Thu, 27 Sep 2012 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review
The best premium end pocket camera that money can buy? Probably.
- Manufacturer: Sony
- Pros: One of the largest image sensors to be found in a compact camera, high 20MP resolution, Full HD video with stereo sound, full manual controls and intelligent auto settings, solid aluminium construction and understated design
- Cons: Very expensive for a pocket camera, backplate buttons are small enough to warrant fingertip precision, image quality not exact match for DSLR or system cameras offering even larger sensor for a similar cost
- Price: £549.99
- Star rating:
Every new camera needs a unique selling point and with Sony’s pocket-sized RX100 that is the holy grail of ‘DSLR quality in compact form’. Though the solid feel, aluminium build model resembles your average high-end snapshot from the outside, inside is a 20.2 megapixel sensor that at one inch is four times the physical size of the 1/2.3-inch chip found in 99% of all compacts.
This partly helps substantiate its claim for much better picture quality. Neatly implemented features such as a periscope-like pop-up flash further the impression that this is something special. You can’t change the lens however, so Sony has provided a very bright f/1.8 aperture. This suggests usefulness for low light shooting, plus also wanted allows for the creation of a DSLR-style shallow depth of field effect, where the subject is sharp but the background is attractively soft.
While the above sounds great, the £549 asking price will dissuade casual enquirers. In truth this is probably a tool for someone who already owns a DSLR or compact system camera, but wants something just that bit smaller with quality almost a match. Those putting pictures first will overlook the fact that the 3.6x zoom range here is modest, but sufficient if you’re not worried about candid shots from afar, equating to 28-100mm on a 35mm film camera.
The lens ring that surrounds it can be used for mechanically zooming in or out too, plus adjusting shutter speed and aperture with the aid of a screen boasting – unusually – a resolution of more than a million dots..
Sony’s RX100 offers one of the more convincing impressions of a DSLR or CSC that we’ve seen in terms of picture quality – but comes at a price