As a compact, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is impressive
thanks to high visual quality and hi-class lens with wide aperture, deserving the
Introduced in May 2012 in USD, DSC-RX100 is
the first Cyber-shot camera that Sony has equipped with large sensor and Carl
Zeiss hi-end lens promising to provide user with best image quality.
Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is equipped with 1inch sensor and large aperture
optimizing for low-lighting capture.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 reminds people of
Canon’s Powershot S100 introduced last year. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 also uses
multi-function knob installed above 3.6x zoom, on the top edge lies power
button, quick capture button integrated with zooming lever, function wheel and
pop-up flash. However, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is thicker (3.6mm) and
sturdier than Canon Powershot S100 (2.6mm thick).
LCD screen uses exclusive WhiteMagic technology optimizing visual quality and
This camera is equipped with 1inch Exmor
CMOS sensor (20.9pixel resolution) supporting 1:1, 3:2, 4:3 and 16:9 aspect
ratio. Compared with sensors of Micro Four Thirds series and APS-C sensor of models
having replaceable lens, the camera’s sensor is still smaller in design yet it
gets more compact and easily put in pocket.
menu on DSC-RX100’s interface looks similar to those on SLT models and cameras
having replaceable from the same manufacturer.
Not only does it come with a large sensor, but
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 also owns hi-end Carl Series Vario-Sonnar T* lens
(from Germany) supporting F1/1 aperture at 10.4mm focal length (35mm equivalent
focal length is 28mm). In addition to 3.6x optical zoom, Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 features
Clear Image Zoom (7.2x) and Optical Steady Shot.
Beside 3 traditional capture modes:
Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto and Sweep Panorama, this camera is fully
equipped with creative modes (PASM) and RAW format support.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 also comes with popular
contacts such as micro-SD, micro-HDMI and good compatibility with memory cards:
SD, SDHC, SDXC and Memory Stick.
In practice, we felt comfortable with this
model’s 248g weight (including battery and memory card). Although metal case gave
decisive operation, it was still not suitable for people with hand sweat. Control
keys on top and sideways edge are properly placed and high-sensitive yet some
of them were so small that they were hard to be pressed. We felt that zooming,
adjusting aperture and steering function wheel were easily completed. “Fn”
button allowed user to assign up to 7 different function keys from control
menu, which comes handy when user desires quick access to regularly used
The rear 3inch LCD TFT monitor plus
1,229,000 pixels provides large observation angle, HQ display and low glare
when used right under sunlight. User had only one option for focusing via LCD screen
as Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 doesn’t support EVF (Electronic viewfinder). You can
also choose different display modes on screen, from basic (ISO, speed and
aperture) to detail (parameter on the left and color balance).
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 focuses on not
only hardware but also improvements in interface which is horizontally tab-styled
and understandably categorized. We found no difficulty navigating through menus
as well as setting up configuration. The camera also provides a physical button,
chosen from menu, for removing separate or inclusive photos.
device’s perspective analysis seemed smart; we didn’t need to activate
macro-mode to shoot this flower.
DSC-RX100 gave high-detailed photos (this image was cropped from the above one).
Setting up resolution at 18MP and aspect
ratio at Fine, captured images owned 4,864x3,648 pixel resolution and averagely
5MB size/ image. Trying shooting photos in Superior Auto mode with the above
configuration, we saw that the result was satisfactory. In standard lighting, captured
photos displayed high detail and accurate colors. Thanks to hi-end Vario-Sonnar
T*, purple fringing in high-contrast images were significantly reduced.
In this capture mode, Sony Cyber-shot
DSC-RX100 was quite smart to analyze different perspectives. Though, once
needing to shoot in low-lighting without the help of either flash or tripod, user
must pick one of these modes: Night Scene and Hand-held Twilight for night
scene and Night Portrait for capturing portrait at night. We found out that this
mode ran smoothly and gave no blurriness.
Though 3.6x optical zoom was quite limited
in distant capture, with high definition and realistic colors at tele focal
length (100m equivalent) plus good anti-shake ability, this problem was not much
captured in ISO 800
In test of noise elimination, Sony
Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 gave impressive results in ISO range between 80 and 6400. Noise
was well controlled under IS0 6400. This meant user could capture photos even
in low-lighting while quality was still as good as expected.
ISO 3200, colors were still accurate plus no decrease in detail.
The camera’s recording ability supports
Full HD videos of two most popular formats: MP4 and AVCHD ver. 2.0. If preferring
AVCDH format, user has two options for Full HD60p and Full HD60i. Sony
Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 also features digital zooming and shooting images during
recording videos. Through test of recording ACCHD videos in Program Auto mode,
captured scenes were smooth and clear. Additionally, sound quality was quite
good, with low noise in even in windy condition. Zoom lens seemed working
quietly and it didn’t make any noise during recording. After trying using
digital zoom, we knew that video quality’s detail was slightly decreased.
Despite not having the largest sensor (while
Canon PowerShot does by having 18.7x14mm sensor), Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 still
gains the upper hand thanks to a lot of powerful features including quick
autofocus, depth-of-field for photos similar to which camera owning separate
lens is able to create and nice visual quality.
The product’s key features
20MP Exmor CMOS sensor plus 13.2x8.8mm size
3.6x Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar zoom lens
28-100mm (equivalent) focal length
3inch LCD screen plus 1,229,000 pixel resolution
1080i/1080p video resolution
330-shot battery life
248g weight (including battery and memory