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Cameras Reviews
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Sony Cyber-shot DMC-RX100 review

£549 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Sony’s premium compact is a monster when it comes to features, plus delivers near DSLR-like pictures with a similarly hefty ‘bite’. Read our Sony Cyber-shot DMC-RX100 review to find out more.

A compact with heavyweight features yet a lightweight body. That’s the proposition offered by Sony’s good-looking RX100, which encases a larger than average one-inch CMOS sensor, enabling a plentiful 20.2 megapixel effective resolution within an aluminium chassis. Its manufacturer has also found room to shoehorn in a periscope-like flash that pops up automatically on a half squeeze of the shutter release if your proposed pictures would otherwise be too dark. If you’re not fond of flash fortunately there’s its bright f/1.8 maximum aperture lens to fall back on, which directs plenty of light onto that larger sensor. In combination this has allowed Sony to claim pro-like results for the RX100, and indeed when viewed on screen certain images are nigh indistinguishable from those taken on a consumer DSLR. And thankfully so, as the price tag for this 3.6x optical zoom camera, despite its relatively modest 28-100mm focal range in 35mm terms, is a serious £549. See Group test: what's the best compact camera?

As well as full point and shoot operation and the likes of the image enhancing Superior Auto mode, there are naturally creative options to be found on the stiff-feel shooting mode dial. A customisable Memory Recall mode sits alongside regular program mode, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual modes. Falling under the thumb at the back is a video record button; the RX100 offers 1920x1080 pixels clips with stereo sound. See Sony NEX-C5R review.

Its coolest feature however is a lens control ring that, yes, allows users to zoom in or out by giving it a twist, but also, when in the likes of program mode, enables the adjustment of aperture and shutter speed, plus the selection of automatically applied special effects filters such as miniature, watercolour, illustration, toy camera and pop art modes. See also Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 review.

Shots are composed and reviewed via 3-inch, 920k dot resolution LCD – it’s clear if not a patch on the EX2F’s AMOLED screen, but otherwise there’s very little to grumble about. Results are near pin sharp and can almost deceive that they were shot on a much bulkier DSLR.

Sony Cyber-shot DMC-RX100 review

Sony’s premium compact is a monster when it comes to features, plus delivers near DSLR-like pictures with a similarly hefty ‘bite’

Sony Cyber-shot DMC-RX100 Expert Verdict »

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 Scores 8.6 out of 10 based on 339 reviews
20.2 megapixel effective resolution
Up to ISO25600 light sensitivity
3.0-inch tilting LCD
1920x1080 pixels movie capability
Built-in digital effects include 3D Sweep Panorama
Dimensions: 101.6x58.1x35.9mm
Weight: 240g with battery and card
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Like the look of the RX but could do with an even bigger sensor and four million more pixels? Then also check out the RX1, a pro grade version with an equally serious price tag. For most of us though the RX100 is as good as premium compacts get – especially with current street prices taking £100 off the manufacturer’s asking price.

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