Sony may have just put everyone on notice when it announced it’s new Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 yesterday. The RX100 is Sony’s brand new advanced point-and-shoot camera and to say I’m impressed with the specs would be anÂ understatement. Meant to be Sony’s flagship compact camera, the new RX100 main point of interest is theÂ worldâ€™s first 1.0-inch type ExmorÂ® CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20.2 effective megapixels. That means that this compact camera has the same size sensor as the Nikon 1 series which is no small feat when you’re talking about a camera this size.Â The sensor has an area thatâ€™s approximately four times larger than the 1/2.3-type sensors in traditional point-and-shoot cameras allowing for more light to enter which in turn means better image quality and more detail.
The new RX100 is also paired up with aÂ bright Carl ZeissÂ® Vario-Sonnar T* fixed lens with 3.6x optical zoom range and a wide F1.8 maximum aperture to let in additional light and complement the resolving power of the larger sensor. The lens design also features a DSLR like build making use of aÂ seven- bladed circular aperture to reproduce images you would normally see on a DSLR and not on a point-and-shoot.
What I really like about this camera, and it’s something I’ve already seen on cameras like the Canon S100 is the new control ring around the lens. This allows you to make fine adjustments to focusing, exposure, zoom, and other customizable functions. This is something most point-and-shoot cameras can not do at all.
Overall, the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 has certainly piqued my interest, considering the fact that most point-and-shoot cameras do very little to catch my attention. There is one areaÂ thatÂ concerns me though and that is the price of $650 when it is released, but considering the specs that the RX100 carries with it, the price might not actually be that bad.
SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2012 â€“ Travelling light no longer means compromising on picture quality with the Cyber-shotÂ® DSC-RX100 camera, Sonyâ€™s new flagship compact camera.
Striking the ultimate balance of form and function, the stylish, aluminium-built RX100 camera inherits many advanced imaging features from Sonyâ€™s Î± range of A-mount and E-mount cameras, delivering beautiful still images, crisp full HD videos and a level of manual control and creativity unmatched by any other camera of its size.
â€œThis camera is ideal for travel, portraits or street photography, delivering impressive results in a variety of lighting conditions with an intuitive, customizable control interface,â€ said Yosuke Tomoda, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony Electronics.Â â€œItâ€™s a perfect step-up model for point and shoot users not interested in larger DSLR or compact system cameras, and also an outstanding choice for enthusiasts who may already own a large DSLR and are looking for a high-quality, pocket-sized â€˜all-in-oneâ€™ second camera.â€
At the heart of the Cyber-shot RX100 is the worldâ€™s first 1.0-inch type ExmorÂ® CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20.2 effective megapixels. Specially developed by Sony, the sensor has an area thatâ€™s approximately four times larger than the 1/2.3-type sensors in traditional point-and-shoot cameras. The sensorâ€™s larger area takes in more light while capturing content, resulting in beautiful, detail-packed images and Full HD movie clips with very low noise.
The larger sensor is partnered with an exceptionally bright Carl ZeissÂ® Vario-Sonnar T* fixed lens with 3.6x optical zoom range.Â In contrast to standard point-and-shoot cameras, it has a wide F1.8 maximum aperture to let in additional light and complement the resolving power of the larger sensor.
Similar to high-performance DSLR optics, the lens features seven- bladed circular aperture. This makes it easy to produce images with subjects in sharp focus against a smoothly-blurred, beautifully defocused background. The lens also features an Advanced Aspherical (AA) lens element that contributes to the cameraâ€™s extremely compact dimensions without sacrificing optical zoom performance or resolution.
Newly optimized to complement the 1.0-inch type sensor and lens, the cameraâ€™s powerful BIONZÂ® image processor maximizes shooting response times while helping assure exceptionally clean, natural images. It also extends sensitivity right up to ISO 25600 (using Multi Frame Noise Reduction), allowing for exceptionally clear handheld images in low light conditions. To capture fast-moving subjects, the RX100 camera can also shoot at up to 10 frames per second (in full resolution) and has high-speed autofocus that locks onto a subject in as quickly as 0.13 seconds (depends on scene and lighting conditions).
The new RX100 camera features a high-resolution 3-inch 1,229k dot Xtra Fine LCDâ„¢ display and also adds a new feature: WhiteMagicâ„¢ technology. This uses additional white pixels to boost screen brightness, allowing users to see subtle details and tones on the screen in all types of shooting environments, including outdoors in bright sunlight.
For making manual adjustments while shooting both still images and movies, the new camera has a smooth control ring around the lens body, which can be used to alter exposure, zoom, creative picture effects and a variety of other customizable functions.Â Â Additionally, frequently used functions can be assigned to the Fn (function) button for instant access, and the Memory Recall feature can store up to three groups of customized shooting settings based on user preference.
Similar to a DSLR-style interface, thereâ€™s a choice of auto and manual focus modes on the Cyber-shot RX100 camera for enhanced image control. For those that prefer focusing manually, MF Assist magnifies images to simplify fine adjustments, and thereâ€™s also a pro-style peaking function that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on screen.
The RX100 camera offers a generous choice of artistic options to expand creative shooting possibilities.Â It includes the option for six different creative styles and a variety of popular picture effects including Toy Camera, Partial Color, HDR Painting and several others, most of which can be previewed directly on screen before shooting.
The new Cyber-shot features Auto Portrait Framing â€“ a feature found on Sonyâ€™s latest Î± range of A-mount and E-mount cameras — making it simple to create sharp, perfectly framed portraits. This unique feature automatically detects faces in a scene, crops the picture accordingly creates a tighter, pro-style composition at full resolution.Â Both the original and cropped photo are saved for review.
New accessories include a spare battery, dedicated carrying case and a battery charger designed to complement to the new camera.Â
Pricing and Availability
The Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 digital camera will be available this July for about $650.Â The camera and accessories will be available at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.