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Just Posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review

By dpreview staff on Aug 28, 2012 at 20:04 GMT
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Just Posted: Our review of the Sony RX100 large-sensor compact camera. The RX100 may look a lot like its 1/1.7" sensor peers but it boasts a sensor 2.7 times larger, which should directly translate into better image quality. It also packs class-leading video features into its tiny metal body. It's already being heralded in some quarters as the best compact ever so, after extensive use in a variety of conditions, can it possibly live up to the hype? Read our review to find out.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

Comments

Total comments: 373
123
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Nov 24, 2012)

I've been looking for a mountain bike vacation destination, and was wondering - does anyone know where the mountain bike video in the review - was shot?

It's this one -
https://vimeo.com/48844018

It's killing me, this looks like exactly what I was looking for...but comments on the video are disabled, and it doesn't say where (as far as I can tell) it was shot...

0 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Nov 2, 2012)

TIME Magazine names the SONY RX100 "Best Invention of the Year 2012"

1 upvote
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Sep 4, 2012)

I'm still testing the camera. Went out and took about 300 shots alongside the OMD. Very briefly:
OMD + 12-50 vs RX100 - RX100 wins in every situation except IS which is a little better on the Olympus.
Image quality RX100 is better than OMD+14mm in all situations I used it in - a variety of speed and light. OMD + 20mm has the edge in a well lit [electric light] situation but in natural light I think the RX100 has it. Light blow out on the RX100 is worse than the OMD and handling isn't as good / different. I hate the OMD buttons squash feel, but I dislike the zoom and shutter button on the RX100 because the wobble. RX100 is ok in bright weather, only as difficult to see as any other screen.
The OMD is being returned, keeping the RX to sit next to the GRD4. I don't see any advantage worth £700 between the RX and the OMD. Both excellent cameras.

2 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Sep 4, 2012)

do not understand the hype
the films is much better the HX9V
Photos and I would never want to do with the RX100 - for photo I take APS-C or MFT

0 upvotes
TJGKG
By TJGKG (Sep 5, 2012)

It sure sounds like you don't understand much more than just "hype". You claim to use only APS or MFT yet your gear is listed as an X10 which has a smaller sensor than the RX100. The rest of your posts sound just as ignorant as this one.

3 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Sep 4, 2012)

I just did Tour du Mont Blanc hiking trip with this camera.

My experience:

1) It's a hiker's gem. You get M43 or near-APSC level of image quality out of <300g weight in your pocket, and you have a useful zoom range. No, it's not dust/water/shock proof. But it can survive. Just bring a small zip pocket for the rain.

2) Don't put direct sun in the frame. It flares like hell against sun. Other than directly sun, the flare is not much of issue for me.

1 upvote
For a few clicks more
By For a few clicks more (Sep 4, 2012)

I already got that image quality for long time ago with Sigma DP1. Though this Sony is really attractive for this quality of image. It would be a nice gift.

0 upvotes
EgorPesc
By EgorPesc (Oct 8, 2012)

I am looking a compact for Mont Blanc tour as you))
What can you say about battery life of RX100?
What were other contenders?

0 upvotes
Benarm
By Benarm (Sep 4, 2012)

Anyone else noticed that RX100 studio shots are out of focus? Just look at the queen of hearts in the center. Quality control issues @ DPR?

1 upvote
cardboardrobot
By cardboardrobot (Sep 4, 2012)

I agree. I was floored by the quality of this camera in my own test shots at home. The Sony was SHARP! Comparing it to an OM-D with the 20mm both set to JPEG ISO 800 and f4 the Sony had a clear edge. I was shocked to see these samples... not at all what I experienced. It is a crazy good camera... way better than the tests would lead you to believe. Maybe they got a dud?

2 upvotes
SasaDF Ita
By SasaDF Ita (Sep 13, 2012)

I've noticed too. I hope there's an error in the program. It's impossibile that right in the center of the photo there's a so big defocusing ... O.o' -_-'

1 upvote
nostromos
By nostromos (Sep 3, 2012)

Theres some threads about "the screen is hard to see in direct sunshine".
If you set the screen on "sunny weather", it isn't a problem, even in the
brightest sunshine.

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Sep 3, 2012)

All cams with fixed (non-removable) lenses are suspects in my book unless specifically tested for flare. After a bad experience with a Canon's well-reviewed cam (PS SX230 HS), I came to the conclusion that all fixed lens cams have intrinsic "build it cheap" mentality.

There is nothing wrong with sub $200 P&S cams, but if you buy a 'super-duper' hyped up cam without looking at the top 5 or so parameters, you are stuck at P&S thinking.

Flare is #1 for me when I want to shoot video, and about #3 when shooting stills.

1 upvote
kcwan
By kcwan (Sep 1, 2012)

out of interest is there a pocketable camera which has
- a sharper lens?
- lower noise?
- more resolving power?
- better dynamic range?

1 upvote
John Sargent
By John Sargent (Sep 1, 2012)

Seems a very impressive little camera but, according to the review, "screen hard to see in direct sunshine, despite WhiteMagic technology". Wouldn't do for those of us with slightly imperfect sight, and wouldn't do in environments (such as Italy, where I live) in which it's hard to avoid lots of strong direct sunshine when taking photos outdoors.

I quite see that the addition of a viewfinder might have made the camera unacceptably bulky, but for some of us, a viewfinder really is an essential accessory. No viewfinder, no articulated screen, no hot shoe - I'm afraid it's not my type of camera - but that, of course is a purely personal and subjective judgement, and the great majority of users will no doubt be justly delighted with the RX100.

0 upvotes
bomac
By bomac (Aug 31, 2012)

16 pages review and no word about switch on/off timing. In my opinion it's extremely slow especially for off. 3 sec! This is ridiculous. Canon s70 is far faster. Maybe I was unlucky with my copy. ((

4 upvotes
Digital Suicide
By Digital Suicide (Sep 1, 2012)

Well mine is not particularly fast too. There is a big lagg between pressing ON button and lens extraction. The same with OFF.

2 upvotes
cardboardrobot
By cardboardrobot (Sep 4, 2012)

Agreed, it's slow to turn on/off. But it checks nearly every other box. Hardly a deal breaker for most I'd reckon.

2 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Aug 31, 2012)

USA TODAY calls the RX100 “Groundbreaking”. Pogue at the New York Times calls the camera “a Revelation”. Butler at dpeview calls it a “Spectacular piece of engineering” with “TARDIS-like” design.

Not awarding the RX100 the Gold is an egregious error and should be corrected immediately!

3 upvotes
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Aug 31, 2012)

Why not give it a platinum award to make everyone happy? :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Aug 31, 2012)

Even better!

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Aug 31, 2012)

I totally agree to Silver "only":
Major design flaw: Lack of ND filter.

1 upvote
photog4u
By photog4u (Aug 31, 2012)

Yeah because I always carry a wide assortment of neutral density filters in my other pocket. Ugh...

3 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 31, 2012)

ergonomically it's not great. It is slow on and off, no ND, blows out highlights. It is a very good camera apart from the above. Oh, and it's a little over priced. And has no real charger.

2 upvotes
TJGKG
By TJGKG (Aug 31, 2012)

So basically you are saying that all cameras given the gold award are perfect? It's version one of a ground breaking series. Sony obviously did its homework, but nobody gets everything right in any version one. Omitting ND filter is not a mortal sin. A slow on/off isn't either. Neither of those minor issues detract from the fact that this is an oustanding camera in a small footprint. Yes it is expensive, but so is the P7700 and S100 for what they have to offer.

1 upvote
pizzolog
By pizzolog (Aug 31, 2012)

Friday, August 31, 2012
I can live with the No Real Charger issue.
And I can live with The RX100 not being ergonomically great, and the slow on/off time as well.
I can live with the no ND filter, and maybe even with the blown out highlights – if the camera is Truly Great.
But what I can NOT live with is the fact The Olympus XZ-1 takes better photographs with half the sensor size, at half the price tag.
I wonder, How Could This Possibly BE, yet there IT is!
Check out The Review for yourself.
SONY . . TELL ME IT AIN’T SO . . . !

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Bouddha
By Bouddha (Sep 2, 2012)

Son are already havé setup nd filter if you google a bit.
It will not be long before a company sells them.

0 upvotes
skyrunr
By skyrunr (Aug 31, 2012)

So what is with the BLURRY queen of hearts face on the card in the studio comparison photos? I also frequently check the batteries on the bottom left and those look more like motion blur. There are many other sections of the photo where the RX100 shines compared to the others.

As tempting as it is to go get one, I'm going to wait a year and buy it next Christmas for under $300. ;)

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 30, 2012)

It has the red grid :(

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=42344095

1 upvote
Valentinian
By Valentinian (Aug 30, 2012)

It seems a good compromise between portability and image quality: a camera small enough to be all the time in your pocket and capable of taking decent photos 90% of the times

3 upvotes
TJGKG
By TJGKG (Aug 30, 2012)

The RX100 takes more than just "decent" photos.

3 upvotes
markmosk
By markmosk (Aug 30, 2012)

I have this camera. Hadn't seen a need to get a new P and S since my Fuji F31FD until this. In many ways the ol' Fuji is still all I need but this RX100 is worth it. It's a joy to use and produces fabulous results. Go ahead and parse away, that's what these boards are for. But rest assured, this is THE pocket cam. Also, remember that within this parsing, there is a huge difference between paper parsing and having it in your hand. Nothing compares to trying it out. For example, I have zero issues with the lens ring lacking audible/tactile clicking. The smooth action doesn't phase me in the least. If anything it would be nice if you got further with each degree of dial turned but that could easily be resolved in the firmware.

First 14 pics on this site are out of my rx100. the rest are various pocket film cameras.

http://www.glossoptimizer.com

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
krmuir
By krmuir (Aug 30, 2012)

I think the review is spot on. With such a thorough analysis it is easy to draw your own conclusion and determine which of the pros and cons are important to you.
I'm looking for a compact which will potentially photograph the aurora at mid latitudes. F1.8 at the widest setting with good ISO ability sets it apart from others for this purpose however I don't think it goes quite wide enough for my liking. I would have liked ability to add ND grad filters and an intervalometer.

2 upvotes
Hentaiboy
By Hentaiboy (Aug 30, 2012)

No one seems to be acknowledging the price of this camera. At almost twice the price of an S100 it SHOULD be good. But is it twice as good? No. That's why it doesn't deserve gold.

5 upvotes
Ryan_Valiente
By Ryan_Valiente (Aug 30, 2012)

But would 2 S100 make better pictures than an RX100 ?

No.

4 upvotes
TJGKG
By TJGKG (Aug 30, 2012)

Actually it depends upon what you define as good. To me Sony has made a game changer and those always cost more in the beginning. This camera essentially makes an S100 obsolete for those "prosumers" looking for a camera that takes outstanding pictures whilst allowing the user almost total control. Sony has packed a great sensor, lens and AF system into a tiny body. The S100 did the same thing a while back and charged a premium over smaller sensor cameras too. Is that camera worth twice as much as a 1/2.3 sensor when the RX100 is only 50% more expensive than a 1/1.7 sensor yet the Sony has a sensor 3 times larger? Again this is a game changer and if you are using that as a criteria, then the RX100 deserves a gold because there is no need for an S100 or P7700 anymore with the RX100 and G1X out there. And future versions of these cameras will only get better. The 1/1.7 cameras are mature.

9 upvotes
KnightPhoto2
By KnightPhoto2 (Aug 30, 2012)

Let's see - a 16 page review without any section devoted to autofocus! C'mon dpreview, AF is centrally important to any camera I buy.

4 upvotes
Oelph
By Oelph (Aug 31, 2012)

I was stuck looking for that as well. I'm mystified as to why they left out that section.

I also disagree with the conclusion about the screen. I've yet to be in a position outdooors where the screen becomes unreadable. It's the best LCD display I've ever seen.

1 upvote
uphillslide
By uphillslide (Sep 4, 2012)

I agree. I just spent 9 days with it in the field. No issues whatsoever with the screen in bright sunlight. It's perhaps the best I've ever used.

1 upvote
Solar Eagle
By Solar Eagle (Aug 30, 2012)

Awesome review. Thanks. I love all the charts and visuals, the comparison images, etc, and I especially appreciate the direct comparison with the small sensor. Nice work.

3 upvotes
zerlings
By zerlings (Aug 30, 2012)

Dpreview once said the scoring/award is a relative indicator.

Having used many P&S I truly think the RX-100 deserves a gold award in the P&S category.

3 upvotes
pizzolog
By pizzolog (Aug 30, 2012)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Quite disappointed over the RX100 only being good enough to receive a Silver rating. With all its universal acclaim, the expectation and hope was The RX100 would carry along much better.
The photographic community needs a high performer in a carry along everywhere camera.
Page 12 of this report seems to indicate that both The Olympus ZX-1 and The Canon S100, with sensors half the size, and a price tag for considerably less, turnout sharper images throughout the entire ISO range.
I hope this emboldens Sony to improve on its extraordinary RX100 with subsequent iterations, as well as encourages LumixPanasonic, Nikon, and Canon to produce small pocketable large sensor cameras that render image quality we all would today consider remarkably superb.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Aug 30, 2012)

The Rx100 is in a different league than the s100 - have owned both and the Sony is a far better camera in every respect,

3 upvotes
pizzolog
By pizzolog (Aug 31, 2012)

I thought so too!
Different League . . perhaps . . nevertheless the review seems it necessary to compare The Canon PowerShot S100 and The Olympus XZ-1 to The RX100 across 3 of its 16 page analysis.
Better In Every Respect . . yes . . yet the photographs shows evidence that both The S100 and The XZ-1 render better images than The RX100.
Well, how can we account for these findings . . ??
How do we answer those who think the proof is in the pudding . . ??

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Aug 29, 2012)

silver is sufficient and fair
when you consider that the HX9V still the better video camera

1 upvote
LaFonte
By LaFonte (Aug 29, 2012)

very tempting, specs wise. but somehow i don't like any of the provided samples too much. Still no doubt this puts every other compact to shame, but still not enough reason to upgrade from xz-1, as it seems.

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Aug 30, 2012)

Check samples here http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1009&thread=42351761 you'll be amazed!

1 upvote
TJGKG
By TJGKG (Aug 30, 2012)

Wow what excellent pix! Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to taking my RX100 to England in November for some shots that hopefully will be just as memorable. Really looking forward to carrying that around as opposed to the D7000 and all the gear.

0 upvotes
exPanasonic fan
By exPanasonic fan (Aug 29, 2012)

A question to R butler,

I am totaly new to the sony camera´s, i have the rx100 4 days, but what recommend u me, how to use the rx100 in bars(low light), where there is is lot of movement, i use the Ia+ but this make 3 pictures and then fuse it together as result they are blurred, but in Ia take 1 picture and they have no blur but it take forever for the camera to recognize the face detection, the facial tracking is not fast like the lx7, i have seen videos where the lx7 is very fast at facial detection.

SCENE mode Anti Motion Blur, resolve this problem but dam it goes directly to iso 6400, if I limited it to iso 3200 it dont expose it well like 6400, though iso 6400 have lot of noise.

For me this is the best compact camera ever made, the lx7 is a shame for the LX series. thx in advance.

0 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Aug 30, 2012)

Do what I'll do: I'll buy the Sony RX100, the Lumix LX7 and the Nikon P7700..ALL three!!!! Since my rule as a consumer is: in case of doubt BUY them all. One can NEVER be completely satisfied. Remember that he who dies with more toys wins the game.

0 upvotes
Operon
By Operon (Aug 29, 2012)

I'm only a week into my switch from my Lumix DMC-LX5 and though I do miss my EVF, the picture quality from the DSC-RX100 is nothing short of stunning. Is it a perfect camera? No, but what Sony has managed to squeeze into such a pocketable, fluid package throws down the gauntlet to the rest of the size class.

4 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Aug 29, 2012)

Something tells me that DPR didnt actually use this camera in real life. They claim that there isnt much difference between this a small sensor bright lens camera (below). This is the opposite of every single review out there where it overwhelming destroys every compact on the market and gives DSLRs a run for its money.

One thing for sure, DPR is no longer the "gold" standard for camera reviews.

13 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Aug 30, 2012)

Then go elsewhere! No loss for me.

4 upvotes
TJGKG
By TJGKG (Aug 29, 2012)

An excellent and fair review. As an owner of the RX100, I pretty much agree with everything in the Conclusion. The score is representative enough for me. It matters not whether the camera gets a Silver or Gold Award. I think Sony did a great job in giving us a camera with so much power and functionality in a small footprint. I think the folks here whinging about lack of an OVF or macro focussing distance (amongst other complaints) need to realise that this is a COMPACT CAMERA NOT A DSLR. It is not meant to go on assignment. It was designed for those who want a lot of control over their shots, high IQ in a small camera. For pros/enthusiasts, it is a second. To that extent the RX100 excells. There certainly is room for improvement: ND lens, higher top shutter speed to name just two. But this is a great first version. I think next year we will see better versions of the G1X and the RX100. But for now, there are some great small cameras out there for tired shoulders and backs like mine.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 29, 2012)

DPR stuff need some reality check, go out and actually talk to real people and see what they want from their cameras, and not to the tiny slice of "enthusiasts" and permanent camera reviewers. If they do, they will find that something like 80% of buyers of APS-C DSLRs and mirrorless buy it with a kit zoom and never take it off, because just 2 months ago it was the only way you can get good low-light IQ and performance (BTW, they don't care about RAW and shoot at Auto too). And now all that huge segment, MOST OF THE MARKET, was single-handedly invalidated because RX100 at f/1.8 suddenly matches (or beats in case of Canons) all those slow kits at f/3.5. If DPR cannot see the revolution here, they must be blind. If they were not blind, they should have introduced Platinum Award just for RX100.

6 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 29, 2012)

The usual "best in class" is a new camera beating the previous best in the class by 1/3 stop of IQ. 1 whole stop of advantage deserves Gold Award already, being an enormous technological leap. RX100 beats Canon S100 (the previous best you can get in small-and-light pocket cam) by 2 (two!) whole stops (and previous Gold winner XZ-1 too, although that one is not really pocketable, just like LX5/7, EX1/2)! Surely it deserves BETTER than Gold.

7 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2012)

Actually my first draft of the conclusion explicitly mentioned the fact that the majority of users never take the lens off (we've been quoted figures in the high 90s, percentage-wise).

The point is that the RX100 isn't an F1.8 camera, it's an F1.8-4.9 and it effectively can't use that F1.8 outdoors because it has a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 and a base ISO of 125.

10 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2012)

Look closely at the table on the first page of the review. The RX100 does fit a larger sensor into a smaller space than any other camera (and we've given credit for that). It offers a really compelling balance of capability, size and price.

However look at the Olympus XZ-1 and it has a much brighter lens that will offset much of the RX100's sensor size advantage (and at a lower price - even at list price). It certainly offers more control over depth-of-field than the RX100, or even an APS-C with a standard 18-55mm.

I'm not saying the XZ-1 is better (it isn't, hence its lower score), but the RX100 is not the revolution you think. It is a novel size/capability/price balance, but there are others possibilities (Samsung EX2F for instance), that have the potential to offer greater depth of field control and better low light capabilities, for less money.

11 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2012)

It's a very good camera, it scored very well and got a generally very positive review.

However, nothing deserves a Gold just for offering something different. We gave credit for it and we were impressed with the results but it's not as dramatically different from the smaller-sensor, bright lens brigade as you imply. At which point, it has to stand on its merits. It does so. Really well. But not quite Gold, in our opinion.

8 upvotes
Digital Suicide
By Digital Suicide (Aug 29, 2012)

base ISO is 80, Mr. Butler.

4 upvotes
SammyToronto
By SammyToronto (Aug 29, 2012)

I find the review well-balanced and fair. The review findings are consistent with my first impressions when I saw the RX100 specs and realized that the larger sensor advantages were probably more than offset by the faster lenses/less dense sensors of much of the competition (dpreview's effective aperture chart demonstrated that nicely). The RX100 only true achievement is to cram the larger sensor in such a small body, which is only useful if your main aim is to get the best possible image quality from the smallest possible camera. I have other priorities when looking for point and shoot camera. Yes, portability (rather than miniaturization) is a factor, but it's only one among many and cameras in the LX7 size league are no less portable than an RX100 (being that they'll be carried in cases by most owners).

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 29, 2012)

"The point is that the RX100 isn't an F1.8 camera"

Neither are kit zooms f/3.5 lenses. Most go to 84 mm at f/5.6 and don't go to 100 mm eq at all. And if some do, like Oly 12-50, it is there at unusable f/6.3.

BTW, low-light ability is most useful at short focal lengths.
1) We as people don't see far in the dark, and we cannot shoot what we don't see
2) When we shoot far objects in dark, it is for panoramas/landscapes etc, and those are shot at wide end.

Sorry for bringing a little of reality.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 29, 2012)

"can't use that F1.8 outdoors because it has a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 and a base ISO of 125"

If amount of light pushes your shutter speed beyond 1/2000, you don't need f/1.8 on 1" to get good IQ - any modern P&S or phone camera would do acceptably well. It is low light when people get color blotches on their pictures or their P&S refuses to focus at all, then people get frustrating and go and buy heavy, large and expensive DSLRs with their kits.
Are you going to tell me than when your friend in that situation asks you for an advice what to buy having reasonable performance in a restaurant or a museum, you will recommend $1000 T4i with 18-55 over $650 RX100? Really? Honestly?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2012)

No, and at no point have I suggested that I would.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2012)

With respect, Mr Suicide, base ISO is 125.

ISO 80 is indicated as being an extension setting and results in lower highlight DR:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx100/11

5 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Aug 29, 2012)

I have to agree with Richard Butler - it's hard to give a Gold award today to a < 4x zoom camera with almost 3 full stops variance in the minimum aperture. On top of that, even the wide-angle fast aperture is limited in usefulness because of the lack of an ND filter or faster shutter speed.

The larger sensor is impressive. But Olympus and Fuji have had only a 1 stop variance with full 4x zoom for almost 1-2 years now. Panasonic is now following their lead, but Sony is not.

It really does seem Sony has put a little too much emphasis on marketing (appearance, including on paper) over substance (full functionality).

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (Aug 29, 2012)

What were you expecting guys ? To produce amazing camera that it could even their NEX-3 series !! ;)

To me, only good things about that are; build quality and sweap panorama.

If you want to take a macro/super macro shot you must go to scene mode and choose from there!!! Why cant you do it just one or two click of back or front dial ? And also where is underwater mode in it?

Sad to see its another money trap, not much other things.

0 upvotes
Sonylover1
By Sonylover1 (Aug 29, 2012)

continued (pros)

Clear image zoom is a old but genius idea - works tremendeus well.
And last the Lens ring. Here DP missed whats good when it is stopless - no clicks. You can make movies and alter speed, F:s, zoom and so on without getting a lot of clicksounds. Excellent.

IQ? Cant beat my 7D but it is close and this is all that matters. I can use it as my sneak - travel -always -ready- for -action -camera.

How come Oly XZ1 and Canon G12 got a Gold award back in 2011?
Sony has made a Giant leap with RX100 - they should be rewarded!
But never mind - I can recommend it for any Compactcamera afficionado.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2012)

The XZ-1 and G12 stood out in January 2011, one for offering a non-before seen balance of capability/size and price, the other for being a really polished variant of an already well-liked camera series. (It's much more complex than that, but I haven't got space to reiterate the entire reviews of both cameras, which is what the awards are based on).

Would they get Golds against the current competition? Probably not. And the RX100 nearly got a Gold for similar reasons to the XZ-1 it was on a knife-edge, but just fell the wrong side, for me. I wouldn't personally recommend it unequivocally, as I could the XZ-1 at the time.

I disagree that we didn't give the clickless control credit (it's in the movie page and in the conclusion text). Ultimately, if some of the issues I raised don't affect you, or it suits your needs more than the hypothetical user the review is written for, then that's great.

5 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2012)

The award is a reflection of my experiences of using this and competing cameras, and I stand by it. However, the thing I spent over a month working on cannot be summed up in a coloured badge at the end of the review. If the review as a whole helped you draw an informed conclusion, even if it differs from mine, then it's done its job and I hope you found it useful.

4 upvotes
Sonylover1
By Sonylover1 (Aug 29, 2012)

Ok , Richard. I cant compare my experiences with yours and It comforts me to hear you used one month to test RX100. DP has always been my nr 1 guidance for camera test but the former verdicts Recommended and Highly recommended was more appropriate for Conclusions. I did find your test very balanced but this time I bought the camera before reading the review. Thanks for your thoughts and answer!

1 upvote
Sonylover1
By Sonylover1 (Aug 29, 2012)

High and lows.
I cant understand the bashing going around about the RX100...

I had F828 , fantastic 8 mp camera with Zeiss T- lens.. It was a milestone for Sony.
Then I bought the R1, also a fantastic camera with Zeiss, 10 mp, missed the filming but liked the peculiar placing of the LCD.
Moved forward to Canon 40D and then to 7D - camera that stands for itself when you want reach, fast AF, resolution .

Have also used Pany TZ20 and 30 which was worse than its older sister.

Now I am a owner of Sonys new milestone - the RX100. Is it good? You bet!

Cons: to small for my fat 7D-used fingers. But I will get used to it.
They obviously lied about the ability to see the Backlit LCD in bright sunlight.
You cant place your camera 2 cm from the object as with Pany TZ:s.

Pros: I cant describe all...
Wonderful executed user GUI - you cant miss as in Canon 7D.
Packed with features. And they are fun! HDR, Miniature, Panorama, Stacked and so forth. Sturdy topwheel - you dont turn it on accident.

2 upvotes
JohnFredC
By JohnFredC (Aug 29, 2012)

If Sony can fit a 14x zoom into my wife's HX9V, a camera essentially the same size as the RX100, then surely they could have fit a 5x or 6x zoom into this camera, despite the larger sensor.

The RX100 is too capable a tool to be saddled with such a slight zoom.

0 upvotes
pcworth
By pcworth (Aug 29, 2012)

Unfortunately, violating the laws of physics is not allowed! A larger zoom range (or constant aperture) would require either a smaller sensor or a physically larger camera.

8 upvotes
JohnFredC
By JohnFredC (Aug 30, 2012)

Actually, just the lens barrel would need to be bigger. It's already almost 4x, so what the hey, make it 5x and 5mm larger in diameter. The lens collapsing mechanism might grow a little too. Not a problem for me. It would still fit in my pocket, and be much more useful.

0 upvotes
mark moe
By mark moe (Aug 29, 2012)

Notice how many posters have stated that their large camera is not getting much use anymore--that it is the ultimate complimant to the RX100. It doesn't match them but it's convienence to carry exceeds larger cameras better images/viewfinders/lenses/flash a lot of the time. f

I've seen owners of these cameras give it very high compliments:

Canon 5D, 7D,T2i, T3i, T4i Nikon D800, D5100, D7000, D4, V1 Sony A55/65/77 Panasonic G series and Olympus Pen Series.

We know a good camera when we buy one.

2 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Aug 29, 2012)

So far, close to 80% or more of the comments gave RX100 a GOLD award! Majority wins, RX100 is golden!

4 upvotes
pcworth
By pcworth (Aug 29, 2012)

I was surprised that it only got a silver award. Was this just because of the click wheel? Why does the Sony SLT-A65 get a gold award with 78% and the RX-100 only get silver? Not that it matters.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Aug 29, 2012)

And "Titanic" is the best film ever. Not.

1 upvote
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Aug 29, 2012)

Those complaining about lack of some score/award should get over this fixation to simplified scores/awards and start thinking.

If you can't even do simple comparison with dpreview's excellent image quality comparator tool and use reviews for checking what which camera candidate has then why are you concerned if it doesn't get some ambiguously defined score?

Some simple scores can work only for something which is mathematically measurable.
And even then results can be expressed in biased way and there are always fan(atic)s reading results in distorted way skipping parts and exaggerating others.

1 upvote
J. Qian
By J. Qian (Aug 29, 2012)

Sony has gone to great lengths to make this camera small, supposedly for travel , then why not have a GPS function built in it?

2 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

because it wouldn't work

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Aug 29, 2012)

what do you mean won't work?

1 upvote
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

gps on small cameras only works if you're willing to stand still for a few mins before taking a shot, or leave it switched on and eat batteries. That's a scientific fact.

1 upvote
Lbr0805
By Lbr0805 (Aug 29, 2012)

If I am taking a number of shots in one place, a common occurrence, I can turn on the GPS till it gets fix, then turn it off. Afterwards I can geotag the other photo based on the first fix. It's a great compromise to carrying around a lot of gear. So, I want the GPS even if it takes a little while to get a fix and even if it eats the batteries.

1 upvote
pcworth
By pcworth (Aug 29, 2012)

The Canon S100 is the classic example of why no GPS. It chews up battery life. It is pretty simply to carry a GPS logger in your pocket and just Geotag later. This means you have two devices, but they are now both maximizing their potential, and having a separate GPS logger helps those you travel with as well.

0 upvotes
cbf
By cbf (Aug 31, 2012)

I have an Eye-Fi card in my RX100. The Eye-Fi card uses WiFi triangulation and Google's WPS database to geotag photos. This works pretty well, as long as you're in a reasonably urban area. (The Gobi dessert probably doesn't have enough WiFi access points to make this work.)

0 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

have taken a few shots and compared them. I'm not going to post them here, they're just tests for me really, but in general:
Upto 1600iso I prefer the GRD4 images, raw and jpeg. The sony Jpegs are too heavy on the red - over saturated. Like Canon - punchy but not real.
Over 1600 is where the camera shines but I don't know if that's much of an argument any more.
Back-lit / sun behind the subject / lens flare is all horrible with the Sony. The Ricoh manages it much better - not perfect, obviously, just bad with the sony. That's based on f4 / 400dpi in bright sun, so not an ideal setting but a test, like I said.

Indoors, kids being kids are really nice shots a little like the canon 50mm 1.8, just not as nice bokeh, but still very 'nice' if that's your thing.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Aug 29, 2012)

Do you use auto WB.
If you adjust WB manually, does it improve the colors as you see it ?

0 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

auto, I haven't adjusted it - I'd do that in pp. Just took a shot of the sun behind very light cloud at f11, that was a lot better. The DMF focus is actually quite good but because the camera is so small it's fiddly.

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Aug 29, 2012)

@Craig, these photos taken using RX100 is GOLD to me http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1009&thread=42351761 so it is you, not the camera!

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
1 upvote
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Aug 29, 2012)

I'm surprised the review does not discuss the Speed Priority mode with 10fps burst. Where is the usual "timing and performance" section?

2 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Aug 29, 2012)

Gold Rating?!?

Honestly the number of comments protesting the Silver rating for the RX100 seems like 70% of the posts.

If Dpreview gave the RX100 a Gold Rating, I'd be the first to post in protest.

The RX100 DOES NOT deserve a Gold Medal. Live with it. The IQ is too much of a compromise to warrant a Gold rating. Sony did not pull any miracles on the RX100. They just comprised the lens a lot so you'd get high ISO performance in exchange for low lens performance thinking there would be a good market for it and they were right. People can see high ISO performance but they cannot see lens compromise.

This goes with the GM marketing slogan: Give them leather, they can smell it. Who cares about overall performance.

You can always count on Dpreview to give a professional review and never miss a beat. Nikon D800, NEX7, Nikon V1, they always give a proper well judged rating and never yield to fanboys.

If you want fanboy rating with Gold and Platinum there are plenty in the web

7 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Aug 29, 2012)

Thank you for the refreshing clarity and the dose of reality. The rules of physics have NOT been broken by any camera yet. While certainly I like the look and sound of this Sony, I would never pay that much for one even if I could afford it. And furthermore the whiners on here are downright insufferable. It is like we are seeing so many of them reacting to some kind of perceived affront to their manhoods. I almost wish that dpreview WOULD have given this cam a gold rating just so that all these crybabies could just shut the frisbee up already.

5 upvotes
breivogel
By breivogel (Aug 29, 2012)

The idea of a $600 camera in your jeans pocket is pretty dumb - unless you have too much money. The life span under such conditions is probably pretty low (be sure to get an extended warranty covering accidental damage!) I always use a case, even for small cameras.

They compromised so much usability to get a small footprint is rather disappointing. A LX7 with a similar sensor would be a killer.

Those who think that no viewfinder is no big deal, don't shoot outdoors in bright sunlight. The lack of decent macro, crippled (28mm vs 24mm) wide angle, no provision for filters (e.g. polarizers), limits this for serious outdoor photographers. The loose control wheel sounds like a real bother. Cab you can really operate this camera with gloves on.

Maybe the target market is DINKs taking snaps of their friends in dark restaurants.

Hopefully a more usable version will follow.

3 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Aug 29, 2012)

Jeans pocket no.
Shirt pocket yes.
Jacket inner or outer pocket yes.

Lack of filter thread is because it has an integral lens cover. Do you want a lens cover that you have to remove and put back on every time ? I dont. .

4 upvotes
mark moe
By mark moe (Aug 29, 2012)

breivogel :Speak for yourself--You'll never know what a pocket camera can do because your too afaid to use one. My Canon S90 lived in pockets since the day it was released, it went everywhere: on boats, hiking... Never a problem. Iexpect the same out ot the RX. I shoot in bight sun all of the time--I live in Ca. and goes to Hawaii 1-2 times a year. I have a large camera too--but it gets used WAY less. The only DINK is the one whom projects his value set on others--that'd be you.

2 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 29, 2012)

unless you're wearing skinny jeans.

1 upvote
robonrome
By robonrome (Aug 29, 2012)

I completey disagree. It's a tool, not a piece of fairy-cake for pities sake. If it can't take being in your jeans pocket then it's a pretty poor tool at $600. Frankly if something could be labelled "dumb" (though why one should need to when a diversity of views should be possible) it would be to spend $600 of a tool that you had to treat like fine china. Mine's kept in a micro-fibre sungalsses bag which doesn't add to bulk and protects the screen. It goes in my jeans or shorts pocket. It's warm where I live, we don't often wear jackets and I certainly wouldn't be seen dead wearing a shirt with a pocket with a camera in it... one must have some fashion standards ... so it's in the pants pocket and "oh my god" after several years of doing this, I've never had a camera spontaneously combust!

1 upvote
smallcams
By smallcams (Aug 29, 2012)

In case the review didn't mention it, the battery life is pretty darn amazing.

5 upvotes
Thomas Richter
By Thomas Richter (Aug 29, 2012)

Yea, about half of what the 2006 Fuji F30 did.

LOL

3 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Aug 29, 2012)

2006 model with probably 1 or 2 features? hhahahah it will really save a lot of battery power!

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 29, 2012)

I can't wait to see the next camera to finally get a gold award. I bet dpreview is saving it for something really special. Something that is unlike anything else.

The RX100 is a fantastic camera that builds on the previous great cameras that came before it. However, it doesn't really revolutionize the market.

It has fast glass on the short end but not as fast on the long end as the LX7.

It has a great new 1 inch sensor but the Nikon 1 series have had a 1 inch sensor for about a year.

I suspect they are saving the Gold award for something like an RX100 with Lytro technology. That truly would be a revolutionary camera.

3 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Aug 29, 2012)

You seem to have missed the whole point of the RX100.. that it fits in your jean pocket. Wow, im completely amazed that people would compare this to an LX7 or even a Nikon 1.. have you held this in your hands? I doubt it. The RX is at least 66% the volume of the LX7.

2 upvotes
SammyToronto
By SammyToronto (Aug 29, 2012)

@jogger, not everybody carries a camera, especially one that costs as much as the RX100, in their pocket; I certainly wouldn't. I'm looking for an easily portable camera that can be unobtrusively carried in a small case while travelling or out with friends and, in that context, the RX100 and the LX7 can easily be cross-shopped. That's what I'm currently doing and will decide if my next point and shoot will be the RX100, LX7 or X10 based on a combination of reviews, prices and how the camera fits the kind of photos I take.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
nostromos
By nostromos (Aug 29, 2012)

The canon S100 with better JPG IQ than Sony RX100??
Sorry, that can't be a serious rating!

if not the RX100 earned a gold award in its class, which camera then?

I own the RX100 and the IQ is outstandig, for such a compact camera.
My Nikon D300 and Oly E - P3 are getting dusty.

6 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 29, 2012)

I browse through all reviews from DPR recently. It is either Silver or Gold nothing else.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Aug 29, 2012)

The RX100 has excessive noise reduction that smears detail. I might use it as a RAW camera but never as a JPG one.

1 upvote
Andrys
By Andrys (Sep 2, 2012)

It does NOT have excessive noise reduction and smearing if you merely choose LOW NR instead of accepting default Normal. Very easy to do.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Karotte
By Karotte (Aug 29, 2012)

FYI: Adobe yesterday released an RC for Lightroom 4.2 supporting the RX100.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4-2/

Works great, except the Lens Correction - no Profile available...

1 upvote
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

lens correction seems to be built into RAw - try the same file in Picasa

1 upvote
Karotte
By Karotte (Aug 29, 2012)

This is funny. Since this is not so RAW after all...

0 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

yes true, same with ricoh and canon though i think

0 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Aug 29, 2012)

Another RX100 user here who thinks this should have got a gold award.

For the past few days I've had an Olympus 75mm F/1.8 glued to my OM-D, and simpy can not bring myself to remove it. The combination is absolutely sublime and I'm sure the 75mm is heading for legendary status.

So I decided to use the RX100 to cover wide to short tele. Sure, It's got a few operation quirks, but I got a lot of great shots with excellent image quality.

It's got a very effective 20MP 1" sensor in front of a reasonable lens (very good for a compact), it takes excellent pictures and fits in a small pocket and you hardly know it's there. How is this not the gold standard compact?

I think DPR have marked it down too heavily for very occaisional features that were omitted due to making it compact. To not acknowledge this for the breakthrough it is seems a bit mean.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
mx5002
By mx5002 (Aug 29, 2012)

you should have given a gold award for this long awaited innovation in sensor size in a small package

4 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

charged. Playing with it now. First thoughts, very 'electronic' like the OMD. Very fast, very good. Not very organic feeling like the X100 or Ricohs. NO WAY of turning the screen off, big shame. DMF mode stops the annoying continuous focussing but stops the control ring being used for A.
No charger - a bit of a downside. Actually, pretty annoying. It's too small, an extra inch wide and a grip [grd4 style] would really make this a beast. Shoot button and zoom lever are v plasticy and wobbly. Image quality is fantastic. Compared to X100 there is little / no difference unless peeping, and even then not so much. I love what this camera does but I don't like the camera, if that makes sense?

2 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Aug 29, 2012)

"an extra inch wide and a grip [grd4 style] would really make this a beast."
Agreed. And it wouldnt make it much less pocketable.

2 upvotes
achim k
By achim k (Aug 29, 2012)

...and an EVF, and I will buy it. No camera without viewfinder for me!!
Achim

0 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Aug 29, 2012)

JesperMP, yes I don't understand the notion of cameras being pocketable anyway. An extra inch would make it easier to remove the camera from ones pocket, which is surely more important. The 'best pocketable camera' is surely the one that doesn't get used much. The 'best handleable camera' is what I'd like. Ricoh.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Aug 29, 2012)

I have an S95, and it really is pocketable (shirt or jacket, not jeans). The idea is that you have the camera (almost) always, even when you dont plan on taking any pictures. However great I find the S95, I can see its limitations in the IQ department. RX100 basically being a much better S95 excites me.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 29, 2012)

"an extra inch wide and a grip [grd4 style] would really make this a beast"

...which will not fit into a jeans or shirt pocket. There are a million cameras not fitting into pockets shooting as good or better as RX100.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Aug 29, 2012)

The question is. What other camera, that fits in your front jean pocket, will take better photos and video? Yea, i didnt think so. DPR messed this one up.

6 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Aug 29, 2012)

Seems as if it is mostly for folks who either are not enthusiasts or who don't mind owning two expensive cameras.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Aug 29, 2012)

Actually, it is mainly targeted at enthusiasts looking for a secondary (or third?) camera that fits in a shirt/jeans pocket.

2 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Aug 29, 2012)

Exactly:
"enthusiasts looking for a secondary (or third?) camera that fits in a shirt/jeans pocket." == "folks who don't mind owning two expensive cameras"

1 upvote
Total comments: 373
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