Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Camera: Review & Specs

A large sensor, a very good optical and electronic perfectly controlled: the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 an extraordinary compact which equal to the entry-level SLR.

With its large sensor and its optical competition, the RX100 redefines the compact expert. And bury the competition.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100

The promise

Take a look at the data sheets of compact lately: many of them show marked BSI CMOS (for Back Side Illuminated, backlighting), a type of sensor invented by Sony and that it sells to the shovel to the majority of manufacturers. Mobile side, they are again BSI CMOS sensors made by Sony that equip in the iPhone 4S Galaxy and S III, the two references picture the genre. As for SLR, many Nikon and Pentax are equipped, too with Sony sensors.

Why we are telling about all this? Just to remember how Sony is at the forefront of the image sensor. That brings us to tell you about the new compact expert brand – the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 – a device that has really impressed. And that puts a big blow to the competition by pushing away the standards of image quality.

Reality

Take a Panasonic LX5 body, put its control ring around the optics of the Olympus X-Z1. Purge lines, change the logo, but also integrate a compact and a non-standard electronic competition: you have in your hands the Cyber-shot RX100.

Sober and stout

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100

Apart from the four letters Sony in front, little or nothing beyond this Sony Cyber-Shot RX100. All elements – buttons, knobs, etc. – Are integrated in the most discreet and minimalist. A true Zen count, small side of the coin: the integration of so many commands in a package so small means that some buttons – including video triggering – are very (too) small. This is the price of the Supreme compactness.

The sensor makes the difference

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 is Incredible. This is the first word that came out of our mouth looking Jpeg files. The images are so detailed that it seems to view files from a DSLR! The explanation for this lies in the quality sensor: the same size as the one integrated into a Nikon, it measures 13.2 x 8.8 mm.
For comparison, the sensor of a regular compact measuring 6.17 x 4.55 mm, that of an expert as the compact X-Z1 measure 7.18 x 5.32 mm and that of an SLR about 24 x 15 mm (with variations according to the manufacturers). A sensor that has the expertise of Sony in density of photos: to 20.2 (good) megapixels in this space, we had to do!

Image quality level SLR

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100

Hand made in Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, colors are correct, the rise in ISO is impeccable – it’s great to ISO 1600, 3200 in good, usable to 6400 – and especially the pictures are rich in detail. Hair, skin (and hair) stand out, the rich textures plant well transcribed. SLR quality in a true compact Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 is present.

But beware: if it is good in JPEG, RAW is that it gets the details. Small note to photographers: Lightroom or Aperture, DxO does not support RAW files from the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, you must be satisfied for the time of the supplied software – Image Data Converter 4.0 – which ergonomics is pretty bad.

In the video situation is the same: Sony dominates the competition. As with the HX20v, the video mode of the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 places itself above the fray: the image is stitched, fluidity and its very good performance.

Successful artistic filters

The spectrums of users of this Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 is wide and even the experts, the pros, enthusiasts may want to play with their small compact. Sony has seen the big picture with many modes, some – partial color red / green / yellow or blue watercolor – are particularly successful.

It remains to improve its filters Sony black and white: for now, Olympus has clear advantage with its modes much richer and more original.

High price and lack of adjustable screen

Two defects are to point to this Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 compact unconventional. The first is the lack of swivel screen: we like it or not, it is the fashion expert on equipment and can be handy in many situations.

But the real handicap of the device, Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 priced at 650 euros. Because if its performance is clearly to be compared with larger aircraft, its appearance is forcing us to compare it with equivalent compact size, although they are much higher. We know that customers can buy at 500 euros such equipment – G12, X10, LX5, etc.. This will require a wealth of intelligence to vendors to explain that this monster technology – and therefore costs – 150 euros more.

Our opinion? Quality has a price and Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 technically justifies every dollar spent, if you can afford.

The verdict

Competition is far behind: it is the realization that. Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 is pretty good with its features and performance. Its image quality even flirts equal that of hybrids and other small reflex: the accurate colors, the rise in ISO impeccable. And RAW mode offers a truly significant room for development. Responsive, with good optics, feature-rich, this expert is a compact show of force from Sony. But at what cost!

This was all regarding the review of Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 compact camera, if you have any query, and then feel free to ask.