their preferences. The user-definable function surrounding the lens makes composing photos enjoyable and intuitive.
The DSC-RX100 has a solid battery life for a compact camera that produces high-quality images. Point-and-shoot cameras can shoot more than 200 images on a single battery, but the DSC-RX100 can shoot 330 photographs before it needs to recharge.
The video abilities of the DSC-RX100 are impressive for its size. It can capture complete HD videos (1080p) at up to 60 frames per second. If these files are too large for sharing via social media or for simple home videos, you can choose from a collection of smaller, lower resolution options.
Design & Controls
The modern high-end point-and-shoot cameras have features like GPS, NFC, touchscreen displays and Wi-Fi connectivity to make it easier to display location data and share photos. The DSC-RX100 does not follow this trend but rather sheds everything including the optical or digital viewfinder to offer premium elements that enhance image quality.
The camera has all other software features available in high-end point-and-shoot cameras. It has a SteadyShot Active Mode that corrects shaky camera movements like while zooming or walking. The Superior Auto Mode changes the camera settings automatically for sharp images with high dynamic range and low noise. The DSC-RX100’s autofocus is fast and accurate to ensure everything stays pin-sharp even in low-light conditions. In addition, there is a host of other controls that let you make quick, simple adjustments to brightness, color and other preview changes in real time.
The DSC-RX100 has a lot to offer enthusiast photographers regarding image quality and performance. Its strong suits include:
• It has a fast F1.84.9, 28 100 mm Zeiss lens
• Features a large 1in CMOS Exmor sensor
• It produces high-quality images for a point-and-shoot camera
• The quality of the zoom lens is incomparable
• It has a strong built-in flash
• The camera has a high-quality viewfinder and integrated EVF
• It has a strong battery life of up to 330 shots
• The inbuilt ND filter takes sharp photos and video in bright light
Despite being a well-regarded compact camera, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 has sacrificed a lot of some of the key features that could have made it unique. They are listed below:
• It is relatively expensive for a compact camera
• The camera has a red-eye problem
• It does not have GeoTagging or Wi-Fi
• It is hard to access the HDMI port located at the bottom of the camera
• High megapixel photos take long to transfer and fill the hard drive quite fast
• It does not have a touchscreen
The DSC-RX100 is ideal for portraits, travel, and street photography. It is a perfect step-up model for point-and-shoot photographers who do not prefer DSLR or compact system cameras. It is also an excellent choice for novice photographers who want to capture professional-looking photographs without having to carry a camera bag.
Professionals who are looking for a high-quality, pocket-sized second camera can opt for the DSC-RX100.
The camera is quite expensive for a point-and-shoot compact camera. But you will understand why you spent that much money every time you transfer a batch of its pictures to your computer. You will click through them and become astonished on how the camera captures the emotion of a scene, enshrining a memory you never want to forget.
With the DSC-RX100, amateur photographers no longer need a big camera to produce pro-quality images.
If you love photography, you will appreciate how Sony is giving the camera industry an excellent hard shove into the future. And we are sure you will love what the brand has to offer in this model. Share your experience with us if you own the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100.